Social Question

partyrock's avatar

Does "thinking rich", carrying yourself like you are, and surrounding yourself with rich people make your richer?

Asked by partyrock (3870points) December 17th, 2011

This is a psychology and thought question. I’m asking this after watching something like “The Secret”. Can thinking rich and surrounding yourself with richness make you richer? Kind of like reinventing yourself? I once knew a guy who reinvented himself, and he even changed his name. He started hanging with a new crowd. If someone wanted to be better off would it be a smart or dumb idea to carry yourself this way? Or is it just superficial? For example if someone wasn’t happy with their life and they wanted to reinvent themselves. Could moving to a new city(like Beverly Hills), dressing nicer, and carrying yourself with more prestige bring you closer to having the life you want?

The Secret, and many other sites also say that if you always worry about being poor and not having enough, eventually that is all that you will bring. Thoughts?

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19 Answers

partyrock's avatar

Not asking in a superficial sense, but if someone wanted that kind of lifestyle would it help to think that way ?

Blackberry's avatar

The networking, yes, but that doesn’t do anything alone. You also have to make wise money and investing decisions, and you also need money to do that. Obviously, the more money you have, the easier it is for one to make decisions and have more options. Contrary to popular belief, all rich people don’t spend money frivolously. Warren Buffet shops at Wal-Mart, for example.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

A lot of getting good job offers or promotions has to do with people feeling comfortable you will take things seriously when it is important. Spending time matching your socks, considering your words before you speak, carrying yourself with respect and treating those around you with careful manners relaxes people, and they will trust you with responsibility.

wundayatta's avatar

I think this is a very interesting question. There are many psychological suggestions along this line. In the recovery movement that call it “faking it until you make it.” There are many techniques like thinking positively, giving yourself affirmations, and putting yourself in a position to be who you want to be.

I think it can help. I know that if you put your body into certain postures, you start to feel the feelings associated with the posture. There are ways of thinking that are built into our bodies, and so we don’t have just a one way street where the mind tells the body what to do. The body can also tell the mind what to feel.

So I think that putting yourself in the action and life of a rich person—behaving as if you were already rich—can really help you bring wealth into your life. It won’t guarantee it, but in large part, the attitudes of privilege are tied in very tightly with privilege. If you live it, then it is real. And who can say that isn’t true? If you are living it, whether you are rich on paper or not, then it is a truth. It is the truth of how you live.

In the end, though, you can’t just be a poser. You must become rich or you can’t continue to fake it. So when you fake it until you make it, you better hope you can fake it long enough to make it. If not, you run the danger of falling much further than you otherwise would.

Kind of scary, isn’t? But the, think about this. You can’t fake anything convincingly unless you know it well. If you know it well, then you can do it. If you don’t know it well enough to fake it convincingly, there’s no way you could do it, anyway. So give it a shot. See what happens. With the right attitude, it won’t even bother you if you fail because you know it’s all fake anyway. Just an attitude.

RedmannX5's avatar

Well if the life that you want is based on material possessions, then I’m sorry, but I don’t think that any sort of tips that they provide in The Secret are going to drastically help you out. I think that the examples given in that movie are amazingly rare (e.g. a person just wishing that they were richer and the next day they find a bunch of money). I think that I am just too logical of a person to believe in this sort of phenomenon. If anything, all “The Secret” would be able to teach somebody is the ability to focus on what you want to gain or achieve, which might make someone implement the actions of obtaining those things, but simply thinking “I want to be rich” will of course not make anyone even the slightest bit richer.

However, The Secret has some extraordinary tips for being happier. I think that our world is what we make it (meaning that we can always change our perspective to focus on the positive rather than the negative). With this in mind, just “thinking” about being happier would be able to actually make a person happier, since happiness is a subjective, abstract concept; whereas money and material possessions are purely concrete.

jaytkay's avatar

“The Secret” encourages a loser attitude “Lie down and wait for good things to happen!”

As opposed to “Get off your ass and MAKE good things happen!”

Unless you are a model/stripper/whatever.

Then “lie down” is part of the plan. That works sometimes. But not for most people.

Bellatrix's avatar

While I don’t think pretending to be rich, will make you so, there is truth in this idea. It won’t happen by osmosis though.

If you want to move in particular circles, you have to behave as if you fit in that group. If you are uncomfortable there (or appear to be), you are not likely to be accepted. If you dress nicely, try to speak well, demonstrate good manners it will take you a long way. Similarly, if you dress like a slob, eat like a pig and can’t communicate well, the chances are those things will hold you back.

I don’t want to advocate bunging on airs and graces either though. I think you have to be genuine but there are people (grifters) who can manipulate people and situations to suit their own wants and needs. For most of us, if we are being fake, people will pick up on that and it could have a negative effect.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I mean, if you care to do that…it’s all about pretense anyway.

john65pennington's avatar

A person can be rich in many facets of life. Money is not everything. I am a rich person because of a wife that loves me dearly and two children that idolize their dad and vice versa.

We are not rich people, but remember, “you never have a second chance to make a first impression”. We always look and act our best, because you just never know that the next person you meet, might be a angel.

There is a big difference in people who think they have it all, when in reality, they do not have a clue what the true riches of the world are.

RedmannX5's avatar

While I do agree with ideas brought up by @wundayatta (i.e. how one’s bodily posture has been shown to influence, and possibly create, thoughts in congruence with those postures), I think that The Secret can oftentimes make people have completely unrealistic goals (or rather unrealistic means of obtaining those goals). My brother, for example, saw The Secret and was completely changed by its teachings, but not in a good way. He took it to mean that any person can simply wish for something and expect it to come true. As I hope we all know, this is not the case. This sort of mentality can lead to false hope syndrome.

I do want to stress though, that The Secret does have many benefits, when looked at in the right way. It can offer a person a sense of optimism, which can then lead to one believing that one’s actions can actually lead to wealth. But you have to see that “richness” (whether monetary or not) must include that intermediate step of action.

CaptainHarley's avatar

While not sufficient in and of itself to make one rich, using the same or almost same behavior does tend to make others THINK you are what you are pretending to be. It’s like assuming that you have authorization to be somewhere, when in fact all you’re doing is behaving as though you have appropriate authorization.

jerv's avatar

Define “Rich”.

I have only modest financial means, but I have a loving wife, a job that I enjoy, no major drama in my life, and am generally happy with things. In that, I feel I am richer than my parents who have far more money than I ever have.

JLeslie's avatar

I do think that surrounding yourself by the people who you would like to be similar to, you do stand a better chance of being like them. I always say people become their environment. It’s not 100%, it’s not like you completely lose your old self completely by being surrounded by people who are very different, all I mean is if you are around rich people you will be in on their conversations, learn more how they view the world, how they think, their mannerisms, you will likely pick some of it up amd become more like them, and that can mean including making more money. The networking might get you a better job, the ideas a poor person might have about what it takes to make a lot of money might get a reality check, dressing, speaking, and behaving like the rich will make it more likely the networking will pay off. Having said all of that, there are plenty of poor people who do carry themselves well, know the etiquette, speak the same, work hard, and still have “bad luck.” Sometimes life is just unfair for many many reasons. But, resistance to conforming to ow the rich do it, makes the battle much harder to be rich, and some people do resist conforming.

Now, there are several studies that show how rich a person feels is by their relative wealth. A person who is surrounded by many many people wo make much more money and have much more wealth feels relatively poor, even if they are nowhere close to the definition of poor. Same goes for the big fishin a small pond idea. The guy who might be basic ol’ humdrum middle class, but lives in an area where most people live check to check, he feels relatively wealthy. It seems to also play into how happy someone is, how successful they feel relative to others. So by being among many people all of the time who can afford much more, it might also have a counter affect of lowering self esteem and self worth. It seems to me the best is to have a variety of friends, and if you want to be richer, learn how the rich think and behave, but don’t move into their neighborhood before you can afford it, just hit some of their hang outs.

Medlang's avatar

id say so.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would think ‘yes’ if for no other reason than you’d be putting yourself in front of opportunities.

partyrock's avatar

@jerv – Richness as in all aspects of your life. I meant was if someone wanted to reinvent themselves into what they wanted to be. Rich and fulfilled in all aspects of life, financially, emotionally, family, relationships,etc, etc

JLeslie's avatar

@partyrock I know you are answering @jerv, but I just wanted to say I think all of the aspects of life can be helped by surrounding yourself with people who have what you want. Happily married couples, being around them a person learns how they communicate, think, interact. I went over the money stuff above. Happy people in general seem to look at life and handle stress differently than angry discontent people. The person who holds onto anger tends to reject the ideas of those who move on, if they just put a little trust into the other way of thinking it can change their lives. Surrounding oneself with others who agree life is shitty, and dwell on bad feelings, feels good in one way, because that person then feels supported, but it also can backfire in another. Anger is just one example, and I don’t mean there is never a reason to be angry, my only point is who someone associates with does rub off.

We see questions on here about women who have one bad relationship after another, and it is normal for guys to be assholes, cheat, lie, etc. I dated a guy like that once, his whole family was like that, being in his world that behavior was normal. All I had to do was stop being in that wprld and choose another one, and everything is different. Not only the people around me, but I am different also.

SmartAZ's avatar

Well, there is no straight answer. It’s like asking “What’s the answer when there’s no answer?”

What do you mean by rich? The bible says the rich guy is the one with a lot of friends, but it seems to me that broke guys have plenty of friends. I also notice that I would not tolerate the company of most of the people who call themselves friends. So it depends on what you mean by friends.

But what do you mean by rich? People that I have talked to all assumed that it meant spending lots of money, but that seems dum to me. Poor people spend lots of money. Poor people are famous for their petty extravagances. Rich people are jerks and skinflints, famous for their petty frugalities. It seems obvious that if you spend your money you don’t have it any more.

So you want to be rich, is that it? Get a simple job and a cheap pad within walking distance. That is so you don’t have to waste your money on transportation. Save half of everything you earn. Yes, half. To start, keep your savings in gold or silver coins which you do not store in anybody else’s vault. (IOW hide them at home.) Spend your evenings studying investment books at the public library. When you are smart enough then you can make other investments. If you earn ten bux an hour and save half, in only ten years you will have A HUNDRED THOUSAND BUX not counting interest or capital gains or paper profits: only principle. There is no other plan that will give you a net worth above zero in only ten years, and there is no school that will teach you any such thing.

Does this plan work? Andrew Carnegie worked five years, saved his wages, and then put it all into a tech stock: telegraph. You might have heard the name. His hobby was building concert halls and libraries.

I predict your response will be something like “THAT’S NO FUN!” That is correct. Being rich is no fun for the first ten years or so. That is why so few people ever get rich by their own efforts. It is also why so few families ever stay rich for more than a generation or two.

SmartAZ's avatar

Your question is vague enough to allow a lot of answers. If you are still in school you should immediately get a copy of “Dress For Success” by John Molloy and consider his advice for students:
– Vocal skill will affect your earning power more than any other detail.
– Acting skill will get you a job offer even when you are not qualified for the job.
– The most important benefit you get from school is your address book.
– The difference between a successful person and a very successful person is that the latter knows hundreds more people, and knows them quite well.

No school will teach you any of the above. They don’t even teach how to do well in their school.

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