Making new friends as an adult feels next to impossible. Unless you manage to hit it off with your colleagues or be part of a book club, sports team, or other social group, the likeliness of adding new people to your circle is pretty slim to none. However, there’s one thing that makes the whole process of making new friends a definite no-go for many people: using status symbols for attention.
Ugh, well that blows.
In a study from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology published earlier this month, researchers from the University of Michigan discovered that having fancy cars, clothes, and jewelry might make people envy us, but they definitely don’t make people want to be friends with us.
No one cares about how much stuff we have.
“Often times we think that status symbols—whether a luxury car like a BMW, a brand name purse like Prada, or an expensive watch like Rolex—will make us look more socially attractive to others. However, our research suggests that these status signals actually make us look less socially attractive, not more,” revealed researcher Stephen Garcia.
The conclusion was pulled from multiple studies.
In a series of six studies, researchers asked participants to either pose as someone looking for a friend or the person deciding on whether or not to be friends with someone else. Across the board, those looking for friends chose people who presented themselves with lower or neutral status symbols. In other words, you’re more likely to make friends wearing a t-shirt from Walmart than one from Louis Vuitton.
It’s not all bad news.
That doesn’t mean having fancy stuff is always a bad thing, but when it comes to making new friends, it might be better to lay low rather than working extra hard to seem cool by showing off with material goods. You’re way more likely to find a new crew to roll with than you would otherwise. Hey, anything’s worth a try, right?
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