We’ve discussed how social media can drive us to increase our spending habits, but there is also a link between wanting to purchase things and insecurity in relationships, according to Psychology Today.
Beijing Key Laboratory of Experimental Psychology’s Ying Sun and colleagues conducted a study this year that links insecurity in relationships with money.
“Interpersonal insecurity is one of the most important factors influencing materialism,” the report explains. We see this trend mirrored in our own behaviors when we have a break up. Think about all those people who go from being deeply in love to single, and then all they post about is being “on my grind,” or “catching flights not feelings,” or “focusing on me and my career.” Psychology Today adds that many people who go through breakups try to heal the pain with shopping sprees. The “I ran my credit card bill up,” line from Solange’s ‘Cranes In The Sky,’ comes to mind.
How materialism affects your relationships depends on your “attachment style,” according to the research. There are two types of attachment styles. Secure attachment styles don’t have fear of abandonment and have no problem attaching to others. People with insecure attachments find more safety in objects than people, hence, materialism. These fears could be stewed in traumatic experiences from their upbringing.
The researchers found that even with your designated attachment style, anyone can unhinge themselves from the weight of materialism when they feel a “self-esteem boost.” Suddenly that inner validation outweighs the hustle for money, at least temporarily.
The most important aspect of navigating this cycle of materialism and non attachment is awareness. If you’re feeling down and find yourself blowing your rent check, it’s probably a good idea to examine the triggers and find a more healthy way to resolve the inner conflict. At the end of the day, “things” can’t heal the inner things, they just mask them temporarily.