The Dilemma Of Maintaining Status Quotient

Posted on July 16, 2011 in Health and Life

By Srishti Chauhan:

Your neighbor just purchased an iPad. She doesn’t show it off, of course. She mentions it while talking through her iPhone and talks about its features as she waits for the driver to get her new Audi from the garage.

Sounds slightly familiar, doesn’t it?

Well, this is the face of the modern prosperous. Neck deep in money and nowhere to blow it! The sudden infusion of money into the lives of professionals and businessmen with the economic progress has induced yet another tight spot and strain which has to be struggled with.

You all do know what I’m talking about. We all have that acquaintance who is shopping in Khan Market every alternate day and has a flat in Gurgaon and another one in Saket and yet another one Greenpark. Yet, that’s not enough.

Psychologists are now battling another stress: the stress of maintaining the status quotient. Housewives of affluent households with little to do except supporting charities with the abundant money are now turning to psychologists for helping them cope up with the stress in their lives- that of maintaining the edge in social status.

Psychologists believe that one major cause of this pressure is the boob tube. With larger than life houses and larger than life living, the people are now comparing their lives with those shown on television and finding that it somehow falls short of matching up to it are then pushing themselves in the quandary of depression.

An article in a leading national daily pointed out a fact that is common to the lives of the well-to-do in metropolises today. The article pointed out that the price tag of a particular commodity is what decides its value. When you purchase an iPad, you are hardly using 50% of the features that it offers. Yet, you absolutely need it. On similar lines, owning an iPhone is necessary. It doesn’t matter if all you ever do is text and call- something which a Micromax phone worth Rs. 950 can do for you. It is all about having the right things for others to see.

The reason for this behavior is often cited to be a sense of insecurity or slight inferiority- the roots of which are often traced back to childhood experiences. It may be because of lack of education or the lack of a healthy family life or infinitely many similar reasons.

Experts believe that this is only the tip of the ice-berg. Like they say, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. This may lead to serious psychological disorders and syndromes like schizophrenia and kleptomania.

In fact, according to a research conducted in Sweden, kleptomania is one of the most common disorders in affluent ‘trophy-wives’. It is a disorder causing compulsive tendency to steal- mainly for the thrill of getting away with shoplifting something you could easily afford.

Another concern that sprouts from this is that this may be the gateway for more serious mental disorders. In many cases, starting from such ‘minor’ disorders, the mental state of persons had become so severely imbalanced that they had to be shifted into asylums. Moreover, for high profile public figures, getting treated for any psychological disorder is difficult for the fear of bad publicity and moving down several rungs in the status quotient ladder.

Maybe it’s time to rethink what defines us and what does not. After all, no one has known a man simpler than Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. And few have seen a man as powerful and full of substance!