I read pages from a non-fiction book by Alain De Botton called Status Anxiety. It was first published by Hamish Hamilton. The Author talks about how people have gone status mad. This is done in an effort to please others and be accepted by society. With this writing, I want to share what I have experienced in my life, and see in my environment regarding status anxiety.
Millions of people suffer with status anxiety. It is a condition that rarely gets talked about. Status anxiety occurs when individuals have a complex about what people think of them, whether they are a success or failure. People who deal with status anxiety feel as if they have to measure up to the standards of society. There is a constant wanting to fit in and identify with the status quo.
Young people compare their self worth to entertainers who are not the role models parents would appreciate. Youth peer pressure is another contributor to status anxiety. The latest fashions and trends get respect with much of the younger generation. Kids who do not associate with what’s current are considered lame. Because of this, many of our youth are more concerned with status than education. This is a vicious cycle that repeats over and over. Some teens have hurt themselves and others seeking social status. The reality is that status comes and goes. You can’t take it with you when you die.
Adults deal with status anxiety also. When grown ups reach a certain age, they want to attain a position in life that they can be proud of. If they are not at that place, they feel like losers. Our friends become lawyers so we become doctors to show status. We hear news of family members purchasing cars and homes so we follow suit to impress them. We do these things to “prove” that we belong to the same circle. Regardless of whether or not we can afford the lifestyle. The last thing we want, is get negative feedback from someone we really want to impress.
In conclusion, it’s hard to be you when you want to be someone else. We all want to be socially accepted by our peers. Worrying about what others think of us doesn’t help us at all. If people want to judge, let them judge. Don’t let your status become your anxiety.