You’ve just been robbed.
Someone took $50 from your wallet, and you feel terrible about it.
$50 is a lot of money, after all. You worked hard for that, darn it.
But wait–what’s that letter there? Is that a check for $150 in your mail? Why, yes, it is.
But do you feel better now?
Though it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, psychologists say the answer to that is a resounding “no.”
It’s called “loss aversion,” and it’s one of the things that makes our brains so screwy. It seems that according to studies, people feel much worse about losing $50 than they feel good about gaining $150. That’s because our brains are hard-wired to protect ourselves and our possessions at any cost.
And it leads to a lot of really bad decisions.
Like clinging to that extra $5,000 on the asking price of your home, while passing up a really good deal on a new one that you could only afford after you sell.
Like keeping your old car around because you’ve put so much money into it, even though it just keeps needing more repairs.
And those are just two examples. In his book The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz gives lots more. He talks about, among other things, the importance of not letting your emotional aversion to loss cloud your thinking, especially when making financial decisions.
And that’s a get happy tip we could all stand to implement more often.
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Get What I Learned from Jane on Amazon.
More Stuff to Read:
Some Spiritual Practices Actually Work. It’s Amazing.
There are hundreds of spiritual techniques for overcoming depression and increasing inner peace. Only one blog talks about whether or not they work. With ratings. (Take that, God.)
- My Favorite Spiritual Practices for Overcoming Depression
- Depression Success Stories and Spiritual Practice Success Stories
I Suspect Inner Peace Is Just a Myth. Here Are Interviews With People Who Disagree.
Some people are such show-offs. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth listening to.
There’s a Book for That, Too
It’s a great time to get suddenly awesome. So many teachers. So many books.
- Best Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Books for Overcoming Depression
- Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday