What You Need to Know about Scarcity Mindset

Have you ever felt a bit of jealousy when your colleague gets promoted? Or are you feeling insecure about your financial status? It’s time to be aware of such feelings because most of the time, they may indicate a thinking state, namely scarcity mindset, which is not good for your mental state.

What is Scarcity Mindset?

Scarcity mindset, also known as scarcity mentality, refers to the belief that something will never be enough. Matters in question can be anything: money, time, foods, opportunity, feelings, emotion, relationships, health, power, etc. Some people with this mindset think that they are always poor or never have enough money to fulfill their needs. Meanwhile, some others feel anxious because they believe that there’s no opportunity left for them.

The mindset is further perpetuated by the feeling of jealousy, insecurity, and giving up. When hearing the news of others’ success story in any aspect, those who have a scarcity mindset will feel worried and insecure. They also hold a belief that because of others’ success, the chance for them to reach the same achievement will decrease, or worse, disappear.

Signs of Scarcity Mindset

As mentioned earlier, the notion of scarcity mindset mainly revolves around self-insecurity. Moreover, below are some other major signs that can indicate when someone has this mindset.

1.     Feeling envious or jealous of others

One of the most common signs which show a scarcity mindset is envy or jealousy. You feel unhappy with what others have and at the same time, wishing that you also have their success or achievement. These feelings will also stir you to be less grateful for what you already have.

2.     Always comparing everything to others

In addition to being jealous or envious, scarcity mindset will lead you to compare what you have with what others have. This happens continuously until you feel some kind of incomplete feeling when you haven’t compared your worth to others around you. Your self-esteem and self-worth will also depend on those comparisons.

3.     Having difficult times to share

People with a scarcity mindset are far from being generous. In fact, if you linger in this mindset, you will find it difficult to share anything with others, whether it is money, time, or other things.

4.     Feeling subconsciously happy when others fail

If you have a scarcity mentality, you may like it when seeing others fail, even without you realize it. When others succeed, you feel insecure because of the belief that they may steal what should be yours. Conversely, when others fail, you assume that the chance to be more successful than them has increased.

5.     Expressing words or thoughts of scarcity

Besides other signs mentioned above, the most obvious indication of a scarcity mentality is actually expressed through words or thoughts that are said out loud. Some expressions such as “I can’t do this,” “I don’t have enough money,” or “I am not smart/good/qualified enough,” perfectly indicate the mindset of scarcity. These negative thoughts are considered the manifestation of insecure feelings that build up inside.

Its Negative Effects

Looking at the signs and indications, a scarcity mindset is not good for your mental and personal state. It can shape your way of thinking as well as affect your attitudes and behaviors when interacting with others.

With scarcity in mind, you will always feel that plentiful resources in the world are limited. This can lead to a negative competition which is actually not necessary. You will experience a hard time to share, work, or make relationships with other people. As a result, you show poor performance when working in teams because you think that success should be achieved by individuals, not by groups.

In the worst case scenario, the scarcity mindset prevents you from being successful. Because you are always driven by fear and insecurity, you will feel that there is not enough time or resources that can support you. The negativity of this mindset will also limit your opportunity to accomplish any achievement.

How to Deal with a Scarcity Mindset

Any mindset or ways of thinking are always open to change, so is a scarcity mindset. In the late 1980s, Stephen Covey introduced the term ‘abundance mentality’ in his best-selling book entitled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This mindset serves as the positive opposite of the scarcity mentality.

Abundance mentality is believed to be an effective way that can help you deal with the scarcity tendency. In general, this concept can shape a new positive mindset by applying the following principles:

  • Always be happy and grateful for whatever you have.
  • Be curious, yet still appreciative, with others’ experience to reach their goals.
  • Focus on unlimited resources and possibilities that haven’t been explored yet.
  • Cultivate your passion to do what motivates you.
  • Take small actions to achieve your big goals.
  • Use positive affirmations when you need to solve problems.
  • Take time to consider your thoughts, so that you can shift them as soon as you feel the signs of scarcity.

That concludes the basic information you need to know about the scarcity mindset. Hopefully, understanding the notion of this way of thinking can help you avoid its harmful effects and motivate you to reshape any negative mindset.

Narcissistic Behavior: What to do about them?

We all know that we are living in a technology era where it is possible even to take pictures of ourselves anytime and anywhere, as well as beautify them on a photo editor app all at once with a handy gadget called smart phone. However, some of us are taking it too far. They are taking selfies at the funerals—with wide smiles—or even at the top of very high buildings!

The next thing we know, taking selfies is now considered a narcissistic behavior as it indicates too much self-love. Is it true? Well, in fact, I’m going to show you more than that—and what to do about them. Keep reading.

A Narcissist: Behind the Name

Let’s start with the name. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)—or also known as “narcissism”—got its name from Greek mythological character, Narcissus. I bet you have heard of him before. Described as exaggerated self-love, pride, and selfishness (or egoism), the psychological condition really represents Narcissus who loved himself too much that he fell for his own reflection on a lake.

Narcissus thought he fell in love with someone else that showed up in the lake, but once he was aware he was wrong, he passed away over the sorrow for loving someone that never existed (his own reflection).

Narcissism was first introduced in 1967 by Otto Friedmann Kernberg, a psychoanalyst from Vienna, Austria under the jargon “narcissistic personality mythological structure.” Thus, in the following year, Heinz Kohut, another Austrian psychoanalyst proposed the term “narcissistic personality disorder” which remains the same until today.

What’s considered as a Narcissistic Behavior?

Being a personality disorder, NPD is characterized by narcissistic behavior, such as excessive self-admiration, egoism, or less empathy. People with the condition are very ambitious in achieving success, power, or perfect appearance most of the time. Sadly, in reaching their goals, they often use the others around them. Narcissistic behavior usually starts to happen when one grows into a young adult.

Based on the DSM-5 (a diagnosis method for NPD), an individual with the personality disorder is indicated by the following behaviors:

  • An exaggerated sense of pride.
  • Obsession of daydreams on the infinite power, beauty, success, perfect love, and brilliance.
  • Overrated confidence for being special and that one can only be accepted by the other special people or associations.
  • A necessity for excessive self-admiration.
  • A sense that one deserves special treatments and obedience from the others.
  • A tendency to take advantage of the others in reaching one’s goals.
  • Absence of empathy.
  • The envious feeling of certain people.
  • Arrogance or haughtiness.

Also, according to the diagnosis of DSM-5, a person with NPD can be more irritated when receiving criticism from others or when defeated by his/her biggest rivals. However, despite their excessive self-pride, a narcissist can also withdraw himself from society and show fake humbleness to seek more attention from the other people around. So, it is important to raise your awareness of the condition.

A Narcissist in the Making: The Causes

Speaking of the causes, I’m afraid I have to say that what makes the personality disorder to happen is not yet fully understood. The experts can only tell us that genetic and environment factors could play a big role in developing the condition.

According to a study by Arnold Cooper and Leonard Groopman—professional psychiatrists from New York, The US, the following factors may be responsible for the development of the rare personality disorder:

  • An overly sensitive temper as a birth trait.
  • Overrated praises for good deeds or—on the other hand—exaggerated criticism for bad deeds in childhood.
  • The imbalanced ratio between admiration and feedback from parents to their children.
  • Getting spoilt by parents and other family members.
  • Praises for physical appearance or abilities by the adults.
  • Getting verbally and emotionally abused as a child.
  • Lacking care or attention from parents.
  • Observing manipulative manners by parents or peers.

How to Deal with Them

Despite the fact that NPD is a rare psychological condition—being fewer than 150,000 cases per year in Indonesia, it can also be treated and dealt with. However, please note that the condition is incurable, so high expectation on narcissism to be healed is a mistake.

Treating a narcissist can be very challenging as the condition cause them to be more irritated and defensive. Thus, that makes it even harder to understand their underlying problems. Therefore, it is much recommended to get help from the experts, such as psychotherapy to help the patients show more empathy to others.

Meanwhile, if you happen to have a family member, a friend, or even a partner who has the tendency of being a narcissist, there is a little hint to find out how to deal with the condition—or whether you should get help or even just leave them alone.

A narcissist usually loves to play the emotional “hot potato” game. When you complain about anything that your partner is lacking in the relationship or demand them to do their responsibilities, they will automatically withdraw themselves and attack. Trust me; you’ll eventually get blamed again. It is actually a narcissist’s goal, to make people around them feel guilty even for his/her own mistakes.

Speaking of which, based on many studies, hiding an irritated heart and pride is apparently also one of the narcissistic hallmarks. This is a part of the “hot potato” game they play with you. Sadly, if this happens too often, you are officially in a toxic relationship. If you can talk about it with your partner well, it is good. However, if you need help, get one. As a reminder, a toxic relationship can turn into an abusive one in no time.

So, now that you know that taking selfies is not the only narcissistic behavior ever exists. It is time to be aware and take care.