One of my roles in the space of Emotional Intelligence is as an Executive Leadership Coach to high-functioning leaders. As such, I work with alot of successful, driven, affluent, men. In continuing to see the shared attributes of their experiences, I felt compelled to write a post about the isolation wealth seems to have created for many of them. Its stunning to me how often even their word choice in describing those experiences is exactly the same.
-”I don’t know who my real friends are vs. the ones that just want something from me.”
-”My old friends don’t seem to want to hang out as much…as if because I have money now we can’t relate to each other.”
-”My family thinks I’m an ATM machine.”
-”Dating is already hard enough, without also having to wonder if the woman likes me or who I am or for my money. Or having to worry about protecting my assets so I don’t lose half of them!”
-”I’m still the same guy. I still have the same heart. I want trust and intimacy just like the next guy.”
-”I’ve worked very hard to be where I am. Most people wouldn’t be willing to do what it takes to get here. I won’t apologize for my success, or the fact that (others around me) don’t have it.”
-”Sometimes I wonder if the money and success was worth the loneliness I feel today.”
These are good men with good hearts who long for the basic human need of connection and belonging, complicated by the dynamics that wealth creates. So, what’s the solution?
1-Honest awareness: bring awareness to your feelings and experience and be honest with yourself about it. It’s ok to say you have these feelings. In that awareness, also have the discernment to know what you own (do you flaunt your wealth? does it keep you guarded vs. authentic? do you allow your success to feed your ego?)
2-Honor the emotions: whatever feelings come up in your awareness, be honest about them, with yourself and others. Know your truth. And communicate that truth as relevant.
3-Acceptance: accept that sometimes the truth is, for a variety of reasons, your wealth may cost you some relationships. Maybe your loved ones are jealous. Maybe it highlights for someone chances they didn’t take or dreams they didn’t fulfill and for them seeing your success reminds them of that. Everyone has to own their own issues, and you can’t fix it for them.
Certainly, practical application is a bit more complicated than these one liners, but its a starting point for self-reflection.
ENGAGE: Does any of this ring true for you? Click here to contact me and let’s chat.
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EMOTION DRIVES ACTION!
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