It’s family game night. This has become a family routine, and it’s one that you’re actually pretty fond of. One of your family members grabs the “Monopoly” game board, and you’re already trying to strategize.
Each of your family members grabs their own game piece. The dog, top hat, cat, and car are all waiting patiently at the corner marked “GO”. You each take your turns rolling the dice, moving your game pieces, collecting cards, and money.
You were all having a blast, but then things took a turn for the worse. Right in front of your eyes, your fun family game night turned into an epic battle of screaming, crying, and game pieces flying. One of the members of your family got a little too heated and slammed their fists against the gameboard. Game pieces, cards, and money went flying.
It’s just a game, but it’s a game that involves money and power. Let’s find out how wealth impacts family relationships in the real world.
Treatment of Others
Money can cause you to treat others differently. Others may treat you differently based on whether or not you have money as well. Money comes with a sort of perception. If you have a lot of money, you’re seen as rich, popular, and powerful. Those that don’t have a lot of money are seen as poor, weak, or lazy.
Lose Sight of What Matters
Money can get in the way of what actually matters most. Instead of worrying about your family, how their day went or their interests, your primary focus may be on earning or spending money. Money isn’t the only thing that matters in the world. You have to make sure that you’re putting your time and energy into the things that actually matter. Money will be there. Your family and friends won’t always be.
Money Addiction is Real
When you start earning money, it’s common to want more and more of it. You may start to crave or become addicted to making or having money. The feel-good chemicals or endorphins in your brain could be causing you to crave money even more. If addiction is prominent in a family, it can weaken the relationship within a family. Rivalry within a family could cause a divide. Some members of a family may feel like their earn or deserve some of the family’s assets more than another member of the family.
Expectations run high when it comes to money within a family. Having money can be tied to certain expectations, especially within a family dynamic. If you grew up with a family that had money, you may be expected to follow in your parent’s footsteps. Even if you have goals of your own, your parents or other members of your family may expect you to pursue the same career that your parents or other family members before you pursued.
These expectations can cause additional issues. Some children may grow up with a sense of entitlement while others can lack the self-esteem and self-confidence from growing up in their parents’ or siblings’ shadows.
Money is essential in life. Going grocery shopping, seeing a movie with friends, or going to school all require money. The truth is that money isn’t the answer to everything in life. It won’t always solve all of life’s problems. In reality, money has a way of creating more problems, especially if you don’t know how to manage it properly.
If you’re starting to notice signs that money or finances are affecting the relationships within your own family, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation for relationship counseling.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.