Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the richest of them all? – 4 ways that can give you the freedom to change your social class

This article provides an insight into some of the ways a person can adopt to improve one’s ability towards a chance of changing his/her social standing.

In today’s fast paced world, where we are constantly judged by a range of standards being thrown at us from all directions, we can not help but be brushed by thoughts and feelings like how society perceives us, how we can move past those adjudicating dividers, how to be perceived as wealthy by others etc. In short, how can we have the opportunity to achieve that social mobility to tap onto greater chances in our lives. Let me share with you a few tips that many gurus of how-to-achieve-socio-economic status hold as gold.

But before we delve any deeper, there is a very important fundamental to understand about how this increase in status works: social status comes from what you think about yourself, also called “current felt social class”, and in the manner others perceive you, your “attributed social class”. Hence to change one’s social class, one must improve both of these. So without much further ado:

What you think about yourself?

As the adage goes: charity begins at home. So before even considering the external factors, a person ought to manage his/her self perception. In order to do this, one must assess what is one’s current standing and where a person wants to be. And also, upgrade one’s own mind set. In the first case, use strategies like improving your communication skills, your education level, technical skills or on job training, personal resilience etc. This type of investment will allow you to become more attractive to people, be more confident at workplaces, better at handling various energies socially and will draw more people to you overall.

In the latter case, strive to develop a champion’s attitude as beliefs create our routines which create our lives. And in order to develop such an upper class mentality, that can allow one to develop nerves of steel and bring empowerment to overcome the hardest challenges, one should shed negativity and follow those people who have travelled that distance already. For instance, take a lesson from the world’s top performers. Act like they do. Treat yourself like they treat themselves. One of my favorite quotes from the best-selling author Darren Hardy is this:

“The key to becoming world-class in your endeavors is to build your performance around world-class routines.”

Economic Capital

The simple answer to this is to increase the number of green bills in your bank and possess signs of affluence that come with it in order to be marked as prestigious and enjoy greater social standing. Buy more upscale, branded stuff. As your wealth increases, you can conveniently buy certain items that can bring more position and recognition to one’s self in the society. With ever more fashion brands available, it is easy to purchase prestige. Similarly, same buying decisions apply to many other items ranging from sunglasses to jewellery to alcohol to recreational drugs. And greater the amount of money you possess the higher you can go up the consumption arch. Simply put, all the luxury goods and services that can bring more position and status such as bigger cars, bigger houses, finer clothing and dining etc are called positional goods. With these the mantra is simple: The longer the legs, the nearer to god.

What others think about you?

This is where more vast aspects of society come in, and can be called cultural capital. This includes resources ranging from understanding sensibilities of the class system you want to be a part of, like its habits or what it embraces, to that group’s customs and rituals, all of which may confer advantage in attaining more respect, honour and acceptance in that social class. One aspect that is different here from the other two ways of life is that this enclave is deep rooted, so a person may have to spend more time and age to fully be embraced into the class structure at this level.But like purchasing economic goods, you can purchase cultural capital through lessons, for instance. Dance lessons, wine lessons, lessons in dining, lessons in speech, art and music lessons and lessons in other forms of high prestige cultural capital.

A question that raises here is what is the trade off involved then? Do we completely try to efface any signs of our roots or turn our backs on our old selves and become just focused on what’s in front of us? Do we abandon our morals and beliefs? Do we sacrifice what’s near and dear to us for what’s better and more charming. I can not answer these questions for you, and one has to determine for oneself to what extent one should go. But a sweet point can be attained if one realizes that one can both retain the old as well as fully embrace the new at the same time as mobility amongst social classes can be seen as driving a car, it is best if done with eyes wide open.

Maintaining networks with people

This is all about building social capital, which would generally include building and maintaining relationships with people who you can call upon to help you with your endeavors and offer you greater support. And social capital comes in all forms and types, ranging from having friends around you who can help you pack furniture if you are moving to a new place to those who can recommend you performance wise at work. Forming and maintaining relationships require time and effort, as does amassing economic and cultural capital. But the good news is that these skills can surely be learned.

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Syed Mustehsan

Syed Mustehsan

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Syed Mustehsan

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