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Why are Rich People Snobby?

Updated on August 31, 2012
The Comic Character Lord Snooty. Why are rich people snobby? Rich snobs.
The Comic Character Lord Snooty. Why are rich people snobby? Rich snobs.

Rich Snobs

Why are rich people snobby? Though this class of people should not be stereotyped on the whole as being snobs, there are rich people who do in fact have this personality trait. So what makes a wealthy person prone to this kind of behavior?

  • Sitting on top of the world syndrome. If you are wealthy, went to the best schools, live in a high-income neighborhood, travel the world first-class, and usually are only surrounded by people like yourself, you too might have a superiority complex.

  • Man always wants to improve his social status, never degrade it. It is human nature to want to feel good about your status because you are richer and have more trinkets than those around you. Some rich snobs feel one of the ways to feel better about themselves is to prove just how different they are from those who have less than them. It is tactless, but an extremely easy way to succeed at this is to turn your nose up at others.

  • Pack animal mentality. One school of psychology in the animal kingdom limits sensitivity or empathy to the group that assures your financial and emotional security. One such group or "pack" is the family unit. There are snobby rich people that treat their families like gold but will be suspect and rude to almost everyone else. If a person doesn't supply some kind of benefit to you, you might be insensitive towards them because they are not in your pack and there is no mutual gain to knowing them.

  • Competitive nature. Some people are more competitive than others. In capitalist societies, where people are raised that winning is extremely important, those that have competition deeply rooted into their psyche might feel they are "winning" by putting down another person.

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Pervasive Modern Snobbery

  • Lack of confidence. While over-confidence from being at the top of the world can cause snobby behavior, so can underconfidence. Social skills sometimes take a backseat in capitalist economies, especially in financial downturns. Rich snobs can be on edge just like anyone else. If you are at the top, there is also nowhere to go but sideways or down. That threat can make people want to distance themselves from other social classes by displays of rudeness.
  • Lack of breeding. Those who are raised to value money but not people will think nothing of treating someone else callously. The terms lady and gentleman used to only refer to men and women of the aristocracies. They were raised to have poise, manners, and gentility. While decent people still do have these traits - including the rich, others unfortunately do not.

If you look carefully, you will notice snobbery in every social class. It is one of the more negative traits in humanity. It is much better to prove you are a better person by improving upon personal morals and ethics than displays of pride over personal status.


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