You've only got one chance to make a first impression. If you're out to make friends, you want to put your best food forward. Yet according to new research, your "best" may not be quite what you think it is.
This month, a group of psychologists published a series of studies examining how we use and respond to status symbols in different scenarios. Your first instinct may be to dress up in your nicest outfit, maybe show off some hot new shoes or devices. The researchers found that you might come away disappointed — showing off items that announce your wealth tends to repel would-be acquaintances.
Another study published earlier this summer linked this kind of conspicuous consumption with aggression. We understand why someone is making themselves look "bigger" on a hormonal level. Of course, if you're out to throw your weight around, mission accomplished. However, if you're in the market for companionship, consider staying low-key when you enter a new situation. This applies to all socioeconomic groups, according to that first set of studies; all that varies is what's considered high status.
Of course, some luxuries aren't consumer luxuries so much as things we'd never give up, like pets or a good mattress. It's important to look after yourself, and there's definitely nothing wrong with earning what you're worth. Always take the time to stay mindful about your wealth, however you define that. If you're looking to enrich your social circle, though, it might pay off to focus on personality first.