Status anxiety (A complete guide)


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Page last updated: 16/09/2022

Status anxiety

In this brief article, we will be talking about status anxiety, outcomes of status anxiety, self-worth in status anxiety, and more information about status anxiety.

What is the main concept of status anxiety?

The main concept of status anxiety is the fluctuation of democracy and equality due to the unequal distribution of income.

This kind of anxiety means the persistent anxiety that concentrates on being perceived as unsuccessful and getting negative outcomes from such a perception. 

Status anxiety was called such a term thanks to Alain De Botton who stated it in his book with the name as its title.

Recently, everyone wants to be at the top of the social ladder by competing others along the way. 

The need to minimize status anxiety by going up tends to impact people to overspend their money for things that will make them popular.

Alain De Botton believes that meritocracy is the main factor that brought up this kind of anxiety. 

Meritocracy is a kind of society where the most lovable and superior individuals are to placed at the top.

This is why envy, neglect, and snobbery is predominant in people who are suffering from status anxiety.

Alain De Botton first discovered status anxiety in an American neighbourhood.

This kind of neighbourhood had a culture of being famous and everyone are obsessed with getting that status. 

Alain De Botton even interacted with a motivational speaker to help him with motivational speaking.

However, that motivational speaker believes that status anxiety can arise from motivational speaking. 

Motivational speaking is related to the fact that no one is living in the fullness of their potentials.

But Alain De Botton challenges this with people who are trying to succeed with no chances at achieving their goals

Alain De Botton stated the causes and solutions of status anxiety which will be described below:


  • Lovelessness
  • Expectation
  • Meritocracy
  • Snobbery
  • Dependence


  • Philosophy
  • Art
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Bohemianism
Status anxiety (A complete guide)

Symptoms and signs that you are suffering from status anxiety

Status anxiety used to be called Keeping Up With the Joneses.

This means there is a need to constantly up one’s game to beat someone else who is showing more prowess than we are. 

Keeping Up With The Joneses used to be a famous quote among television series and popular movies.

Nowadays, Alain De Botton coined the term into status anxiety where people need to upgrade their status almost all the time and may suffer distress because of this persistent need.

The following are some of the symptoms and signs of status anxiety that may need some management immediately:

The Phobia Of Being Left Behind

We are living in a world where social media is so rampant that it’s not surprising that most people are already having multiple accounts right now.

With this social media, we are driven to look at the different statuses of our friends and colleagues who might be showing that they are better than us. 

Status anxiety is the fear associated with comparing ourselves to others and finding out that we will never be better than others since we don’t have the necessary materials that can make us superior such as a new car.

This symptom is actually referred to as the fear of missing out or FOMO and you can learn more about this feeling by buying this book on this website.

A Sense Of Entitlement

As the new generation is making their society, they believe that every new thing is ripe for the taking. In other words, achievements are getting easier to take. 

You are already at that age that education and some measure of success are enough to make you succeed.

You aren’t someone who would hesitate because someone decides that you aren’t worthy of success.

This is why most people are suffering from status anxiety. Fortunately, you can get your head off these clouds. 

You need to control that you can’t let others define you by controlling your reactions to their words.

You can be your own definition of success

Outcomes of status anxiety

The book on status anxiety has given people insights on society today.

Heck, even the most intelligent people like Bill Gates is having this kind of anxiety. 

This is because he is a victim of comparing himself to others. We are victims of this and we tend to regret this kind of comparison later on. 

Status anxiety is not the result of us being ungrateful to the things we were given. It’s just not all of us will appreciate people for their past good deeds. 

We have this kind of thinking that we need to be more wealthy than we have the stuff we need to be popular.

The worst part is that we do this by befriending people who are a little less successful than us.

You can minimize your tendency of comparing yourself to others by buying this book on this website.

How to deal with status anxiety?

We can deal with status anxiety by following the tips below after this brief discussion.

We tend to suffer from status anxiety where we are constantly feeling we are never good enough and to minimize this kind of feeling, we need to keep stocking up on materials that can upgrade our status.

You should know that the concept of status anxiety is not novel.

After all, our ancestors are also susceptible to this kind of anxiety when they think about their neighbours will think about them. 

The internet and celebrity magazines have made it more difficult to control our status anxiety and reach the most impossible goal which is perfection. 

Making Judgements

The cause of status anxiety is the judgments about you from others.

Or you might be perceiving what judgments may arise when you own something, do something, or say something about anything that may come to a conversation.

There are different parts of this factor:

Small Talk 

Small talk is what we need to say to someone to whom we aren’t sure what to talk about.

This talk usually comes when we need to introduce ourselves to someone. 

Some of the most typical questions in small talk are the following:

  • What do you do?
  • Where do you live?
  • What car do you drive?

These questions were made to see if you and your respondent are similar in social terms.

However, these questions are made to induce status anxiety since it makes the person think if he or she is bored or having the lowest job in the world.

These questions can make someone be evaluated in low light even when it doesn’t define the whole person.

This is one of the outcomes of anxiety which is snobbery.

This is why you should prevent yourself from making short-term judgments about someone.

You don’t have to deal with this by saying deep conversations about politics or some philosophies you have read. 

Although these conversations are more interesting than small talk.

You can talk more about current issues and other intellectual discussions to minimize status anxiety.

These conversations are made to create equality in the conversation without any indication of being too similar.

You can learn more about having deep conversations with someone by buying this book on this website.


The other side of making judgments is your expected fear that they are going to judge you.

Even if they don’t see it directly, you would get paranoid about what they might be thinking about you in your recent conversation.

You should be aware that judgments without further information are not to be feared upon.

After all, the one at fault is the one judging you and not the person that is being judged.

Meritocracy Contribution

Alain De Botton is putting the blame to meritocracy on status anxiety.

Although meritocracy allows people to rise above their backgrounds whether rich or poor. 

However, there is the effect of chance which minimizes the chance of having a meritocratic society.

After all, we can’t control everything such as sickness, how we think, and how other people should do their activities.

Meritocracy believes in the assumption that achievement is celebrated and failure is given responsibility.

You shouldn’t blame fate or the Gods but you only have to blame yourself for your failure.

In other words, the lack of success is a detrimental effect in this society even if the failure is more generalized such as an economic crisis.

You can learn more about meritocracy by buying this book on this website.

Realizing from History

You should learn something from historical literature. Alain De Botton suggests that you learn from the early Greek tragedies. 

Social media is so transparent about the punishment of failure while Greek tragedies are focused on the fact that everyone fails.

If you would have read some of the oldest heroes such as in Shakespeare, you would notice that you will feel the human factor in these stories where we will feel pity for the tragic hero. 

You should watch a play on a Shakespeare novel and you might find yourself wanting the hero to not take that risk of getting endangered without a good ending.

It is in human nature that we will experience failure. 

You will make mistakes because you are human. You should more celebratory about this aspect of our nature

Achievement vs Failure

Alain De Botton believes that you should think about what success really means.

After all, no one is successful in everything. 

This might be an obvious solution to status anxiety.

Or you might probably think about those people who have achieved work-life balance or getting a high grade in a state exam. 

Alain De Botton states that you aren’t capable of having all your successes. You should success as a sort of compromise and adjusting and know that failure will always be there in the midst of your success.

After all, not all successful people would talk about the behind the scenes experiences.

For instance, Olympian athletes don’t discuss their work-life balance. 

No successful person has ever mentioned that they had to sacrifice something along the way such as intimate relationships.

Alain De Botton states that you should know your own success and you won’t get this from television, books, or other successful people.

Alain De Botton concludes that there is nothing worse than success that is clearly ambiguous to the person who is trying to reach that goal.

These people are more likely to have similar fates to those tragic heroes.

You can read more about these tragic heroes by buying this book here.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.


In this brief article, we have talked about status anxiety, outcomes of status anxiety, self-worth in status anxiety, and more information about status anxiety.

If you have any questions about status anxiety, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Online Therapy

  • Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

  • Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.

Light Therapy

  • Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night.  An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.

FAQs: status anxiety

Does sked status anxiety?

Yes, Will Sked does status anxiety to minimize the gap in the market for the consumerism of stylish wallets for men.

This kind of status anxiety is a store where Will Sked has opened up other branches made out of bricks and mortar as the signature of this store.

Which country is famous for leather?

China is a country that is famous for leather. This is because they can harvest this kind of material from their resources such as bovine animals, sheep, and goats.

This kind of country can produce light leather, animal hides, and heavy leather.

Why people keep up with the Joneses?

People tend to keep up with the Joneses because we have the desire to impress and get a good reputation in front of other people.

Financial psychologists and researchers say the drive to splurge and keep up with the Joneses is originated more in psychology than a lack of financial abilities.

This is an outcome of our ancestral cognitions that impressing people can give us love and affection.

What is the Jones effect?

The Jones effect is when we have the obsession to keep up with our peers through their status in life with the materials they buy.

We also tend to get closer and intimate to people that are superior to us. This kind of effect is related to Keeping up with the Joneses quote.

Why do people say keeping up with the Joneses?

People say keeping up with the Joneses to people who are manifesting that they have more money than others through their materials.

For instance, many people were holding down three jobs or occupations just to keep up with the Joneses.



Skills You Need. Managing Status Anxiety.

Wikipedia. Status Anxiety.