Are there really nice people on earth
Why nice people have less money and what you can do about it
Money doesn't make you happy, the "nice guys" know
Money isn't everything in life, as most people will agree. Nevertheless, it plays an important role and many Germans strive for wealth or at least prosperity. But while narcissists & Co fight for the bills, they are of less importance for nice people. In this context, the term “nice” could also be translated as empathic, emotionally intelligent or modest. On the one hand, it's not that nice people aren't able to make more money - they just don't want to.
On the other hand, it is actually difficult for them to assert themselves against greedy competitors in the modern business world. Those who are not ready to stretch their elbows or, if necessary, enrich themselves at the expense of others, will end up with nothing.
Narcissists and psychopaths cavort in positions of power
This is due to the fact that there is an above-average number of people with narcissistic to psychopathic personality disorders in German management levels and in positions of power. In positions of power, narcissists and psychopaths are around three to four times more likely to be found than the population average, explains Jens Hoffmann in ZEIT.
The reason: They are ruthless, manipulative and would do anything - really anything - for wealth, power and fame. So where nice people reach their moral limits, they go one step further. Or two. Or three. Of course, there is also a gray area: Many people are not among the nicest beings on earth, but are not yet settled in the field of personality disorder. Financially, too, they are mostly somewhere in the middle of the field.
Empathy becomes a problem in negotiations
Unfortunately, it is actually the empathetic people who often get off worse in professional life and financially. And that despite the fact that employees with a high EQ are now more important for companies than those with a high IQ. Although they are very valuable to the general public, they rarely reach the higher management levels.
The reason: Empathetic people give in more quickly in negotiations and act less aggressively. They just place less value on money and do not want to harm their counterparts. Rather than rip off, they are more likely to seek a compromise that both parties are happy with. This applies to salary negotiations in an employee relationship as well as to the self-employed and entrepreneurs in their price negotiations. So empathy is not necessarily the best quality for the success of founders - at least not when it comes to questions of money.
Nice people spend more money
Nice people don't just get less money. You're also spending more money at the same time. So they are more willing to pay a higher price or even to give away their money. Such personality types are more prone to mismanagement and may even get into financial difficulties.
The foundation stone for later dealing with money is laid in childhood and is largely related to upbringing. However, some character traits are presumably also genetically determined. Either way, it is possible to predict at a young age how well a person will probably be able to handle money later on. The problem here is that if parents raise their children to be “good” people, they are more likely to get into financial difficulties later on. If, on the other hand, the child becomes wealthy, their upbringing may go wrong.
Founders should question how they handle money
At this point, however, it should not go unmentioned that this is a cross-section of the population. Of course, there are also nice people who are rich, as well as poor narcissists or psychopaths. But the trend is clearly going in the other direction. For you as the founder, this should be an occasion to question how you deal with money.
Anyone who runs their own company must inevitably attach great importance to money. This has nothing to do with greed, but simply with sustainable financial management. If you take too low prices or spend too much money, not only you will quickly get into financial difficulties, but also your company. So the way you deal with money will largely determine whether you are successful in the long term - or not.
In larger companies with employees, it can make sense for nice founders to hire a specialist in the financial sector. This is a quick way to get around the problem. But be careful: Hiring a narcissist or even a psychopath can also pose a great risk to your company. So take a close look at the applicant and always keep an eye on the finances. Trust is good, but control is known to be better!
You can learn and train your negotiating skills
There is still good news: Even if you have previously placed less value on money and negotiations have hardly been successful, you can change that in the future. Practice makes perfect in this area too. If you are aware of the problem, you can now work on it in a targeted manner.
If necessary, it makes sense to attend a corresponding seminar or coaching. In addition, from now on you should set yourself financial goals and limits for negotiations that you never exceed - not even out of kindness, pity, empathy or other emotions. When it comes to money, you should always use common sense. Still, you can be proud of your nice personality. All in all, this is to be rated positively: If there were more nice people, the world would be a better place!
Other problems that too nice people often have
Not only too little money can be a problem that regularly affects people who are too nice. Often it is also the case that further problems can arise.
You're falling short
Very nice people often neglect needs, wishes and opinions. This is because they often do not dare to express this openly. Maybe because they don't want to cause trouble to others. That is nice, but not an advantage for you. In the long run, the opinions and needs of nice people are often ignored because they never express them. And then they lose out.
You are the contact person for many tasks
“Can you do me a favor for a moment?” - a sentence that many nice people hear very often. They like to do other people a favor and help them get things done. In itself that's not bad. But if you are stressed inside as soon as this question comes up, you are definitely too nice and should pay more attention to your stress level. After all, you also have things that need to be done and don't have to deal with other people's problems all the time.
You always move on the spot
This can apply to both professional and private life. Because if we want to make progress in our lives, we sometimes have to make uncomfortable decisions, both for ourselves and for other people. A lot of nice people encounter a problem here. Because they don't want other people to feel bad because of it, and then they prefer to back off. In the long run, unfortunately, this means that they cannot develop any further.
So in the end, it doesn't seem like the money is spoiling the character. Instead, people of questionable character simply negotiate more money and deal with it more stingily. As the saying goes: You will not get rich from your income, but from the expenses you save. Still, that's no reason for you to be a less nice person. It is completely sufficient to question how you deal with money and, if necessary, to shape it more carefully in the future. Practice negotiating skills and become someone who is nice, but still (successful). Then you did everything right!
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