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Explanations > Emotions > Greed

Something not needed | Something for nothing | So what


Something not needed

Greed is when I want something that I do not really need. I want it just to possess it. So what is the value of that? A common reason is to be able to boast and show off to others, hence increasing my sense of identity (my sense of control is also enhanced because I have it and they do not).

Something for nothing

Greed is also a form of hope where the expected reward is typically far in excess of the time and cost expected to be invested. It is very commonly leveraged in many kinds of persuasion. Just look at the use of the word 'free' in advertising. Look at the stimulation of greed in many forms of selling, get-rich-quick schemes and gambling. 

It typically involves making the other person believe that they are getting an incredible bargain (often without your apparent knowledge). Of course, they don't get what they had hoped for, but they will do a great deal for you if they think you can give them something for virtually nothing.

So what?

Stimulate greed by dangling something desirable just out of reach perhaps letting the other person get a taste of it from time to time. Show how other people might just get it instead of them. Then when they are desperate for it, use getting it as a condition for you getting what you really want.

Be aware of what greed feels like in yourself. If you let it get the better of you, you are likely to end up paying what you can't afford for what you really don't need.

Gambling dens

As a very real example of managed hope in action, look no further than the nearest casino or gambling parlor. Casinos dangle large sums and glittering prizes whilst making the hoping as pleasant as possible with salubrious surroundings, free drinks, attractive members of the opposite sex and so on.

The gamblers are trapped in a cocoon of warmth as their money is steadily leeched away from them (note how the reality of money itself is hidden behind tokens and credit, preventing the unreality bubble from being burst).

See also

Hope, The Seven Deadly Sins

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