A Life Lesson Courtesy of Barry Manilow

Frugal Tip: if you drive a car, clean out the trunk. You’ll get better gas mileage and do the environment a solid.

A group of researchers conducted a study where they asked a student to sport a Barry Manilow t-shirt and enter a crowded room full of peers. The student was convinced everyone in the the room would notice the “embarrassing” shirt. Wrong. Follow-up interviews demonstrated that less than half of those present recalled the shirt

Similar studies have been conducted with subjects who think they’re having a “bad” hair day. They’re convinced others notice. Turns out most don’t.

These studies highlight a psychological phenomenon known as the spotlight effect. This is the feeling that the whole wide world is watching you. It’s not. Folks are just too self-involved for that (me included).

Take it a step further. You might think others care about the type of car you drive, the size of your house, the type of job you have. They really don’t. If they think about it at all, it’s for the briefest of moments. Then it’s on to what they’re having for dinner that night or whether they’ll have time later to binge The Great British Baking Show. (It is pretty addictive.)

For some, this is sort of a bummer. Not to me. I find it liberating. Spending to impress? Not worthwhile. Staying in a prestigious job you hate so you can present as successful at Tina’s party? Forget about it. (A party is a gathering of people that happened in the “before” times. Punch and pie were traditionally served.)

So, bust out that old Barry Manilow tee! And remember: no one gives a flying fuck.

White on white. Bold move.

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