I'm really struggling with this right now. Most of our friends and family members think we are WAY too extreme, and like most Feelers, I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to "fit in," in this case by maintaining a similar standard of living to the people I love and admire. I know this will sound silly to some of you Thinkers, but spending money in order to fall in line with the people around me is one of the ways I express approval of, and affection for, those people and their choices and their lives.
It isn't even a conscious thing usually, which is why the urge to do it is so easily exploited by loved ones and marketing execs: you're identifying with a group when you spend like them, and doing so increases your odds (and your children's odds if you're a parent) of acceptance, and - if you're really emotionally disturbed - of obtaining things like love and intimacy. It also diminishes the odds of ridicule, judgment and exclusion, all of which are an anathema to Feelers.
This is so true for some of us (me) that being extremely frugal in the face of a peer group that isn't sometimes feels morally wrong. It feels like I'm judging those around me and condemning myself to similar judgment at the same time. I don't particularly enjoy spending money and when I'm left the hell alone to think about it, I'm pleased with our family's frugality. But I dislike - almost violently - feeling left out, or feeling looked down upon by people whose respect I crave. It takes gut-level restraint for me NOT to go out to a restaurant with my coworkers when I'd prefer their company to eating alone, even if they're going someplace I DETEST for lunch and the leftovers I brought are delicious. And while I don't give a flying **** whether people I don't know talk about me behind my back for my financial choices, the thought of my parents doing so (and they do) is physically painful.
Does anyone else here struggle with these feelings? And, if so, how do you cope?