I admit it: I’m a snob.
When I walk into a restaurant, I size up the space, from the booze behind the bar to the cleanliness of the bathroom. When I go to a party, I live by the motto: “If I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m in the wrong room.”
This means I make snap judgments based on subtle cues. Some of the details that guide me I’ve held since high school; others have taken me years to cultivate. I realize admitting that I’m a snob may make me sound stuck-up. But I’m not talking about being snotty. Instead, I believe in being highly discerning in how I spend my time and money.
The reason I stick to my convictions is simple. I think being a snob gives me an advantage in four crucial ways.
1. Being Choosy About How I Spend My Money Helps Me Save
Being a snob doesn’t necessarily mean you are materialistic. Rather, it means I don’t do cheap. So I will snub a discount-store housewares item for one from Williams-Sonoma. Why do I spend more? I think the items we carefully splurge on actually save money over time because they last longer and often come with better return policies, sometimes even lifetime guarantees.
In fact, I generally prefer to carry larger bills in my wallet than smaller denominations because I’ve found it makes me spend less when I’m out shopping. And I’m not alone: The “Denomination Effect” means people often show more self-control when they carry big bills compared to singles.
2. Being Choosy About My Friends Ups Their Quality
I judge lots of books by their covers. If that cover is wearing a fine pair of earrings or puts on a great playlist when hosting a dinner party, I instantly give the person the benefit of the doubt.
Besides, science says that my dependence on my snap judgments about people, places, and things can be scarily accurate. Researchers found that when it comes to predicting a political candidate’s ability to win an election, regular people who watched just 10 seconds of silent, videotaped debates performed better than political pundits with deeper knowledge. It appears first impressions go a long way so I trust my gut.
3. Being Choosy About Where I Live Makes Me Happier
Okay, stay with me here. I live in New York City, arguably the snobbiest city in America (L.A., Aspen, D.C.: I’m talking to you). But this attitude about the Big Apple does come with a lot of street cred. If you’re into shopping, art, theater, restaurants, or architecture, New York City ranks high as a trendsetter. And if you want to work in the arts, media, finance, or fashion, it’s a good idea to consider NYC’s job opportunities.
But I’ll argue that New York City’s deep sense of pride and superiority actually helps it weather its many hardships (from freezing temps to sky-high rent). Feeling omnipotent during a downturn is not such a bad thing.
4. Life’s Too Short to Waste Time
Why spend evenings or Saturday afternoons doing things you think are a waste of your time, like housekeeping or watching junky movies? I view my time through a snobby lens, giving it an elevated status. Why? Because I get only 52 Saturdays a year, and I’d rather spend them with my family or taking a long run outdoors or doing something I love than holed up at home cleaning the bathroom. Wouldn’t you?
So there you have it. Go on, embrace your inner snob and don’t apologize for it. Who’s with me?