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Shopping Till You Drop. Why Are We Buying More Than We Need? - Society
Shopping Till You Drop. Why Are We Buying More Than We Need? - Society

Video: Shopping Till You Drop. Why Are We Buying More Than We Need? - Society

Video: Shopping Till You Drop. Why Are We Buying More Than We Need? - Society
Video: Humans Need Not Apply 2023, June

Shopping for the perfect jeans or a stunning dress for a friend's wedding is always more than pleasant: beautiful windows, music and a variety of goods are simply mesmerizing. And these sensations of tickling delight when, having come home, you take out a divine bag or shoes from a famous designer from a crisp bag

Regular shopping wouldn't be a problem if you couldn't get hooked on it. Psychologist and personal stylist Julia Morekhodova told why we buy more than we need and how to cope with the problem of shopaholism

The desire to possess things is quite normal. We care about the comfort of our existence and therefore we buy a comfortable sofa, a fast car, feminine dresses and warm coats. However, the lingering anticipation of having something and the relief of paying at the checkout can be so emotionally attractive that you want to repeat the process over and over again.

The reason is the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter produced in the human brain. This substance is responsible for our sense of satisfaction and plays an important role in the formation of motivation

In other words, the more often we perform actions that promote the production of dopamine, the more we want to repeat them. In the process of uncontrolled consumption, when the pleasure neurotransmitter controls our behavior, oniomania - an irresistible urge to buy something - can form. And just for the sake of the buying process, when shopping becomes both a rest, and entertainment, and an independent meaning.

If at the physiological level the process of acquiring goods is a desire for a sense of satisfaction, then at the psychological level everything is much more complicated. There are many reasons why we regularly want to buy half of the shopping center. This is a real "Molotov cocktail", consisting of regular stress, self-doubt, fear of growing old, desire to conform and be liked, loneliness and childhood traumas, which will explode even if the bright sign of the boutique looms on the horizon. Let's deal with everything in order.

Fear of getting old

We are very lucky to live in a time when the service is so high that stores not only congratulate you on your birthday and give you a personalized discount, but even treat you to champagne when you shop or just try on things. All this only fuels the desire to buy again and again. Even unnecessary purchases can feel justified if you are trying to keep up with trends. The race does not stop all year long - spring, summer, autumn, winter, resort collection, New Year's capsule. Head is spinning.

However, if you dig deeper, the desire to be in trends is most likely a desire to take control of time. In other words, blindly following trends can symbolize an attempt to hide fear of one's own old age, fear of changes in appearance and behavior, as well as inevitable death at the end of life

Psychologists note that most often such thoughts visit people aged 35–42, that is, at the time of a midlife crisis.

Relieve stress

Agree, buying beautiful clothes means pampering yourself. Just like spa treatments or manicures, perfecting our appearance can save us from stress. The boss is unhappy with how the negotiations went? After work, you head to the mall to buy yourself a new suit, in which you will definitely succeed. Are you worried about extra pounds? And instead of a productive workout, get new sneakers. However, this method of relieving excessive nervous tension is addictive.

According to BF Skinner's operant learning theory, every time you can relieve stress through shopping, you receive positive reinforcement for that pattern. This means that it settles more firmly in the head. And henceforth, when you find yourself in a stressful situation, the brain will offer the correct and proven solution - buy, buy and buy again.

Desire to conform

Another reason for shopaholism can be self-doubt, fear of standing out, and a desire to fit in with the social environment. Unlike the others above, this one is perhaps the most difficult and deepest - from childhood. Lack of attention on the part of parents forces kids to resort to a variety of tricks - from bad habits like picking their nose to antisocial behavior, including the appearance of the child.

Such untreated trauma in adulthood grows into excessive attention to one's appearance, eccentric dressing and, of course, shopping addiction

The entire wardrobe of people with similar childhood traumas seems to say: "Look at me, I am here, I am worthy of your love, I am good!" But people whose parents were too demanding, on the contrary, are afraid to stand out and draw attention to themselves. They excel in the art of merging with the crowd, and at the expense of not gray and inconspicuous outfits, but precisely those that are quoted in the reference group.


Finally, loneliness can lead people to shopping malls and push them to make unnecessary purchases. A common goal and similar behaviors (looking for cool things and loving to dress up) unite, and the oppressive sense of isolation fades away. When like-minded people around, the world blooms with new colors, motivation appears. And the basic sense of belonging (“everyone buys, and I buy”) pushes you to rash purchases and subsequent feelings of guilt over spending.

Stylist psychologist recommendations

You can cope with oniomania and various forms of shopaholism with the help of a therapist or on your own. But it is important to understand that this is the same addiction as smoking or alcoholism. In dealing with such problems, it is worth first of all to understand the reasons that push you to run to the store and buy mountains of things. And then change the patterns of behavior.

Some of the best proven ways not to buy are “shopping with your eyes”, “weighing method” and “visualization”. So, for "shopping with your eyes" you do not take money, but just go shopping, look, try on. You can take pictures of the things you like, and at home make collages with what to wear them. But not more.

The weighing method also relieves the obsession with buying things right now. Its essence is to indulge in choosing and trying on what you like while walking through the shopping center. But instead of buying at the checkout, you ask to put things aside, saying that you will return for them later. On the way home, the fuse to buy weighed blouses and trousers will subside, and by the next morning it may completely evaporate.

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