The ecstasy of the purchase

Shopping quote

So I shared with you back in January that my two best friends were embarking on a “Buy nothing for a year campaign.” They’re kindly sharing their thoughts on the process with me as I have an insatiable interest in what makes people shop to excess and the effects of that excess on the home. So far so good they’re both sticking to it. Well done, girls. Let me tell you it’s nothing short of a miracle with these two!

So in 13 weeks, a very admirable absence of banned purchases, but there are a few notable developments. Katie is doing a textbook move by replacing clothes and shoes with things for the house. In the strict rules of the game that’s permitted, but it begs the question, is it a clothes fetish that’s the problem or actually the desire to buy ? Is it all about retail therapy regardless of the category? I’m not saying retail therapy doesn’t have its place – I fall for its charms on an all too regular basis. But does retail therapy actually make us feel better and how permanent is the high that accompanies it? What gives us that boost is an individual thing – it can be makeup, shoes, craft items, magazines, DVDs, underwear, candles and the list goes on. But does the purchase of things really lead us to sustainable happiness?

Mary has done some self diagnosis on what might have driven her desire to buy. She was born on Christmas Day and as well as the obvious factor of her birthday potentially being swallowed up by the merriment of Christmas, it has also meant that all her acquiring as a child was focused on one day. Could this contribute to an excessive desire to acquire? It’s an interesting thought. People often express pity for those with a birthday around Christmas time but why?

The rules of the game are providing laughs and debate

– can you accept a clothing gift from someone?

– when you need a uniform item is that allowed?

– if you get a gift voucher can you spend that on clothes?

This blog is designed to get you to think. I’m not a psychologist but work daily alongside people with psychological issues leading to excessive acquisition. I find people’s emotional drivers fascinating. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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