The illusion of retail therapy and its irony
Does the below or similar resonate with you?
"As she is driving home, she feels some anger inside her, she can feel disappointment inside her, she simply feels rubbish. What a day!...
Running and rushing around, comments collected from the day racing through her head. She is trying to push them away but it’s not working. She feels a failure, she feels let down! She feels emotional, she's simply fed up!
She needs something to cheer her up, so she can feel better.
She needs to do some shopping anyway. She stops at a supermarket. She is looking through the clothes section. There it is! Something she always wanted! Magic! Her day is not that bad after all. She moves on to the next aisle. Those shoes go so well with the item she has just picked. Wow! All is falling into place, everything gels. After all, what a great day. It’s getting better and more exciting as she moves on.
She catches a glance in the mirror she has just walked past. "Oh, I look so pale. I don’t look good.", she is saying to herself. "Let’s see if I can find any products polishing up my complexion." Of course, there it is. Perfect! And it goes into the trolley.
She is walking along the aisle of makeup products. She definitely needs a new lipstick! She always wanted to try a different colour. Today is the day....Life is for living after all! So they say.”
All these purchases are based on emotions. They work beautifully for short-term happiness as anything new makes us feel better. But this kind of “therapy” can have a negative long term effect. When it becomes a habit. It becomes your comfort zone. We are looking for justifications why we need those items at that moment. And we will always find them because our primary goal is making ourselves feel better, improving our mood or disposition. And even better because we achieve success very quickly because there is no conflict with others. The internal conflict is just with ourselves and no one sees that anyway.
Real happiness has nothing to do with retail therapy. It’s about picking the right moment for retail. Shopping is therapeutic in moderation. Like everything else in life - balance is needed.
Enjoy shopping on a good day and you might find that you come home empty handed because nothing could top the happiness you gave to yourself without a cost.