What is Compulsive Shopping - Are you a Shopaholic ?
What is Compulsive Shopping? Are you a Shopaholic?
Do you shop and spend when you feeling ''out of sorts'' for an instant “pick me up”.
Do you go out and buy to get a “high” or a ''rush'' just like a drug addict or alcoholic.
Do you shop to cheer yourself up?
Do you just feel compelled to shop and spend in order consciously or unconsciously to avoid feeling anxious?
Shopping addiction tends to affect more women than men. Women are more likely to buy things they don't need. Often it is the Summer and Winter sales that will trigger the compulsion which will lie dormant for the rest of the year. However more often than not the Compulsive Shopper will go on binges all year long and maybe be compulsive about buying only certain items, such as shoes, kitchen items or clothing, whilst others will buy almost anything.
Every day, closet doors open to reveal our clothes, our “outer skins” for whom we are at work, at home, when nobody's around, on a first date, with our partners, out shopping, in the park or on holiday and which help us to be noticed or perhaps to hide.
We identify with our clothes and we want our clothes to identify with us. The relationship you have with your closet can tell you a lot about your shopping habits: are you proud of it, or do you constantly feel betrayed or disappointed by what it offers you?
Do you tell yourself you need something new to wear. You've got a special event, going on holiday, party, date, socialising with your girl friends and you want to stand out, or 'you deserve a treat' as you've just been paid.
For many Compulsive Shoppers, a big part of the appeal of shopping is the process of searching out that new and desirable item. The process is so mesmerising that it often overrides long-term financial plans leaving the shopper in debt. People who “shop till they drop” and max out on their credit cards to the limit, often have a shopping addiction.
Women whom suffer from compulsive shopping often have racks of clothes and possessions with the price tags still attached which have never been used. They may go out shopping with the intention of buying only one or two items and come home with bags and bags of purchases. In some cases shopaholics have an emotional ''blackout'' and don't remember even buying the items.
Compulsive shopping and spending can be a seasonal balm for the depressed, anxious and lonely. What may start out as nothing more than the odd occasion of overspending, can develop into a habit where the urge to spend gets stronger.
A tell tale sign is when friends and family begin to notice and comment on their apparent excessive spending, the Compulsive Shopper will start to hide their purchases, a typical denial technique of the addict. Compulsive Shopping like any addiction has its bad side effects and the Shopaholic may run into financial problems as they can't pay their credit card bills, their credit rating can suffer and they may run into legal problems. They sometimes attempt to hide the problems by taking an additional job to pay for their bills.
How do Compulsive Shoppers and Spenders change their behaviour and prevent future shopping binges? Here are some tips.
Pay for purchases by cash, cheque or debit card.
Take a list and buy what is on the list.
Destroy all credit cards except one to be kept for emergencies only.
Avoid discount sale shops or allocate a certain amount of cash to be spent if you do visit one.
''Window shop '' only after the stores have closed, or leave your wallet at home if you do look in the day.
Avoid on line shopping, shopping channels on television and mail order catalogues.
Call a friend and tell her your shopping plan in advance and what you intend to buy and how much you want to spend. Then call her later and let her know you stuck to your plan!
Many people who have a shopping and spending problem have already tried to change their behaviour and haven't been able to. Often they feel they have failed, when in truth, what they've needed is some structure and guidance.
Life coaching can help those with this problem to recognise what it is that compels them to want to shop excessively and spend more than they can afford or justify. Once the client understands what it is that triggers their compulsion, the Coach is able to help the client to adjust their patterns of behavior around shopping and spending and to avoid the urge to act impulsively. The Coach can also help them to manage their spending without destroying the enjoyment of the experience.
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