When you’re feeling down and depressed, you might see a therapist, or talk to friends, or buy a bunch of self-help books. But what about when you can’t stop shopping? It’s OK when you’re rolling in spare cash. But it’s a bit more serious when you’re broke and every penny counts.
Obsessive shopping tend to be a female thing, less common with men. I wonder why? Whatever the reason, when your spending habits are out of control, it might help to set up your own support group.
Most of the time, when you live an ordinary busy life, you don’t get to see your friends anywhere near often enough. But friends are wonderful things. You know what it’s like: you’re feeling miserable, but a good chat with your mates helps no end and you leave feeling uplifted, as if you’re not alone, supported and loved, with plenty of goodwill behind you and good people rallying you on.
So… get your diary out, call your friends and set a date for a regular afternoon or evening together, to discuss your problems and enlist their help. One of the best things is realising you’re not alone, not the only one who can’t go down town without coming back laden with stuff you actually don’t want or need. You just adore the thrill of spending far too much, like millions of others.
If you meet up at someone’s house, away from the shops, on a Saturday or Sunday – the worst danger zones when you work during the week – you’re already in a position of relative safety.
Here are some ideas about what to discuss:
- examine the size and shape of your problem in detail
- explore why you feel the need to spend money all the time – is it a frivolous impulse or is it hiding something more fundamental, an emotional issue you’re avoiding?
- get your friends to dream up ideas to help you cut down on splurges
- set up a system where you can phone or pop round if you’re feeling particularly vulnerable, so they can talk you back down to earth
- meet up in town and help each other resist shopping, focusing on window shopping instead
If you’re still troubled, why not try hypnotherapy? It’s an excellent way to stop smoking, lose weight, deal with various emotional issues like stress at work, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t also help you deal with your retail obsession too.
(Thanks to http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Eastop for the fab free image!)