A cheerful practice not really needed

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Almost all of us have indulged and continue to indulge in some form ofretail therapy in order to make ourselves feel better

Have your ever bought yourself something that you never really needed, just to make yourself feel a little better? A small luxury that you can afford but do not, strictly, really need?

A bad day at the office, a failed exam or perhaps just a general sense of despair that has been elevated immediately after you spontaneously bought yourself those shoes or the expensive cell-phone?

Retail Therapy has been listed as a noun and is defined by Oxford Dictionary as “The practice of shopping in order to make oneself feel more cheerful.”

And, the wheels of Capitalism have been churning really well in this city for sometime now, based on this “cheerful practice,” for things that people do not really need.

Almost all of us have indulged and continue to indulge in some form of retail therapy.

“I buy something nice for myself whenever I am feeling low, some small luxury that I do not really need. It might be a nice shirt or an expensive aftershave. It is usually something I do not buy in the normal course of things and not very often,” says Dabral, who is working in the fashion industry.

“I need to look good for my job so I usually buy something nice for me to feel confident about myself. It is okay, as long as you do not get carried away by international brands very often,” says Misthty, who works in Public Relations.

The Capital is indisputably the best place to shop in, whatever your budget, but it is not really win-win all the time, warn the experts, the mental experts.

“Lots of people walk through my doors who are suffering and out of control. They are in real trouble with credit card debts, buying too many things that are out of their budget, and yet they cannot stop themselves. Low self-esteem, in a person when he or she does not get validation either at the home, office and among your friends can trigger off this sort of behaviour. You might have a good job but you do not feel adequate enough for it, you feel threatened and to gain some sort of control in your life, you go out and buy these things. However, this is just a temporary solution. It is like eating when you are stressed out, you are just shopping and landing yourself into a financial mess, the same way you are eating and putting on weight,” said Clinical Psychologist Aruna Broota, while giving an example of some harmless “cheerful shopping” gone horridly wrong.

“There is this girl who is newly married who had a decision-making role in her family but her husband was taking decisions and taunting her that she didn’t know how to talk and walk properly. This girl used to get money from her parents and husband and then blow it all away. She would go and buy about seven pairs of shoes and about 10 dresses in every shopping trip. I had them go through family therapy and went after the husband. We all have needs whether we are urban or rural,” she added.

Buying yourself something nice once in a while to make yourself happy is fine once in a while but as the doctor says, if you are buying things that are out of your budget once too often and this continues for about four months and you are in a serious financial trouble, then it is time to seek out a professional, without shame. It is better than ruining yourself with buyer’s remorse.

Vijetha S.N




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