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Shopaholics Anonymous: no guilty conscience

young woman walking with shopping bags in hands, christmas background

young woman walking with shopping bags in hands, christmas background  

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Nobody is an addict as long as they know their boundary and are mindful of when it is the right time to draw the line

I love shopping, but that does not really make me a shopaholic.

Let us first address the big elephant in all the girls’ lives: whether or not they are shopaholics. The definition says that a shopaholic is a person who is addicted to shopping, or in other words is a compulsive buyer (just buying things for the heck of it).

If you fit the bill for any of the above, then yes, there is a problem and you need to address it, before it clears out all your bank accounts.

Having said that, I would like to add that people around us have to understand that ‘shopaholic’ is not just a normal adjective describing a person who shops a lot. It is a medical problem, and it could be as grave as being an alcoholic.

Without generalising, “most of” the guys cherish drinking more than “most of” the girls; “utmost of” the girls appreciate shopping more than “furthermost of” the boys.

Most of the people out there feel that if you are buying things you want rather than things you need, then you have been tied in manacles by the demon of shopping.

But that’s as distant from the truth as is the statement that President Donald Trump has the utmost respect for women.

Why not?

If Mila likes something out there and can afford it, then why should she not buy it? It makes her feel happy and it is not wounding her or anyone else. If the guys can re-live Hangover 1, 2 and 3 in real life and not be alcoholics, then why can’t the girls live a part of Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the morning, The Devil Wears Prada during the day and Clueless at night. We don’t end up calling the guys alcoholics when they end up drowning their sorrows or sip their triumphs, then why the prejudice of judging the girls who are doing some harmless shopping by tainting them with a strong word such as ‘shopaholic’.

The boys are spending their money on something they like and can afford and we women are spending our money on something that we find delight in and can also manage to pay for.

A person is not an addict to anything as long as they know their boundary and are mindful of when it is the right time to draw the line and pull out from a pattern.

If a person shops as a reaction to some degree or has a chronic tendency to purchase things beyond one’s credit limit, then yes, you have something to be taken care of.

But if you see an item, like it and end up buying it, that does not mean you are habituated to shopping. It just states that you executed an action, the repercussions of which, you can bear.

Where to beware

To all lovers of shopping out there, if you feel you have an itch to shop without any rhyme or reason and do not have the money to support your urge, then you might have crossed the fine line, so beware.

But if you went out the other day for shoe shopping and did not end up buying any pair of shoes because, even out of the umpteen pairs in front of you none of them called out to you, then you are fine and are not a shopaholic.

So, happy shopping!

sanjana.sm3@gmail.com

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 7:12:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/shopaholics-anonymous-no-guilty-conscience/article20917606.ece

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