Our consumption is a major contributing cause of many problems – everything from the climate to our economy is negatively affected. How come we still go shopping anyway? Behind often are complex psychological and social mechanisms.
Despite Blackfriday and the Christmas shopping party, it is not long before we are in the shops again, now to find bargains on the sale. How come we don’t change our habits? Despite a desire to reduce consumption and the knowledge that we need to do less shopping to save the planet.
A remnant from the hunter-gatherer community
According to experts, the driving force is to gather and take advantage before it runs deep inside us and stems from time as hunters and collectors, and it is triggered by advertising and reahs. A big part of the problem is everything is so easily accessible, we don’t have time to think without impulse jumps.
Deep psychological forces
In addition, our behavior is governed by whether we gained a secure attachment to our parents when we were young. Failure to meet our needs, understand and see them can cause feelings of insecurity as an adult. And a feeling that something is missing. Buying things becomes a way of trying to fill the void, but it only helps for the moment and soon we feel the need to buy something new.
Almost half of us have an insecure connection. Something that can lead to uncertain identity, which can increase the need to belong to a special group and show belonging through clothing, gadgets and lifestyles.
Creates risk or shopping addiction
This in turn can lead to shopping addiction. The explanation for shopping addiction lies not only in the person, but equally in the community. Things that are rewarded in our culture, for example, that you should train and have a nice exterior, that you should have a nice and well-ordered home, make us consume. It is easy to draw even for those who do not end up in an addiction. To resist, one must actively adhere to the idea of consuming less.
Ten tips for consuming less
• Stop following facebook groups, blogs, instagram accounts and more that make you want to shop.
• Say no to advertising mailings and to mobile phones.
• Find social contexts where there are others who want to reduce their consumption and help you maintain the idea. For example, through social media.
• Review your wardrobes, cabinets and drawers so you can keep track of what you already have.
• Give yourself time to think before buying anything.
• Think about why you are shopping. Is it to dampen unpleasant feelings? Do you often think that you would feel better if you had just that or that thing? It can be based on uncertain attachment. Talk therapy can be a way to get help.
• Make it a little more difficult for yourself to act so you can’t act on the first impulse. For example: Get rid of a credit card and have a limited amount on a certain purchase card.
• Review what you need before going to the mall. Make a list and then just buy it.
• Don’t shop when you’re tired, hungry or stressed. Then it is harder to think clearly and easier to act impulsively. Buying can give a false sense of control when you are stressed.
• Try to see the whole life cycle of gadgets in front of you – the raw materials, the production, the transport. Think that your decisions matter.