Hello SOTGC community,
I trust that this winter weekend was safe and toasty and not too frantic and filled with tasks. If you had a list, you were probably doing as Santa does and checking it twice, whether that list was comprised of groceries, decorating, baking or gift identification and reconnosaisense.
Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday season, (of which, there are people ‘opting out’, albeit a small segment of our culture) you can’t help but be bombarded with the ever-present pressure of it all. The ads, the conversation, the assumption that your life revolves around this sprint to celebrate the destruction of perfectly good wrapping paper…. Part of American culture at this time of year is inextricably woven into the tapestry of retail sales and there’s simply no denying it.
To that end, I thought it might be helpful to share a really great piece with you that describes in details the inner workings of a sales associate’s mind. This should benefit not only to the nearly 6% of Americans who compulsively shop and shoplift, but also those of us who occasionally find ourselves participating in ‘retail therapy’
What you are about to read was written by retired sales associate J’Lnne, a specialist in high end fashion. J’Lynne was consistently honored for surpassing corporate sales expectations for more than 2 decades on both the national and international stages. She is not your typical sales associate, she is one of America’s best and her lessons will leave you with a better understanding of just how the “machine” works and where they put your impulse control in jeopardy.
“You are the puppet and I am the puppeteer……………… I can make you dance and spin and the strings are invisible!
For us both, this is a moment of joy because you are about to binge on accumulation, because “things” make you feel good!
Yes, you know that you have over spent in the past and have had to answer for it but, damned it all, it makes you feel good and that’s what matters, right? I am not your nemesis, but rather your “Dr. Feel Good” of over indulgence.
When you come to see me I have at my side a rolling rack, empty and waiting for all the “treasures” we will find to …..make you feel good AGAIN. Is this Addiction? If so, I will help you get your fix.
Great care is taken to show you only those things that will cause you to abandon any control you may have pledged to yourself, your husband, your partner etc. The fact that you have berated yourself, been scolded or screamed at for overspending is lost at this point.
“I’ll do as I want and you can just stuff it”! the little voice whispers in your ear. “Who are you to tell me what to do after all I go through with you?!” That is called “retail-retaliation” and in my job I can play it like a violin…………….
I am fully aware of your need to accumulate “things” and that’s part of my control over you. It’s also why you return to me, because I never fail you. You are safe with me because I don’t cause you to drive drunk, gain weight, or end up looking stupid. “You really deserve this, it is so perfect and suits you so”.
Remember this little point; THAT IS MY JOB AND I AM ON COMMISSION!”
In person J’Lynne is nothing like the dragon-lady she reads to be, though historical evidence would indicate otherwise. All of this to say, she’s good.
In subsequent conversations, I’d never suspect her of having this ‘long play’ going on inside of her. Her gracious, warm, even charming demeanor has no ‘tell’ to it – nothing to tip a person off that she is in essence a siphon.
What can we take away from knowing this information, straight from the mouth of the machine
If you feel the need to give, give, give, ask yourself if it’s the ‘accumulation’ you need or if it’s the need to make other people feel good. Can you give of your time and still get that fix? Will buying that “perfect” thing make you happy and yet leave the intended recipient flat? Are you buying something simply for the sake of ‘buying’? Are you enlisting sales people in support of what you already suspect to be unwise behavior
If the above answers are “yes”, be aware of that. If at all possible, compare those questions to equally valid ones about how you will feel financially, emotionally and otherwise if you go through with making the purchases. Will any of the behaviors induce shame and if so, is that shame going to add weight to what is already a gray, wet, cold New Years let down? Remember, the party season ends abruptly and many of us go into a miasma that lasts the whole long slog until spring.
So friends, during this season when we are all subject to the inevitable “up-sale”, be forewarned, be patient and try not to shop at your most vulnerable. Just because it’s the holidays and we have an artificial deadline that Santa imposed on us of day and date – if you are not in a safe emotional or financial place, don’t shop. It’s the holiday SEASON and nobody will turn down a gift that you give them on December 28 or for that matter January 15. The bottom line is, you do not need to put yourself in jeopardy of any kind to participate in or feel good about the holidays. The dragon lady will always be there but you don’t have to meet her on her timetable or her terms – shop healthy
If you need help with shopping addiction, compulsive shopping, credit counseling or the like, there are many resources for both therapy and financial assistance. There are also options for medication that you can discuss with your doctor to help work in conjunction with the above. If you would like more information on any of these options, please feel free to visit BingeBehavior.com and scan the Other Binges tab for articles about compulsive shopping, or the Resources tab (beneath Home) to look for treatment options. If you need additional guidance to find help, please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Photo credit: simplyfantasticbooks.com