Let me share something about my buying habits— I’m pretty selective about my purchases. I won’t buy the first thing I see and I never make impulse decisions. I’m the type of buyer that mulls things over and over before I get out my credit card. Well, usually.
I recently attended a fashion show fundraiser. During the show, I made a mental note of a dress that I liked, but assumed it would be out of my budget range. At the completion of the show, I strolled around the vendor tables to see if I could spy the runway dress. As I turned the corner and looked up, I saw a young woman holding THE dress up and talking to her friends excitedly. When I approached her, she shared with me how much she loved the dress and just had to have it. The boutique owner chimed in and stated that there were only two pieces left of that particular style and absolutely no inventory left at her store.
Immediately, I decided that I had to have this dress! I tried to control my excitement while the girl went off to try it on. I hovered around the table anxiously waiting for her to return, secretly hoping that she only fit into the bigger size. She came back and decided to buy the smaller size. Disappointed, I searched for alternate solutions to my dilemma. I ran to the lounge to try on the bigger size— I rationalized that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if I bought the dress a little too big.
As I put the dress over my head and looked in the mirror, I felt a huge rush of adrenaline shoot through my body. The dress fit perfect! I ran back out and couldn’t give the owner my credit card quick enough. Boy, was I excited about making my purchase!
Dr. Pauline Willan, a Psychologist and author of ”Taming your Inner Brat” cites three specific reasons why you can get hung up on wanting what you can’t have.
1. You pay more attention to and can become fixated upon what you CAN’T have in life. This “thing” might begin to feel much more important than it actually is.
2. When something is scarce or in short supply its perceived value increases. You may begin to believe that if other people want this item so badly, then you should want it also. Think about some of our past Christmas seasons and the toy of the year.
3. You often want what you can’t have due to “Psychological Resistance”. This refers to your desire to not be controlled by others. A good example of this is when you’re on a diet and your husband reminds you 7 times a day that you shouldn’t eat the cake in the kitchen because it’s not on your diet. These comments from your husband might lead you directly back to the piece of cake. No one likes to be told what they can and can’t do.
Give some thought to your own life. Have you ever obsessed over something or someone that you just had to have? Next time you’re chasing that thing or person, do a reality check.