Why we shop... something I heard on Oprah

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  1. Okay, I am such a housewife but I just heard a really interesting little blip on Oprah.

    She said, "We shop to fill a void inside of us to bridge the distance between who we are and who we want to be. True happiness is what you have without things."

    I paraphrased that but you get the point.

    What do you think about that?

    I never thought about it but when I'm unhappy, I shop a lot... Right now I don't pay my bills so it's not a problem. But I don't want to be in debt someday because I use shopping as therapy... I think *I* personally do use things to make myself into the person I want to be... when I'm sad, I want to use clothing to sort of re-dress the problem, re-make myself. Okay, maybe that's a dumb metaphor.

    Anyway, I just thought it was interesting, thanks for letting me share. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. :love:

    Edit: I just want to add, I'm not saying that *everyone* does it, not at all! I'm just generally interested in why people shop, for simple enjoyment, because they love beautiful things, etc.
  2. I had read that the reason women love to shop is because they don't get enough opportunities for decision making in their lives. Shopping is a series of decisions. Maybe that's why a lot of women return half of what they buy. They make the DECISION to give something up?
  3. I think everyone does something different when unhappy. Some people shop til they're in debt. Some people eat until they're overweight. Some people find comfort in drugs snd alcohol, I think it depends on the person and their background. Like if you say your parents drowning sorrows in money, food, drugs, alcohol, you're probably more likely to pick the ones you saw your parent do.
  4. I shop because of practical reasons, and occasionally spend money on pricier items like bags because I find them aesthetically appealing. This might sound lame, but some collecting some items is like collecting art to me... *blush*
  5. Oprah does have a point, though.

    I wonder why a great purchase can sometimes be such a mood-lifter, or a de-stresser for me???
  6. :weird: I don't shop when I'm sad/stressed-
    I actually work out, I dunno it relieves stress.

    I kinda wonder why she says it fills a gap- When she's got 3 mansions, birkin bags outta the kazoo- Nice cars, etc.

    I shop only when I need something (well besides purses:shame: )
    I only buy jeans if my others are getting soft/frayed, and I need to throw them away.
    I only buy shirts if I don't have one in that color, or the shirts I havein that color I need another style/shape, or the old one I have needs to be let go.

    I guess I like my money, and I like to keep my possesions to a minimum....
  7. I read somewhere, a long time ago, that if you want to be better off, you should expose yourself to the things you want to be surrounded by. Let's see if I can unpack that...for example, if you want to have more money, surround yourself with affluent people. There was a time in college when I had NO money, could barely scrape together rent, and was grievously upset when my mother's dog (I was housesitting) ate my $17 Jansport handbag. Now, we don't have great shopping here, but we have a small Saks and an "affluent" sort of outdoor shopping area, so I started going in and purchasing small things...something from the makeup counter...that I could afford. Now I have put myself through law school and bought a house, and when I walk into Saks I usually have something that they don't even carry in their handbag department. I'm not rich by any means, but I have enough to get by and buy some nice things here and there. I dress pretty casually (t-shirt, jeans, cashmere sweater), so handbags and makeup are my extravagances. As for the advice, I don't know how or why these things work...maybe motivation? Maybe seeing yourself accepted by "another" society? But there might be something to it. Just a thought. The original "messenger" put it in a form where it made sense, so apologies if mine doesn't.:biggrin:
  8. I'd say that comment is somewhat true, but it's not always that black and white.
  9. It really all depends. The one thing I have learned in life though is that no matter what I buy or what I have, it can not make me truly happy. Of course I love new bags or clothes or things, but at the end of the day if I don't have love, happiness, peace, my family and friends, I am not happy- and no bag in the world can change that.

    Sure sometimes I shop because I am stressed or sad, but that doesn't truly make me happy. It really is the things you can't buy that can leave you feeling complete in life...
  10. I agree with what spiralsnowman said. I mostly shop because I need something. I do shop out of my price range quite often but I think that's because I've become accustomed to nicer things. :smile: There are some really great low budget things that I use too. But I like a nicer purse.

    I've been looking for a new purse lately. My current every day purse is from Cole-Haan. I think it's a great purse, I love it. BUT. I started looking at purses online at Neiman-Marcus & it started to make the purses at Nordstroms look cheaply made.

    I'm waiting on a Chloe Kerala Bag now!

  11. Hmm... that statement on Oprah reminds me of certain aspects of buddhism. I agree with parts of it though, but sometimes you just need things to be happy.... like food... a roof over your head... clothing.... I find it difficult to believe you can be happy when you're hungry, starving and freezing your ass off somewhere with no place to go.

    ok... so relating it to shopping? No, I barely have time to shop as it is so typically, I make those decisions in flashes because I don't have the time to labor over them because I have so many other decisions to make. I buy things for myself because they are rewards. Rewards for working hard.
  12. I like that idea of keeping your possessions to a minimum. I try to do that when I do my yearly throw out of my belongings so i can give it to goodwill, but it is sooo hard! lol:sad:
  13. No, that's really interesting!!

    Like a pond reflects its surroundings, so we want to surround ourselves with beautiful or aspirational things... I agree, it *IS* motivation to see the things I want, how much they cost, and how hard I'll have to work to buy them!
  14. I think that shopping can have a variety of reasons behind it. There is, of course, necessity- but more often than not, necessity isn't the reason you go to the mall, or boutiques or wherever.

    I think that shopping can be a very enjoyable experience. I really love to go to a store and look at all the merchendise. :smile: For me, shopping can be a very escapist experience. If you're having a bad day, you can go and look at all these beautiful things. A lot of the times, buying something doesn't matter- I like to look at stuff and imagine how it would be if I had it. It sounds a little odd when I type it out, but I'm sure some people can relate.

    Then there is the ever popular retail therapy. Feeling down...? well then buy something! You definitly can experience a temporary high when you purchase something, I'm not exactly certain why. :-P I definitly take the time to enjoy the purchases I make, and I steer clear of things I'll never use.

    Of course, material things are material things, and something tells me that eventually it won't matter who had the most Louis Vuittons. Still, while they are just things, they do have the ability to enrich your experiences throughout life. I think it's all about how they make you feel. I know that a great outfit and flattering eye-shadow can really help boost your confidence- or maybe not even boost, enhance! I'm very big on not hiding behind clothes/make-up etc. I think that it should all be about enhancing what you already have, because if you're not happy with yourself, not matter how many things you have, your unhappiness will always be the part that shines through.

    So, I think that shopping is a wonderful, recreational activity that can cause numerous reactions. It's important to not go to the extreme on either side ( spending TOO much, or not having fun at all). As with all things you gotta find balance and live within your means. haha, wow, I had no idea I could get so philosophical about shopping, it's all these damn classes I'm taking!

    Just my two cents. ;)
  15. For me, I either shop out of necessity (need new clothes) or because I want a distraction. Online shopping has been my nemesis these past few months, because I go shopping online when I feel like procrastinating (which is bad because it totally sucks me in!).

    Sure we don't NEED things to make us happy. But in the real world, the things we have are part of who we are and how we're perceived (as in they help identify us by our individual taste and style). I think it's partly that you want things to help you become who you want to be, but also to help shape how you want other people to see you.