The most awful day of the week has arrived for Zubayer, as he has to do the weekly shopping. It may sound simple but things can take an ugly turn within a blink.
Zubayer wakes up with a cool breeze on his feet, the rain-soaked morning made him feel fresh and optimistic about the day when he looked outside the window.
Good things don't last very long. His mother hands him a grocery list and other important stuff Zubayer needs to pick up from the super shop.
Zubayer starts feeling a rumbling in his stomach, giving him a hint that everything is sliding towards the wrong direction.
Although Zubayer is an organized guy, with great control over everything, his compulsiveness during shopping beats his calmness by miles.
Zubayer walks down the street avoiding the muddy patches on the road. List of grocery, debit card, extra cash, mask and gloves, umbrella, and a calm mind - everything is in check. Nothing to worry about for now.
First things first, getting the essentials is his priority. Zubayer collects everything his mother has listed, and he grabs other items he feels is necessary for the week. Seasonal fruits, milk, a box of cereal, a tin of biscuits, a bar of soap, and a bottle of shampoo has had Zubayer's trolley full already.
Zubayer is ready to check out, but he suddenly stops halfway. A new flavor of pringles has caught his attention.
He shakes his head for a while, and tells himself, "No. I'm not going to mess up today, I have limited cash. Pringles can wait." It's a fight he has to win against his compulsive behavior.
All this while he struggles hard with himself and finally surrenders. "This is the last time," he thinks to himself and picks up two different containers of Pringles. Then followed some sweets, beverages, and a few more items he did not intend to buy, but got them anyway. His impulse purchase hit the last straw at the counter when he found out that he does not have enough to pay for all the goods in his trolley with his debit card and extra cash combined.
Just like Zubayer, many people suffer from compulsive buying or impulse purchase behaviours. According to Psychology Today, compulsive behavior refers to the prolonged repetition of a behavior despite facing adverse consequences. The compulsions are fuelled by the obsessions over not so important things.
Zubayer tried hard but failed to contain himself from over-purchasing. Impulse purchase is similar to an eating disorder or addiction, says a research carried out in 2014 by Lawrence LM and Ciorciari J.
While it is sometimes difficult to deal with such overpowering emotions, the urge to buy excessive goods can be put to check. Researchers deem that a helpful strategy is to keep track of the emotional triggers - negative emotions such as conflict, anxiety, attachment over materials, or loneliness.
Employing tactics such as taking less or just the right amount of cash can reduce compulsive buying tendencies.