Christmas is the time for shopping. At least, according to advertizing. Your wife will only be happy if you buy the most expensive perfume or diamonds for her. At Christmas, you drink a cold soda that begins with a C and ends with an A. Something that could just as well be used to unclog your drain. Advertizing does the strangest things to people. And with “strange”, I mean really strange. How? By influencing your subconscious.
Buy more than you want to
Your consumer behavior is strongly influenced through advertizing, YouTube videos, idols, pop songs and the example of famous people. You probably are aware of that. There’s another very strange phenomenon called “subliminal influence”. James Vicary discovered it in the 1950’s. He added a split-second fragment with “Drink coke” on it and another with “Eat popcorn”. It worked. During the breaks, people drank more coke and ate more popcorn. He later denied the results of his research (why?) but the research could be duplicated. Among those who did this is Thijs Verwijmeren of the Radboud University in Nijmegen (Netherlands), and added the nuance that “people who know what they want are less easily influenced!”
I am worried about children, youngsters and young adults who are still forming their identities. They are very easily influenced. The Dutch program “RamBam” did manage to get the placement of superheroes banned on candy and cookie packaging! Yay! Wonderful! They infiltrated a meeting of the FNLI, the Federation of Dutch Food Industries. There they stepped unannounced on the podium and started pitching for new packaging. Hilarious: Dora with chubby cheeks for cookies and big bellies for soda bottles! It was broadcast on Dutch television and resulted in real banishment of superheroes on candy and cookie packaging!
What can you do about it?
If you don’t know what you want or are uncertain about yourself, you are more easily influenced, even if you don’t yet have a particularly strong opinion about something. I’ve got three tips for you:
- Talk about being influenced
Speak with other people (especially with your children) about what influencing is and the effects of advertizing. Show how they lead you to buy more and more. Through advertizing, through repetitive messages, through examples, YouTubers, through advertisers setting a time limit (“you can order until 5 pm”), which puts you under pressure, and much more. By becoming aware of it, you can deal with influencing better!
- Know what you want to buy!
Make clear agreements with yourself. What are you going to the store for? What is the maximum amount of money you want to spend? The same thing holds for when you go shopping via the Internet. Decide beforehand how much you want to buy and what your limits are.
- Does it make you happy?
Just before you buy something, ask yourself the question, “Will this make me really happy?” if not, put it back or close the window on your computer instead of placing the order. Be careful with your money; you can only spend it once!
- Deal with your emotions!
Underneath all of this is the important base within yourself. Deal with your emotions. Grief is often the cause of impulse buys. You feel empty. You need to be comforted. And… you can deal with these things with the MIR-Method, because you fulfill the comforting you need through step 7: Fulfill basic needs! Read about it in article 102, “Overcome your Shopping Addiction with the MIR-Method”. It causes you to come into balance again with yourself. You begin to realize that things are no answer for your grief but that inner healing is!
Humans are not greedy; they are made greedy
In short, because of all of these influences, we bring more stuff and undesirable food/drink into our homes than we would like. It makes us seem much greedier than we actually are. Through the temptation and influencing, we become greedy; we are not greedy by nature!
Your liberation liberates the world
Self-liberation has a huge effect on the liberation of the world! Whenever you personally liberate yourself of old emotions, old hatred, old beliefs, stubborn thoughts like “Nothing can change” or “People are simply greedy”, you liberate others with your changes! This happens through your words because you begin to use new words like, “I don’t think he’s greedy; he’s been made that way.” “I was so proud that I didn’t buy the boots, because I still have 3 pairs that are fine!” “Look what I found at the recycle shop!”
It also happens through your deeds, the example of your behavior. If you begin cleaning activities in your neighborhood, others will want to contribute to that. Stop gossiping about other people, and others will follow suit. Write your town a letter with the request to…. and others will show interest and be glad to support your initiative. People are social creatures in contact with each other. People really do long for harmony and togetherness. They like it when someone liberates himself or herself and would like to do that themselves. As you discover how you can sparkle more, others will follow your example. It’s a matter of time but it is very easy to accomplish. To motivate you some more, have a look at this video: “The story of Stuff”, with subtitles.
And how about you? Are you buying fewer things on impulse? Is that because of the MIR-Method?
My wish for you is that you become more aware of your own wishes!
Sincerely, Mireille Mettes
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P.S. Are you not yet familiar with the MIR-Method? Please go to the homepage: www.mirmethod.com. You can watch the video there and also the instruction video. Register on the homepage to receive the newsletter and 6 weeks of coaching e-mails for extra support!