Although I work in the field of sustainability and specifcially sustainable consumption and production patterns, I still caught myself to buy new things occassionally. Sometimes that was when I felt I needed something new, when I felt “bored”, or in a bad mood, when I wanted distraction, or when I felt I deserved a little reward, etc.
What I came to realize is that most of these goods did not last long with me and they also did not make me happy. Products that indeed made me happy, where those products that I chose to buy over weeks or sometimes (in the case of a leather bag) for months.
How did I stop buying stuff I didn’t need?
It happened that I learned about the psychoanalyst “Gustav Carl Jung”, who used symbolism to interpret his patients unconcious motives or desires. Within symbolism, colours, forms, and various patterns can be analyzed to understand ones own feelings, but also meanings and their biases that either suppress or support a decision (un)conciously.
Because I was curious to understand my own buying motives, I tried to integrate a psychoanayltical persepctive into my buying decisions. Therefore, I followed four steps, when I was about to buy high-heels, that I didn’t need. In doing so, I dissolved the meaning of the high-heels and also learned that the meaning, these high-heels emboddied, had nothing to do with the heels themselves that day, but my own (un)concious challanges and mood. By thinking about these (un)concious motives now more often, I am drastically reducing my buying behaviour and focus on other challanges these goods unconciously represent for me.
1.Why do I need this product ?
[High heels make me taller, and I am not as tall as other people. However, sometimes I perceive taller people as more powerwful.]
2. Where does that perception come from?
[ I was often told that I am not tall enough for a German and when I was taller I felt this observations was less mentioned. Because of that being taller made me feel more powerful. ]
3. Why did being tall matter that day or in that moment?
[I realized that I didn’t share an idea in a meeting that day. Because I didn’t, I missed out a powerful opportunity, which my team but also I could have beneffitted from. ]
4. What does my own analysis mean to me?
[I must have unconciously thought that by buying something that makes me feel tall , I would feel more more powerful. However, there is no relation between these heels and my work situation, and instead of buying these heels, I will work on sharing my ideas more often to empower myself and my team. ].