Lan bought RM10,000 worth of car accessory a year ago, plunging herself into debt and despair. He knew something was wrong but couldn’t help himself: For hours each day, he admired his newly modified car until he became exhausted. He was also known for his shopping spree for high class shirts and pants. He did most of his binge buying not just during offer but often, after the new purchase arrived. Interestingly after heavy buying, he will returned them, knowing he could not afford them. Then she would visit the mall again, look for the same items and buy them again. This has become ridiculous ritual. He was distraught and slowly realized that he has some kind of compulsion.

How to advice Lan?

Lan should be advised to have a “conversation” with the new accessories he bought before he made his next purchase, as a way to put some distance between himself and his compulsion. Lan should have said, ‘You are so beautiful, I can’t live without you; I love your appearance,’ “The accessories would say back, ‘You need me. You look powerful when you use me.’ Lan would say, ‘I do need you. I can’t possibly think of being without you. But something has to change. I need to stop this. I can’t afford a single cent any more.’

There may not be many people yet who become shopaholic in the state which I work now. Reasons because the shopping outlets are limited, the branded apparels are scarce and people prefer to shop at the cheaper outlets near the border or at the night market. Nevertheless, the common phenomenon seen over here among men is the obsession to modify their car with latest accessories to the extend that they buy things they do not need and often cannot afford, and place their work, their families in jeopardy. There are cases that they are so personalize with their newly modified car and disallow other family members including the wife to drive. They are willing to buy another car for the wife provided that she did not share or use his car.

The desire to spent on lavish goods is observed among middle to high class professionals and businessmen. There is a common quotation: “I must use Merc, be it old or new”. Merc is the symbol to show off to the extended relatives and clients that one is successful and the relatives or clients will therefore think that the person have lots of money and have to be respected and consulted. I think it is OK for those who really can afford it but it is pity for the charlatan businessmen or managers.

Well, let me stop here and share with you the famous tag by Nabil Raja lawak, “Lu fikirlah sendiri..”

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