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12 Ways To Identify A Shopaholic

12 Ways To Identify A Shopaholic

There are many different kinds of people with their own views on happiness and wealth. Many are happy to see their money on the computer screen with several commas and in the shade of green when they pull up their bank statement… and then there are those that like their money where they can see it: in their closet hanging so perfectly on a hanger. Shopaholics are an example of the latter.  Are you questioning if you are a shopaholic because you just went on a pay day shopping spree or trying to prove your girlfriend that she might be a shopaholic and therapy might actually be cheaper? Whatever the reason you are reading this article, here are twelve things only shopaholics understand.

1. They have price tags in their closet

If you have ever been in their closet (and I say in because there is no way you are not walking into it,) you have seen more price tags or size stickers than you should in someone’s house. It isn’t because they plan on returning it or that they just bought it, it is simply because it has not been used yet. Don’t try to guess how long it’s been there either… just don’t.

2. They can sort their closet by every color of the rainbow… and every color in between

As you are trying to comprehend the reasoning for buying something and not wearing it, a thought pops in your head. Why does it look like a claustrophobic rainbow stumbled into their closet and threw up everywhere? There are more colors in this room than there are paint swatches at Home Depot!

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3. They buy more than they need

If you have a friend that is a shopaholic, then you understand this completely. The first warning sign should have been that they still had tags on some articles of clothing in their sacred closet. They buy more than they need. They will go down every aisle, especially on a down day, and check and see what looks cute, cool, comfy, etc. Do they need it? Yes, they need it like we all needed that Geometry class in high school.

4. They are firm believers in retail therapy

Retail therapy may be the more expensive option oppose to actual therapy. Let me show you by example the different stages of a shopoholic’s need for retail therapy. Great day? Lets grab some food or ice cream… or maybe a shirt! “Meh” day? Maybe a quick coffee with my best friend at little place in the mall will help. Let’s look around and just check it out. Crappy/Worst day ever! It’s time to change who I am so I am happier. I need to make myself better! I just got paid like last week and if that still doesn’t cover the bill, I have my credit cards!

5. They have to leave their credit cards at home to stay out of trouble

Shopaholics can get out of control sometimes. The lucky ones catch the issue early on and only spend all the money in their back account after bills are paid. Others may have a giant credit card bill that is never going to shrink down because they can’t afford or give up their sense of style.

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6. They shop for more than themselves

Shopaholics don’t only shop for themselves. Usually if they purchase something for someone else, it is because they are out shopping for themselves but that doesn’t mean that they won’t buy things for their loved ones and friends if they know they will like it. Sometimes, they won’t even end up buying for themselves, the entire contents of the cart will be clothes for their significant other, their BFF, their boss or their parents. They are very thoughtful people, and often have a very big heart. Now don’t quote me on that, I don’t mean all of them. Don’t go befriending someone in high hopes they’ll start buying you Michael Kor Purses because they are your “favorite”kind of purse.

7. They think black Friday is the best day of the year

If you have a shopaholic as a friend, then you know that this a huge day for shopping and it doesn’t start at five in the morning anymore. Good thing Starbucks is open all night in order to keep everyone awake for the glorious amounts of fun you are going to be dragged into for the entire day. Bring cash that day so you can tell them no when they run out of money and ask for you to spot them.

8. They need someone to tell them to stop shopping

More often than not, shopaholics will bring a friend a long to keep them in check. To someone who loves shopping to a point that it is considered an addiction, they will swipe their card until it declines and they need someone to stop them when enough is enough. If you are that friend that they are bringing along, I am sorry. Also, take the last pointer I just gave, only bring cash!

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9. They cannot turn down a good deal

Sales, Semi-Annual Sales and big summer blowouts are their kryptonite. Nothing burns a hole in their pocket faster than a 50% off sign. Beware.

10. Their closet will have a variety of styles to match who they want to be for the day

They can dress like whoever they want to be or however they feel (lazy, sporty, cute, etc.)  like because the amount of things that fill up their closet. They are more than likely to have something than not when asked if they do. Make sense? Make friends with one that is the same size as you and make sure you are really good friends.

11. They wear only about 35% of their closet but will not give the rest away

Whenever they say, “I am going to clean out my closet and get rid of the stuff that I don’t wear”, don’t believe it for a second! They will sit there in the kingdom of retail store victories and come up with dozens of scenarios of when they will need everything in their closet. Everything. It doesn’t matter how many tips they take from Pinterest, it is no match compared to, “this shirt goes great with like fifty of my things… I need to keep it just in case.”

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12. Their shoe selection will put most people’s to shame

Their shoe collection could probably walk circles around your shoes and then march off to the shoe store to bring in some more shoes so they can come back and turn those circles into a Mickey Mouse design.

Featured photo credit: Alexa shopping mall Berlin- Reinhard Krull via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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