oh neat! that’s much more searchable. i typed in ‘attenborough’ and it gave me a bunch of things he hosted that i’d never heard of! i am always leery of free video sites, but so far this one seems legit. thanks. :)
I’m reading through old posts (because I do that sometimes) and I found an old post of yours from like your first month of blogging here about handling sales pressure when you plan a major purchase. I have a strategy for it that works really well since I can’t think while being pressured: Develop a no reflex.
By which I mean: Teach yourself to say no and walk away the moment you feel pressured or confused. When you’re pressured, you need to get yourself space and time so you can think. If you’re feeling pressured, say no and walk away. If you’re feeling like you’re not allowed to leave, say no and walk away. If you’re feeling like you can’t get a word in edgewise, say no and walk away. If they’ve manipulated you into being so pressured/stressed you can’t talk, then shake your head no and walk away. Above all: get yourself away from the sales person so you have space and time to think. Practice it over and over and over so it becomes your reflexive response to feeling pressured or coerced in a sales environment.
It feels like you’re being rude to do this, especially if you were socialized to not have boundaries. But you’re not. You’re asserting a boundary: You’re saying, “I will not be pressured into this decision.” Say no and walk away. Get yourself the space and time to think clearly.
If the person won’t leave you alone, leave the store. Say no and walk away. Nothing says you have to get it from that particular store or on that particular day. If you’re not confident that someone will let you make your own decision, say no and walk away.
High-pressure sales people work by manipulating you into thinking that saying no isn’t an option or that leaving isn’t an option. They don’t tell you this explicitly, but they know how to trick you into thinking it. They badger and badger and badger until you want to shove money at them just to shut them up. But they lie. No is always an option when you’re buying something, and if you find yourself feeling like you’re not allowed to decline something or if you’re feeling so overstimulated that you’re desperate to make it stop, it’s time to say no and walk away. You do not have to give them your money, your time, or your attention. Say no and walk away.
Another thing they might do is try to convince you to take something more expensive than you can afford or more expensive than the one you want. In this case, reassert what you want, and if they won’t take it for an answer, you can say no and walk away and get the thing somewhere else or at some other time.
I’m not the best at budgeting (to put it mildly) but since I’ve developed my no reflex, I actually have a surplus at the end of each month because I don’t get pressured into buying things I don’t need and can’t afford.
Now, full disclosure: Say no and walk away can backfire if you apply it in the wrong situation. If an authority figure is pressuring you into something, they probably won’t respond well to it. As well, it can lead you to refusing to buy things you were going to buy anyway, but in that case I judge it just as well because I don’t think that someone who distresses me so much that my no reflex is activated deserves to get a sale off me. But with most situations, and especially with the majority of sales situations, it works well as a way of getting time and space for thinking.
This is pretty good advice.
I’d like to add an observation, which isn’t so much social skills as general cognitive skills, but which may be particularly relevant to a lot of the readers who may have cognitive disabilities that reduce available executive function:
"Willpower" and things like that are terms for a finite resource. You can use it up. Your ability to make good decisions is consumable. It recovers over time. What this means is that if you go to five stores in one day, by the fifth one you’re going to be much more prone to impulse purchases and poor decisions. Same if you browse a store for a long time. Every time you sort of want something and conclude that you shouldn’t get it, you’re using up that resource.
If you have a problem with impulse shopping, plan around that when possible. Don’t do a lot of shopping in a single day when you can avoid it.
I had a lovely example of this once, I was shopping at a hardware store, looked at a thing, concluded I didn’t really need it, then had to go back for more parts for a project later the same day, and that same thing seemed like an obviously good purchase the second time, even though nothing had changed, except I’d already used up a bunch of my “no” for the day.
I used to make a point of hitting two or three stores if I went out to do computer-part window shopping with a friend, now I do one or two tops because I know that more than that will result in unplanned expenses.
I am, in fact, the king of the impulse shoppers. I wouldn’t be, except the crown was on an endcap display by the checkout lanes, and it was on sale.
rss’s unthinking terror of ‘authority figures’ is showing a bit, but in general this isn’t bad advice.
now, if you DO feel comfortable with enforcing your boundaries, you can do what i do. when a salesperson is desperate to sell to you, you basically own their time. you have your own personal servant the whole time you’re in the store. don’t be a dick about it unless they start the dickishness, but use their eagerness to make your shopping experience easier.
for instance, when seebs and i needed a new washer and dryer, a salesguy attached himself to us and wouldn’t stop selling even long enough for me to read the feature lists. even if i’d wanted to say no and walk away, that would’ve been a shitty option because gdi we REALLY needed those appliances. besides, we were definitely going to buy something, we just needed eager salesdude to quit trying to upsell us to the most expensive models.
so, since he wouldn’t let me read the little cards, i made him read them to me. since he wouldn’t stop trying to upsell me, i’d reiterate my price limit and be like “so the ones under $2k, do they all have X feature? no? show me the ones that do.” when he showed me something that didn’t fit my criteria, i’d just remind him gently, as if he’d made a silly but understandable mistake, “that’s not a front-loader, though. we’re looking at front-loaders, remember?”
yeah, it used up willpower. even for me, asserting boundaries and controlling a conversation takes effort. but i got precisely the washer/drier combo i wanted, within my price limit, and iirc he threw in some kind of bonus (was it free delivery? i forget) that wasn’t posted in the store, probably just to get me to go away. :D
if you’re just browsing, it is TOTALLY SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE to say “i’m just browsing, thanks,” and if the salesperson still won’t leave you alone, tell them to back off, or leave. but if you’re looking for something in particular and determined to buy it, use their eagerness, make them your personal shopper. they’re glad to make a sale and you get to describe precisely what you want and get them to find it for you.
hypotheticalwoman said to asktheimprobableinvestigators: So I just got back from my stepdad’s place - they believe all the conspiracies there. Chemtrails, Big Pharma, the thing about the Rothschilds running the entire world and in fact being shapeshifting alien lizards, you know, the works. Do you guys have a favourite conspiracy?
I CANNOT UNDERSTAND THIS CHEMTRAIL THING. SERIOUSLY. DO THEY ACTUALLY THINK CONTRAILS ARE…WHAT, SOME KIND OF MIND-CONTROL DRUGS BEING SQUIRTED OUT OF PLANES? SERIOUSLY? IS THAT WHAT THEY THINK?
I DON’T KNOW. IT SEEMS IMPROBABLE. BuT THEN SO DO MOST THINGS THE WOO AFICIONADOS BELIEVE. LET’S uS LOOK IT uP ON THE INTERNET. SHALL WE.
YOU LOOK IT UP, MY BRAIN CAN’T HANDLE THE DUMB THIS EARLY IN THE MORNING. ALSO, GO MAKE ME COFFEE.
MAKE YOuRSELF COFFEE. IF YOu ARE GOING TO ABNEGATE YOuR RESPONSIBILITY. TO THE ASKBLOG. I AM NOT GOING TO CAFFEINATE YOu.
OH MY GOD.
OH YOUR GOD WHAT?
THEY REALLY DO APPEAR TO BELIEVE. THAT CONTRAILS ARE “CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL AGENTS. DELIBERATELY SPRAYED FOR SINISTER PuRPOSES.”
AS FAR AS I CAN TELL. BECAuSE THEY WANT TO. IF IT WERE POSSIBLE FOR THESE CRETINS TO ACCuSE THE GuMMINT. OF COVERING IT uP. THEY WOuLD NO DOuBT CLAIM THE MOON TO BE MADE OF GREEN GuMMINT CHEESE.
OK, BOYS AND GIRLS, REAL QUICK, LET’S HAVE A NICE HEARTENING SHOT OF ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS. WHAT ARE CLOUDS MADE OF?
WATER DROPLETS. OR TINY ICE CRYSTALS.
GOOD! AND WHAT CAUSES THEM TO FORM?
THE AIR BECOMING SATuRATED. WHICH IS A FuNCTION OF ITS PRESSuRE AND TEMPERATuRE. WARM AIR RISES BECAuSE IT IS LESS DENSE THAN COOLER AIR SuRROuNDING IT. AS IT RISES. THE ATMOSPHERIC PRESSuRE DECREASES. AND THE WARM AIR EXPANDS. WHICH COOLS IT DOWN. WHEN IT REACHES A CERTAIN TEMPERATuRE, IT BECOMES SATuRATED. AND THE WATER VAPOuR CONDENSES INTO VISIBLE CLOuD.
YOU KNOW HOW WATER CONDENSES ON THE SURFACE OF A COLD GLASS? THAT’S WHAT’S HAPPENING WAY THE FUCK UP IN THE ATMOSPHERE. CONTRAILS ARE A TYPE OF MAN-MADE CLOUD. THE ONES THAT STRETCH BEHIND THE ENGINES IN LONG STREAKS ARE CAUSED BY WATER VAPOR FROM THE PLANE’S ENGINES. WHEN YOU BURN JET-A YOU GET CARBON DIOXIDE AND WATER VAPOR, WHICH WHEN IT COMES OUT OF THE BACK OF THE ENGINE GOES “HOLY SHIT IT’S FREEZING” AND CONDENSES INTO TINY DROPLETS AND/OR ICE CRYSTALS. THOSE ARE VISIBLE AS THE LONG LINES OF CLOUD.
I don't know if I'd say I'm sexually attracted to myself, but I think I look damn good and am only attracted to people in whom I can recognise my own traits (not just physical ones). And yeah, I'd probably fuck me. I've always said I'd call myself homosexual if that weren't already taken.
Five years from now: Kids on tumblr are insisting that people who are attracted to other people are trying to muscle in on the LGBT group’s nomenclature by claiming that “homosexual” refers to attraction to other people.
For the past couple months I’ve felt like I can’t compose my thoughts anymore. I feel like I’m losing my mind, like my thoughts aren’t mine to control anymore. The part that really fucks me is up is I feel like I can’t think. Every good idea or sense of inspiration is slippery and I can’t hold on to it. I keep trying to draw and write, but it hasn’t been happening? I have a plethora of things that have been inspiring me enough to burst, but every time I try to make it into something it’s like it’s slipping through my fingers. My head feels hazy most of the time. I want to attribute this to depression, because I always want to connect things to depression. I keep banking on the idea that things are related to my depression, because the idea that normal people feel like this all the time is just too much. Depression can be mitigated, but if there’s nothing wrong with me I’m stuck with it. I dunno why I’m telling you this. Is it right to assume… all that?
Ok, first off, HUGS. I know how shitty it feels to have things you want to do feel completely impossible because your head is full of manky horrible haze. It is so fucking demoralizing, and knowing it’s irrational does not help one little bit.
That said, have you seen a doctor or a therapist about this? If you’ve got a diagnosis of depression already, are you under anybody’s care for it? Sounds to me like depression, all right, but my only qualification is having had the fucking thing since I was sixteen, I can’t tell you what’s really going on with your neurotransmitters. If you haven’t already seen a doctor or therapist about this, I really really really urge you to do so if it’s at all possible. Go take one of the how-fucked-in-the-head-am-I questionnaires the internet offers for the major symptoms and signs of depression. Take a couple of them. And when you go to the doctor, bring those questionnaires with you. It is a lot harder to disregard a patient’s concerns or worries if the patient presents you with hard evidence that they’re taking this seriously and have done what they can on their own, and need your help.
If you are seeing someone, or have been seeing someone about this, I strongly suggest you try to get an appointment to discuss how you’ve recently been feeling and see what they suggest to try and help you. One of the happy fun things about depression is the sneaky goddamn way it can stop responding to whatever medication you’re taking for it, but there are so damn many drugs these days that can be tried on their own or in combination with one another, and you do not have to feel like this forever. It’s not your fault, it is not a sign that you’re doing anything wrong, it’s not a personal failing, it’s your brain being a jerk to you.
It is not right to assume that you’re stuck with this. Getting help sucks, it sucks a lot, and it can be a long time before you do find a treatment that really works—but you deserve to like things and enjoy life and see colors instead of endless louring grey.
I wish you the best, anon, and I really hope shit gets better for you soon.
i think the word you’re looking for, anon, is ‘decompensation’.
when you’ve been dealing with stress or mental effort for a while — for instance, in the case of depression — you can exhaust your resources, and then your brain works less and less well until you find yourself standing in the kitchen holding half a carrot and crying, wondering what you did with your shoes.
not that this specific example has ever happened to me >_>
anyway, in the short term, you need to go to ground. simplify your life as much as possible, rest as much as possible, do NOT take on new challenges or venues of effort or sources of stress no matter how persuasive people are about demanding you wreck yourself for their convenience. your brain is exhausted. let it recover.
in the longer term, yeah, like cc says, finding a treatment that works can take a while and be a huge pain in the ass, but don’t give up. when you do find it, life blooms into glorious color and even the air is a joy to breathe.