Are we being shamed or guilted into buying things?

© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD


Wow! Have you ever been to a seminar that cost you too much, hoping for a solution to take home? I'll bet you have. I certainly have. How did you feel when they tried to upsell you to the major mega-plan? Were you surprised? Excited? Disappointed? Frustrated?Annoyed?

It's a growing trend. You go, having maybe stretched your budget to attend, and then they work hard, subtly or directly, to make you feel as though you're really "not investing in yourself" if you don't mortgage your house, leverage your credit cards, or give over your firstborn. Is this at all familiar? I've even had it suggested to me in one of those seminars that I might be quitting on myself if I didn't haul out the credit card and max it out.

I'm all for getting the help I need. I'm an expert at communication and conflict management. People come to me to learn the skills to sow peace within, at work and at home--true collaboration. I go to others for internet marketing, search engine optimization and other such skills that I do not want to spend time learning myself. That's what an economy is. But, my willingness or unwillingness to buy is not a direct reflection on my self-esteem, even if they want it to be!

Today, I just want to put out the idea that--and I do not think that I'm alone--I wish people would treat me as an equal participant in an economy, not try to shame or guilt me into buying something just to increase their revenue.

Anybody with me?



  • Make sure it is a conscious, well-thought out decision to advance your business.
  • Make sure you are not pressured into a "only for the next fourteen minutes" price, for something that ninety minutes ago you were blissfully unaware was vital to your life or business.
  • Make sure you are awake and listening to the offer, rather than being carried along on their well-scripted manipulation.

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  1. Judy Ann Foster - Reply

    I was curious if this article come from our recent weekend seminar? I had a few encounters that were very interesting and wondering who I could talk to and then I saw your article.

    Thanks for sharing,

    • DrShaler - Reply

      Hello, Judy,
      Yes, it was most recently from our shared weekend, however, it is all too common in the world on internet marketing, in my opinion, generally. I’d be happy to talk with you about it any time. Let’s have coffee and chat.


  2. somethingelse - Reply

    there’s a good discussion started about this post on facebook… some highlights:
    “after one soul-sucking lesson where he had me brok…en down in tears he convinced me I needed to do XXXXX [insert name of high-profile, expensive self-help program] — some manner of self-help program extravaganza…then I started getting phonecalls from their sales people about when I would be bringing my cheque and how beneficial the whole thing would be–there would be one course, and then another, and on and on… a true cult!”

    “Self improvement programs are a great money-maker for the people who run them, and if they’re done right, participants go away feeling great. But in terms of actually changing people’s lives, outcomes research show that these courses have no lasting impact on anything except your pocket book….I think I get better value from the ancient technique of going for a beer or coffee with friends and talking over things as honestly as possible.”

    anyone else?

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