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Mindful-Communications

Victimized by annoyance

Part 1 of 2

Annoying someone to the point of purchase is an age-old tactic learned in youth and practised every day – we just call it a different name as adults.

We have all been the victim of the “annoyance approach.”  

Consider that children learn quickly that if they annoy an adult enough, they usually get what they want.

Children can generally learn immediately who surrenders fastest and who takes time and effort.

I often listen to exchanges of “please, please, please please” from a child pointing at a food item or toy, making me remember my own pleas to my mother for the next best thing that would make my small world so much better.

This approach was highlighted when I encountered a small boy selling jewelry while travelling in Belize with my husband. There were many children who sold handmade necklaces, bracelets and anklets to tourists in their free time.

This one child stood out because he effectively used this “Annoyance” approach – asking again and again. He was almost implying that you would be a fool for not buying.

He would ask the same people as many times as it took, sometimes walking away and coming back after a few minutes. While that may sound ineffective – most people eventually bought one of his trinkets – me included.

The interesting thought is that it generally does work for children; perhaps, not on everyone – and not 100 per cent of the time, but the rate of return is high — and we carry that lesson through to adulthood.

As adults, we label it with different words: Persistence, resolve, determination… but it is all the same — using annoyance to get what we want.

This annoyance approach is effective and present every day, in all forms. For example, while scrolling through Instagram, I often get ads mixed in with pictures of smiling friends.

I recently saw an ad for a sundress; at first, no impact, I scroll on. Later that day, I see it again; now, I linger on it for a moment, starting the justification process of why I need a nice new sundress.

However, I can’t seem to rationalize it yet, so I scroll on. The sundress comes up again in my feed. Like a child yelling “please, please, please” at me, I weight the choice of purchasing vs. not.

If I purchase, I can test the quality and shipping time of that company, also, I could use a new sundress (the narrative of need had time to develop in my brain).

I click on it, only to see that it is inexpensive and, if I buy one more item, shipping is free. I buy.

That ad “annoyed” me until I bought it. TV ads do that. Billboard ads are placed on popular routes so potential buyers see them every day.

We are annoyed into buying most things.

My article next week will reveal whether this is an effective approach — and I think you’ll be surprised at the result. Until then, monitor your purchases and ask yourself – would you have bought this if you only saw the ad once? Or have you been annoyed into buying it?

There is no wrong answer; many purchases I’ve made because of the annoyance factor have made me very happy. It is only awareness that is important. The more we can be aware of the motives behind our actions, the more we will gain satisfaction from the result.

So “please, please, please, please” read my column next week for the continued exploration of this idea.



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About the Author

Like most people, Christy has taken many paths. On the officially documented life list, she is a certified yoga teacher, an advanced open water diver, a financial adviser, a Harley rider and owner, an author, a community advocate.

She has been trained in coaching, negotiations and communication studies. She competed at a provincial level in competitive swimming and now has a passion for overall fitness.

On the un-documented list, Christy’s diverse experience is both positive and full of pot holes. She is the founder and CEO of a start-up company that never made it past the start-up phase. She has enough tattoos to classify as a walking adult colouring book. 

She has gone through all the identity phases at different times in her life: hippie, gothic, classy professional, biker... and is now a unique blend of them all. She a spiritual junkie and is addicted to adrenalin, learning and travel.

The bottom line: She is full of love and lessons with a hope that those who read this and connect with her will benefit from what she learned and be inspired to reach for the limitless possibilities of life.

Connect with her at:[email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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