Black Friday technically only lasts for one day every year. It is supposed to be a celebration connected to Thanksgiving, with stores around the US offering huge discounts. These discounts cause people to flock to stores in person or via websites, hoping to take advantage of deals that might never again come around. It surprises no one that Black Friday gets out of hand in many places and can cause a lot of stress to buyers and retail employees alike.

Of course, Black Friday does not really last for one day. There are associated sales throughout the month of November, and endless adverts leading up to it. Furthermore, the psychological impact lasts beyond that one day (and even beyond Cyber Monday three days later).

Let’s look at some of the psychological impacts of Black Friday and how it affects our society as a whole.

Financial Stress

Black Friday imposes financial stress upon many Americans. Before and on Black Friday, people are stressed about not having enough money to take advantage of all the deals on offer. This is especially true for people with children who are enticed by offers that their parents still cannot afford.

After Black Friday, they’re left with the financial stress of having spent large chunks of their budget on things they would not have bought without the major discounts or pressure from their children.

Financial stress is normal at all times of the year for millions of Americans. However, Black Friday ups the ante, promising huge savings but delivering debt. There is no doubt that some people are in the right place at the right time to benefit from Black Friday. For someone moving into a new home in December, this is the perfect time to buy appliances. But in general, a person’s budget does not grow to accommodate even the best deals.

The issues caused for many by Black Friday continue to affect them for the rest of the year, as they struggle month after month just to catch up before the next Black Friday comes around.

Also Read this blog: The Link between Financial Debt and Mental Health

Buyer’s Remorse

The shame many people feel when they indulge in buying things for themselves is not a function of Black Friday. It is a common experience that comes from growing up with a scarcity mentality. It is ideally something that people work on in their therapy process. However, Black Friday amplifies the shame for many people.

Buyer’s remorse is the feeling that you’ve made a big mistake by spending money on something. This comes from the sense that you bought something you could not afford, could have found a better offer, or simply that you shouldn’t be spending money on yourself.

Black Friday deals can therefore trigger buyer’s remorse when a person feels they have overspent, or when someone realizes a supposed deal they fell for actually costs the same year-round.

Consumer Anger

If you’ve been to stores on Black Friday itself, you have seen or participated in heated exchanges between shoppers. If you haven’t been in person, you’ve probably seen videos on YouTube of people going overboard in their anger at shoppers who have taken what they wanted.

This anger can lead to verbal abuse, physical altercations, injury, and legal trouble. It also increases the adrenaline of the consumers involved and those around them. A mob mentality can form, or people may simply start fighting among themselves at a much more intense level.

What’s The Point?

What is the point of Black Friday? Why do stores provide such big discounts? The economy of scale only tells part of the story. Stores get to offload stock at lower but still profitable margins, and these lead to an increase in profits. However, the more potent effect is felt after Black Friday is finished.

Thanksgiving is not the biggest shopping holiday in America. That title goes to Christmas – a shopping period that spans a lot longer than one day. Many people start shopping for Christmas after Thanksgiving weekend.

For stores and brands, strong emotion is a positive thing. The more invested people become in their purchases, the more they’re likely to spend. The stress, anger, and regret that are built up on Black Friday lead to more sales in the run-up to Christmas.

There’s no secret that marketing works by playing on our emotions. The difficulty is in trying to stay immune to its psychological impact. The best way to do so is by recognizing the strong emotions brought about by events like Black Friday. This won’t make them go away, but it is the first step in being able to manage them rather than falling prey to them.

When you feel strong feelings regarding Black Friday and Christmas sales, remember that these feelings are purposefully manufactured. They feel personal, but they’re not really about you. Being able to let them go rather than react not only saves you money on unnecessary purchases, but also lets you enjoy a much healthier Holiday Season.