Now that we are on the highway to linguistics, let’s have a look at the definition to clarify the difference:
How does this translate into acquiring stuff?
When you go out with the intention to buy something, you usually do so with a clear intention. There are different levels of need, want and would like in the process:
If, however, you go out with the idea of looking at shoes you might end up considering if you are going to buy a pair even though it may not be strictly necessary. This is where the thought process usually ends, because you don’t make a distinction between ‘I want’ and ‘I would like’! Let’s apply the definitions to the situation:
If we dissect those two situations, the clear difference is that the first one (want) could be seen as an impulse buy, whereas in the second case (would like) you are more likely to consider you means and the situation you currently find yourself in and ask important questions like: ‘Can I afford those shoes?’, ‘Do they fit my wardrobe?’, ‘Are they necessary?’
On a deeper level, you might even end up asking yourself things like ‘Why do I feel like buying these shoes in the first place, I can’t really afford them?’, ‘Would I feel bad if I don’t buy them?’ and similar questions. You’ll agree these are important ones, and the kind of question that is often overlooked in a shopping environment.
Considering this difference between ‘I want’ and ‘I would like’ on occasion will most certainly help you out in a situation where you have to decide if you really are going to buy something. Give it a go and try it out…
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.