Topic 1: Why Do People Shoplift?

Please review the information in each section below. When you have completed your review of all three sections, scroll down to click the CONTINUE or NEXT TOPIC button at the bottom of the page to proceed to the next topic in this lesson.

Step 1 of 2: Ten Reasons People Shoplift

1   Grief and loss, to fill the void
2   Anger/feeling life is unfair, to get back/make life right
3   Depression, to get a lift
4   Anxiety, to comfort
5   Acceptance/competition, to fit in
6   Power/control, to counteract feeling lost/powerless
8   Shame/low self-esteem, to  distract, be good at something
9   Entitlement/reward, to compensate for suffering and/or over-giving
10   Rebellion/initiation, to break into own identity

*Each of these reasons are touched upon in the various stories recounted in Part One of Terrence’s book Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery (2003) and are elaborated in it.

Step 2 of 2: Self Reflection

Self Reflection Questions

    When you ask yourself "Why am I shoplifting?" do any of the 10 reasons above seem to fit? How many?No, none of them seem to fitYes, one or two of them seem to fitYes, three or four of them seem to fitYes, five or six of them seem to fitYes, almost all of them seem to fit
    Had you previously considered this list of reasons -- or is this new or helpful to you?No, I hadn't considered this before, but it IS NOT helpful to meYes, I had considered this before, but it IS NOT helpful to meNo, I had not considered this before, but it IS helpful to meYes, I had considered this before, but it IS still helpful to meI don't know what to think
    Without making excuses, which of the following seem to resonate with you as possible contributors to your stealing, risk-taking, and/or breaking rules?I was hanging around the wrong people (bad influences/peer pressure)I didn’t have much money to buy or get the things I wanted and/or neededI felt I needed to fit in and have the cool thingsI felt nobody understood me or listened to me so my actions were an indirect cry for helpAll of the above