We're conditioned to buy.
Think about it. Every time the market dips, all we hear about is opportunities or this name is now undervalued or on sale. Buy the dip isn't simply a catchy saying. Buy the dip has been programmed into our brains since the first day we began trading. Few, if any, people start off their trading or investing careers looking for a company to short. Nope. We're all thinking about what we're going to buy first. Heck, a few lucky folks were gifted stock from a relative. Mom and Dad bought me some Disney (DIS) stock when I was a kid or something along those lines.
This is what makes bearish markets or choppy markets so difficult. We're conditioned to buy, and we expect stocks to move higher. If they don't, anxiety hits us. A myriad of concerns floods our brain because the action is almost counterintuitive. We're pre-programmed to buy, and we expect to be rewarded for doing what we've been taught to do. This is why fear is so powerful. It's the reason we make so many stupid decisions (I'm looking in the mirror) when prices drop. It is also why we ride losers too long and cut our winners too quickly.
We are not programmed nor taught how to sell. Yes, not wanting to admit being wrong is a factor in holding bags (losing stocks), however, that is rooted in our programming. Stocks are opportunity. Stocks aren't supposed to go down.
But they do. And it's okay. It's actually healthy for the long-term.
So, remember, you don't have to buy every dip despite how loud some may yell. If you felt the squeeze of the past few days or weeks, then watch for a rally to sell. As we're working off some oversold conditions, you just might get that chance before the end of the week. Play your game, not the one someone else shouts in your ear.