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How He Uses Money To Exert Power And Control Over You

How He Uses Money To Exert Power And Control Over You

A man who tries to buy your love may want to “own” you. 

A woman who is overly impressed by a man’s status, possessions and bank account will be blinded to his true nature.

Men spend money to impress and seduce women. Women spend time and money on their hair, clothes and makeup to attract a first-string man. It’s normal for men and women to want to date and marry a mate who is reasonably attractive and financially stable.

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However, some men flash cash to charm women during the courtship phase and once the relationship is cemented, they will use money to exert power and control over the woman.

I met David (not his real name) through a social group. He was ordinary looking but he was a charming, successful doctor. He was knowledgeable about travel, wine, cuisine, antique furniture and art. He strutted his image in expensive clothing, splashy jewelry and a Mercedes. He boasted of a second home in another city. He bragged about his medical practice and overseas speaking engagements. He gloated about a $1 million wrongful termination settlement from his previous medical group.

David eagerly pursued me. He knew I had a good job and I was accustomed to buying nice things. It was no secret that I wanted a man with intelligence, ambition and financial security.

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He was the most enchanting, attentive, entertaining man I had ever known and with his social references and impressive resume I considered him to be a safe relationship prospect.

Wrong, wrong, wrong—a jillion, zillion, gabillion times wrong!

Our first date was at a nearby casino. David reached into his pants pocket, pulled out a thick wad of folded one hundred-dollar bills, peeled off five of them, handed it to me as if it were an everyday occurrence, and said, “Here, go have fun!” David referred to the five hundred as “chunk change.” I considered it a car note. I gambled with David’s money, lost one hundred dollars and at the end of the evening I handed David the remaining $400. .

David worked overtime to wow me. He constantly showed up at my house with unexpected gifts and flowers. We traveled staying at the best hotels, we ate and drank like fat cats, and when we shopped together he was quick to pull out his wallet to pay for a purse, an outfit or a pair of shoes I wanted. I presented my credit card to the sales clerk to pay for my purchases but he pushed my plastic back at me and said, “Put your money up; you don’t pay when you’re with me.”

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In the fifth month of dating him he surprised me with a stunning engagement ring.

Everything that David said and did made me believe he felt it was his “job” to take care of me. I was certain I had found the man of my dreams. We talked about marriage and I moved into his house.

Within months, our relationship began to change. I recognized him to be the most irrational, controlling, pathologically lying and verbally abusive man that had ever crossed my path.

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David used his money as a weapon to control, punish and power over me.

When we were dating David portrayed himself as someone who enjoyed nice things and he had the ability to afford them. Cohabitating, he tried to control my spending. He snarled at me when I wanted to buy a new outfit for his conference. He punished me for days with his disapproving, sullen silence when I asked him to buy outdoor furniture. He condemned me when I hinted for a nice watch for Christmas. He complained that downed economy had ridiculously lowered his earnings.

David was a peacock in a cheap suit. He purchased his jewelry and clothing on eBay. His second home belonged to his ex-wife. I learned that the lawsuit never happened. And his clunker Mercedes finally died on him.

The reality was: I let David’s boast of money, possessions and status blind me to the fact that he was a manipulative, deceitful sociopath who lacked all sense of compassion, moral values and social conscience.

Recognizing the warning signs of a man who tries seduce you with money is the first step to avoiding him.

  1. He ingratiates you with his generosity. He draws you in with his charm, gifts and adoration. He’s extravagant with his dining out and fine wines. He gives you surprise gifts, large and small. He sends you flowers and cute cards. He pays for your shopping trips. He talks about a wonderful future together. The money he spends on you makes you feel special, adored and secure.
  2. His lifestyle doesn’t match up: Pay attention to his spending. Does he pay cash for everything? He may be over limit with his credit cards. Do his belongings look neglected? He makes excuses for his tattered sofa or he doesn’t bother to fix the nasty dent in his car fender. That’s because he’s not the well-to-do man he puts on to be.
  1. He’s an incessant braggart. Braggarts are often astute liars. They embellish their stories and inflate their financial worth to impress you. Listen carefully to what a man’s friends and family say about him—they will unconsciously reveal the truth about his attitude about money and his relationship behavior.
  1. He tries to equal the playing field with money. Money is the “great equalizer” for the older and less attractive man. Men who use money to boost their sagging ego will bring emotional issues into a relationship.
  2. He asks you for money. He never seems to have cash. He asks you to grab dinner “this time,” movie tickets, groceries and wine, pay for a cab or parking as he hands his Range Rover keys to the valet attendant. He’s cheap or his checking account is overdrawn.

If a man tries to buy your love and commitment, if his claim to success, possessions and bank accounts seem ostentatious and if he seems TOO good to be true—that is your sign to stifle your emotions and question his authenticity.

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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