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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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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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