The Difference Between Giving and Manipulating

 

How to Tell if You're a Giver or a Manipulator

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

Well, it’s almost Thanksgiving again!  We hear a lot in November about being grateful – and that’s important.  But, the second part of the word is “giving.”

As singles, we bemoan the fact that we “have so much to give,” only nobody to give to. 

However, I find many times that we aren’t so interested in giving freely – we are more interested in giving to get. 

The relationship is less of an offering plate and more like an emotional vending machine.  I give A, B, and C, and I get back X, Y, and Z.  

I give my time, energy, and attention, and I get back love, security, and hope for a future.  But, when we’re giving to get, we’re not really giving…we’re manipulating.  Ouch.

If you’ve ever found yourself recounting all you’ve done for someone, you are...

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How to Deal With Shady Guys

 

Things Aren’t Always Cooler in the Shade

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

One of my girlfriends recently had an experience that we can all benefit from.

One of her neighbors was being very flirty with her.  He was bringing the compliments and the sweet words, and eventually asked her to dinner.  She found him very attractive and she liked his personality.  Except for one thing:  he’s married.

The only way she suspected this was because when he was moving in a few months ago, a woman was helping him.

He is in town on a work assignment that will last months.

When he asked her out, she asked if he is married.  “Separated,” he answered.

OK - stop here.

One thing you need to know about shady guys is that they will play semantics and split hairs, all while justifying that they aren’t lying to you (omitting key information is fine, though).  

In this case, I’m sure he meant “separated,” as in: we’re living in...

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What Does “Love Yourself” Mean?

 

Self-Respect Makes You Sexy!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

One of the pieces of advice that has always confused me is when someone says, “You just need to love yourself.”

What does that mean?

For me, self-love is a tough concept to grasp.  But, it seems to be a recurring theme so I wanted to understand it!

I started to see that one way to define self love is “self respect.”  If you love something, you value it.  If you value it, you take care of it.

If you love yourself, you take care of yourself: physically, mentally, emotionally.

When you love yourself, you don’t put yourself in harm’s way.  You don’t place the other person’s wellbeing ahead of your own (unless they are your child). 

You don’t do things that devalue yourself (like being hungover at work or dating married men).  You don’t let other people devalue you or disrespect you. 

What’s interesting is that men find women...

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Be Your Own Hero

 

Victim or Hero: Which Role Are You Playing?

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

As women, we frequently like the fairy tales where the princess is rescued by Prince Charming.  While it’s fashionable to bash these damsel-in-distress stories, there is some biological basis to them.  As women, we want community and connection, and we want a man to provide for us.

In many ways, our culture supports us in identifying ourselves as victims.  While it’s out-of-vogue to use the word “victim,” it’s very much “in” to talk about your past trauma, your current drama, and how you were messed up by your dad or mama.

But, who are you rooting for in an action movie?  The hero or the victim?  The hero, of course!  

“Wonder Woman” was a blockbuster hit in 2017.  Nobody’s waiting for “‘Why Me?’ Woman” to come out!

If you have suffered a major trauma, then it’s time to deal with...

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Thoughts From a Former Doormat

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Yes, There is Such a Thing as Being Too Nice

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

I thought I was being nice.  Accommodating. Flexible.

Turns out, I was being a doormat.

Most people wouldn’t think of me as a “doormat” type of girl.  I’m confident, I’m sassy, and I have informed opinions.

I also don’t want people to be mad at me, and therefore I tend to prioritize the happiness of others over my own.

I didn’t want to be perceived as “difficult” or “high maintenance,” lest a man not want to be bothered with my needs or desires.

I was dating someone once who was an avid deer hunter.  It was deer season, and we had a dinner date scheduled for 6:30pm.  He texted that he needed to move it to 7 - he was going hunting.  Then, 7:30 - he was still in the deer stand.  Finally, at 8:30, he arrived to pick me up.

I like to eat dinner early.  I’ve never been a fan...

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Why You Need to Disappear

 

How to Increase Your Value

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

In economics, the principle of scarcity tells us that hard-to-get products are perceived by the market to have a higher value.  In other words, we tend to want what we can’t have, and we’re willing to pay more to get it.

Goods that are in ample supply - like potato chips - are priced relatively low.  They’re seen as commodities and are therefore worth less to us.

Scarcity is why Starbucks only offers that Pumpkin Spice Latte in the autumn.  It drives demand.  We know we can’t get it any other time.  If we could, it wouldn’t be exciting.  You may like the Caramel Macchiato, but it’s not special.

As women, we think men will appreciate us more if we are readily available and “there for them.”

However, men are hunters.  They enjoy the thrill of the chase.

I live in the deep South, where many men are deer hunters.  They will sit in a deer stand...

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How to Be Interesting

Uncategorized
 

What Are You Passionate About?

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

Most people can name very few Supreme Court justices, yet they can name all of the Kardashians (and their exes).

I believe we’re living in an “entertainment” culture - we want to be stimulated and we’re constantly looking for the latest info, trending topics, and hot gossip.

 I’ve heard my friends say they fear men will find them “boring,” but I say that what makes you interesting is having interests!

While a man may not share your passion for knitting or your joy over your vintage Tupperware collection, most men aren’t worried about the object of your passion - they are intrigued by the fact that you’re passionate about SOMETHING!

When I say, “passionate,” don’t mean sexually (although who doesn’t love that?).  I mean that state when you’re in the zone, your face lights up, and you are excited about something.  Maybe...

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How to Be Authentic

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Why Keeping it Real is Sexy

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

A friend of mine recently posted in a dating group: “What should I say when a man asks me what I like to read.”

My answer: be authentic - what do you like to read?

In surveys, men report confidence as being the number one sexiest trait a woman can possess. Number two is authenticity.

What does it mean to be authentic? When you’re authentic, you are being real. You’re truthful. You’re genuine. I mean, don’t take that to the extreme, but stop trying to figure out what he wants to hear!

The reason men are attracted to authenticity is because an authentic woman is a confident woman with healthy boundaries and an intact sense of self-worth.

Authentic women are straight-shooters and men respect that! Men say authenticity is important to them, but first let’s understand what authenticity is NOT:

Authenticity is NOT bombarding him with ALL of the truth RIGHT AWAY. Telling someone...

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Require Him to Do This

 

Quit Settling for Basic Treatment

by Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

Netflix and chill.

Hanging out.

Just kicking it.

These are the low-value situations women are finding themselves in.  Sadly, they rarely lead to the care and commitment most women over 40 desire.

Certainly, if you are NOT interested in marriage, these scenarios are perfect!  But, if you long for long-term commitment in the form of marriage, these paths are dead ends.

I teach at a university, and many of my girls have accepted “Netflix and chill” or “hanging out” as the way to build a relationship.  This teaches the guys that they don’t have to put forth any effort to get a girl.

In this demographic climate, there are many more single, professional women over 40 than there are single, professional men over 40.  This leaves single women feeling like they need to go along with a man’s low-effort plan in order to “get a husband.”  But, when you let...

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Stop Giving So Much!

 

Learn to Receive!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

One of the mistakes I’ve made in past dating relationships has been giving too much. 

Marianne Williamson says, quoting A Course in Miracles, “Only what you are not giving can be lacking in any situation.”

I took that to mean that if I wanted a man to compliment me, I should compliment him.  If I wanted a man to be generous with me, I should be generous with him.  If I wanted a man to feel cared for, I should do things for him to make his life easier.

This was a complete misunderstanding of what Ms. Williamson was saying.

While it’s true that women are nurturers, in a male-female relationship, it’s the man who gives.  Think about sex: the man “gives,” and the woman “receives.”

The same is true outside the bedroom.

When women initiate the giving, or give more than the man gives, that is masculine behavior. 

Dr. Pat Allen says you can’t have 2 feminine...

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