By Jontae Grace
In a world teeming with snakes, fakes and fraudulent individuals, it is inevitable that you will come in contact with people who have muddled moral compasses. It is not unavoidable; the lessons of life dictate that sometimes you have to get burned to know what to watch out for. But some of us find ourselves experiencing the downsides of love more often than is normal. And each time it happens, we run the risk of accepting as our fate the misfortunes of heartbreak if we don’t take steps to fight for what we rightfully deserve.
If you are constantly being treated less than you think you are worth, you may have an image problem. One or two disappointments are part of the game, but anything more indicates an issue that you might have had a part in, and thus be able to correct. People will only treat you the way that they think you are worth being treated, and you must examine yourself to see whether you might be sending signals that lower your true value and encourage mistreatment. This is not a new method of blaming the victim; in fact, we are going to empower ourselves to identify and promote the spiritual and mental gifts that make us unique and valuable. It is time you learn how to properly objectify yourself, so that you know exactly what other people see when they see you. In doing this, you will learn why people treat you the way they do, and you can take appropriate steps to fix it.
Many of us have not taken the time to step outside ourselves to look at what the world sees when they view us, and as a result, we are attracting all of the wrong passengers on our journey. Some of you fellas are walking around looking like steak to these female piranhas and UOENO it. You promote yourself as a flawless specimen of the highest caliber, a titan of sexual prowess, with a penchant for the finer things in life. And you unknowingly become a target for money-hungry sack-chasers whose personalities only look good from the back.
Many of you ladies ooze sexuality from Instagram to your inbox, and then hope to be taken seriously once you meet the one you want to keep. And when you become involved with him, you are a little too accommodating, portraying yourself to be a free-spirited woman just looking to have fun while secretly hoping that he chooses you for the throne. I understand why: you want to be desired, and you want a man to value your physical gifts and work hard to earn them. But it doesn’t always come across that way – more often than not, you give a man ball-busting fantasies when you tease him, not visions of love, marriage and 2.5 kids. He begins to set the goal of conquering you sexually, not forging a relationship. You cannot give a man the idea that you are content with fluid-swapping liaisons when you are aspiring to become his everything.
That is why you must stereotype yourself, so that you’re aware of the vibe you are putting out.
One of the simplest ways to get a glimpse of your image is to pay attention to what people want from you the most. Are you the girl that everyone calls to put balls in your jaws? Are you that Drake-type guy who only hears from her when her man is treating her wrong? Are you the human ATM? Repeated requests for a certain aspect of your time and energy will tell you what you are truly valued for, and more importantly, what you allow people to extract from you.
The main goal is to align your inner value with your external image. You want people to see your gifts and treat you accordingly. To this end, you must take a long, honest look at the image you project and the energy you put out. The good news is, the answers are right in front of you, should you choose to pay attention to them.
Your standard of living is also your standard of loving. The conditions you allow in your personal life are a direct reflection of the conditions you will allow in your love life. And I’m not simply talking about how much you make, or how old your rims are. How do you live your life? Are you working hard with what you have, appreciative and humble, yet hungry for more and actively pursuing it on your own? Or are you looking for the next woman to use as an on-ramp, smoking more green than you make, releasing ‘mixtapes’ full of struggle bars while laid up at your baby-mommas eating all the Golden Grahams? Your attributes tell people how to treat you, and you cannot blame anyone for the types of people you keep around once their intentions become clear.
To that end, take inventory of your life, with a keen eye toward the impression that you give people when they interact with you. Men are secretly very good at discerning whether a woman is worthy of the keys to the kingdom, or a night at the Motel 6. We can usually figure it out within the first few interactions. And we usually look for attributes like strength, the ability to be a team player, positivity and uplifting energy. Your looks only get you in the door, and your backshot will only put you on the floor. If you want to be a man’s foundation, you have to show that you are capable of supporting the weight of his empire with as little effort as you lift your Coach purse.
As a wise man once said, it’s levels to this shit. Let’s take it to the next.