(This is the second post of a two-part series on how “being cheap” can negatively affect all aspects of your your life. Read part one here.)
Did you know that it’s possible for a person to be cheap in a relationship and, it would have NOTHING to do with money? In Part One of “Stop Being Cheap” we took a look at how being cheap can diminish the quality of our lives by causing us to have a “miser’s mentality”. But being cheap can also diminish the quality of our relationships, especially with our significant other. Let’s take a look and see how.
But first, let’s look at some definitions for the word “cheap”. (And later on, I’m going to show you how being “cheap” can apply to both sides of a relationship. The giving AND receiving aspects.)
The word “cheap” can mean:
- Charging low prices
- Requiring little effort
- Of little value
Okay, let’s look at the first definition, “charging low prices”.
There are some people that don’t recognize their worth. They will enter into any relationship that comes their way, just so that they can fill some type of emotional or psychological need. These are people that hate being alone.
They may have low self-esteem, and feel that they had better “take what they can get” when comes it to relationships. They may have no, or very low, standards for how they are to be treated. And often they will put up with all kinds of physical or emotional abuse. This type of person gets their self-value from others, and outside of themselves.
I’m sure you can recognize the type. That beautiful friend whose boyfriend cheats as on her as if it’s his birthright…but she stays with him. Or worse, she makes excuses for him.
Then there’s the friend whose girlfriend is partying at the club from Wednesday to Sunday, while leaving him home with their children.
And often these people will know that they deserve better, but can not pull themselves away because they don’t FEEL like they deserve better.
You can do better! You deserve better! You can have better!
You ARE worth more.
Your value does not come from others. It comes from you. You set your own price. You can set it high or low. The choice is yours. The interesting thing is that people will accept whatever YOU decide.
I challenge you to place a high value on yourself.
The second definition is “requiring little effort”.
There are some people that can be bought with a cheeseburger.
Any amount of attention received, no matter how small, can capture their heart.
These are the people that jump into relationships at the first sign of someone’s interest.
They don’t make the other person prove their authenticity, interest, or commitment.
Now, I don’t subscribe to the notion that people should put others through a Navy Seal PT style qualification test.
However, I do believe that no one should sell themselves short, or jump at any and every sign of interest.
Relationships should be built on mutual interest and effort.
I understand that sometimes a gem can not be recognized because of what’s covering it. But I don’t believe that a person should take advantage of another person’s interest in them. If someone likes, and is interested in you, then give them an honest chance to prove it. And let them show you why they are the best choice for you.
And if you are interested in someone, then put forth your best effort to let them know why you are the best choice for them.
The next definition for cheap is “of little value”.
Now this goes both ways.
If you are in a relationship then you should be giving AND receiving some type of value. You can’t be worthless! And you shouldn’t accept worthless! If both of you are not growing and becoming better people then something is wrong.
Some people bring so little to the table that if it was solely on them the relationship would starve.
Being in a relationship means that you are willing to give.
What you give depends on what you have, are, and are willing to become. This means that the other person in the relationship should be receiving something. They must be receiving some type of tangible reward.
There are some people that bring nothing to their relationships except open hands and an empty heart.
They may be physical gold diggers (they want money, sex, food, etc.), or emotional ones (they want affirmation, confirmation, validation, etc.). And because of their selfishness they give little. They are only focused on their own needs and what THEY want.
Give value in your relationships.
If you are going to be in a relationship then be willing to pour abundance into the life of the other person.
And on the other side, make sure that the other person knows that you are a valuable individual that has something precious to offer.
You don’t have to brag or flaunt your worth in the other person’s face.
However, there should be no doubt on how you are adding to the other person’s life.
The next definition of cheap is “vulgar”.
Being vulgar in a relationship can mean being crude, using obscene or harsh language, or treating the other person with contempt.
Have you ever seen a relationship where one person cracks demeaning jokes at the other person’s expense?
Or how about where one partner is constantly hurling four letter “words” at the other.
And how about a couple that are so antagonistic towards each other that you wonder why they are even together?
Relationships should be uplifting.
And it’s hard to rise when your partner uses words to cut you down.
Now, I’ve seen couples that are BOTH like that.
It seems as if they’re playing a game of “Let’s see who can be the most offensive and shocking”.
Personally, I don’t understand it.
But I’ll never be in it, so I guess it’s not for me to understand.
I’m not talking about that kind of dysfunction. I’m talking about instances where people just don’t care what they say to their partner. They say hurtful things because they don’t care about the impact of their words.
They know that words have power and they choose to use that power as a tyrant.
If that’s you…STOP it!
Put some thoughtful consideration into how you relate to your partner.
Think about the affect that your words can have on your relationship.
And no matter how funny you think something is, jokes, smart remarks, and sarcasm can cause irreparable damage to a relationship. (It could be called “death by a thousand cuts”.)
And if you happen to be in a relationship where you are on the other end of this type of language, I would suggest that you take some time to truly understand why you’re there. And what benefit that you are receiving. And then ask yourself, “Are the benefits worth giving up my self-respect?”
You are worth more.
You don’t have to put up with someone who can not show their respect for you by the words that they choose.
The final definition that we’ll take a look at is “Stingy”.
Now this can be applied to several different aspects of a relationship. It may not seem like it, but it can. Just read on and you’ll see how.
Being stingy means to hold back, give reluctantly, and not be generous.
One way to be stingy in a relationship is to hold back the emotional or physical signs of love and care that should flow through a relationship.
Some people have a hard time expressing love, care, or interest.
Sometimes this can be the result of childhood issues, difficulties from past relationships, or fear of intimacy. The person may feel too vulnerable, and not want to put themselves “too far out there”. Whether the person realizes it our not, they are being stingy (cheap).
They are holding back the exact things that would give depth to the relationship.
These things could be compliments, hugs, encouragement, a gentle touch, or anything else that allows the other person to feel valued and appreciated.
And then there are some people that will withhold those things as a way to punish or manipulate the other person.
They understand how we as humans crave those things, and they will use withholding them as a way to gain power or control.
That’s a loser move! Don’t do it! And don’t stand for it!
Relationships should be nurturing.
A sort of haven where we are refreshed, and refreshing others.
If you have a hard time expressing intimacy, work through it.
Get to the root of the problem.
You may be able to read a good book to help you sort those things out. Or it may take you going to see some type of counselor or therapist. The important thing to remember is that you deserve to be whole. And withholding love, affection, or emotional support is not the actions of a whole person.
And if you are in a relationship with someone like that, then maybe you should take a look into the “why” of you being there.
Are you trying to gain that person’s approval? Are they a “special project” for you? Are you just happy to be in a relationship and will accept any thing? Don’t allow yourself to be shortchanged.
And the last two definitions of stingy, as it relates to being cheap, are “give reluctantly, and not be generous”.
To give reluctantly means to give unwillingly, or with hesitation.
In relationships, this could mean not wanting to compliment someone because we feel they may become “big-headed”. Or, it could mean only giving a compliment to someone only after others have complimented them. Or, it could mean making the other person beg for our time.
And “not be generous” can mean hardly ever saying positive words of encouragement, not giving sufficient time to the relationship, or never giving our loved one tokens of affection.
Nobody likes a stingy person.
And being stingy in a relationship is selfish and self-centered.
Give freely to those you love. Give of yourself. Give of your time.
Give freely as if it’s a joy for you to be able to give.
And the things that you give will eventually flow back to you in abundance.
Don’t be cheap.
Especially when it comes to love and relationships.
(Are you on Twitter? Let’s connect. Find me at @attractandkeep.)
(Photo courtesy of Thomas R. Stegelmann)