Are YOU giving off “Use Me” Vibes? 4 Signs of Exploitation

Posted on June 3, 2010


As women, most of us know the common sense rules of keeping ourselves safe. We don’t walk by ourselves through dark, sketchy alleys, we park under the lights in the parking lot, we know better than to be on our cell phones if we’re alone and it’s dark out.  (You do know that last one, don’t you?)

But how many of us really think about how to keep ourselves safe from exploitation in relationships?

The other day, I found an article entitled, “How “Muggable” are you in your relationships?” Although I abhor the author’s argument that women who get used by men have it coming to them (so callous), I did find a list of scientifically proven signs of exploitation that I found both interesting and disturbing at the same time.

This list comes from Professor David Buss, who did an entire study on the body language and actions that show manipulators the ways in which we are vulnerable. Although many of the things on the list are really just common sense, some of them are things we may do unknowingly. (I’m guilty of at least one of them).

Many women give off signs they can be exploited just by the way they flirt with men. That ditzy friend in your group who thinks it’s cute to make air-headed comments?  That friend who’s super trusting? Even though these women may actually be quite intelligent, the way they are  interacting with men is possibly setting them up for trouble.

Ladies, take heed. Manipulators abound. Read the list below and make sure you are not giving off “Use Me” vibes.

Exploitation Sign One:
You act: Gullible and trusting and seem to have a  lack of allies.
The Message: You are easy to cheat on.

Exploitation Sign Two:
You have: Relative anonymity within your larger group of friends.
The Message: You can be taken for a free ride.

Exploitation Sign Three
You are: Shy, express low self-confidence and have a lack of ‘bodyguards’ in your group.
The Message: You are easier to sexually assault than others.

Exploitation Sign Four
You seem: Ditzy or air-headed.
The Message: You are easy to sexually deceive.