Here I am opening up a new point, in which I can see from my very title, how I allowed myself to be manipulated lol. A friend of mine, who had recently moved back to the city I live in, asked me to attend a Arbonne party, in which she would be selling skin/beauty products. I could not attend as I was very ill from the detox I was doing. So I asked her to invite me to another in the future. We both are members of AA and I asked her if she would like to go to a meeting with me. We made a date then I discovered her intention was this was a date for her to do her Arbonne presentation, I was surprised and said ‘oh I thought we were going to a meeting, just invite me to another party’ but she insisted we get together for this other reason and I could invite others. I felt pressured and guilty because I did want to support her by purchasing some products. However, I have had experience in the past with several of these multi-level marketing companies, trying to get people to come to my home for a ‘party’ and it is not that easy/simple. I find people generally do not want to attend and often cancel last minute so I told her I would meet with her but just her and I.
I do understand the concept of these companies to empower people to have their own business, which is very cool. Thus I do not mind supporting another in this endevour by purchasing useful /quality products. As the day grew closer this person was texting me asking me again to invite others. Even though I repeated several times, ‘no it will just be you and I’ she asked again and again. When she was at my home for an hour she told me her ‘sponsor’/partner in the business would be arriving soon for another part of the presentation. Again, I was surprised and told her that was not necessary but the woman arrived anyway.
I told them they did not have to go into an Arbonne presentation for me. I have experienced several of these over the last 25 years from make-up to health supplements to cleaning products to finances to making money online etc. They all focus on how you will make big money, try to recruit you and ask for referrals. I am not interested and made this clear to my friend from the beginning months prior. I then had to very clearly state, ‘no, I do not want this presentation’ the woman then asked me ‘don’t you want to knowwhy R joined the company?’ I said ‘NO, I told her already I want to support her by purchasing some products from her’.
I felt kind of crappy about being so straightforward but I was self-honest in the moment, I was not rude/did not have an ‘attitude’ about it at all, just spoke stable and clear. I was able to let go of the need to be liked in that moment as well.
After the woman left, my friend and I spoke for awhile and at one point she told me this was an ‘extra’ job to make money so she could afford to ride horses, which sounded realistic to me. However, not long after that she said she ‘hopes to retire in 10 years’ from building up this business. I did not say anything. This I feel is unrealistic and do not agree with the tactics of this company, using dreaming big/unrealistic goals to recruit people. Having said that, if my friend is able to achieve this -great! Some people do but the majority do not. This company (and many others with similar structure) feeds on people’s emotions, creating dramatic ‘highs’/excitement in their group meetings and charts showing them how much they can make. My friend created some stability in a twelve step program, which she is no longer focusing on, and this concerns me.
As well, they get you to first and foremost rely on friends and family to make sales and within that, get your friends/family to invite their friends/family.
Probably some of my anger is that a relative of mine is also involved in another business venture in which she is doing the same thing, insisting on a presentation when I cannot use nor afford the product, at this time in my life. I gave this person 3 referrals but she is back to asking me for a meeting/presentation again!
I do realize it is a cool way-simply by changing our purchasing habits-to empower the individual versus continuing to pour money into the multi-nationals, with items like beauty products , supplements, household items and services like life insurance.
How I Have Changed: I was able to, both prior to the evening and while the two women were in my home, examine some of the thoughts and emotions in relation to this issue. I could see my anger/resentment/spite/jealousy comparison, competition and fear of being manipulated/ taken advantage of (by buying products I could not afford/need/want or agreeing to hosting a ‘home party’) which I have learnt, through taking the DIP (Desteni I Process) course, is a point of inferiority existing within me.
So because I am now more aware of what is going on inside of me I was able to keep it brief/to the point and basically say ‘No thank you’. In the past I would have made all sorts of excuses/reasons to these women, in which they could ‘argue’, as I realize they are in sales and trying to make a living, thus for every objection I would give they are taught to first be diplomatic /agree with me , then reply with another sales feature and benefit of their product/opportunity and then make another close-ask for the sale again. That is all cool, I have been in sales and this strategy works! I knew however, I would not be interested in this opportunity, nor did I have any referrals I could offer.
I was able to discern -with some small reaction of guilt and fear of rejection- that I was not being rude but I was being clear, thus not wasting my or their time further. I could put in perspective more the fear of rejection, as if my friend did not to maintain ourfriendship/fellowship after this, that is something I do not control, I told her to call me whenever she wants to go to a meeting and I was ‘pleasant’ with both of them, that is all I can do. I am cool with that.
Having said that, I still did experience several thoughts, backchat and emotions (I did not ‘relate to’them/participate/follow them nearly as much as in the past): Some of my thoughts/backchat: how did she do that, I told her 3 times I did not want a presentation at my house where I have to invite people and now there is a date set up?! no one wants to come, I tried the first time and people cancelled. no one wants this stuff. this is so 80’s, home parties and discounts. Both these women are so ‘dynamic’ and good looking and sexy. I am not so much anymore, maybe I should try harder like I used to. I can look like they do if I try. My friend is so interesting, she is very knowledgeable about many topics. My husband thinks she is very attractive in many ways. I don’t trust her. I used to have terrible nightmares about her sleeping with my husband.
Thus, I will further face this issue by deconstructing the thought: I Don’t Trust Her, I Feel Manipulated and Angry!
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