Chapter 6. The Songs We Play in Our Heads

I know a woman who is always complaining about the ways in which people try to take advantage of her when it comes to money. Whether it's a family member wanting to borrow it, her stock broker trying to convince her to invest in things just so that he can "get a fat commission," the government, or the grocery store checkout boy trying to give her the wrong amount of change, this woman is convinced that everybody is trying to "get one over on her."

This belief would come out in one form or another in virtually all of her financial dealings. She would always question people's motives, unconscious of the fact that she was also questioning their character. Consequently, she rarely got a warm reception, and some people probably used her bitterness as a justification to take advantage. This reinforced her negative thinking.

What struck me was that each time she talked about the latest ploy to get her money, it was as though someone pushed a play button on a tape recorder. Her words were always the same.

Her niece wants to borrow money. "What does she think, I'm an idiot?" Her broker has an investment idea—rewind the tape: "What does he think, I'm an idiot?" Her taxes go up—rewind the tape: "What do they think, I'm an idiot?" She didn't even realize how consistent her reactions were when financial issues came up.

This message brought so much misery into her life—it seemed like it was all she ever thought and talked about—that I couldn't help but think ...

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