A Father’s Advice: Know Your Worth

A Father’s Advice: Know Your Worth

I wish I wrote this myself, but since I didn’t, I figure I can share it.

What the author, Dr. Kelly Flanagan, is talking about are the qualities that make a man a good husband.

In a nutshell, a good husband treats you right. It’s not about what he looks like, what he does, or what he believes. It’s how he treats you.

Evaluate men on their performance as boyfriend instead of their external characteristics and you’ll have one happy life.

Click here to read the whole article and share your thoughts below.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Peter

    Know your worth is key to so much for both sexes but so hard to work out.  I took me a long time to value myself.  For women, who need to know their worth at a younger age than men, it is surely harder, particularly for those who overvalue their worth and so pass by good husbands.  It’s close to an irretrievable error.

  2. 2
    Karl R

    I think it’s so one-sided as to be inaccurate.
     
    This father is telling his daughter that the only thing that matters is how a man treats her (more specifically, how he demonstrates his interest in her). I agree this is a valuable point, and he makes it well.
     
    This father also briefly mentions that he thinks the advice to women is flawed, because “it is not, has never been, and never will be your job to ‘keep him interested,'” and “the only thing you should have to do to ‘keep him interested’ is to be you.”
     
    This father ignores the fact that this advice goes both directions. His daughter needs to make it equally apparent that she’s interested in him for being him. It doesn’t matter how young, beautiful, intelligent, talented and amazing she is, if she seems disinterested in a man, that man can clearly do better elsewhere.
     
    There’s one lady in the dance community who is both attractive and a very good dancer. Based on those two criteria, men should be lining up to dance with her. Instead, most of the men avoid her. The two times I’ve danced with her, I got the impression that she was completely indifferent about dancing with me, and she would have been just as happy sitting by herself at the side of the room. (I’ve spoken with other men who were good dancers who got the same impression.) I will have a much more enjoyable dance with any other woman, because those women will be enjoying having a dance with me.
     
    She should have men lining up to dance with her. Instead, she spends entire evenings sitting on the sidelines. All the men feel that they’ll have more fun dancing with women who are less attractive and far less skilled, just because of the absolute indifference she brings to the experience.
     
    My wife has never had to work to keep my interest. But if she had never demonstrated her own interest, there wouldn’t have been a first date.

  3. 4
    Jackie H.

    Kudos to this father for writing these words downs…

  4. 5
    NN

    And let’s not forget about good sex life… 
    What do I care how a man treats me if I don’t get my sexual satisfaction from him?
    I am rather single than with a man who doesn’t turn me on nor get me off.

  5. 6
    Sunflower

    Karl R
    How disappointing to take something that is so beautiful and sweet in helping our little girls feel good about themselves so they don’t have to ride an emotional roller coaster in choosing the wrong men.  Nice job in muddying it up with arrogant competition.  

  6. 7
    Kim

    You know, this is just what I needed to hear today, so thanks Evan. I have been dating a man who is not the usual body type I go for – I normally like dating men who are good-looking, fit, and athletic (who doesn’t?), and John is short, slightly chubby and wears thick glasses. But, unlike those good-looking guys I have dated, he is consistent, conveys his interest in sweet ways, connects with me emotionally and intellectually, plans interesting and fun dates (he took me for golf lessons so we could play together), and has a great job as a reporter for a small town newspaper. He is active in his synagogue (he’s a cantor), and has strong family values. He has two great kids. I have no doubt how he feels about me. We have developed a good solid friendship. All of these things are exactly what I have wanted for a very long time, save his appearance. But, I have to admit, he’s a really good kisser.
    He is not my “dream” guy. But, I am paying close attention to how I feel when I am around him, and I keep coming back for more. I feel cared for when I am with him. He is “growing” on me. And I can’t ask for more in terms of how he treats me. And that, if my dad were still alive, is what he would have wanted for me.

  7. 8
    Amelia2.0

    Yeah, I can imagine my dad writing something like this– getting dusty here for me, too.  It’s good advice.  And I don’t think Dad here is saying that she cannot reciprocate interest, just that she should not feel like she has to worry about convincing a man to treat her right.  Being her genuine, spirited self should do all the ‘convincing’ she needs.

  8. 9
    Chris

    I’m with you Sunflower.  The man who wrote the article wrote it from the perspective of a father wishing to offer guidance to his daughter and as a therapist who has obviously worked with women who grew up in a society that has taught us our value is based on what we can and should do to win a man over.
    Of course all advice can go both ways and relationships are built on mutual love, respect, commitment, etc.  But when someone decides to express their feelings, it’s just that, an expression of their feelings or opinions.  They aren’t obligated to cover all the angles and make sure both sides are represented.
    As a woman who spent much of my younger years trying to “make” things happen with the men in my life, I’m thankful to have the support and guidance today to help me accept that it’s ok to just be me and let the man step up to his role.

  9. 10
    Sunflower

    Thank you Chris!  As you stated, all advice can go both ways.  But this article was intended as a simple, sweet gesture from an adoring father who just wants the best for his little girl.

  10. 11
    Henriette

    @Karl R #2   Thanks for your perspective, which I didn’t feel “muddied” the post.   I liked this letter but agree that it would be nice if moms would write similar letters to their sons, since I see plenty of men who think that it’s their duty to accept abysmal behaviour from women.
    This letter is sweet and makes excellent points.  However, I don’t think that I think that it covers all the bases.  For example, it’s well & good for a guy to not “follow his wallet” but I’ve dated several kind-hearted dudes who treated me nicely but didn’t make up for the fact they couldn’t pay their bills or hold down full time jobs.  I know many marriages that have been terribly strained by a spouse’s poor financial choices.  In other words, I think this letter focuses on the super-important element of how a man treats his lady, but some practicalities really do matter in keeping a relationship strong throughout the decades.

  11. 12
    Marie

    Karl R: “I think it’s so one-sided as to be inaccurate…”
     
    It’s not inaccurate.  I think this is a beautiful piece and the same advice Evan would give to his own daughter when she grows up.  This was not written about the mating game and how to display initial interest to a man.  This is about advice being given on the internet to young, impressionable women that they have to bend over backwards doing all sorts of extraneous things to try and keep a guy’s interest from waning.  The point of the author is, if by that time, he doesn’t love you for who you are, that is no good and jumping through hoops to make him feel good about himself or make yourself seem useful to him is just demeaning.  I’m not seeing the connection here with the example you gave about the attractive woman who was indifferent to dancing with you.  You’re married.  How and why is she supposed to keep your interest?  She doesn’t know you and hopefully doesn’t want to keep or get into a relationship with you.

  12. 13
    Sparkling Emerald

    Thanks Evan for posting this lovely article.
    Karl R @ 2 – This father ignores the fact that this advice goes both directions. (no he doesn’t)  His daughter needs to make it equally apparent that she’s interested in him for being him.
    Actually Karl – Did you catch this ?
    From the article “Little One, your only task is to know deeply in your soul—in that unshakeable place that isn’t rattled by rejection and loss and ego—that you are worthy of interest. (If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day.)”
    He advises her to consider EVERYONE worthy of interest, which would include any man she is involved with. Also, he wrote this IN RESPONSE to the incessant amount of advice telling women they are doing everything “wrong” when it comes to men.  Believe me, I get the pop up ads, and I am on several mailing lists, and I get bombarded with ads promising to reveal “UGLY mistakes  women make” and “How you are pushing him away”  and programs that you give you EXACT word for word scripts for what to say to a man, etc. (Since women are so inept we don’t even talk correctly apparently) The internet world of dating advice seems to be stacked towards telling women that we’re not good enough, and that  we are supposed to twist ourselves into some other worldly standard of perfection, while accepting almost all flaws in men.  (abuse, non-commitment & infidelity are about all we are supposed to reject,)  So if his advice seemed too “one sided” (or just heavily slanted towards telling his precious daughter that she should find a man who loves her just the way she is) then it is only a tiny counter weight to all the advice telling us that we’re not sexy enough, thin enough, submissive enough, soft spoken enough, etc. to land a man.
    NN @ 5 And let’s not forget about good sex life…
    NN, get real, not to many dads are going to give their daughters tips on achieving the big O, (but maybe MOM will when the daughter is a tad bit older :)
    Peter @1 For women, who need to know their worth at a younger age than men, it is surely harder, particularly for those who overvalue their worth and so pass by good husbands.  It’s close to an irretrievable error.
    I think it’s a bigger problem with women thinking they are low value, who either spend years with a man who won’t commit, or commit to a man who treats them poorly.  Yes, some women pass up men who would be good husbands, for superficial reasons, but sometimes the attraction just isn’t there.  You don’t think men pass over women who be good wives ? (Either due to lack of attraction, some superficial reason, or just wanting to trade up for something better)
    Sunflower @6 – Karl R How disappointing to take something that is so beautiful and sweet in helping our little girls feel good about themselves so they don’t have to ride an emotional roller coaster in choosing the wrong men.  Nice job in muddying it up with arrogant competition. 
    and
    Chris @ 9  But when someone decides to express their feelings, it’s just that, an expression of their feelings or opinions.  They aren’t obligated to cover all the angles and make sure both sides are represented.
    I agree with both of you, the internet is FILLED with all sorts of “advice” on how awful women are, and how we need to change, all while accepting men as they are, lest we are fated to become old maids with 35 cats. The manosphere is filled with angry websites devoted to calling women b****es and s**ts.  This father writes a tender love letter to his daughter, saying she is good enough just the way she is, and deserving of interest, & tells her to recognize that other people are worthy of interest to, and some men are so hostile to that message.
     

  13. 14
    Lia

    I loved that letter.  
     
    People who truly know their worth recognize that others are of value too.  It’s not about being better than – it is about recognizing that we are enough and therefore others are too.
     
    Karl R 
     
    I had a different take the article than you did.  The author writes “If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won.  But that is a letter for another day.”
     
    I believe that people who truly know their worth can stop focusing on themselves and what others think of them and are much more interested in other people.

  14. 15
    Tom10

    Kelly Flanagan
    “In the end, Little One, the only thing you should have to do to “keep him interested” is to be you”
     
    At the risk of sounding like a spoil-sport I’m not really sure how much use this advice actually is. Yes self-esteem is critically important in dating, but I agree with Karl R’s take on this: the advice is a bit one-sided and I wonder if it might have been better for the author to explain to his daughter how the real world actually works rather than effectively just telling her to “be herself.”
     
    I think the author suffers a bit from “my little princess” delusion. I’ve no doubt his daughter is a little princess – to him – but unfortunately the dating world is a tough and brutal world, and out there she will just be another woman. She has to understand that world then learn how to go out and actually get what she wants.
     
    I learnt from a young age that to get what I want in life I have to work hard – bloody hard – to get it. No-one is gonna give me anything for nothing. I’m not entitled to anything; therefore I have to earn what I want. I believe the same applies in dating. “Being me” is just not enough. I have to be the best possible me I can be and then evaluate my available options.
     
    I wonder if Kelly is simply infusing his daughter with a sense of entitlement thus setting her up for disappointment.
     
    “I wrote it for the generation of boys-becoming-men who need to be reminded of what is really important-my little girl finding a loving, lifelong companion is dependent upon at least one of you figuring this out. I’m praying for you”
     
    Hmm, again I think this rather futile. Wishing/praying for a generation of boys to change for the benefit of his daughter is a terrible strategy – it’s not gonna happen therefore he might be better focusing on explaining to her how boys/men actually think and what they want.
     
    Sparkling Emerald
    I think Peter’s point about women not knowing how to value their worth is valid. Women often don’t realize that they effectively get a ten-year headstart on their male peers in the dating game thus they risk overvaluing themselves when young. As you say though, women often under-value themselves too. That’s why valuing yourself correctly is so difficult and important.
     
    Also don’t forget that men face the same pressures on what to do and say to get the women we want – everyone has to deal with this pressure.
     
    I don’t think men are being hostile to the message, rather questioning it.
     
    Evan
    “In a nutshell, a good husband treats you right. It’s not about what he looks like, what he does, or what he believes. It’s how he treats you.”
     
    Can’t argue with that.

  15. 16
    Karl T

    Tom10,
    My sentiments exactly.  It would be much more useful for him to be realistic than to speak as if it is a cream puff fantasy world.  However, Sunflower might get upset because you are ruining her little dream world.
    I’d rather prepare my children for the real world and make sure they are strong and understanding.

  16. 18
    Maria

    @Karl R
    I am sure there are few men who will enjoy the challenge of meeting this woman. Something I will never understand.
    Thanks Evan for this article.

  17. 19
    Sunflower

    Karl R #2 and Henrietta #1 – a match made in heaven!

  18. 20
    Girl in the midwest

    I agree with Tom at #15.
     
    I think we should always strive to be the best version of ourselves (which is a life-long pursuit).  And that should be the reason why we know we’re worthy. 
     
    I believe we get self-esteem not from outside praise or from our parents telling us we’re amazing little wonders.  I think true, healthy self-esteem comes from accomplishments.  It could be something that seems trivial to other people but to you is very meaningful.  Eg. getting a degree, becoming sober, writing a book, sticking to a healthy diet, etc.
     
    If I just say “I am awesome, and by just being me, people should love and respect me.” without actually doing anything, then that’s empty.  I could believe that, but then I’d just be delusional.
     
     
     
     

  19. 21
    Karl T

    Sunflower (#19) and the State Puff Marshmallow Man (Ghostbusters)…a match made in heaven!!

  20. 22
    anon

    Karl, it was the Stay Puft Marshmallow man.

  21. 23
    Karl T

    #22
    I stand corrected…..

  22. 24
    starthrower68

    I tend to say less on here these days, as I my values are seen in this day and age as old-fashioned, not popular, and tragically un-hip.  But I’m stunned as a few of the responses on here.  I did not see anywhere how old this child is, but are we really going to criticize the dad for not giving her advice about orgasms or how brutal dating is? 
    I can tell you that while I teach my children life isn’t fair, building them up to believe in themselves and not be ashamed of who they are certainly is not instilling them with a sense of entitlement.  I can tell you as the parent of an 11 year old girl who has been bullied by other girls, I’d better darn well be building up some level of self-esteem in her to weather that storm.
    I realize in this cesspool of a culture we are bombarding kids with sexual messages, but as a single parent, my kids have not seen me bring home a flavor of the week.  As a result, you will not find my 20 and 18 year old boys hitting up women twice their age on the Internet. 
    I never got this kind of thing from my dad.  I wish I would have.  I might not have the trouble with men and relationships that I have had.  Kids need to be allowed to be kids before they can be good adults.  Some of the responses would have Dad burden this child with things that are not age-appropriate.
     
     

  23. 25
    Paula

    I agree Starthrower @24. The point is to give her age appropriate advice. maybe in her early teens start advising more about the adult topics. I’m assuming this child is under 6 because most older children would be annoyed to be labeled as ‘cutiepie’ by their father.
     
    I had a similar epiphany earlier on a few weeks ago. I shouldn’t have to work hard to make someone love me and it’s the same for men and women. Someone in a relationships cares and loves you or they don’t and if they don’t, who cares. It does boil down to valuing yourself and not about trying to convince others your lovable.

  24. 26
    Sparkling Emerald

    Sheesh, a father writes a tender letter to his beloved daughter (one that EMK says he wish he wrote) and some people feel so threatened by it. This is ONE letter (and the father promises her another letter on accepting other people as worthy) to a daughter, it is not meant to be an equal opportunity free for all where everyone’s opinion is represented.  I don’t think the “fairness doctrine” applies to love letters between family members.
    Seriously, if someone you knew got a sentimental Hallmark birthday card, covered with glitter and illustrated with rainbows and unicorns, wishing a “special someone” a magical day, would you wish them a happy birthday too ? Or would you lecture them that nobody is special for being born ?    Would you then proceed to tell them that rainbows fade and unicorns aren’t real ?  Would you go on a rant about how Hallmark is creating a spoiled bunch of magical thinkers ?
    Sheesh, it a love letter from a father to a daughter, a nice counter weight to all the “you aren’t good enough for love” messages that bombard the internet.  Lighten up everyone !

  25. 27
    Karl T

    Emerald,
    This is not wishing someone a Happy BDay.  It’s about giving advice and guidance.  Tom10 and I share the opinion that the guidance was all tender and not useful nor fully relevant advice.  He is not telling his daughter about DisneyWorld and what a good time she is going to have.  He’s talking about the real world.
    “it is not meant to be an equal opportunity free for all where everyone’s opinion is represented.”
    Are you kidding me?  This is a message board and topics are posted to collect people’s comments.  Everyone has every right to debate them if they want to.  Who gives you the right to tell people they can not express their opinions???

  26. 28
    Speed

    I liked the letter and read it as simply a sentimental letter from a father to his very young daughter, sprinkled with some age-old wisdom. It’s a little similar to that book Why a daughter needs a dad.  
    No human relationship should be based purely on dreams or naivte but at the same time none (especially one involving friends, family, etc.) can run purely on cost-benefit/empirical analysis, statistical modeling, and so on.
    Nor can any human relation be run on unfiltered “blunt” talk, regardless of a person’s age, status, and so on. Anyone who’s had a child knows you don’t tell him or her “the hard facts of life” at age four or something.
     
    I understand and appreciate that this blog is mainly designed to run on a lot of hard realities of dating life but I think this article was a refreshing bit of sentiment and family love for the weekend.
     Thanks for posting it, Evan. 

  27. 29
    Sparkling Emerald

    Karl T – Who gives you the right to tell people they can not express their opinions???
    Whoa there macho man !  When did I do that ?  It wasn’t my intention to dictate opinions, it was my opinion that the father was merely writing a tender love letter to his daughter, not a journalistic piece that is supposed to cover both “sides” of the argument.  Of course, knowing you, once you get it in your head that a blogger had one intention in what they wrote, you dig in your heels and INSIST that your interpretation is exactly what they meant.  You gave a clear demonstration by your hot headed hissy fit over the word “macho”. 

    You are of course entitled to think that a fathers tender advice to his young daughter is useless (advice that EMK wishes he wrote)  I am entitled to my opinion otherwise. 
    I agree with the father, that is not her job to convince anyone that she is worthy.  I have a son, and I don’t think it is his job to convince a woman that he is worthy.  I think in a relationship (or attempts at building relationships) it is up to each person to demonstrate their own worth through their actions, and to discern the other persons actions and discover weather or not the potential for a relationship exists.   If one or the other or both, come to the conclusion that they are not a good match, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the woman “over valued” herself as Peter said in #1.  It could just be, that while both people would be good spouses, they just weren’t good for each other. 
     

  28. 30
    Ruby

    Judging by the men’s comments in response to this post, I’m reminded that men don’t realize how much we women are bombarded with messages telling us how to get a man, how to keep a man, how to get a man back, what to do if you can’t get him back, and all the various ways we’re not good enough as we are. The point isn’t that women need to realize they also need to show a man they are interested, because, as i say, women are inundated with advice on how to do that. This article is about a girl’s father recognizing the influence of these cultural messages, and telling his daughter to always remember that she’s okay just as she is.

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