When Men Don’t Know the Difference Between Self Worth and Net Worth, Women Suffer TooAugust 31, 2021
In the twenty years I’ve worked with men, few have understood that self-worth and net-worth are not connected. The majority feel they are one in the same though, and the word feel, is important. A man who feels, not just thinks that he is a failure because he hasn’t achieved financial success, feels that failure deep down in his male psyche, his male soul. That leaves men feeling depressed and frustrated. Most men won’t achieve stellar financial success, and sadly, most will feel they’ve failed as men. Walking through life feeling like a failure based entirely on net-worth is unimaginable to me. It should be unimaginable to every man Bio.
Unless a man can distinguish between his self-worth and net-worth, his life will be wasted feeling sorry for himself and everyone around him who he feels he’s made suffer because of his lack of financial success. A man who buys into the notion that self-worth is all about net-worth has bought into the worst possible lie about men. He has allowed people who have nothing to do with his life to define the nature and quality of his manhood.
Men frequently overlook the real qualities that define self-worth. A husband who is considerate of his wife’s hopes and dreams and who supports her efforts to achieve them deserves a positive sense of self-worth. Money isn’t involved in being a woman’s cheerleader. Love and spirit have no financial basis. Ask any woman other than a Kardashian or Paris Hilton, what qualities are most important in a man.
A man who is intimately involved in raising his children, coaches their teams, goes to games, attends parent-teacher conferences, and teaches them good values, deserves to enjoy a strong sense of self-worth. Sure, his children might like lots of stuff that kids are bombarded with, but in the end, it’s the love and attention a man gives his children that matter, not how much stuff he can afford. Can’t afford to take your kids to Disneyland? Take them camping instead and teach them about the real, natural world. It’s about quality time, and it will give you the opportunity to connect with your kids far better than waiting in line for a ride that’s over in a few minutes.
A man who volunteers for community service, helping less fortunate folks is a man who should feel good about his self-worth. Teaching people to read, tutoring disadvantaged children, helping with a community project, visiting elderly folks, working in a food bank, and a myriad of other activities, all define a man. None involve his ability to write a check.
A man who nurtures friendships with other men and who appreciates the value of authentic friendship is a man whose self-worth isn’t in question. A man who can be there for a friend in trouble, or support a man whose life is upside down, is a man whose self-worth is intact.
There are several other ways a man can define his self-worth, but until most respond to the self-worth/net-worth paradigm in terms other than their checkbooks, net-worth will remain the defining factor. That’s entirely unacceptable to me, and should be to every man. I won’t give anyone the power to define my self-worth, and I won’t feel I’ve done my part in the ongoing manhood debate until every man feels the same.
Men should never allow anyone to define them in a manner that ignores who and what they are as men. Donald Trump has lots of money, but I doubt most women would find him a man they would like to be intimately involved with. Beyond his inherited money, his net-worth, there’s little to redeem him as a man. A rich, loud-mouthed, fat guy with a bad comb over and an inflated ego is a man who knows his self-worth is entirely dependent upon his net-worth. Ego never determines self-worth. Acting like a man does.
Men who work hard in their everyday lives to be good husbands, fathers, friends, and community volunteers have their self-worth in balance with their manhood. Their wives, children, and friends honor them for the manner they choose to live, not for their wallets. They will never be featured on the covers of magazines, but real men know that money isn’t the basis for defining their self-worth or manhood. Self-worth is dependent upon knowing how to behave like a man, and women who want to be with a good man, understand that.