Auntie Dote is HBI's answer to the usual, treacly, self-help advice columnists.

Disclaimer: This isn't an advice website. Yet from time to time we receive email asking for the Heartlessly Bitchy point of view. If you need serious medication, therapy or professional help, seek elsewhere. However, if you still insist on soliciting OUR advice, just remember...


All submissions become the property of HBI and by sending email to Auntie Dote you thereby give your permission for letters and responses (sans identifying information) to be published on the website. No emails will be answered individually.

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Ask Auntie Dote
The Auntie Dote for what ails you...

Dec 18, 2006

Dear Auntie Dote,

First I love your website. I love the "nice guy" page, and the rants. But here's the problem; When I read your website, I feel really educated, and think, "Haha! No man will ever be able to pull THAT one over me again!" Then I go out and some guy pulls one over on me. Ugh. Well, I like easy answers. If you can't give me one, that's fine. But you can't blame me for asking, can you? So here's the thing; how can I stop being an emotional abuse victim? Every single boyfriend I have had (that's five) has abused me emotionally. I know why; I'm an easy target. I depend on other people's opinions to gauge my self-worth. I'm smarter than them but I let them think they are smarter than me. I don't trust my instincts. I don't want to cause any ripples of disunity in the relationship. I put too much value on my appearance. Oh, and surprise, all the women in my family do this too. So, now I realize that I need to internally gauge my self-worth, I need to date men who are as smart as me, or at least don't make me feel bad for being smart, I need to trust my instincts, I need to recognize that if the relationship needs ripples then the water is already choppy and I need to bail, and I need to say "screw you" to shallow men. I know all this, just like I know your website forwards and back, but what does it help me if I can't implement it? So, do you have any quick fix tips to help me fight off these sharks, or do I need to see a shrink?

thanks, maybe


Well said. I'm not sure if I can help you either!


I like your blithe tone. You really do already know everything that is going on with you. Take some headwind from that.


The problem might be finding smart, humanistic men. So there's another reason to go a little easier on yourself.


"Internally gauging one's self-worth," yes, that sounds good, but in truth, none of us are in this alone. What you accomplish, not just how smart you *think* you are, generates self-worth. Having those accomplishments recognized by others--whether it's through respect, or a job offer, or a compliment--really does feel good, and there is nothing wrong with that. Getting paid for your work is good, being recognized for your actions, even being complimented on your smokin' hot appearance, that is all good. That doesn't mean that what you look like IS who you are. It's just a question of perspective.


Looking back at your letter, I see it is full of imperatives. "I need to..." well, in that case, there is really only one solution and that is pull up your own bootstraps. If you really *need* to do these things, then you damn well *do* them. It really is as simple as that. After awhile, just get tired of being an emotional victim.


And there ya go. Easy answer.



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