Is It Wrong To Stroke The Male Ego?
This is article #33 to be published on the Get The Guy blog from my brother Stephen. Steve helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.
(Photo: David Levitz)
Everyone needs to feel special.
On this blog I’ve previously written about the importance of making a guy feel unique by totally believing in him, so that when he’s around you he feels like he can take on the world.
One of the main identifiable traits in the woman men are attracted to is her ability to be impressable, meaning she is capable of being impressed by his character and attributes.
This idea is backed up by the words of psychologist Jay Carter, who says:
“A man will feel even more motivated to please a woman he loves if he knows that, in general, she already thinks the world of him.”
He gives the example that “Once a woman tells a man how responsible and caring he is, he’ll usually do all he can to live up to that image.”
So a guy wants to feel like you admire and support him in a way that no-one else does. This is particularly true of ambitious men, incidentally.
Tall order, right?
Admiration Does NOT mean submission
Some women will read this and think it’s common sense. They naturally assume that any guy they’re with will be amazing and impressive, and so are happy with the idea of showing a guy little reminders of their admiration for him in the form of gestures, physical touching and kissing, or just in the words they use to describe him in shared company.
But there’s another kind of female reader who is repelled by this idea of showing effusive admiration for a guy. For them it smacks too much of worshipping or being submissive. It all sounds like another excuse to stroke the precious male ego instead of having a relationship of equals.
Therefore, the idea of showing a guy a ton of admiration usually prompts at least three common responses:
1. “Does a strong, confident man really need this kind of ego stroking?”
2. “Is it really necessary to make a guy feel like I’m a poor helpless woman who looks up to him to take care of everything in my life?”
3. “A guy should feel 100% self-assured without me. The kind of man I need should be spending all his time worrying about treating me like a princess, rather than how he can be worshipped like a king.”
My answers to these responses, respectively, are: Yes, No, and You’re Probably Not Ready For a Mutually Loving Relationship.
Let me explain each in more detail.
No. 1 – Yes, strong confident men need your admiration and support just as much as anyone else. In fact, possibly more so. Think about it: successful, ambitious men put a hell of a lot of work and investment into their accomplishments, more than most guys, and they want to be with someone who appreciates them for this drive, work ethic and dedication.
There’s nothing contradictory about a guy being confident and strong and still needing appreciation for those qualities. The only ones you have to watch out for are the narcissists, those junkies for praise who selfishly demand endless compliments without giving anything back in return (you’ll know this guy by two calling cards: (a) he’ll insinuate that he thinks he’s inherently superior to everyone else and (b) his refusal to acknowledge anyone else’s achievements other than his own).
No. 2 – No, the worst thing you could be do is be a poor helpless woman. The woman men most crave admiration from is one whom they admire and respect themselves. The better and more successful you are, the sexier it is when you give him support for his ambitions as well. Admiration does not mean passive submission.
Making a guy feel like a god only works if you play the role of a goddess yourself.
No. 3 – Here’s the thing. I am all for treating women like princesses. I love being supportive as a boyfriend, spoiling a woman, telling her she’s a goddess and taking care of her needs. But that doesn’t exclude the opposite either. If you aren’t willing to make him feel as incredible as you want him to make you feel, you just might not be ready to give what is required for an incredible, mutually loving relationship yet. And that’s fine by the way, you don’t have to be make a guy feel this way if you’re not interested in his long-term affection, and would rather casually date and take it easier.
Men Need To Feel Chosen
Remember, this isn’t treating any guy like you admire him. I’m not recommending you mindlessly ego-stroke men you have no interest in. But know that guys in relationships need to feel like you’re with them for a unique reason. He wants to feel as though, even though you had options, there was something so special about him you admired that put him above everyone else. Guys need to feel like something about who they are (and not just what they do) impresses you in a way that no other guy can. This is incidentally, why showing admiration for a guy does not imply meaningless flattery. It has to come from a sincere place of you feeling like he is special. If you indulge him with senseless ego-stroking, he’ll either feel its falseness and lose respect for you, or, if nothing else, you’ll lose respect for yourself!
This isn’t making a guy feel like you depend on him, because you don’t. It’s about making him feel chosen.
Men need to feel chosen. They need assurance that they are there for a reason.
The longer you’re in a committed relationship, the more you hold a man’s entire sexual and emotional self-esteem in your hands. Encourage it and he’ll do amazing feats just to please you.
This doesn’t mean you have to coddle him, be his mother, or treat his ego like a fragile ornament, but for your relationships sake, at least handle it with care.
What are the traits you most admire in your guy that you never tell him? Let me know in the comments below!
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