Before you came along, it was there. Whether you stay or go, it’s always going to be with me. I’m not suggesting that you’re any less important than this constant companion, but I am recommending that you find a way to accommodate it. As a matter of fact, you’re probably far less likely to betray me than it is, but for some reason (that I just haven’t quite figured out) it has a sexier lure than you do. I just can’t contain it- it starts talking and I’ll be damned if I don’t find myself listening every time even when I’m trying to ignore the hell out of it. I’m open enough to admit it- I’m cheating on you with my own ego and that sh!+ gets me in trouble every time!
Kanye said it best:
“…My ego is my imaginary friend. He was with me when I was only imaginin’. I had dreams of the league, one day I play Kobe. I’d walk up to Puff and he’d already know me. Coulda let the dream killers, kill my self esteem, or use the arrogance as a steam that powers my dreams…”
Sometimes women blow it off and say “Oh, that’s just his ego talking.”, and then at other times, you’re fighting with it and don’t even realize it. Truth is, you as a woman have the edge; you have the power of influence. You can actually tame a man’s ego if you’d just focus on understanding these three things:
- His goal is to please you: Our goal, as males, from the very beginning of our lives is to operate in a manner that is pleasing. We don’t like constant criticism even when we deserve it. I’m sure you’ve been wondering why for your entire life and that brings me to number 2…
- Intentions above all else: We think and function through the lens of our intent and purpose only. Nothing more, nothing less. The outcomes and casualties are collateral damage, or in other words hurt or harm to an unintended target. This is why you’ll often hear us say “But that’s not what I meant. That’s not what I was trying to do.” Psychologist Jay Carter explains it well in this excerpt from an interview on Oprah.com. “…The seat of a woman’s soul is her emotions. A woman usually believes you know her when you know what she feels. But the seat of a man’s soul is his intent or purpose. That’s why when a woman bares her soul by disclosing her feelings, a man often doesn’t recognize that as significant. He’s been socialized to discount feelings. For him, baring the soul means sharing his hopes and dreams. He may say things that seem boring, silly or outlandish: ‘You know what I’d do if I had $20,000? I’d invest it in lotto.’ But if a woman really listens, he’ll share more. After a failure, a man might express his intentions by saying, ‘I know I’ve messed up, but here’s what I wanted for our family.’ When a woman understands this, she can begin to share her own intentions as a way of drawing him closer. Men respect hopes and dreams. That’s a language they speak…” This is one of the most accurate passages I’ve ever read on the subject. And lastly-
- Help us find our way back: After we know that we’ve hurt you, we don’t really know how to make it better because we’re stuck on the idea that we’ve failed and we can’t get past it because, in our minds, YOU can’t get past it. This is also known as the “f*ck it” stage. This is often where relationships end because if you can’t work with us to repair it, we just walk away. It’s kind of like you trying to pay on a medical bill and you say “Hey, I can pay you X dollars per month and they tell you that you can pay if you want, but we’re still going to put it on your credit.” What’s the point? Why pay and you’re still going to penalize me. By nature we are conquerors; we are programmed to aim for the win so now that we’ve done wrong, we’ve failed and you’re hot with us, if you’re not so mad that you’re planning to leave, just open up and give us a way back in. I promise you, if you do that, we’ll do everything in our power to regain your confidence. We want “good relationship credit”. Knowing that you have confidence in us means everything. You have no idea how hard we’ll work if you just give us an inkling of hope. You might not be the most pleasant person overnight, but if you’re planning on forgiving us, don’t take forever and stretch this out like some game. Take time to process and then let’s be adults about it and either move forward or not. We need clarity just like you do and we can’t operate in ambiguity.
Now that you’ve had my miniature version of an Ego 101 course, I hope you’ll apply this to your relationship. In closing, if you’re wondering who the two handsome guys are in the photo, that’s me and my twin brother. I’m sure he’d co-sign this article.
Action: Ask the man in your life if he feels like you believe in him. Be prepared for his response and remember, this is not about what you think, but rather what he feels. This is a great opportunity to understand more about where the two of you stand. You’re not looking to be right or defend your stance and feelings; please just hear the man out. You can be right again later.
Resource: Don’t believe me? Read more here…
Disclaimer: This is not clinical advice or a directive to do anything. We are not licensed counselors or therapists. Please seek professional guidance and mental and/or medical help where needed.