The hero instinct: 5 easy ways to make him feel like a hero

Men need to feel like a hero when they are in a relationship.

This isn’t about male swagger—it’s a real biological drive called the hero instinct.

The hero instinct was first introduced by James Bauer in his best-selling book, His Secret Obsession.

Thousands of women are already using this technique to better connect with their men. If you want to strengthen your connection with the man in your life, then keep reading.

Because I’m going to reveal everything you need to know about the hero instinct as well as 5 easy ways you can trigger it in your man.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve known him for two weeks or been in a relationship for years. By triggering his hero instinct, you’ll ignite something deep within him that will lead to a better and more passionate relationship.

Let’s dive into it.

What is the hero instinct?

Visualize a caveman brandishing a club in one hand at a dangerous predator, while shielding you gently with his other hand.

This dynamic (if a little silly) scenario is the hero instinct in full flow.

Men have a deeply-rooted urge inside of them to feel needed by their woman. They want to feel valued as a man.

The need to feel like a hero is an essential driver for all men in any romantic relationship.

He is biologically programmed to protect you at all costs and be your ultimate hero. It’s embedded in his DNA and he will seek out a relationship with a woman who can fulfill this need.

The hero instinct has 3 distinct components:

  • He wants to protect his romantic partner
  • He wants respect from the people closest to him
  • And he needs to feel appreciated for what he does.

While the hero instinct applies to all areas of a man’s life, it’s amplified in romantic relationships. And whether or not you make him feel like a hero could make or break your relationship.

Who introduced this concept?

Psychologist and relationship therapist James Bauer coined the hero instinct concept. He explains how it works in his online best-selling book, His Secret Obsession.

This book is his second relationship guide. It follows his highly acclaimed book, What Men Secretly Want.

However, James introduces a novel concept in relationship psychology in His Secret Obsession: the hero instinct.

And it’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment.

James Bauer’s insights into male psychology are second to none. If you are looking for an expert to help you understand your man, he is the real deal.

For 12 years, he’s had hands-on experience helping thousands of couples with their relationships. His specialty is understanding the psychology of men and this guided his discovery of the hero instinct.

Why this concept is so powerful

Sometimes we think men are not as emotional as women. But it’s easy to forget that men have needs too.

It doesn’t mean women are selfish. Sometimes we’re just too caught up in our own stuff to consider what our man really wants from a relationship.

Let’s face it:

Men can be confusing. To make matters worse, they rarely open up to us and tell us what they are feeling. They simply don’t tell us what they really want.

The kicker is that sometimes men don’t really know what’s driving them under the surface.

Because the desire to step up for women and protect them is a biological trait embedded in their DNA. It’s not always a part of their conscious thinking.

Understanding the hero instinct can be a powerful tool for women. Not just to forge a better relationship, but as a way to make your guy feel better about himself.

Numerous studies show that men can get nervous in long-term relationships —they can essentially become a “flight risk.”

It’s not that they necessarily fall out of love with you; instead, their biological urge to provide for and protect a woman is not being satisfied. They simply don’t feel like your ‘hero’.

Sadly, not understanding what really drives men in their romantic relationships is one of the main reasons couples separate or get divorced.

Yes, women don’t need a hero in their lives

Sure, I get it. We all have moments when we think…

Who needs a man?

Women are more than capable of looking after themselves. I mean… I can change a car tire and I’m also a dab hand at opening jars.

(Granted not at the same time, but I’m working on it).

We now have an equal position with men in society… but it wasn’t always like that.

Thankfully, there was a gradual change from housewife to feminist during the 1950s to the 1970s. And nowadays many women work, raise children, and manage households all in one go.

We realized we could have everything and we went out and took it.

While women may not need a hero in their lives, this doesn’t mean men still don’t want to feel like one.

Men have a biological urge to step up to the plate for his woman and protect her from the big and small things in life. This urge has been bubbling under the surface in them for thousands of years.

And in 2020 it’s still very much the driving factor for men in their romantic relationships.

Men still want to be heroes

Women spend so much time scratching their heads when it comes to men. That is because we don’t understand well enough how their minds work.

Remember the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus?

Well… the hero instinct takes things to another level.

And in my experience, failing to understand what really drives men is usually the missing ingredient in any struggling relationship.

What the hero instinct reveals is the thing you could never quite put your finger on —that persistent itch of things not being 100% with your guy.

When a man feels like your hero, you compel him to look after you and protect you as his woman. Because he genuinely wants to do this for you.

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The most important thing to know though is that you have to give him the opportunity to do this.

It’s up to women to trigger the hero instinct in their guy.

5 easy ways to make your man feel like a hero

The best way to learn about triggering the hero instinct in your guy is to read James Bauer’s book, His Secret Obsession.

He’s the psychologist who first coined the term and gives the clearest explanation you’ll get about what it is.

Most importantly, he also gives you a step-by-step blueprint for triggering the hero instinct.

However, here are five ideas to get you started before you move on to the book.

1. Show your appreciation (when he’s earned it)

We all forget to do it….

When someone does something for you, however small, it’s important to thank them for it. But you need to be genuine about it.

Especially for them, there’s no point in handing out a fake appreciative comment. Men will see straight through it, and there is nothing worse than abusing a man’s ego.

If your man does something especially kind for you, look him straight in the eyes and thank him.

Don’t start taking your man for granted. Or he might look for someone else that will appreciate him and thank him more readily.

A little thank you will go a long way.

2. Push his confidence to a higher level

A man’s confidence can wax and wane just like ours.

Sometimes men lack confidence in themselves and what they’re bringing to the table in their relationships.

Here are a few positive affirmations you can use with him to make a lasting impact on his confidence.

  • Don’t belittle how he dresses. Some men are fashion disasters, but is it worth denting his confidence by criticizing his wardrobe?
  • Compliment him when he does actually wear clothes that look good on him.
  • If he’s been exercising more lately, tell him you can see the difference. If his arms have become a smidgen bigger from going to the gym, point it out. He’ll love it.
  • Tell him how happy you are in your relationship.
  • What do you like most about your relationship with him? Tell him.
  • If he tries to flirt with you, flirt back. Don’t just leave him hanging.

There is nothing better than watching your man puff out his chest in pride when you affirm the good things about him.

The icing on the cake is that the new puffed-up bundle of confidence is your man and yours alone.

3. Praise him to his family and friends

Your guy is probably trying to do the best he can every day.

Acknowledge his good qualities and deeds in front of his family and friends. Show the world how proud you are of him and his achievements.

It is a fantastic way to make him feel like your hero.

Because he’ll gain the respect of the people closest to him. And it will inspire him to continue to be there for you.

4. Support his hobbies

Men and women are different and their interests can also vary greatly.

Suppose your man likes doing something that makes you cringe. Don’t let it bother you. Learn to embrace it. As the saying goes, if everybody did the same things, life would get pretty boring.

Perhaps he is an online gamer and likes to nerd-out to World of Warcraft with his friends. It’s his prerogative to do what he wants, after all.

Respect that. Don’t make your guy feel bad about it. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t do it.

Men need their own space at times to do whatever makes them happy.

Why not encourage him a little too?

Try reading up a bit on his latest hobby. Express interest now and then. It will make him feel supported and comfortable in the relationship.

5. Ask for his help

There is no denying it. Women can do just about anything a guy can. But there are times when asking for help isn’t such a bad thing.

A dodgy internet connection, washing machine playing up, blocked drain… the list is endless.

If you are struggling to do something, ask him to help you.

Yes, being self-sufficient is all part of female-empowerment. But have you ever thought about how it affects a man’s pride? He might see you struggle with something and wonder why you’re not asking him for help.

The simple act of asking for help is a sure-fire way to trigger his hero instinct. It will make him feel valued.

So next time you reach for that screwdriver, consider passing it to your man instead.

His Secret Obsession overview

As I’ve mentioned, the hero instinct was first introduced in James Bauer’s best-selling book, His Secret Obsession.

And it will be your bible when it comes to understanding what the hero instinct is really about. You’ll also learn exactly how you can trigger it in your guy.

His Secret Obsession is probably the most comprehensive relationship guide for women available today.

The book is James Bauer’s framework for building a successful relationship, from the initial attraction phase to dating to marriage. It’s available in downloadable PDF or audiobook versions.

James reveals the tools every woman needs to know to make their man commit with them over the long haul.

You can read our comprehensive review of His Secret Obsession here.

Ideapod founder Justin Brown reviewed the book. This is what he said about it:

His Secret Obsession is currently the most popular dating guide for women available online. Now I know why. The book reveals the surprising truth about what really motivates men in their romantic relationships, and provides a practical blueprint for women to win the affection of their guy.

If you want to learn more about the hero instinct, and the book the concept appears in, check out this video by James Bauer. He gives a terrific overview of it.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.



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