The Hero Instinct: Who’s your hero, really?

Ladies, do you consider yourself an independent woman?

Growing up the youngest of six children in a one-income family, I had to quickly learn to be self-sufficient and resilient. If there was something that I wanted, I had to find a means to make it happen.

I pursued higher education and traveled the world to take on multiple, fulfilling careers. I want to explore, not be saved.

Men certainly helped me along the way. They gave love, support and challenged me to take on my fears. Some also made life rather challenging. I spent many years living in the Middle East where I was overtly sexualized and discriminated against for being a foreign woman.

Overall, I have great relationships with men. I enjoy diving into deep conversations with them, understanding how they think, and learning more about the unique experiences they face.

I don’t know about you, but I never wanted to place myself in a situation where I was dependent on anyone else to provide for me or ‘save’ me.

The Hero Instinct

So, my eyebrows raised when I first came across the controversial concept of “hero instinct” which is generating a lot of buzz at the moment.

It reminds me of childhood fairytales where a prince steps in to save the damsel in distress.

Personally, I’m more interested in reality than fairytale dreams. I’d rather invest in myself than wait for anyone else to come to my rescue.

If you haven’t heard of this concept, you can check out James Bauer’s video on the hero instinct here.

Bauer explains what he thinks instinctively drives men in relationships. He emphasizes that men have an innate, biological need to step up to the plate for the woman in their life.

He thinks that when a man genuinely feels like your everyday hero, he’ll become more loving, attentive, and committed to being in a long-term relationship with you. And goes on to explain how we ladies can learn how to trigger the hero instinct in our man to keep him by our side.

The concept of the “hero instinct” immediately raises some red flags for me:

1) Is triggering a man’s hero instinct manipulative?

In all interactions, I think it’s important to be honest. I try to be quite natural with the men around me. I do my best to listen, be curious, and genuinely enjoy getting to know someone.

Learning new tools that help us communicate, relate and develop understanding, along with finding new ways to foster playfulness, and sexual expression can help us bring out the best in our relationships. The more we can bond more deeply with men and avoid unnecessary confusion and conflicts, the better these interactions will be.

When you take on some of the strategies from the Hero Instinct, just make sure to check in with why you are doing what you are doing?

Do you have an agenda?

We have to be clear with our intentions otherwise we quickly fall into playing games.

For example, we can learn how to mirror body language and label emotions, to deepen empathy as shown by FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss. He shows simple ways to garner a man’s trust so that you can deepen your interactions.

In the same way, learning neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) for seduction techniques might be useful for those of us who are shy or struggle to make our desires known. But they can also be manipulative if you are using them to exploit the men that you date.

Or how learning the tactical approaches to “pickup artistry”, as outlined in Neil Straus’s book entitled: “The Game: Penetrating The Secret Society of Pick Up Artists ” might be useful to understand when a man is approaching you with cheap tricks and tactics for sex, or personal gain.

So learning how to trigger a man’s hero instinct might bring to light some aspects of the male-female dynamic that you might have otherwise overlooked.

You can start to tune into some new tools or learn more about the games males and females play with one another. And decide how you would like to proceed.

But I’ve found that acting with a predetermined outcome usually leads to a road of reckoning.

2) Who needs saving?

Perhaps I am guilty of making myself too independent, but who really wants to be a damsel in distress?

I worry that if I focus on treating someone else like a hero, I will promote a passive or victim mentality in myself. So again, ladies, I ask you: Do you need a hero?:

  • Do you need someone else to do something for you?
  • Do you seek the advice of others to show you how to live or be?
  • Do you take on someone’s advice blindly?
  • Do you know how to tune into what feels authentically aligned with you?
  • Can anyone really save you?
  • And what are they saving you from?

I think a real hero is someone who will help you to bring out the best aspects of yourself or bring to light the parts of yourself that you can address with more honesty.

A man might come along with big swords to slay dragons, but those monsters will keep coming back if you don’t learn how to handle them yourself.

An impressive hero will help you slay your own dragons, help you get on your own white horse, and encourage you to chase your dreams.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to feel spoiled and cared for and treated well, but remember how to be your hero, always.

3) Can we be too independent?

Males and females can certainly tune into the full range of their feminine and masculine qualities.

This dynamic can be described as a push and pull between giving and receiving. Between action and acceptance. Between providing and supporting.

We all have these aspects in our personalities. And you might find that you are a little more concentrated on one end of the spectrum.

Maybe, there is some space for us, independent women, to learn how to gracefully receive someone’s help when it’s offered. We might overlook how to let someone feel valued for the attention, care, and affection that they provide.

When we are too independent and bring our masculine energy to meet a man’s masculine energy, it can feel like we are ramming horns with a man who instinctively wants to provide for us.

So perhaps it’s worth another look at how to soften our approach. This is up to you.

<<<Here’s a link to his video again>>>

4) Are heroes with us forever?

In the fairytale stories, the prince tends to swoop in and save the lady. There’s usually a struggle, a touch of magic, courage, romance, and they end up living happily ever after.

But in reality, does a hero stay with us forever?

Even if you trigger the hero instinct in a man, are you prepared to carry on in their absence?

A friend of mine saw her husband as her ultimate hero. She loved him immensely and he knew it. She instinctively treated him so well, that he activated his hero instinct on her.

Over time, she put her dreams aside. She built her castle around him. She supported his career, followed him around the world for his project. She was completely devoted.

When he recently passed from lung cancer, naturally and understandably, she was completely devastated.

She has his love and legacy in her heart but now has to reconnect with her sense of purpose again. She has to remember how to live with the one person who is always with her – herself.

Remember that hero or no hero, you are responsible for your life and inner state and your own well-being.

The more you can care for yourself, then having someone lay protective care around you, lift you up, and share their support is a wonderful and welcomed boost.

Celebrate your lover while he is with you!

5) Can we be each other’s heroes?

Ladies, it’s easy to get caught up in our own worlds.

You might have a clear idea of what you think you want from a man. You might even have a setlist of plans and objectives that you hope to get from him.

As the hero instinct reminds us, the more positive and comfortable someone feels around you, the more likely they are going to be their best around you. It’s not about making a list of what you want, but tuning into a deep level of primal interaction so that he wants to give you all that he is capable of, in his way.

But why is this so one-sided?

Can we be each other’s heroes?

  • Do you take the time to get to know someone else and what they need? And equally, do you help someone else get to know you? Do you make this an easy and captivating experience?
  • How would you want someone to fire and liven you up? Now, consider, how can you do the same for someone else? What makes you a great partner to interact with?
  • What type of intimacy do you crave most from someone? How do you care best for someone else?
  • How would you like to inspire your partner? What fuels you to progress into a heightened version of yourself?
  • Do you know your partner’s deepest sense of purpose? Have you asked him? And likewise, what does that mean for yourself?

The more we bring out the best in someone else, hopefully, the more they will help bring out the best in us. And that for me seems like a great exchange.

In conclusion,

Applying a framework like some of the approaches outlined in the hero instinct can be one way to see if there are any gaps in your interactions that you might not be aware of.

Agree or disagree, learning more about this concept can provoke new conversations and questions to explore with your man.

And with any new suggestion or theory or tool, take it on critically to see what you can learn.

You can then integrate what feels most natural and aligned with your inner being.

So, continue to learn, grow, experiment with new ideas and approaches to relationships. Stay vibrant and adapt!

Just remember to stay true to your inner guiding voice. Be true to yourself, always.

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Picture of 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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