How To Ignite A Guy’s ‘Hero Instinct’ And Inspire Him To Be The Best He Can Be

The “hero instinct” is the basic, fundamental emotional need in men to feel like an everyday hero. They’re biologically wired to want to be providers. They want to feel needed and important, especially to those they care about most. They inherently feel the need to prove themselves as “real men” who can provide for you and serve as your rock. When they meet this need, they’ll continue to operate at this higher frequency and show up as the best they can be. Here are some ways to trigger this instinct in your guy and inspire him to be the best he can be.

  1. Ask for his help. Think about it – from childhood, boys are taught to admire superheroes. Action figures, movies, merchandise – they learn to see superheroes as role models. They want to be able to swoop in and save the day. In order to feel like he’s essential in your life, he needs to be needed when you ask for help. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a man light up and offer his hand when I’ve said something like, “I don’t know how to mount this TV,” or, “I think something’s wrong with my car.” If you ask your guy directly, he’ll feel like it’s his time to shine. They can be big or small things. He’ll feel like he’s saving the day either way.
  2. Show that you appreciate his efforts. Gratitude is key when it comes to keeping your guy’s hero instinct at the forefront. Tell him frequently how much you appreciate all that he does. Be his own personal cheerleader. The more you appreciate him, the more he’ll appreciate you.
  3. Don’t nag. People respond better to praise than they do criticism. If you nag him too much, he’ll feel like he’s falling short and his hero instinct will shut down. Even if you feel like getting on him about something is a good way to get him to perform at his best, it’s actually counter-productive. Make sure you praise him for what he’s doing well rather than find fault with what he could do better. There’s nothing wrong with a little constructive criticism when warranted, but try to keep the nagging at a minimum.
  4. Hype him up around his friends. Men want to be respected not only by their partners but by their friends and others around them as well. Men require validation just as much as women do. Make sure you treat him with respect around his friends and make him feel good about himself around other people. He’ll absolutely gleam if you brag on him in public.
  5. Challenge him. Every hero loves a challenge. Your guy will love a chance to prove himself, so make sure you give him those chances. You don’t want to be doting on his every move if he’s doing nothing but being a bum. Challenge him to rise to the occasion. Make him work. Make those cogs in his brain turn. His hero instinct will be triggered and he’ll be much more satisfied with the end result.
  6. Support his passions and interests. One thing that keeps any human striving to do the best they can at something is copious backing and support from their loved ones. Make sure you’re supporting his dreams and showing genuine interest in the things that he loves. What person doesn’t want their partner to get behind their passions and hobbies? Even if it’s not your cup of tea, let him know you think it’s cool he’s into it (and good at it). He’ll feel that being with you allows him to live his best life.
  7. Don’t be afraid to vent to him. Though guys can sometimes get uneasy around high emotions, he wants to feel like he can be there for you and that you seek him out to do so. Don’t be afraid to vent about your day or ask for his advice. He’ll be able to feel like he’s strong enough for you to rely on him, no matter what.
  8. Let him earn your respect. One annoying male trait is that they lose interest if they get what they want without trying. Don’t just give him your applause on a silver platter. Make him earn it. Let him fight for you, and keep fighting for you. Give him the opportunity to live up to your standards. That way, he’ll really be able to revel in it.
  9. Make him feel like he’s the best at what he does. Even if your guy knows he’s good at something, he doesn’t want to feel like he’s replaceable. Remind him that he’s one of a kind and that nobody could do what he does. Make him feel like he’s the best – at his job, as a boyfriend, in bed, at sports – at whatever is important to him (and you). When he feels truly indispensable, his hero instinct will take over.
  10. Don’t lose your independence. While you want him to feel like your hero, there is no need to act like a damsel in distress all the time. Don’t lose your independence and become overly reliant on your partner. You could even risk becoming burdensome. Nevertheless, you can’t trigger his hero instinct if he gets the impression that you don’t need him for anything. While I know you’re perfectly capable of being your own hero, he’ll feel better and act better if you give him his moment of glory every now and again. It’s important to find a healthy balance.
I am a 29 year old writer from Milwaukee, WI. Currently living a life of freedom in Tucson, AZ. Virgo, wine-drinker, lover of bad dancing. Insanity and getting into trouble are my fortes. Writing is my medium.