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Understanding Men's Ego - Tough Exterior, Soft on the Inside

Updated on April 19, 2015

Art is based on emotion, but being macho is based on ego; the wall protecting that emotion.

— Miguel
H&M Short Film "Alter Ego" for Men’s Fall 2012 Collection
H&M Short Film "Alter Ego" for Men’s Fall 2012 Collection | Source

Men's Ego - For Honour and Glory

As compared to women, men generally have greater ego and this has become the downfall of many. Ego, usually a word with a negative connotation is often associated with guys who see themselves as the authority or with self importance. A simple praise from a girl like "You're handsome" boosts a guy's ego to the next level. A shy guy may be afraid of confessing to his crush in a bid to protect his ego in case of rejection. Realise this, you may break a man's heart but not destroy his ego.

I understand how important ego means to a guy.

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"A man's ego is just as fragile as a woman's heart." - Lana Del Rey
"A man's ego is just as fragile as a woman's heart." - Lana Del Rey | Source

We Are Only Humans

Regardless of men or women, we are warm-blooded creatures with emotions and feelings. While both men and women have egos, it seems to be that bruising a male ego comes with more repercussions and it may push a man very far away from you. For some guys, building their ego is a motivation for them to work hard and earn themselves a praise. Some of you may find it ridiculous seeing how far some people are willing to go to protect their ego and that's because you have no idea how much their ego means to them. Just like how different people handles failure differently, some guys react violently to shield their self worth and dignity.

What Not to Do to Hurt His Ego

So the following are some pointers to help you handle your boyfriend's ego:

  1. DO NOT control and manipulate him to do things in your favor. A huge no go.
  2. Understand how much his ego means to him, how it works and what does it feeds on.
  3. Affirm and acknowledge his capabilities. Do not doubt him and have confidence in him.

Commissioning Parade featuring the Commandos Formation.
Commissioning Parade featuring the Commandos Formation. | Source

Men in the Army - Military Ranking

For most armies around the world, there is a rank structure within the organisation. If you possesses a lower rank than another fellow soldier, you are technically obliged to follow his orders. Such military organisations, especially Singapore's army comprises mostly of adult men and a small portion of women. In Singapore's army, it only takes 9 months for an officer cadet trainee to be commissioned, one of the quickest country for one to become a commissioned officer. This is the interesting part, in the Army there are non commissioned officers(NCO) and commissioned officers. No matter how long a non commissioned officer served in the Army, he is still lower ranked than a newly minted commissioned officer. There comes the pride and ego issue where the senior NCOs is under the junior commissioned officers' charge in general. You may have many years of warfighting experience but you will never be in command of a battalion during peacetime. Not to mention that even at trooper level, there may be a myriad of ranks held by troopers within a company.

When I step back and look at the bigger picture, you realise that everyone is under the command of someone else. (unless you are the first in command) Isn't it surprising that many soldiers are willing to let go of their ego and pride and follow the leader? However, till date this model of top down command chain is proved to be rather effective in battlefield situation. No time is wasted making decisions during critical situations since everyone will follow what the leader says.

"Male egos require constant stroking. Every task is an achievement, every success epic. That is why women cook, but men are chefs: we make cheese on toast, they produce pain de fromage."  -Belle De Jour
"Male egos require constant stroking. Every task is an achievement, every success epic. That is why women cook, but men are chefs: we make cheese on toast, they produce pain de fromage." -Belle De Jour | Source

Having Ego is Not a Bad Thing!

Just because one has a strong ego doesn't mean it's disastrous for those around him. Neither do you need to put up a pretentious front nor feed his voracious appetite for praises, just be normal and affirm his achievements accordingly. Everyone needs to know that they are good at something, it also gives them the confidence to execute tasks effectively.


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