Who hasn’t noticed that some men, no matter what they look like, have no problem walking up to the most beautiful woman in the room to ask her to dance?
Men and women – different in so many ways – including their ego. Maybe you’ve noticed it too. Men tend to be brashly sure of themselves. They’re always good looking, smart and accomplished. Just ask them and they’ll tell you. Women, on the other hand, need validation that they’re pretty, smart or talented because they’re never quite sure and doubt if they are.
Here’s a recent example. A writer sent me a story pitch for Singular magazine. His email went something like this: “I’ve attached my latest article. You are going to absolutely love it. It’s amazing!”
Just a few hours later, I got one from a woman: “Hi Kim. I have an article I think you’ll like. Can I send it to you? I can make any changes you need.”
The difference is self-confidence – sometimes subtle and sometimes brash – and evident in so many areas of life. Guys have either learned it or were born to “lead with the chin” – to go boldly into the fray with self-assuredness. They’re not looking for your approval, they’ve already approved of themselves (but please, feel free to flatter and applaud).
It’s an attitude that serves you well in the business world or if you’re fending off saber-toothed tigers with a pointy stick. In fact, maybe it’s some kind of genetic programming left over from cave man days. Guys needed that kind of self-confidence to defend their cave and kill that night’s dinner. Meanwhile, the womenfolk focused on getting along with the tribe and building cooperative relationships – something that isn’t served well with an ego in full flag.
Of course, we all have egos; it’s just interesting how men have learned to use theirs to win in the game of life. When women use their ego in the same way, they’re viewed as being in their “male energy” – or as ballbusters or bitches – pejorative terms that reaffirm the cultural message that ego deployment is for men; being selfless and deferring is for women.
A lot has changed since women became a big part of the workforce, but it’s still a man’s game and so females, wanting to succeed, have learned to deploy their egos too. They need that kind of self-confidence (feigned or real) to be respected leaders, sell what they’re pitching and fight their way up the corporate ladder – but it often creates havoc in interpersonal relationships, especially of the romantic kind.
Any time you have two egos competing, it’s not fertile ground for happy coupledom. Maybe that’s another reason why the number of single women keeps growing and growing. Guys know they have to compete with women at work, but they don’t want to have a rival in the bedroom. Meanwhile women don’t want to defer to the man in their life because their ego, once unleashed, won’t allow it.
Business coach Ali Brown, who advises women on how to become successful entrepreneurs, said she had to learn to tone down her ego. “I used to be a little too much man,” she said. “I’d just march right up to the hostess and be, like, ‘Table for two.’ Not good. I think the worst thing for girls to do is to go out on a date when they’re in their work head,” Brown said. “There have been times when I’ve started coaching my dates. That’s so bad.”
Good thing women are supposed to be inherently good at multi-tasking because now, on top of everything else, we have to engage our egos when necessary, without getting stuck there. And for sure, let’s not get stuck there. The future of the planet depends on it!
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2014 Singular Communications, LLC.
Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.