I’m changing the title to How Men Can Empower Women (and themselves)
Evan was a mama’s boy growing up; he’ll be the first to admit it. As a kid he felt responsible for his Mother’s happiness because his father was rarely home. With his father busy at work most of the time he took it upon himself to provide the love and companionship that his father should have been giving.
When his mother was upset he would distract her, either by entertaining her with his silliness or with his owns needs. Evan shared with me that he would emotionally care for his mother; he was always gauging his mother’s emotional moods. Through pleasing her, he was alleviating the guilt he felt for his absent father. When he did this, he would gain approval from his mom.
One mistake he made was in confusing the approval he received from her, as proof that she was happy. He was diligent to get good grades in school or anything else that might bring more approval. He became addicted to her approval of him and his actions.
Why do you think I’m sharing this story with you?
Because in my work with men I see a great number of men with these two connected issues.
Men that that do not see women as their equals
Secondly men that live with an unhealthy need for approval by women
Here is how I see these two things intersecting
Evan doesn’t see women as his equals, he sees them as something that needs to be taken care of and protected.
In some of the research I have done I have found men that do not see women as their equals, often see them as needing protection. This is the term that Evan used; he needed to “protect women”. He found it very difficult to do business with women, as he was over sensitive to their perceived needs.
When he does a business project with a woman, he shrinks; he doesn’t challenge them in anyway. He will even undercharge as a way to ‘save them’. He will overwork and give them free hours and do the best job possible, as he feels responsible for their happiness. While he is doing this he harbors grudges that he isn’t receiving enough back from them.
He would never do or say anything that might upset them, even if he knew they were making a bad business move.
This can really fuck things up, if you see someone as not being capable then you are seeing them as a victim, something lesser than.
Have you ever been around a disabled person in a wheel chair? Have you noticed thoughts coming up around you needing to treat them a different way? Do you treat them the same as non-disabled person?
When men are in relationship and (either consciously or subconsciously) view women as victims they cannot treat them fairly.
The need for approval
When a man is in need of approval from his woman he is often making decisions based the mindset of “will this make her happy”. To put it bluntly, when a man needs approval from a woman to feel good about himself, he is basically asking for mommy’s approval.
Basing our self-worth on external approval is never a good idea. When men do this in relationship it sets up a co-dependent dynamic and Evans story is a classic example of a co-dependent relationship. He derives a sense of self-worth based on how his partner treats him and based on how happy he thinks she is.
It is not attractive to women when men are in need of approval; it has a certain needy stink to it. Seeking approval from women is the main ingredient for “the needy guy” syndrome.
If any of this sounds familiar or resonates with you please remember; women do not need to coddled, they do not need to be rescued. Women would rather hear your truth than receive your inauthentic care taking.
What women need more than anything from men is our loving presence, our deep honoring of the beauty and power they carry. A healthy relationship must include seeing the other as fully capable.
And.. Honor yourself by supplying your own self-approval. When the need for approval arises, the simple practice of recognizing and watching it can precipitate its departure.
How you react when your need for approval shows up is a choice. Self-respect begins with being brave enough to recognize your patterns and choosing to do something different.
One powerful thing you can do
When you feel the urge to receive approval try giving approval. Give the approval you seek!
If you notice that you are seeing them as weak or someone that needs to be rescued or coddled STOP! Shift into knowing that women can take care of themselves. The practice is to see the power they carry and do not try to rescue them. See them as equals, treat them as equals.
Please let me know your thoughts