In discussing the battle of the sexes in terms of their self-esteem, there is a crucial distinction to be made: Do you think men have it better in a physiological sense? Do you believe that women are better equipped with the mental faculties necessary for forging a successful existence in life? What about the spiritual side of things? The belief that men and women are basically equal in all areas of human endeavor and life (including their ability to have a fulfilling life) leads one to suspect that the real battle is not so much about the self-esteem, but rather about the egos of the two genders. Are men’s and women’s self-esteem really equivalent?
Let’s take a closer look at this question before we can answer it definitively. The ego is a concept that comes directly from the Greek word eidos, which means “to have a human form.” Ego is the motivating principle behind the desire to be seen as whole, complete, and above all, good – in comparison to the lesser, less powerful “ego” of the lesser animal. This “ego” is associated with both self-confidence and self-esteem.
As mentioned above, the ego is a psychological concept that men have on the top of their list when it comes to self-esteem. But is this truly the case? Are men just as emotionally healthy and successful as women? Or is there something here that we missed in our thinking?
To begin our exploration of the idea of the ego, we need to take a step back and examine what exactly makes the ego so important to men. It is the idea that there is something better out there than what they could be achieving with more time, effort, and focus. It’s the feeling that they are somehow better equipped to handle whatever comes their way – a belief that they will arrive, and they will achieve, whatever it is that they put their mind to. And this belief can make men focus and pay more attention to themselves in comparison to the less confident and less motivated woman.
While the concept of self-esteem for men may sound noble, it is also based on the false assumption that some things are “numbers” which are fixed for the rest of us. They think that if they can just raise their self-esteem, their abilities, and their status, then they will see results that may be true, but not necessarily “better” than those who may lack the ability to do the same. It could very well be that they are simply chasing after what they think they are entitled to…and it could be true. However, that doesn’t change the fact that they are chasing after something which is neither higher nor lower than them, and which they may not actually be able to acquire.
Men’s inability to acknowledge that they are at a disadvantage in some situations, like asking for help or taking the lead, is often much worse than the actual inability to get the job done. If the man truly believes he has a problem, his self-esteem is much better than when he thinks that he is doing really well, and that his abilities are better than those of the competition. If he thinks that others are going to take advantage of him, his self-esteem is lower than when he believes that he is the one who will establish himself. The difference between knowing that you have an issue and believing that others will take advantage of you is that there are effective methods for dealing with the issue, such as assertive communication, which will not allow you to give into the perception that you are being taken advantage of. If men were more aware of this, then they would feel much better about themselves.
Men who think they have problems with being successful because they have too high an ego will never make any progress toward happiness. Why? Because he is chasing after an imagined concept of what he should be instead of the actual person he is: an individual with the same capabilities, who may have learned something from their experiences, and who is motivated by the fact that they are making some money instead of sitting at home eating popcorn. Men who are successful are usually individuals who are not afraid to pursue their goals.
There is no real test to see how much your level of self-esteem is affected by what people think about you. One thing that is true though, is that if you feel much better about yourself, then you are much more likely to do the things necessary for a happy life–and these things do matter. For example, you will likely make much better decisions, work more efficiently, achieve greater levels of success in your job, and have a greater sense of personal worth. In short, men with higher self-esteem do much better on their jobs, face life more comfortably, and generally are much happier.