Hero Instinct In Men: How to Trigger It In 8 Genius Steps

Author: Paul R. Brian & Renée Shen

It’s not always easy to understand what attracts men and makes them want to commit to a long-term relationship. 

There are all sorts of theories out there, but most of them are pie in the sky without any real science behind them. 

The hero instinct theory is much different.

It’s developed by relationship psychologist James Bauer, who’s helped thousands of real-life couples and knows what works and why. 

The hero instinct theory isn’t just some idea: it’s anchored in thousands of years of evolutionary psychology and biology.

What is the Hero Instinct In Men?

First of all, we all know that all men are different. 

However at their core nature, every guy has an inbuilt desire to protect and provide for his mate and potential kids.  

That is, of course if he is actually in love with his woman or “mate”. 

A crucial part of getting a man to fall in love is this idea of the “hero instinct”. 

The central concept of the hero instinct is that a man wants to feel necessary, especially in the life of his romantic partner. 

Recommended reading: Is He Falling In Love With Me? 8 Definite Signs He Is.

He wants to care for her, earn her respect and be her man in a way no other guy can. 

In fact, it is this need that makes man strive to be a better person every day.

But it can’t be too easy. 

The women who make it too easy are usually just being fake by giving away their approval and appreciation for inauthentic reasons (just to try to gain something for themselves). 

The truth is that men fall in love with women who are valuable and vulnerable, and through that vulnerability, they show that they “need” him. 

This vulnerability is the difference between a woman who is able to trigger the hero instinct in men, and a woman who can’t (due to being invulnerable).

If you know how to trigger the hero instinct in men you will be of high value to men, and this will naturally make them work harder as a man to deserve your love (which all men secretly want).

Now let’s get something clear:

I don’t mean you need to somehow play “hard to get”, (which often can feel fake) but rather use your innate feminine energy to inspire his deepest devotion. If you wish to know how, check out this video we put together. 

So here’s how to trigger the hero instinct in men the right way (there is a wrong way, and I’ll get to that soon). 

How To Trigger the Hero Instinct In Men in 8 Genius Steps

#1: Be His Biggest Cheerleader

In the day-to-day life of your relationship with your loved one, send him inspiring messages and have his back. 

Try to remind him how important he is to you.

Don’t overdo this with constant showers of praise, sexy voice notes and back rubs. 

But make him crystal clear about where you stand on him: 

You see the real man that others may miss. You see who he is and his enormous potential. 

This may not seem like much to you as a woman, but to a man, this is high value, because most of the world and the people around him won’t be supportive. 

The world is a harsh place, and his friends and sadly, maybe even his family members would prefer to see him fail (if they’re toxic).

But if you can show that you’re loyal to him and see the capable man in him even when he cannot see it himself, that’s real value and that courage you show will not go unnoticed in him.

The fact that you’re willing to offer yourself, your loyalty and support in this way will trigger his desire to protect you, and of course, his hero instinct!

#2: Ask Nicely For Help

Asking nicely for help is one thing that motivates a man to deepen his commitment to you, and he will also feel a deeper attraction for you, if he already likes you.

The idea of being “equal” has all sorts of benefits and it’s certainly true that women and men absolutely deserve equal respect and consideration. 

But the idea of having different roles and letting the man take the lead in being the helper and protector is something that modern society has unfortunately lost in many ways. 

It also happens to be at the core of what keeps him coming back for more and makes him fall deeply in love. 

Recommended reading: 8 Priceless Traits Of The Kind Of Girl Guys Regret Losing.

The hero instinct in men is really quite simple:

Ask for help in simple ways that are geared towards stereotypically manly things such as: 

  • Changing the tire
  • Changing a light bulb
  • Fixing a broken piece of furniture; or 
  • Fixing busted electronics that confuse you 

This sentence can become your best friend here: 

“What would I do without you?”

His hero instinct will be glowing red hot when he hears those words…

On the topic of phrases that trigger commitment and attraction inside a man’s mind, check out this specific phrase you can say to a man to instantly capture his attention, trigger his curiosity and make him hang onto every word you say…

#3: Say Thank You Sweetly and Sincerely

Did he do something you asked for and needed? This is the perfect opportunity to use the phrase I mentioned above and to say thanks. 

It’s even better if you thank him publicly or in front of his friends and peers. 

Again, go about this naturally. Stroke his shoulder once or twice or ruffle his hair. 

Whisper something sweet and talk him up in front of his bros or colleagues. He’s going to absolutely love it. 

Just don’t do this every day! Save it for special occasions so that his hero instinct is stimulated in the right way. 

What’s a special occasion?

Like when he’s put a lot of effort into acquiring something for you.

Think of it like a woolly mammoth hunt: cavemen would hunt for days and weeks to catch one woolly mammoth…

The challenge excited their adrenaline. And even more exciting and rewarding is the joy or appreciation they anticipate coming from the woman they love.

It means a lot to a man, and if you can show real appreciation for the things that are hard for him to get or do for you, you will definitely be able to trigger his hero instinct.

#4: Be Clear About What You Need

Sometimes it can be hard to tell him something unpleasant, especially if you’re telling him that you expect or need more from him.

It’s true that no guy loves a nag or a woman who treats him disrespectfully. 

But becoming a bit more authentic and honest about what you need is actually one of the most important ways to trigger the hero instinct in men. 

Whenever possible, go for brutal honesty and let him in on a kind of “performance report” of how he’s doing. 

Isn’t this mean or disrespectful?

No, not if you speak with integrity and honesty. Extra points if you can express your needs with vulnerability.

MORE: How To Be Vulnerable With A Man Without Being NEEDY (With Examples).

You'll soon realize that he actually likes hearing from you about what he can improve on and what you hope to see more of from him. 

No good woman holds back how she really feels and what she really needs. The women who do this are often very fearful and therefore make relationships with men harder than they need to be.


Don’t keep him in the dark or make everything too easy on him: be his cheerleader, but also show him clear ways he can become even better in your eyes. 

By the way, have you seen our Goddess Report? (It’s FREE!) CLICK HERE to learn How to Become the World’s Most Attractive & Feminine Goddess (Even if you have no self esteem or no man has ever paid you any attention…)

#5: Invest In Him Emotionally (And Physically) 

If you want to know the hardest part about how to trigger the hero instinct in men, it’s this part. 

But it’s also necessary.


Because if you are too afraid to emotionally invest in him, then he will give up investing in you - and quickly.

And when he gives up investing in you, there’s no way he can actually be your hero. 

There’s so much advice out there these days asking women to completely minimise their own investment and vulnerability to a man. 

This advice centers around the woman making the man do absolutely everything including:

  • Initiating all (or the majority) of texting
  • Asking him to decide on all the date ideas
  • Paying for every date from early on; and
  • Making him show that he’s emotionally committed to her first (and more than) the woman does

And this is not triggering his hero instinct, it’s actually creating a one sided relationship out of fear and/or entitlement. 

Whilst I totally understand the reason behind such advice (it’s usually fear of being taken advantage of), the truth is that things like this make your relationship with a man unbalanced.

But more importantly, when you lead with these fears of being taken advantage of, or fears of being abandoned and used by a man, he also doesn’t get to see your vulnerability and loyalty - which are crucial ingredients for triggering his hero instinct.

(The actions of minimising vulnerability and investment in a man are usually a strategy favoured by women who have insecure attachment and abandonment issues). 

So it’s important that you create an environment where a man’s hero instinct can have the best chance of showing up.

To create that environment, you must also show that you’re at least willing to emotionally invest in him.

Here’s some ways you can do that:

  1. Text him first reasonably often
  2. Ask him how he is and what his day was like
  3. Show that you care about how he feels (instead of being fuelled by entitlement mentality)
  4. Suggest a wonderful place you’d like to visit 

If you are one who always wants the man to do all the work, you might think that you’re triggering his hero instinct, but all it’s doing is triggering his fears that you’re not going to be worth the effort.

So as always, try to be balanced. 

You can definitely enjoy him taking charge, but also be willing to reciprocate his vulnerability and his investment in you.

If you are one who feels a lot of anxiety around investing in a relationship with a man, you might want to check whether you have an insecure attachment style.

We have the perfect women specific quiz to help you find out. QUIZ TIME: Do I have secure or insecure attachment patterns? CLICK HERE to find out with our specially crafted women-specific 10 Question Quiz!

(Why is this important? It is because your core attachment style largely dictates and influences what happens in your relationship. Thus it’s imperative you understand your core attachment style!) 

#6: Show Him You Need The Best Of Him 

(And encourage him to be his best).

Inspire him to do the things he likes to do, because all men have dreams. They may just keep these dreams secret from the world at large because they don’t want people to judge their dreams or bring down their confidence.

So when learning how to trigger the hero instinct in men, never forget to encourage him to be the best he can be.

This includes supporting him in personal ambitions and passions. 

Let him know that you KNOW he can accomplish the things he quietly wishes to accomplish. Also show him that you would be so happy to see him do it. 

If you want to take it to the next level and really trigger his commitment to you, tell him that you trust in him to make it happen and that you need him to make it happen in order to live well and feel safe (it can be a difficult and scary world after all). 

(This one is probably more for those women who have already started steadily dating a guy). 

The key to how to trigger the hero instinct in men is all about balance. 

You want him to know that you need his masculine direction and manly strength, but you also want to show him that you’re a high quality woman who doesn’t just fall for any guy. 

Because the women who fall for any guy are typically low value. 

On the topic of low value, did you know that there Are 7 Common Signs That A Woman is Perceived as Low Value to All Men. Do You Know What They Are & How to Avoid Them Like the Plague?

CLICK here to discover the 7 common signs that a woman is perceived as low value in the eyes of men in this special report. 

(Why is this important? Because men and women perceive value very differently and you don’t want to be making mistakes that would cause quality men to dismiss, abandon or alienate you.)

How To Show You Need Him Without Being Low Value? 2 Ways

You want to show him that you believe in his skills and ability to accomplish things, ask for his presence and masculine skills while also giving him space to develop them on his own. 

Low value women would try to “be the man” for him and try to usurp his masculine direction by being controlling or telling him what to do.

You don’t want to do that, as it’s not of value to him. 

Instead, simply do these two things:

#1: Encourage him

Encourage his love of fixing old cars in the garage. After he gets that old Cadillac from the junkyard up and running, kiss his grease-lined face and tell him:

"You're the best!"

It's very hard not to meet someone who doesn't like to hear that, especially a man. 

They really want to have the recognition of their women. Incidentally, this is something all men have unconsciously: the desire to be better, best and selected by the highest-quality mate.

#2: Use Banter

The best (most high value way) to encourage him is actually through a form of banter. 

Not only does this seem more high value & less needy, it also gives you the chance to cultivate more of his deepest emotional connection and emotional attraction for you.

If you want to learn more about how to banter with men, we’ve put together a free class for you. CLICK here to attend this class. 

#7: Make It Clear How Much You Trust Him

Always tell your man how much you trust him without demanding all the details of what he does or who he talks to. 

Say the following phrase: 

"I trust you.”

It may seem a simple phrase, but believe me, it's very powerful.

For one of the things that men most desire is to be completely trusted by a woman they love. 

Knowing that you fully trust him not to cheat or mislead you is a huge turn on for a guy and one of the most important parts of how to trigger the hero instinct in men. 

This stimulates his protector and provider side to an immense degree. 

After all, if someone is rescuing you in a howling storm or while you’re drowning in the waves, what’s the common element you have towards them:

Full and complete trust. 

We trust our heroes, because we know their intentions toward us are noble. 

So it's important for you to say that you trust him whenever possible. Of course, this will depend on the situation you're going through.

But don't miss the chance to say it when you get a prime opportunity, because this trust is what helps build up a truly committed man who loves you. 

    attachment style quiz

    #8: Appreciate and Praise His Masculine Energy

    Finally, to awaken the hero instinct in men, praise his masculinity and intelligence. 

    That could be something as simple as running your hand over his arm and raising your eyebrows while saying:

    “Somebody’s been working out!”

    The key is to awaken and praise the hero that exists in him but never to diminish the strong and demanding woman that exists in you. 

    Your love isn’t conditional, but you’re not afraid to be authentic and show how you feel about him not holding himself to a high standard (because you know he’s better than that). 

    And he gets a rush from knowing that and living up to it. 

    Recommended: Understanding Men In Relationships: 5 Universal Truths & FAQ.

    But there’s something else that you can do to show you appreciate his masculine energy in a high value way:

    The key to being able to appreciate his masculine energy lies within your own feminine energy. 

    The more you are able to embody your feminine side, both light feminine and dark feminine, the more you’re able to naturally value and appreciate a man’s masculine energy. 

    We’ve put together a real awesome quiz on how feminine you live day to day. CLICK HERE to check it out. It’s not long and you get to discover the finer distinctions of what makes you live in your feminine energy.

    Avoid These Common Mistakes in Trying to Trigger the Hero Instinct in Men

    Now that you know how to activate hero instinct, it’s important to do it the right way. 

    One key piece of advice is to avoid these two common mistakes. 

      #1: Overdoing It

      Some women overdo the hero instinct, showering their guy with constant demands, praise or affection. 

      Not only is this annoying, it’s low value because it shows that you’re not really doing it authentically, but instead, you're trying too hard!

      When you overdo something, it shows that you’re not really doing it to add value to the relationship, but rather, you're there to take value (usually in the form of approval seeking).

      #2: Acting

      You shouldn’t be playing the role of a “damsel in distress” or acting out a role. 

      There’s nothing wrong with being a damsel in distress in some situations (when you genuinely do feel distress), but don’t do it just for the sake of it. 

      Don’t express anything you don’t feel for real. Just make the times you do need help or reassurance a bit more conscious, don’t fake them or act them out. 

      You want him to help out and are sometimes in need of his manly skills, but you’re never fake or pathetic. 

      Instead, you’re a high value, authentic woman who loves a guy who wins your heart with his genuine masculinity…

      Case study: Discover how Alison ended her cycle of abusive relationships by learning to quickly weed out the "wrong types of men", inspiring deep devotion from her chosen man and passing the hardest test of them all - an accidental pregnancy after a month of dating! (...All because of this one simple skill every woman should have.)

      Wrapping Up…

      Any man's desire is to be uniquely valued by the woman he loves.

      He wants to protect and provide for the woman he loves and be by her side for as long as she needs him to be. 

      The more you show your man that you see him as a unique and valuable masculine man and not just some random companion, the more his hero instinct starts to show up. 

      Be careful out there: 

      When a man is in a relationship where his hero instinct is not awakened, it is very likely that relationship will not last long.

      Paul Brian
      Renee Shen

      Paul R. Brian

      Paul Rowan Brian is a freelance journalist, author and writer from Canada. He's written for Ideapod, Hack Spirit and Love Connection and is focused on culture, relationships and self-development. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrbrian.

      Renée Shen

      Author & Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of the popular women's dating & relationship advice website, The Feminine Woman.

      P.S. I hope you've enjoyed this article. Here are some other articles that I think you'd really like too...

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