The man who is willing to take advice to improve will always be the better partner in a relationship. James Michael Sama tells us how.
I was at a party recently with a bunch of couples. At one point during the evening, the guys found their way into the ‘man room,’ full of rich mahogany, cigars, and bourbon. We talked about the baseball game that was on TV, because the party’s host is a former professional baseball player. We talked about marriage and divorce because one of the guests was a divorce attorney.
We all got along great, smoked our cigars, had a few drinks, and went back out to the rest of the party, where some of the guy’s wives were.
Some of them are familiar with my writing, and there was talk about chivalry, romance, and dating that began circulating as we made our way back into the crowd.
“You should talk to James!” One of the guy’s wives said. “You could use some lessons in chivalry…” from another. Before you knew it, the friends I’d made just a few minutes ago were cracking jokes and reverting back to high school humor, because hey man, they don’t need advice, they’re already married…
One thing became clear to me in that moment: Most men don’t want other men telling them how to treat the woman in their life.
Hell, maybe these guys didn’t need advice. They all seemed happy and in love. But, that isn’t the case with everyone.
More often than not, men that have no use for relationship advice are ego driven. Because of this, when another man steps in to share an experience or go into the “no-man zone” it can often be perceived as a weakness to engage in this type of conversation. And yes guys, it’s true: When we start to talk about those sensitive issues we have to let our guard down. I can relate to how difficult this can be, but the benefits it can bring are worth the discomfort.
And of course some men avoid or reject advice for no other reason than stubbornness. Some would rather take the long road and learn their own lessons the hard way before they would ever consider taking advice from another guy. But oddly enough, after the lesson is learned, they seem eager to offer advice to others about their bad experiences. After all, now they know more than the average Joe.
Ironically, though, men take advice from each other in all other areas of life. If I am looking to learn more about a subject, the first thing I do is go to someone else who knows more about it than I do, whether they are a woman or another man. Too many guys are letting their pride get in the way of their own progress.
What’s even more ironic is that the men who think they have it all figured out have closed off the roads to new information due to their ego, and therefore never actually figure it out. They won’t listen, and will remain focused on a short-term goal [making himself feel adequate in the moment], rather than admitting he can improve, and subsequently doing so.
Consider this: The man who is willing and open to take advice and improve, will always be the better partner in a relationship because he exhibits the characteristic[s] required to be able to communicate, absorb, and adjust. He will be flexible and communicate efficiently. He will be able to work with his girlfriend or wife as a teammate. He understands that neither he nor she knows it all, but they can figure it out together.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that taking advice or at least listening to someone who has a valuable experience to share doesn’t indicate a weakness, but displays strength and wisdom — character traits worthy of pursuit.
Some men are just too damn smart for dating advice. Believe me, I know — I still struggle with taking advice sometimes myself. They don’t need to hear it from me, you, or anyone else. The problem with most of the men who criticize other men’s dating advice, though? They always seem to be single.
I have learned everything I know by first admitting that I didn’t know a damn thing. By understanding the best way to reach a destination is to follow the paths of others who have already reached it. I have learned that listening to advice doesn’t mean you have to take it, but not listening because you think you don’t need it can hinder success in many areas.
Success leaves clues. We take financial advice from those with more money than us. We take fitness advice from those who are in better shape than us. So, why do so many refuse to take relationship advice from those in happy, healthy relationships?
The only thing they are too damn smart for, is their own good.
This article originally appeared on James Michael Sama’s Blog.
Photo credit: Nathan Congleton/flickr