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10 Things Men Do in Relationships to Mask Their Own Insecurities

Which are the signs of an insecure man?

There’s nothing quite as toxic to a romantic relationship as an insecure man who won’t admit it.

Most of us feel insecure about something, and this is part of life, but it’s important to open up and find a way to truly face it. Insecurity in men can come to the surface due to a negative perception of themselves, their background, physical traits, and their professional and financial success. There are many studies that prove this.

Men who react by hiding their insecurities and overcompensating for them often go to great lengths to seem confident. So at first sight, some may really seem confident.

How can you spot a man like this? Here are some signs of an insecure man!

signs of an insecure man
Photo by Ollyy from Shutterstock

1. Masking insecurity with jokes

A funny guy is a great guy, right? Well, not always. It may be one of the signs of an insecure man.

Some men will indeed use humor to push down their insecurities. Any time a subject comes up that actually upsets or hurts them, they ignore it as if nothing was said but will say a self-deprecating joke or joke about other people.

By using humor as a defense mechanism, they hope to brush the subject aside or turn away from it, either further making the joke about themselves or about other people.

Here’s a book that can help jealous partners break the cycle of unhealthy behavior patterns.

2. Projection

“No, I didn’t; you did!” Does this sound familiar?

It’s already annoying when a child does this, much less a grown man. Sadly, so many still do. And they continue to use projection as well as gaslighting throughout their string of failed relationships. Projecting their own issues onto others and refusing to take responsibility is exhausting and is one of the signs of an insecure man.

So, at best, this ready-made defense offers them only passing relief for what, internally, continues to ail them. In most cases, those who don’t face their problems end up becoming relationship kryptonites.

Speaking of not taking responsability…

3. Never apologizing

You’re man messed up, and you’re waiting for an apology so you two can kiss, make up, and move on.

Studies confirm what women have long known: men often have trouble saying the “S” word. Some from the latter group may ask, “What’s so important about saying ‘I’m sorry’?”

Apologies have the incredible power to heal rifts, eliminate frudges, validate feelings, generate forgiveness, and diminish stress in a relationship. But when it comes to insecure men, they would rather not do any of that than acknowledge that they did or said something bad.

One of the signs of an insecure man is when he refuses to apologize, even when he did something wrong, and he’s entirely aware of it. This is a clear indicator that apoligizing makes him feel uncomfortable.

The words just don’t leave his mouth. He refuses to speak to them. It’s like admitting he screwed up, even if it’s just a minor mistake, is somehow humiliating or lessening them in their own eyes.

4. Acting over-the-top macho

Sorry, men, but most women can often see past this type of behavior. This type of over-assertive guy who is hiding from his own insecurities often tries to keep up a “macho man” image. He may seem too preoccupied with proving his so-called manhood in some of the most low-self-esteem behaviors or stereotypical ways.

Some of the signs of an insecure man who acts as described above are when he has an aggressive demeanor around other people, boasts about that time when he saved the day because of something he did, drives wildly, not letting passersby takeover, and shows off his physical assets or material stuff in an obnoxious way.

An insecure man who acts like a macho may also not show much emotion and describe himself as someone who’s never shed a tear in his life.

Read on to discover other signs of an insecure man!

signs of an insecure man
Photo by ShotPrime Studio from Shutterstock

5. Criticizing any perceived weakness or fault

An insecure man will often criticize others and point out what somebody else is doing wrong. In a romantic relationship, he tends to believe that he cannot make any mistakes and that his partner has to fall in line on every issue.

By no means will he accept any criticism, but he sure can dish it out. If his partner brings up his tendency to criticize many things, he claims that she’s being oversensitive.

As one of the signs of an insecure man, noticing something that seems weak or at fault in others is ironic; deep down, he knows that he’s not perfect, and while he won’t admit it, he’ll tell others that.

6. Hyper-assertiveness

Think of the stereotypical frat guy who gets up in everyone’s face and waddles around. This image may be exaggerated, but it’s here to give you a better idea of an insecure man who’s also hyper-assertive.

So we have this guy. God forbid somebody looks at his girlfriend the wrong way or steals his parking spot. When this happens, he throws a tantrum because he feels like no one should make him look like a fool.

He’s up in the face of whoever does something to him, like Chef Gordon Ramsay, after somebody overcooks the soup. Similar to other signs of an insecure man, hyper-assertiveness is used to overcompensate for something.

7. Extreme competitiveness

A close cousin to machismo and hyper-assertiveness is the highly competitive guy. He takes healthy competition and goes way overboard with it, turning the tiniest casual conversation into a no-hold-barred debate and taking a fun game of baseball and turning it into an Olympic tournament.

When it comes to romantic relationships, one of the signs of an insecure man is when he makes every small issue look like a big showdown and refuses to chillax about anything. He also hates the idea of losing, not to mention when this happens to him.

Even the smallest comparison or disagreement becomes all about him showing he is better and more accomplished. Of course, he’s like that because he is trying to overcompensate for a certain treat or quality he doesn’t have.

8. Being emotionally distant

Next on our list of signs of an insecure man is emotional unavailability. Men who are insecure often choose the simplest solution of all: they become emotionally unavailable and emotionally distant, switching off like a cyborg and tuning out.

This is a common strategy, especially when an issue has come up that touches a soft spot or gets to the root of insecurity in a man. This could be his underlying terror of rejection or abandonment, or his underlying fear that he’s not desirable.

So he tunes out, keeping a blank expression on his face and going through the motion, acting like all is OK when it’s really not. As one of the most common signs of an insecure man, this shows that there’s actually something behind the steel wall he’s trying to show.

insecure man
Photo by signs of an insecure man from Shutterstock

9. Lying about their accomplishments

According to experts, a little bit of jealousy can be healthy in a relationship, and every couple needs boundaries for what both partners are comfortable with. But a man who is highly jealous and possessive is almost always insecure and trying to hide it.

Did he get a promotion at work? He’ll say that his boss praised him in front of the whole team when, in fact, he only got his promotion. In fact, there are men who lie about their citizenship, where they went to school, and even who their family was after years in a relationship.

Similar to other signs of an insecure man, this helps them feel better about themselves. Insecure men will create a fictional biography of themselves that is more in line with who they wish they were and employ that even in their relationship.

10. Possessiveness and jealousy

According to experts, a little bit of jealousy can be heathy in a relationship, and every couple needs boundaries of what both partners are comfortable with. But a man who is highly jealous and possessive is almost always insecure and trying to hide it.

As one of the signs of an insecure man, exaggerated jealousy is often used to control the other partner and demand that she do what he wants. He wants her to report back to him about her life, explaining every thought, feeling, and interaction she has.

This is him trying to boost his own sense of well-being by controlling someone else.

If you liked our article on signs of an insecure man, you may also want to read 10 Most Common Things Men Usually Lie About.

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