12 behaviors men show in relationships to mask their own insecurities

There's nothing more toxic to a relationship than an insecure man who doesn't want to admit it.

Being insecure is part of life, but it's crucial to open up about it and find a way to cope.

Men who respond by playing down their insecurities and overcompensating for them are often going out of their way to appear confident.

How can you recognize (and avoid) such men? Here's what to look out for…

1) Projection

“No, I didn't, you did!”

It's already annoying when a child does this, and even less when an adult man.

But so many still do. And they continue to use projection and gaslighting throughout their string of failed relationships.

Refusing to take responsibility and projecting their own problems onto others is exhausting and part of the reason why insecure men who don't face their problems end up being relationship kryptonite.

Speaking of not taking responsibility…

2) Never apologize

Insecure men who don't want to admit it have a bad habit of refusing to say sorry.

She refuse to apologize even if they have done something wrong and they are fully aware of it.

The words just don't come out of their mouths. They refuse to talk to them.

It's as if admitting that they messed up, even in a small way, is somehow humiliating or diminishes them in their own eyes.

3) Hyper-assertiveness

Think of the stereotypical frat brother who gets up in everyone's face and almost staggers.

This is the hyper-assertive man. God forbid someone steals his parking space or looks at his girlfriend the wrong way.

He looks them in the face, like Chef Gordon Ramsay, after someone overcooks the soup. This guy is almost a cartoon character, what is he overcompensating for?

4) Over-the-top macho acting

This type of over-assertive man who often hides from his insecurities acts over-the-top macho also.

He doesn't show much emotion and makes light of emotions in general.

He acts as if he has never shed a tear in his life and finds all the emotional sides of life stupid and not worth considering.

5) Extreme competitiveness

A close cousin of hyper-assertiveness and machismo is the highly competitive man.

He's taken healthy competition and gone way too far, turning the smallest casual discussion into a no-holds-barred debate and turning a fun game of fussing into an Olympic tournament.

When it comes to the relationship, he turns every little problem into a big confrontation and refuses to chill out about anything.

Even the smallest disagreement or comparison is about him showing that he is better and more successful.

6) Masking insecurity with jokes

What's better than a funny guy, right?

But some men will indeed use humor to hide their insecurities. Whenever a topic comes up that actually hurts or upsets them, they brush it aside with self-deprecating humor or making fun of other people.

By using humor as a defense, they hope to change or move away from the subject, making the joke about themselves or other people.

Which brings up the next topic…

7) Mocking and belittling others

Really insecure boys are known as bullies with a small sense of humor.

They use ridicule and cruel jokes to put others down, hoping this will boost their own faltering self-esteem.

By making cruel jokes about other people, they hope they can feel better about themselves and make others look stupid.

8) Criticizing any perceived weakness or mistake

The insecure man likes to criticize others and point out what someone else is doing wrong.

In a relationship, he tends to believe that he can do no wrong and that his partner must toe the line on every issue.

He doesn't accept any criticism, but he can dish it out.

When his partner gets tired of this, he claims she is oversensitive.

Whenever he notices something that seems weak or wrong in others, the insecure man points it out and demands that it be changed.

9) Perfectionism and over-idealism

Nothing will ever be perfect, but very insecure people do their best to make it that way.

No matter how well they do, they always strive to do better in a cycle of endless perfectionism.

The result is a very tense time and always the feeling that they haven't done a good enough job.

Men who behave this way are fighting some inner demons that they don't want to face.

10) Possessiveness and jealousy

A little jealousy can be healthy and every relationship needs boundaries of what both partners are comfortable with.

But a man who becomes very possessive and jealous is almost always insecure and tries to push it.

So he exerts control over his partner and demands that she do what he wants, or reports to him about her life, explaining every interaction, thought and feeling she has.

Here he tries to increase his own sense of well-being by controlling someone else.

11) Lying about their achievements

No revisionist historian has ever been as creative as an insecure man.

Men who feel bad about themselves will blatantly lie about their past and their achievements.

I've had friends who found out their boyfriend lied about his citizenship, where he went to school, and even who his family was after years in a relationship.

Insecure men will build a fictional biography of themselves that is more reflective of who they would like to be and even use it in their relationship.

12) Being emotionally distant

Men who are insecure often choose the simplest solution:

They become emotionally distant and emotionally unavailable, switching off like a cyborg and tuning out.

It is especially common when an issue has come up that strikes a chord or strikes at the root of a man's insecurities.

This could be his underlying fear of not being desirable, or his underlying fear of abandonment or rejection.

So he tunes in, goes through the motions, and keeps a blank expression on his face, as if everything is fine, when in reality it isn't.

The insecure man in love

We all feel insecure sometimes.

Every man has moments of it deep insecurity when he's not at his best in a relationship, and that goes for any woman too.

But the key is to learn from this and continue to improve and become more self-aware.

None of us will ever be perfect, nor should we be. But we can become more aware of our blind spots and learn to hold our own emotional space in relationships more effectively, by being open about our insecurities without taking them out on others.

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