Girls and women often feel insecure about their bodies and personalities and just about everything else about themselves, and it can sometimes feel like they are alone in this – and especially when boyfriends make such a concerted effort to put on a stoic and confident façade. In fact though, it is just as common for guys to feel insecure and in some cases even more common – it’s just that they have a different method of hiding it and of expressing it when it does come out. Many of the things that your boyfriend does that infuriate or frustrate you in fact are simply outward expressions of their insecurities and methods they use to try and cover up and compensate for those insecurities.
Signs of an Insecure Boyfriend
Lacking a Sense of Humour: If your guy takes himself too seriously this probably suggests that he is not entirely secure in his behaviour. Ironically the people who make the most effort to be ‘cool’ and ‘impressive’ are likely to be the ones who are not secure enough in themselves to lighten up and have a joke about who they are. If you tease them for being short then someone secure will likely have a sense of humour about it, whereas someone who genuinely gets upset by these things will dismiss you or take it badly.
Acting Differently Around Friends/Strangers: For this same reason insecure guys tend to ‘act up’ around other people. You might catch them calling everyone ‘mate’ when they don’t normally, and just agreeing with everything that the ‘cooler’ guys in their group say and do. If they were genuinely secure in themselves then they would just be honest and act themselves no matter who they were with.
Criticising Others: People who criticise others tend to do so because they are insecure themselves. For instance if you keep calling a group of people geeks or act homophobic, this is normally for guys a method used to try and ‘prove’ that they aren’t geeks or gay themselves. And the only reason they would feel the need to do this would be that they are worried you would otherwise think they were. This is a defence mechanism known as ‘reaction formation’ by psychologists.
Acting Jealous: Guys who act very jealous of other guys or overly protective of their girlfriends do so because they are worried that their girl will leave them and they won’t be able to find anyone else. If every time you talk to another guy they start shouting, this is a sign that they can’t understand why you’re with them – and that means that they are probably rather insecure. A guy who was very confident in himself would actually enjoy your wearing short skirts and flirting with other men – as it would make those men jealous of him and make him feel proud.
Acting ‘Needy’: Guys who act needy might feel the need to constantly be touching you, they might keep grabbing you, and they might fish for compliments and affirmations. These guys are doing so to ‘check’ that you are still impressed with them and so are not going to leave them, and of course this comes from a deep seated fear that they aren’t good enough.
Lying: Guys lie to disguise truths and this suggests that they are not comfortable with the reality. Of course some lies are tactical, but lies that suggest that they are insecure would be things like ‘I’ve slept with twenty women’, ‘I can bench press 200kg’ or ‘I was offered a job as a news reader but I turned it down because I love stacking shelves’. These people are not only lying to you, but often actually trying to delude themselves.
Bragging: Bragging is a similar method used to make themselves feel more impressive and might consist of their telling people how rich they are or again how many women they’ve pulled. Here they might be focussing on their few strengths as an attempt to compensate for what they perceive as their flaws.
Putting Others Down: Just as insecure-type guys might criticise other people and other groups of people, so they might put people down on a one to one basis and this can include even putting you down. They might try and make you feel bad about yourself in order to ensure you don’t leave them and to make themselves feel good in comparison. Here their low self esteem can actually be contagious and this is a destructive relationship that you would do best to get some distance from.
Cheating or Flirting: Guys who are insecure might well respond very well to praise and attention and this means that if another girl is to show them any appreciation, they will often respond to it and encourage it and possibly this can lead to cheating. They might love their girlfriends, but they are nevertheless seduced by other people massaging their egos.
Narrow Mindedness: Someone insecure in themselves has a tendency to ‘hem themselves in’ and surround themselves with things that they like, know and understand – whether it’s sport, a certain genre of music or something else. They will then only really respond to those things and will be unwilling to try other things as they find them threatening. This can again lead to their criticising people and groups who are different rather than having the guts to go out and try new things, or to let others enjoy things without any need for them to understand them.