When we think about insecurities, many of us mentally gravitate toward thinking about women. They often worry about their bodies, age, attractiveness, and ensuring their equality. Men, on the other hand, have it easy. Without nearly as much to worry about, most people would think men don’t ever feel insecure.
Unfortunately, that’s far from the truth.
Men actually suffer from just as much insecurity as women and some of the issues are very similar. For men, however, these insecurities are not often talked about and the symptoms can manifest in different ways. Some can even be dangerous if not dealt with.
What Causes Insecurity In Men
One of the big problems for men is actually admitting that they are insecure about anything.
Discussing shortcomings or personal worries about not measuring up is seen as a sign of weakness by many men. Socially, they have been trained to avoid looking vulnerable and displaying emotion.
The truth is that men worry about many of the same things women do. It usually includes:
- Personal attractiveness and appeal
- Success in their career
- Financial success
- Being a good partner
- Being alone in life
- Being a good parent
- Being taken seriously
These are just some of the concerns that both men and women have in common. The degree to which each person worries about these issues varies according to the person, not the gender.
Men do, however, suffer from additional insecurities that are more specific to being a man. Some of these issues may seem antiquated. However, like it or not, gender roles are still prominent in our society. Whether you agree with them or not, their influence can be the source of insecurity for men in particular.
Men today still often worry and feel insecure about the following:
Being a good provider
Men have been socially conditioned to take on the role of the provider in a relationship. Being able to take care of a partner and a family and keeping them safe and financially secure weigh heavily on their minds. Even in today’s world where dual-income households are common, men still feel the pressure to be the main provider and protector. This is one of the reasons that losing a job or experiencing financial stress can cause depression in many men.
The ability to “satisfy a woman” is a source of concern for many men. This is a big problem, however, because sexual satisfaction is personal. It varies in its reality and isn’t readily quantifiable. It’s also an issue because if there are sexual problems, many people, especially men, find them very difficult to talk about. Sexual-related issues that go unaddressed can cause a man to feel inadequate and ashamed.
Strength and body image
Putting on the gun show or carrying your own six-pack is something many men strive for. Feeling and looking masculine and young is a big issue for many men. As it turns out, most men are just as worried about their appearance as women. In the same way women measure themselves against other women, men measure themselves against other men.
Don’t cry, don’t have emotions, and be in charge. These things are what society expects men to do. However, men are still human. Controlling these normal reactions and maintaining a strong and stoic image is impossible to do all the time.
How To Tell If Your Man Is Insecure
Knowing if the man you love is insecure isn’t always easy. Insecurities can manifest in different ways for everyone. Men, in particular, are conditioned to bury the direct evidence and avoid discussing them at all. Therefore, insecurities in men can be difficult to see.
There are signs, however. Some of them are:
- Seeming needy. Men who are insecure may need constant reassurance of your love and their worthiness of it. They may be jealous of others and act in desperate and controlling ways to keep you close.
- Abusive behavior. This isn’t necessarily physical abuse. In fact, insecure men are more likely to be emotionally abusive or manipulative. This is part of wanting to control their environment and wanting to keep anyone from seeing how vulnerable and scared they are.
- Dishonesty. Insecure men are also more prone to lying or inflating things. Their fear of rejection is so strong that they create things or embellish things that they think will make them more attractive to others.
These are not the only signs of an insecure man, but they are some of the most common. It’s important to understand that everyone has insecurities and that they are normal. How we deal with them is where things can go from being healthy and productive to being unhealthy and destructive.
See Also: 6 Ways to Deal With an Insecure Partner
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Author: Dr. Kurt Smith
Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director of Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching, a Northern California counseling practice that specializes in helping men and the women who love them. His expertise is in understanding men, their partners, and the unique relationship challenges couples face today. Dr. Kurt is a lover of dogs, sarcasm, everything outdoors, and helping those seeking to make their relationships better.