It's easy to overlook the signs of insecurity in a man, especially if your past relationships involved arrogant and inconsiderate men, suggests psychologist Joseph Nowinski in his "Psychology Today" article, "Is It Love, Or Is It Insecurity?" Unfortunately, over time, his feelings of insecurity will become more evident in his actions and words. He might require constant reassurance, put you down to make himself feel better, or even reveal a violent jealousy streak. Rather than take the risk of a landing an insecure man, learn a few signs to watch out for.
Hungry for Approval
An insecure man will constantly seek your approval to keep his self-esteem supported. For example, he might go overboard with presents or favors. Learn to tell the difference between his genuinely kind gestures, and the gestures he uses to fish for compliments and approval. In some cases, he might frequently make use of self-deprecating remarks to try and spur words of reassurance from you, suggests Nowinski. For example, he might insult his own intelligence so you can build it back up.
Jealousy and possessiveness are expected from time to time in relationships, especially if both you and your partner have close friends of the opposite sex. However, if your man seems to push away all of your friends or give you a hard time about hanging out with them, these actions might hint at his insecurities. In some cases, a jealous man might constantly call you when you're out with friends, or even withhold messages that he's supposed to deliver to you from your family and friends, suggest Nowinski.
In addition to being distrustful of your male friends, a jealous man might reveal a lack of trust in everyone around him, suggests Nowinski. For example, he might frequently spy on the neighbors or expect cashiers to shortchange him at the grocery store. He believes everyone is out to get him. An insecure man also likes to point out flaws in others. He might even make a habit of criticizing your every move.
While he might criticize you and others all he wants, a person with low self-esteem is sensitive to criticism, says Margarita Tartakovsky, associate editor of PsychCentral, in her article "Signs of Low Self-Esteem." Any attempts you make to offer constructive criticism might be met with hostility or a cold shoulder. An insecure man only wants you to build up his confidence, and there's no room for any words or actions that imply he is inadequate.
Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.