Here’s What Makes a Man Feel Insecure

Sappy romantics, old school gents, and heck, even alpha males can lose their confidence every now and then. No matter the circumstances, we guarantee the man in question doesn’t enjoy such feelings of insecurity. But no one can be 100% confident 100% of the time, which is why we’ve rounded up a list of five things that make a man feel insecure.

1. His partner’s success

Amy Schumer

Cheers to successful women, like Amy Schumer. | HBO

Everyone would hope for a partner who’s their biggest cheerleader, but that’s not always the case. Sure, men often believe their role is to provide for the family, but when that balance is tipped, watch out. According to research published online in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, men subconsciously feel better about themselves when their female partners fail. The study’s lead author, Kate Ratliff, Ph.D., of the University of Florida, said, “But this research found evidence that men automatically interpret a partner’s success as their own failure, even when they’re not in direct competition.” Whoa … insecure much?

2. Coming up short in the bedroom

Frustrated couple

A lackluster bedroom performance will leave a man feeling inadequate. | iStock.com

It’s a popular assumption a man’s ego has everything to do with size, but there’s far more to it. While everyone would like to consider himself a total Adonis in bed, it’s likely that sexual performance will fall short from time to time. The Journal of Sexual Medicine found a desirable length of time in the sack lasts from seven to 13 minutes, and too short a time lasts from one to two minutes. But sometimes, it’s not always possible to remain at full attention for as long as one would hope, and that’s OK. Such a situation, though, can sometimes knock a man’s confidence points down a couple notches on the bedpost.

3. Not being able to open a jar

young housewife opening jar of pickled cucumbers

Many men use this as an opportunity show off how strong they are. | iStock.com/Central IT Alliance

Sure, this insecurity may seem a bit macho-man, but not being able to open a jar (with ease) goes back to the primal days of “man make fire.” It’s no secret that men like to be, well, manly, and being able to force open a jar of jam is a point of pride. And what makes the stakes even higher? Well, Cosmopolitan says, when his significant other asks him to open it, that’s what. No matter how much brute force it takes, that jar top will come off.

4. Hearing about a partner’s ex

a couple not speaking

It bothers him more than you might think. | iStock.com

A person’s sexual past isn’t exactly an A+ talking point. When a man’s significant other repeatedly brings up his or her previous relationships, it’s no surprise it will likely cause tension. And while Bustle says talking about exes is a sign of being insecure, it can also be a topic that makes a man insecure, as well. Let’s face it, no man is really dying to hear about all the gritty little details of your past. As far as he’s concerned, he’s the main squeeze in your life.

5. Being uncultured

a couple on a date

There’s no shame in choosing lager over a pricey glass of wine. | iStock.com

Sometimes, if a man finds himself outside his conversational comfort zone, he may feel the need to overcompensate, Women’s Health mentions. A man may feel as though he has nothing to contribute to his partner’s views on Middle Eastern politics or feminist theory, so he’ll blurt out whatever comes to mind, regardless of how relevant it may be. But there’s no shame in admitting you’re not in the know about something. Most people in your life will actually find it much sexier if you’re able to confidently ask questions and be open to learning. So go ahead and ask away.

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