Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Angela Vaz

You feel like the relationship isn’t balanced.

Somehow, you feel like he’s overcompensating. Something doesn’t feel right. He either is always too hard on himself or he’s overly competitive and trying to one-up you.

So, what’s going on?

Is he feeling insecure?

In this post, I want to talk about signs he feels inferior to you.

I will talk about my own experiences with my ex in this post because if you’re a woman dealing with an insecure partner, you need to know you’re not alone.

If you are in a relationship with such a person and you’ve tried talking but it doesn’t help, I’ll give you some pointers at the end of the post.

Let’s dive in.

But before that really quick, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.

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1. He always assumes you are boasting

he feels you are boasting

My ex-husband was deeply insecure.

It took me a while to understand this and his insecurity led to him having affairs with multiple women and eventually running away with one.

Nothing I did ever made my ex happy.

If I ever won a commission or made a little extra money, I couldn’t tell him outright because he would assume I’m rubbing it in.

If I bought something for the house, he’d say “I know you make money, you don’t need to rub it in.”

It felt like he was always ready to fight even though nobody was making the first move.

And if you’re with someone who constantly says this, there is a deep chance he is very insecure about himself and feels inferior to you.

2. He says “Nothing I ever do is right for you”

he feels like nothing he does is ever good for you

You feel like you cannot have a reasonable conversation with him because everything turns into an argument.

Every time you try to talk about your needs or try to offer genuine advice, he shuts you down by saying things like:

  • Nothing I do is good enough for you
  • Yes, I’m always wrong, I can never do anything right.
  • Why did you even choose me if you don’t like anything I do?
  • Why can’t you appreciate me instead of always putting me down?

Ask yourself if you are truly being critical or if he is actually overreacting because he cannot take criticism.

Of course, there are 2 sides to the story.

But men who feel inferior to their partners will constantly be on edge of getting upset.

They cannot handle criticism because they aren’t ready to accept their flaws.

3. He constantly has the need to show off

he always has the need to show off

Is he always correcting you and telling you to behave?

I remember going out with my ex and his friends and I said, “Wow, I love that woman’s hair – her curls look really good!”

Please note I was a comic artist whose niche was curly hair at the time.

My ex said loudly, “This is exactly why everyone thinks you’re a lesbian, you don’t know what to say.”

I was hurt and at that time, I felt like I did something wrong.

It was only after I had enough space from that relationship did I realize that I was in an abusive relationship and nothing about it was normal.

He always did his best to dress up even if he was going to the grocery store.

He was always concerned with showing off to people he didn’t even know.

And this is a huge sign he feels inferior to you and is deeply insecure about himself.

4. He constantly needs reassurance and praise from you

he constantly needs reassurance from you

If you always find that you need to constantly praise him and reassure him about the relationship otherwise you have a fight or he gets upset, know that this is not normal.

When 2 people are secure about their relationship and themselves, they know it.

Of course, a little appreciation once in a while goes a long way, but if you feel compelled (almost forced) to constantly comfort your partner and tell him he is wonderful – then you’ve become a therapist.

Or worse, a second mom.

If your partner is always fishing for compliments and asking you how he looks or you’re forced to comment on what he does and how he does it, it can get tiring.

Because this is very childish and eventually you begin to feel like you’re with a man-child.

This is one of the biggest signs he feels inferior to you.

5. He martyrs himself

he always martyrs himself

Does your partner always play the victim and throw himself a pity party always?

He says things like:

  • Why is everyone out to get me?
  • I didn’t do anything wrong, people just love attacking me.
  • Nothing ever goes right in my life
  • Nobody cares about me

Please understand that people do have ups and downs.

But if almost every day looks like this, it’s not normal.

It’s a sign he is deeply insecure and feels inferior to you.

If he is constantly martyring himself and playing the victim, even when you both talk – know that this relationship is not going to work unless he decides to change or go to therapy.

6. He always wants to take the lead and be the alpha

he always wants to take the lead

He always wants to be the “man” and wear the “pants” in his house.

He says things like:

  • That’s not a man’s job
  • You’re the woman, you have to do this
  • What will people think if you talk to me this way in public?
  • Don’t you dare talk to me like that

These sentences are borderline on emotional and mental abuse. And no, it’s not normal.

This tends to happen when a man feels insecure about himself and feels inferior to his partner.

He constantly puts you down and tries to make you take submissive roles when you’re outside.

7. He always tells you that women adore him

he tells you women love him

He has the need to constantly say that this woman was giving him looks or she was eyeing him and she found him cute.

At first, you believe the stories, but eventually, you realize that it’s probably made up.

I remember a woman looking at my ex because he parked too close to her car and he immediately said that she was trying to flirt with him.

If you feel like he is constantly trying to prove to you that women find him interesting and he goes out of the way to flirt with women, then this is not fixable.

Please consider leaving the relationship because you are going to get hurt in the future.

8. He constantly puts women down

he constantly puts women down

If your partner says things like:

  • She asked for it. Who wears that kind of top to a supermarket?
  • She is definitely a slut.
  • I’m pretty sure all the men are boinking her.
  • She’s in the company only because she sleeps with everyone
  • Typical! All women are like this.
  • All women cheat, they can’t be faithful.

Know that he has a deep issue that can only be fixed if he wants to change and goes to therapy. He doesn’t have a good relationship with women and this is disturbing on an emotional level.

If this is what he thinks of other women, know that you are not special and the day will come when he will turn on you too.

I highly recommend considering terminating the relationship if you are with a man who constantly demeans women.

You will never have a peaceful relationship with such a man – and please understand that it is not your job to fix it.

9. He asks you what you see in him

he asks you what you see in him'

When a man asks you “What do you see in me?” it means that he is deeply insecure about himself.

He just can’t believe that he has qualities that you’d be attracted to and this is also a sign that he will require validation and praise for the rest of his life.

Know that if you do not give it to him or you decide to stop, he will seek it elsewhere.

This is one of the most common reasons why men cheat – it’s because they are insecure.

They don’t love themselves, they are always looking for it outside of themselves and their relationships.

It’s alright to be this way at the beginning of a relationship but if you feel it’s becoming a recurring thing – then know this is a sign of deep insecurity.

10. He is jealous or envious of your accomplishments

he is jealous of your accomplishments

There are several reasons why he could be jealous of your accomplishments:

  • He may feel very threatened by your success
  • He feels you will find someone better
  • He feels a certain kind of obsessive possessiveness and wants to control you – by you reaching success, you will eventually make friends and more connections and this is something he doesn’t want

Know that this is not okay.

If your partner cannot celebrate your wins and cannot be supportive, then you need to ask yourself if this is something you can manage with.

Can you be in a relationship where your partner always tries to bring you down?

This brings me to my next point…

11. He constantly puts you down

he constantly puts you down

He is constantly trying to one-up you and put you down.

My ex always made me believe that I was ugly. He would say those words so many times that I believed him.

It was a tough time for me but the second we separated and divorced, I found my confidence and inner strength.

I flew that much higher.

And that’s one of the reasons I started this blog – to help other people who are in draining relationships.

If your partner always makes you feel like cr*p and always insults you or puts you down, know that this is not okay.

It’s probably how he talks to himself too.

That’s just his inner voice.

He may be replicating what his parents said to him as a child.

But this is not your issue and it shouldn’t be.

12. He constantly talks about “respect”

he talks about respect

He constantly brings up things like respect and makes you believe that you owe him respect or you should always respect him.

You don’t understand and when you try to ask him, he makes no sense.

Men who are deeply insecure are always worried about their respect and dignity.

They believe this is something that can be taken away by their partners.

They constantly will make you believe that you are doing something wrong even by talking to them.

And no, it’s not normal.

13. He is always worried about what other people think

he is always worried about what other people think

If your partner is constantly worried about what other people think and what they will say, then he is definitely insecure.

He may want validation and approval from people because deep down it makes him feel better about himself.

But this is an addiction.

And if he constantly worried about what people think of him, it’s not healthy.

He has a low sense of worth because he places a high value on other people’s opinions.

Additionally, he may feel a lot of pressure to conform to societal expectations.

The only way for him to get over this is to focus on his own values and take some time to seek therapy so that he can form his own thoughts and opinions.

Again, this is not something you can change or should change. It’s not your duty to fix him.

What to do when he feels inferior to you?

I know a lot of people who are mildly insecure, that’s normal.

It’s something that they eventually fix as they grow up and become emotionally mature.

As they make friends and build confidence and go out into the world, they learn to work on their insecurities.

But if you are in a relationship with a man who is deeply insecure and is constantly feeling inferior to you, then reassurance is not going to help.

If you’ve tried talking to him and tried therapy or suggested therapy and no amount of consoling has made him feel better, you need to stop.

It isn’t your job to make him good about himself.

We all have to work on ourselves and try to become better people ourselves. We cannot and shouldn’t depend on our partners for that – this is wrong.

Please don’t become his therapist.

Know that there are people out there who are very secure and confident.

My current partner loves me and respects me just as much as I do him.

It’s mutual and beautiful. And we both support each other.


Please know that if your partner is exhibiting all or most of these signs, then he clearly feels inferior to you.

Understand that this is not your fault.

Make peace with it.

And then let him go.

If you want to build a relationship with a man, then find one who loves himself. Because unless he loves himself and accepts himself for who he is, he can’t love anyone else.

Don’t chase someone who doesn’t love themselves.

You shouldn’t have to fix anyone else. It is not your job.

Let go of this person so that you can find a man that deeply loves you and respects you.

You will be so much better off.

Here are a few more posts you may find helpful:

Angela is a 31 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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