How to Tell He's Insecure

A man can unknowingly display signs of his insecurity.
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Involvement with an insecure man can add undue stress and issues to your romantic relationship. Initially your significant other might come across as shy and sweet, but as time passes, you realize that there's more than meets the eye. While signs of self-doubt are not always obvious, you can watch for signs that may indicate your significant other is insecure.

1 He Has an Extreme Need for Validation

A continual need for approval and reassurance is a sign of insecurity in a male, writes psychologist Joseph Nowinski on "Psychology Today" online. He may make disparaging remarks about himself or his actions. For instance, he might say, "This looks terrible on me" or "I can't believe I said that," as a means of fishing for approval. Even when given compliments, an insecure man does not accept them well. Rather than graciously accept the compliment, he is apt to brush it off, informing you why your words aren't true, asserts psychologist Gerald Stein on his psychotherapy blog.

2 He Wants You to Himself

A man who is insecure may come across as a jealous and possessive partner, says Nowinski. His insecurities may lead him to worry that you will leave him for someone else. He may accuse you of being unfaithful or flirting with someone else in what was an innocent encounter. He may not want you spending time with your friends and family and may question your intentions when you do make plans with them. When you do go out without him, he may regularly call or text you to check in. Involvement with a man who is so insecure that he needs to control you can become suffocating, warns psychologist Marie Hartwell-Walker on PsychCentral.

3 Watch His Body Language and Verbal Cues

The way a man carries himself can be an indication of insecurity. He may display poor posture, walking or sitting slouched over. He may keep his hands in his pockets and maintain little or no eye contact. He may be soft-spoken and quiet. He may apologize regularly at times when no apology is needed, suggests Stein. For example, he might say, "I didn't like that movie," and then apologize, stating he didn't mean to offend anyone.

4 Considerations When Dating an Insecure Man

If you are involved with an insecure man, use caution to avoid perpetuating his insecurity. Be careful to avoid accepting responsibility for his issues of insecurity. For instance, if you regularly try to suppress his insecurities by reassuring him or changing your lifestyle, you are unknowingly accepting responsibility for his insecurities. Avoiding your friends or changing the way you dress because he's not comfortable with you wearing short skirts will not fix his insecurities. According to Nowinski, altering your lifestyle will likely make his insecurities worse, rather than make them better, as intended.

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.