7 signs a man is insecure about his intelligence

No one knows all the answers in life.

Even the most intelligent person in the world (which, interestingly, is known to be a guy called Christopher Michael Langan, with an IQ of 195) doesn’t know everything.

But unfortunately, I think we’ve all experienced it when a man is insecure about their intelligence and takes it out on those around him.

We’ve seen it in the movies, and we’ve probably seen it happen in real life – regardless of our own gender.

The reactions of a man who’s insecure about his own intelligence can make you question your intelligence.

Which can end up bringing you down.

To save your sanity, it’s important to recognize the signs of an insecure man.

That way, you’ll be better equipped to protect yourself should things turn sour.

If you think a man might be insecure about his own intelligence (and is taking it out on you), keep reading to learn the 7 clear signs to watch out for.

1) He tries to put others down

One of the most classic traits of a man who’s insecure about his intelligence is putting others down to make himself look better.

When he encounters someone who is (or even just seems) smarter than he is, he’ll do whatever he can to put them down.

That might be by challenging what they said, just for the sake of it.

Or it might be something harsher, like criticizing them for something completely irrelevant to what’s being said.

Usually, it’s a personal attack.

Like have you ever seen in movies when a woman says something smart and a man responds with, “What do you know, you’re ugly!”?

That’s a pretty extreme scenario, but you get the gist.

If you know something they don’t, they’ll probably try to ridicule you and put you down.

The idea is that it puts the focus on your flaws rather than their lack of intelligence on the subject.

2) He won’t accept when he’s wrong

Everyone is wrong sometimes. According to some studies, we make about 2,000 decisions every hour we’re awake. We also speak about 7,000 words a day, based on research.

That’s a lot of decisions and words – and probability says that sometimes you’ll be wrong in those decisions. Plus, what you say won’t always be correct.

And being wrong doesn’t always feel good.

But when you’re mature and secure in yourself, you can brush off being wrong.

You can take it as an opportunity to learn or a chance to laugh at yourself.

But a man who’s insecure about his intelligence will never accept that he’s in the wrong.

He’ll lie, gaslight you, make fun of you, change the subject, get angry, or give you the silent treatment – before ever admitting that he was incorrect.

Because, to him, being wrong is a horrible feeling that he just can’t handle – no matter how normal it is.

3) He’ll lie rather than say he doesn’t know

When a man is insecure about his intelligence, saying the words, “I don’t know” is unheard of.

He’ll never confess that he doesn’t know the answer to something – for fear of being ridiculed for it.

Instead of saying he doesn’t know, he’d much rather lie in the hopes that you’ll never figure it out.

And, chances are, if you ever bring up the lie again, he’ll probably try and convince you he never said it (which is also known as gaslighting, by the way).

4) He gets defensive when people ask questions

7 signs a man is insecure about his intelligence 1 7 signs a man is insecure about his intelligence

If you’re not insecure about your intelligence, you’ll happily admit that you don’t know all the details about something you’ve shared.

Or, if you want to come across as more assertive, you’ll say something like, “That’s a great question!” or “Let’s find out!”.

But when a man is insecure about how much he knows, he won’t be so accepting of other people’s questions.

You may hear him saying something like, “You ask too many questions!” or “It’s irrelevant!” if you question what he means or ask for more of an explanation.

Which is a pretty defensive way of dealing with it.

5) He talks often about things he does know

When a man is insecure about his intelligence, he’ll focus on the things he does know.

So you’ll notice that he repeats himself often with facts that he knows to be true.

If you ask a question about something he doesn’t know the answer to, he’ll probably spin it to say the thing he does know about.

If you’re casually in conversation, he’ll find ways to bring up things that highlight his intelligence.

And, oftentimes, it’ll be the same things over and over again.

6) He talks a lot, without saying much

You know those people in meetings that talk, talk and talk – without really ever getting to the point?

I’ve encountered these types of people many times in the workplace.

And it takes a few encounters to figure out that they don’t really know what they’re talking about.

Because the words being said are mostly just filler words. When someone asks them a question, they talk a lot. But they don’t ever actually answer the question.

Instead of simply saying they don’t know or they’ll find out the answer, they make out like they know everything.

And they talk at you until you lose the will to question them further.

7) He goes with the wind

Not literally – of course. But a man who’s insecure about his intelligence won’t stick by his point if other people disagree.

I used to work with someone who did this frequently – and it was very frustrating.

One minute, he’d agree with someone. But when the general consensus turned against the point, he’d turn, too.

Not because he believed in it. Just because everyone else did.

Then, when things turned around again, he did, too.

But he’d make it very clear that it was, “What he thought all along” and “He knew it from the start”.

And it was very hard to maintain respect for the things he said he agreed with – as you knew he’d probably go back on it later if no one else agreed.

Final thoughts

Feeling insecure is (perhaps unsurprisingly) very common in modern-day humans.

There’s a lot of societal pressure, and some people feel the weight of it more than others.

And being insecure about yourself or your intelligence doesn’t feel good.

But there are ways to build your inner confidence and stop being so insecure – no matter who you are or what your IQ is.

However, change can only come from within.

If someone doesn’t want to work on their insecurities or even admit that they’re insecure about their intelligence, they’re never going to change.

And, sadly, there’s nothing you can do about it.

All you can do is protect your own energy, cut off people that are toxic from your life, and learn how to let go of the pain others cause you due to their own insecurities.

Picture of Amy Reed

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is a content writer from London working with international brands. As an empath, she loves sharing her life insights to help others. When she’s not writing, she enjoys a simple life of reading, gardening, and making a fuss over her two cats.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.

0:00
0:00