8 weird insecurities that affect men more than you think

Ask any woman about the biggest male insecurities, and she’ll recite them without blinking: penis size, height, hair loss.

Turns out, the list is longer than that.

While there has been a lot of (necessary) talk in recent years about how unrealistic beauty standards, capitalism, and inequality make women feel “less than,” men’s insecurities take a backseat in the conversation.

Moreover, men aren’t as open to discussing the reasons they doubt themselves, so a few of these anxieties are quite unexpected.

Let’s shed some light on the matter. Here are 8 weird insecurities that affect men more than you think.

1) Weight

Feeling insecure about being overweight is pretty common, but did you know that men also feel insecure if they’re “too skinny?”

“When you grow up skinny, you grow up getting picked on more because everyone is so much bigger than you are. So a lot of that becomes self-consciousness in adulthood,” one Redditor confesses.

I’ve always been into skinny guys, so that threw me off a bit. I’ve also never particularly been into muscular guys, which brings us to…

2) Muscle mass

If you ever dated a man who enjoys going to the gym, you’re probably familiar with this one.

I admit to never really giving it a lot of thought, so it was surprising to find out just how much value some men put on how ripped they look. 

It’s not even about being fit – it’s about having prominent biceps, pecs, or abs.

Even when they have a perfectly attractive “dad bod,” some men still long for a leaner body.

Unfortunately, this can quickly become a problem. 

According to a study, young men obsessed with muscle mass pose a higher risk of developing serious mental health problems. Yikes!

3) The size of their feet and/or hands

Remember the Friends episode with Chandler and Monica’s wedding? Not only do we find out that Joey has small feet, but also that he’s insecure about it.

I thought that was a weird character beat at the time. The more I interacted with men, however, the less peculiar the scene looked in retrospect.

Men are strangely self-conscious about having small hands or feet, dare I say… for no good reason?

I guess this may be due to the common misconception that the size of a man’s hand is directly correlated to the size of his penis. Still weird.  

4) Sexual performance

weird insecurities that affect men 1 8 weird insecurities that affect men more than you think

By the way, while I’m sure most men wouldn’t say no to a bigger penis, their insecurities surrounding the bedroom don’t stop there.

There’s the obvious fear of not getting or maintaining an erection. 

Beyond that, however, a lot of guys are worried about their ability to sexually satisfy their partners.

When that partner is a woman, they take pride in their skills to make her orgasm.

And if that doesn’t happen? Their self-esteem takes a hit.

A study revealed that “women’s orgasms do function—at least in part—as a masculinity achievement.”

Given that a woman’s anatomy is complex and some days an orgasm just isn’t in the cards, openly talking about the issue would definitely help men overcome some of the jitters.

Unfortunately, this brings us to the next item on the list.

5) Emotional vulnerability

I cry at dog movies, cheesy commercials, and whenever I read a piece of writing that pierces my soul.

In contrast, I’ve only seen the men in my life cry when someone passes away.

Even worse, some men are even insecure about opening up to their partner, believing that showing vulnerability will only come back to bite them in the end.

“Man up!” “Men don’t cry.” “A real man would never do that.”  

These toxic phrases are best left in the past, along with harem pants and shutter shades. Yet, a lot of guys grow up hearing them time and time again.  

Being “tough” and “stoic” have long been hallmarks of traditional masculinity, so showing any sign of weakness goes against male DNA.

As a result, guys can feel insecure about sharing feelings, fears, or basically any type of emotion.

That’s a real bummer, especially given that you can’t be in a healthy, rewarding relationship if you don’t reveal your true self.

6) Financial instability

Men become anxious if their wives make more money than they do.

They can also feel insecure about struggling financially in general, something that only gets more overwhelming with age.  

“Dating in college was so different because it seemed like everyone was broke / barely scraping by / up to their neck in debt,” a Redditor who feels insecure about making less money than a potential partner confesses.

In another Reddit post, several men share that they worry about money – a lot. Here are some of the responses they gave when asked to share their biggest insecurity:

  • “Can I make enough money to take care of my family?”
  • “Not being able to provide for my family financially.”
  • “Probably my finances. It stresses me out. I have a good career path but it’ll take a few years to get rolling.”
  • “That as an average looking person, my value as a person is determined by my income.”

I worry about money as well, especially given the current economic climate. 

However, men feel extra pressure in this department because society expects them to be good providers.

Speaking of…

7) Fitting into gender roles

As you’ll notice in the same Reddit post, a lot of men express worry about not being able to financially support their families – and doubting that their partners will stick around if they can’t.

Just like women are stereotyped as nurturing and emotional, men are stereotyped as breadwinners, protectors, and fixers.

When they fail to fit into those gender roles, they can become deeply insecure.   

I once knew a guy who was obsessed with furthering his career and making more money only to have a better chance of attracting a woman.

Being passionate about his job or at least enjoying what he does never seemed to be an important factor.   

8) Coming off as creepy

“A woman at a bar 7 years ago called me creepy because I maintained eye contact during a conversation. I got so insecure about that, that I no longer maintain eye contact with anyone for longer than 3 seconds,” a Redditor writes.

Almost half of American men are afraid to approach women because they don’t want to be labeled as creepy.

I wasn’t expecting this insecurity to be this common, though I admit I’m taking it as a good sign.

As long as it encourages men to learn how not to come across as creepy, everyone will be better off.

Final thoughts

Feeling insecure is part of being human.

If you suspect that your male partner, friend, or loved one is struggling with the anxieties listed above, consider approaching him about it.

You might have some trouble convincing him to share his concerns (remember insecurity number 5?), but he’ll benefit from having someone to talk to.


Picture of Alexandra Plesa

Alexandra Plesa

Alexandra Pleșa is a freelance writer obsessed with television, self-development, and thriller books. Former journalist, current pop culture junkie. Follow her on Twitter: @alexandraplesa

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.