· By Case Kenny
What makes men insecure?
Men are insecure creatures just like anyone else.
There I said it.
Men feel the weight of insecurity when it comes to proving themselves, wanting to "win," and wanting to please others - definitely women but it expands beyond that.
Everyone feels this to an extent but it’s one that I don’t think men talk a lot about and that’s that men are scared they're not enough.
Men are scared they're not enough - not enough to fulfill their duty as a man, not enough to be the person they’re expected to be.
Men are scared they’re not enough - not funny enough, charming enough, charismatic enough, strong enough, or successful enough to PROVE their worth. It's an insecurity that comes from an ingrained, unchecked desire to win in order to prove that one is good enough.
The desire to be enough...
That’s the desire to be approved and held in high regard… AND the fear that comes from losing that approval. Everyone wants to be enough for someone else.
Everyone wants to be chosen.
But men are so ingrained in this mentality but from a very active sense that demands it from one’s sense of masculinity. "You are a man.You need to win, you need to prove yourself, you need to win approval."
Men dress this up in all kinds of ways in order to avoid the vulnerable conclusion which is that men are scared they’re not enough. Men dress it up as "men are supposed to be providers, aggressive, Alpha, type A, strong, the rock, etc."
Men lean on those “whys” instead of the root insecurity which is that we’re afraid we’re not enough.
Just like everyone else. For a lot of men, that admission is too sensitive. Too vulnerable. Too soft.
So we power through it… insecurity leading the way. That leads to certain unhinged behaviors - love bombing, infidelity, jealousy, a desire to control, etc.
It creates a sense of conflict in a man's inner life.
"You are a man. You are the alpha. You are the provider. You are the initiator. You are the aggressor. You are the one who pursues, who creates, you lead with action and words."
Unchecked, this pressure and the resulting insecurity leads to a desperate need for approval. That’s a desire for approval at an innate character driven level. It’s a dependence on approval to prove one’s character - that otherwise, one is not enough.
Men - we need to challenge our ego driven need for approva AND we need to get real about the real underlying WHY. We can’t just dress it up and pretend it’s something else.
Left unchecked, what happens? Insecurities lead to fear. And fear doesn't cultivate the best behaviors, does it? It creates controlling behaviors.
It leads to passive aggressiveness. It leads to behaviors meant to prove something!
It leads to shooting down other peoples’ dreams and wishes because they threaten our own.
It can leads to trying to cut short someone else’s confidence to boost our own. The only way out is in. Stop dressing it up as something it’s not. Let’s get real.
Don’t let conditioning lead to BS. Internal and external BS.
We have to find a way to not be at conflict within so we’re not creating conflict in the real world.
What are you trying to prove? How much is enough? Where is the end of the line?
The best challenge is the practice of asking yourself WHY…
Why are you acting out of this insecurity? Why are you so desperate for approval?
Women - don’t for a second think that YOU are the reason a man is insecure. It’s easy for a man to pass blame to someone else for their insecurity… It’s the oldest trick in the book.
"He lied to protect me. He’s jealous because he loves me so much. He’s controlling because he loves me"
Don’t give into the temptation to think you're at fault.
Certainly you can help him move away from that insecurity but you are not the source of that insecurity. You can help show him the way out but don't place the burden on you to be the brunt of it.
Don't lose yourself to his conditioning. Don’t let his insecurity become your own.
Challenge the BS.
"You hurt men when you _____."
"The way you just spoke to made me feel ____."
"Why do you feel the need to ______."
If a man truly wants to be a provider and to prove his worth… it can’t be at the experience of someone else’s worth and being called out is powerful.
If we’re trying to tap into a man’s sense of ego and ability to provide, then say… "hey provide respect. Provide comfort. Provide confidence. Acting out of insecurity is the opposite!"
Set boundaries. Strong boundaries.
Hold men to the same standard you hold yourself. You work through the things that make you insecure, right? You don’t pass them on to someone else, right?
Challenge them with open communication, no sweeping it under the rug.
Challenge them with boundaries that say "I will work with someone who wants to work on themselves…"