8 behaviors men display in relationships when their pride is hurt

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There’s nothing more human and real than admitting to your shortcomings. 

To err is to be human, after all. 

This, however, is where things can get a bit tricky. 

Pride–it’s a funny thing. Too much of it and it can be your downfall. 

There’s a specific kind of man who believes he is never in the wrong, who might act out when his pride takes a hit. 

So if you notice a man in your life acting off, take a deeper look. His ego may just be a little bruised. 

In this article, I’ll take you through the common behaviors men display when their pride gets hurt. 

Let’s get to it!

1) They’ll give you the silent treatment 

Some men are just oversized children; when they’re upset, they will often act out like them. 

Rather than communicate like mature adults, they might shut down, resorting to giving their partner the silent treatment.

This is essentially their form of retaliation. 

They might know they are in the wrong, so instead of directly lashing out, they’ll internalize their struggles, which often means lengthy periods of emotionally withdrawing and going quiet in your presence. 

They’ll actively avoid physical and emotional intimacy, and reciprocating gestures, and cease any form of affection until things blow over. 


2) They’ll make sarcastic or cutting remarks 

When a man’s ego takes a hit, he might brush it off, acting indifferent–even a bit too “cool.” 

But over time, the cracks will inevitably begin to surface. 

Look out for subtle microaggressions hurled in your direction. 

This can come in the form of backhanded compliments or sarcastic, cutting, or demeaning remarks.

Try not to take it personally, this is just his defense mechanism to hide vulnerabilities

Last week, I watched a corporate thriller on Netflix called “Fair Play.” 

The movie is about a man who is seething with envy and resentment after his fiance/colleague is promoted to a senior position at their hedge fund–and he isn’t. 

He initially tried to feign happiness for his bride-to-be by acting encouraging and supportive. 

But we soon realize this is all a facade. 

His frustrations became gradually more and more obvious, starting with subtle jabs at his now workplace superior, telling her to read a cheesy self-help book: “You should read this, you’ve always had trouble asserting yourself.” 

Long story short, when a man’s pride is hurting, he’ll often slyly express it through his language. 

3) They’ll dismiss your concerns

Many men will turn to passive-aggressive behaviors when their pride is hurting. 

Instead of being open about their frustrations, they’ll try to portray an attitude of indifference and insensitivity. 

Perhaps they might act too busy; as if they’re above petty emotions. 

They will also downplay or dismiss their partner’s concerns or feelings, as a ploy to appear unaffected and unemotional–which ironically, is the furthest thing from the reality of the situation. 

4) They’ll start getting irritable over minor issues 

As established, many men will try to play it cool when their pride has been damaged. 

They’ll initially act unbothered, like there’s nothing wrong; as if the pride-hurting incident went over their heads. 

But this front can only last for so long. 

Suddenly, small, insignificant matters provoke irritated, angry reactions or outbursts from the–which is their underlying hurt talking. 

Their high-strung reactions to seemingly minor issues are dead giveaways that something’s indeed off with them.

Something has clearly been bothering them, but rather than let it out in a healthy way, they let their angst fester and build up like a pressure cooker ready to burst. 

5) They’ll reluctantly apologize or admit fault 

When a man’s pride is bent out of shape, sucking it up and apologizing becomes a legitimately tall order… even when they know they’re in the wrong. 

Have you ever gotten into a petty argument with someone and even when they know they’re on the losing end, they’ll keep fighting just to save face? 

Yeah, well, this is what hurt pride can do to a man. 

While emotions and frustrations are running high, he will find it difficult to apologize or admit the slightest wrongdoing. 

This level of stubbornness can be very telling. 

6) They’ll start getting jealous or possessive 

Occasionally, when a man’s ego has taken a strong enough blow, he’ll start projecting his frustrations elsewhere. 

Maybe he’ll suddenly start acting jealous or possessive, for instance; even when under normal circumstances, he is never that level of insecure. 

This is just his way of asserting control; to subconsciously regain a sense of power and dominance in the relationship. 

Not cool. 

7) They might seek outside attention 

Sometimes, as a way of protecting himself, he’ll try to seek attention and admiration from others, outside the relationship. 

Perhaps after the pride-hurting remark, he’ll almost immediately turn to his phone, ominously chuckling to try to make you feel uncertain and jealous. 

If the strain is more a long-term thing, maybe he’ll start going out more often without you, staying out late, or engaging in activities he usually wouldn’t. 

Again, he wants to reassert and regain his identity and independence.

If it reaches this point, realize that these behaviors aren’t healthy. 

Something needs to be done. 

8) They will overcompensate in other areas 

I remember a few years back, my girlfriend at the time, rightfully called me “stingy.” 

This was a blow to my already fragile ego

So rather than address the issue constructively, I began to overcompensate. 

I started acting overly generous, spending money I didn’t have, and bragging about how much I was earning–and how I was such a valuable asset to my company. 

Rather than just take her feedback constructively, I showed her (and myself) how shaky my foundations as a person were at the time.

My pride was hurt, to recoup my self-esteem and distract from the issue, I transformed into a wannabe big shot. 

The lengths insecure men take to save face never cease to amaze me. 

Final words 

Nobody is perfect. No, not even Taylor Swift or Ronaldo. 

If you have a man in your life who has trouble dealing with hurt pride, not all is lost. 

All this typically means is a few personality tweaks are in order. 

Sit them down and voice out your concerns, gently, without judgment. 

Let them know you want to help and establish that it isn’t an attack. 

But if you’ve given this a shot and change remains elusive, it may well be time to rethink your relationship with them. 

Life is short; you want to be around energy that uplifts you, not brings you down. 

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