If a man displays these 9 behaviors, he secretly feels intimidated by you

There’s a big difference between a man being overtly intimidated by you and subtly feeling uneasy.

This difference boils down to observation. When a man is openly intimidated, it’s easy to spot. But when he secretly feels this way, it’s hidden beneath layers of behaviors.

These behaviors, though subtle, can be quite revealing if one knows what to look out for. And smart women understand that there are certain telltale signs that can help them decipher these hidden feelings.

Here are some behaviors to watch for that indicate a man might be secretly feeling intimidated by you.

1) The ‘yes’ man

There aren’t many signs that are more revealing than a man’s agreeability.

Often, you’ll encounter a man who seems to be in constant agreement with everything you say. And while it might feel flattering at first, it’s important to understand the undertones of this behavior.

Welcome to the concept of excessive agreeability.

Excessive agreeability is a behavior prevalent in individuals who are trying to avoid conflict or confrontation. The basic idea is that they tend to mirror your thoughts and ideas, almost as if they’re trying to prove their compatibility with you.

Think about it. It’s the idea behind every “yes man”, as well as those who always seem to be in perfect sync with your likes and dislikes.

When a man displays this behavior, it often indicates an underlying insecurity or intimidation. He may feel threatened by your confidence, intellect, or status, and hence, uses agreeability as a defense mechanism.

2) Overcompensation

Another behavior that’s often overlooked is overcompensation.

You could encounter a man who seems to go over and beyond to assert his position or worth in any given situation. And while it might appear as confidence, there could be more than meets the eye.

Let me share a personal experience.

I once knew a guy, let’s call him John. John was always the loudest in the room, always had the ‘best’ stories, and always seemed to have an answer to everything. At first, it seemed like he was just supremely confident. But over time, I started noticing a pattern.

Whenever I achieved something significant or voiced a strong opinion, John’s behavior would intensify. His stories would become grander, his voice louder and his assertions stronger. It took me a while to realize that this was his way of asserting dominance when he felt threatened or intimidated.

Overcompensation can be a man’s way of trying to regain a sense of control when he feels outmatched or overshadowed. It’s like a protective shield against feelings of intimidation.

3) Avoidance of eye contact

Eye contact is an essential aspect of human communication. It signifies confidence, interest, and respect. However, when a man is feeling secretly intimidated by you, maintaining eye contact can become a challenge for him.

According to research, people who avoid eye contact are often perceived as less confident and more submissive. This behavior can be a subconscious attempt to minimize potential threat or conflict.

If a man consistently avoids making eye contact with you during conversations, it might not be due to a lack of interest. Rather, it could be because he feels inferior or threatened by your presence.

4) Frequently changes topics

A common behavior in people feeling intimidated is the tendency to frequently change topics during a conversation. This seemingly harmless habit could be an indicator of underlying feelings of insecurity or unease.

Consider a scenario where you’re discussing a topic in which you have significant expertise or knowledge. If the man you’re conversing with consistently diverts the discussion towards topics where he feels more secure, it might be a subtle sign of intimidation.

The act of changing topics can be a defense mechanism, employed to regain a sense of control or authority in the conversation. It’s a tactic to steer clear from areas where he might feel outmatched or uncomfortable.

Having said that, it’s not unusual for people to occasionally change topics in a conversation.

It’s essential to recognize when it’s simply a part of natural conversation flow and when it’s a consistent behavior indicating possible intimidation.

5) Displays nervous body language

Body language can be a powerful indicator of a man’s true feelings. When a man is secretly intimidated by you, it may manifest in his body language through signs of nervousness or discomfort.

Examples of this could include fidgeting, excessive hand movements, or frequently adjusting his posture. These are often subconscious reactions to feelings of unease or intimidation.

It’s like a silent alarm system, revealing hidden insecurities that he might not openly express. His words may convey confidence, but his body language could be telling a different story altogether.

6) Rarely initiates conversations

Sometimes, the most profound signs are in the things left unsaid. For example, a man who seldom initiates conversations with you may secretly feel intimidated.

This was something I observed in a dear friend of mine. She was an incredibly accomplished and confident woman, but she noticed that a particular guy in our circle rarely initiated conversations with her. At first, she thought he just wasn’t interested in being friends, but over time, she discovered that he was simply intimidated by her strong personality and achievements.

Not initiating conversations can be a way of avoiding potential feelings of inadequacy or fear of saying the wrong thing. It’s like a silent retreat, a way to stay within one’s comfort zone and avoid any chance of feeling inferior.

However, it’s important to remember that everyone has different communication styles, and some people are naturally more reserved. Therefore, consider this sign along with other behaviors to draw a more accurate conclusion.

7) Overly competitive

Competition can be healthy. It can motivate us, inspire us, and push us to strive for excellence. But at times, it can also be a camouflage for feelings of intimidation.

I’ve experienced this firsthand. I was involved in a project with a colleague who was always trying to outdo me. Every idea I proposed, he’d come up with something ‘better.’ Every achievement I had, he’d strive to top it. It was exhausting and confusing, until I realized that his competitiveness stemmed from feelings of intimidation.

When a man feels threatened by your abilities or achievements, he might resort to competition as a way to prove his worth. It’s like a subconscious attempt to regain balance or assert dominance.

But does that mean competitiveness is always a sign of intimidation? Not necessarily. Some people are naturally competitive. The environment in which some people are raised may also cause them to be competitive. For instance, some people grow up in communities where competition – a kiasu spirit – is encouraged, especially in academics and professional achievements. 

8) Excessive apologies

Apologizing when one is at fault is a sign of maturity and respect. However, when a man apologizes excessively, even for minor mistakes or things that aren’t his fault, it could be an indicator that he feels intimidated by you.

Excessive apologies can be a way of avoiding disapproval or conflict. It’s as if he’s trying to maintain a state of harmony, fearing that any mistake might make him appear less in your eyes.

It’s like walking on eggshells, constantly worried about displeasing you or causing upset. This behavior often stems from deep-seated feelings of intimidation or insecurity.

9) Rarely shares personal information

The most telling sign that a man feels intimidated by you is when he rarely shares personal information. Openness is a key component of any relationship, be it friendly or romantic. However, when a man keeps his life close to his chest, it could be an indication of underlying intimidation.

When a man feels threatened or insecure, he might hold back from sharing personal details or experiences, fearing judgment or comparison. It’s like an invisible barrier, protecting him from potential vulnerability.

However, keep in mind that not everyone is comfortable with opening up quickly or easily. Introversion or past experiences can also influence this behavior. But if you notice this pattern consistently, especially in conjunction with other signs mentioned, it could indicate that he feels secretly intimidated by you.

Final reflections: It’s about understanding

At the end of the day, the core of these behaviors often lies in our fundamental need for acceptance and validation.

When a man displays behaviors indicating he is secretly intimidated by you, it could be his subconscious way of coping with feelings of insecurity or inadequacy. It may seem confusing, but it’s a testament to the intricate nature of human emotions and interactions.

Understanding these behaviors is about fostering empathy and self-awareness. It’s about recognizing the intricacies of human vulnerability and the power dynamics that shape our interactions.

As you navigate this complex landscape, bear in mind that, ultimately, we are all navigating our own insecurities and fears, seeking validation in our unique ways.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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