Men are more likely to use these 10 subtle phrases when their pride is hurt

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Ever wondered why conversations with men sometimes feel like navigating a maze, especially when their ego seems a bit bruised? 

You’re not alone. Men, just like anyone else, have their unique ways of expressing emotions, and yes, sometimes pride gets in the way. 

But it’s not always loud arguments or silent treatments that give it away. Sometimes, it’s the little things they say, the subtle phrases that slip into conversation. Ever caught one of those and thought, “Hmm, what’s really going on here?” 

Today, we dive into ten subtle phrases that speak volumes speak volumes when a man’s pride is a tad tender. 

1) “I don’t need help”

Let’s kick things off with an obvious one. 

I recently stumbled upon a tweet that said, “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.” It got me thinking. How often do we hear someone, especially men, say, “I don’t need help,” or something to that effect? 

You know how it is; they say it with a certain firmness, a subtle hint of pride lacing their voice. 

The truth is this phrase often surfaces when they’re struggling with something but don’t want to admit it. It’s their way of maintaining control, of showing they can handle it, even when everything inside them is screaming otherwise. 

Next time you hear it, remember it might just be their pride talking, trying to mask a silent plea for support.

2) “Just leave it, I’ll do it myself”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard this phrase more times than I can count. It often comes up when things aren’t going quite right. 

Picture this: a man is trying to fix something; maybe it’s assembling furniture or figuring out a tech issue, and someone tries to help. Instead of welcoming the assistance, out comes, “Just leave it, I’ll do it myself.” 

It’s not just about wanting to solve the problem alone; there’s a deeper layer here. This phrase is like a shield guarding their pride. It’s as if accepting help is conceding defeat, a blow to their self-reliance. 

3) “It’s not a big deal”

Here’s a classic: “It’s not a big deal.” Sounds familiar, right? 

I remember a friend once telling me how her partner brushed off an argument with this exact phrase. It’s like a verbal shrug, an attempt to downplay whatever just happened. 

But here’s the catch: when a man says this, especially if his pride’s been poked, it’s often the opposite. It is a big deal. 

This phrase is sometimes a mask, hiding hurt pride, or embarrassment. It’s a man’s way of maintaining a facade of indifference when, in reality, they might be feeling quite the contrary. It’s a subtle yet powerful way of saying, “I’m not going to let this get to me,” even when it already has. 

If you hear this little phrase, take a moment to read between the lines. What’s really going on might be a whole lot more significant.

4) “I’ve got it under control”

Ever been in a situation where things are clearly spiraling, yet you hear, “I’ve got it under control”? 

It’s a phrase that often echoes in moments of chaos or stress. I recall a colleague once using these exact words during a project that was, quite frankly, far from under control. 

It struck me then: this phrase is less about the actual situation and more about preserving a sense of self-assurance. When a man says this, especially if his pride is on the line, it’s a declaration of independence, an insistence that he can handle the situation, no matter how overwhelming it might appear. It’s a protective verbal barrier, keeping vulnerability at bay. 

Often, it really means, “I don’t want to show that I’m struggling.” It’s a curtain behind which lies a complex mix of determination and denial. 

5) “No, I’m fine”

How often have we heard this, right? 

Just last week, a friend shared how her brother shrugged off a deep conversation with these three words. It’s a phrase that’s short but loaded. 

When a man says, “No, I’m fine,” especially in a context where his pride might be at stake, it’s rarely just about being fine. It’s like a reflex, a quick cover-up for a range of emotions they might not be ready to confront or share. 

Often, it’s a protective shield, guarding not just their pride but also their vulnerability

It says, “I don’t want to burden you with what’s really going on,” or “I’m not comfortable showing that I might be anything but fine.” 

6) “It doesn’t matter anyway”

Here’s another one that often carries more weight than might seem. When someone dismisses something with these words, it’s rarely as straightforward as it sounds. 

I was chatting with a friend recently, and she mentioned her husband using this phrase after a minor disagreement. Looking back on conversations in my own life, it became clear to me then how this phrase is often a subtle sign of hurt pride. 

It’s like saying, “I’m brushing this off to seem unaffected, but in reality, it matters a great deal.” 

It’s a protective mechanism, shielding them from admitting that something has indeed gotten under their skin. 

7) “That’s just how I am”

Ever heard someone say, “That’s just how I am,” in response to feedback or criticism? 

It’s a phrase that’s more telling than it seems. 

When a man says this, especially if his pride feels challenged, it’s not just a statement of self-acceptance. It’s a defense mechanism, a way of saying, “I’m not willing to change this aspect of myself,” even if that aspect is causing issues. 

It’s a subtle blend of hurt pride and resistance to change. 

8) “I’ve been through worse”

This one hits close to home. I remember a time when my brother, after facing a particularly tough week, said, “I’ve been through worse.” 

When a man says this, particularly if his pride is feeling a bit wounded, it’s not just a comment on the current situation. It’s a reflection of his past struggles, a reminder to himself (and others) of his strength and ability to overcome challenges

It’s as if he’s telling himself, “I can handle this because I’ve handled so much more.” 

However, this phrase can also be a way of minimizing his current feelings, a subtle indication that he’s not allowing himself to fully acknowledge or deal with the present issue. 

Now, this next one’s interesting.

9) “I’m not like other guys”

I recall an old friend once saying this one during a discussion about his approach to dating. 

At the time, it struck me how often this phrase is used to set oneself apart to assert a unique identity.

Women say it, too: “I’m not like other girls!”

It’s not just about being different, though; it’s about establishing a sense of superiority. It’s as if saying it helps to protect us from being generalized or stereotyped. 

However, it can also be a subtle way of masking insecurities or deflecting criticism. It’s a complex mix of pride, desire for recognition, and, sometimes, an unspoken plea to be seen as an individual, not just a stereotype.

10) “It was all part of the plan”

Last but certainly not least, “It was all part of the plan.” You know how it is; it’s a phrase that often comes up in situations where things don’t go as expected. 

When a man says this, especially if his pride is at stake, it’s not just about saving face. It’s a strategic move to maintain control over a situation that may have spiraled beyond his grasp. 

This statement is a way of reframing a setback or failure as something intentional, a part of a larger scheme. It’s an attempt to hold onto the reins of perceived competence and authority. 

While it can be pretty irritating when whatever is happening clearly is not “part of the plan” ” it’s important to recognize that this phrase can be a coping mechanism. 

The bottom line 

And there you have it. Behind every phrase, there’s a world of meaning waiting to be understood. 

Remember, it’s not just about the words said but the emotions and experiences they conceal. What’s left unsaid matters just as much as the words spoken. 

Keep listening, keep empathizing, and most importantly, keep connecting!

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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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