7 phrases insecure men use when they feel intimidated by a woman

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In our society, men are taught to be confident and ambitious from a young age—more so than women. It’s all in the baby shirts and toys—men can be adventurers! Scientists! Explorers!

But when you look at the girls’ section, girls can only be pretty and domesticated.

They can be mothers. They can cook, iron, and wash their clothes. They’re encouraged to play with toys like My First Kitchen, Mini Laundry, Baby Alive…I’m sure you can imagine it.

What I’m trying to say is, boys are raised to shoot for the stars. Girls are taught to be mothers and wives.

But this is not the 50s anymore.

There are women scientists, filmmakers, playwrights, making their name and creating their legacy. 

And it makes the men uncomfortable and insecure.

In this article, we’re going to talk about these men’s favorite phrases that they throw around when they’re intimidated by a woman.

1) “You’re so bossy”

There’s no such thing as being bossy. There’s just a boss.

Women are often called bossy because society doesn’t tolerate us being leaders. But honestly? Society would probably collapse without women leaders.

Think about it: at school, who usually leads group projects? Girls.

At home, who often keeps the household together? The mother. 

I mean, there are households where the mom is a working woman! And when she gets home, she still needs to cook and care for the kids. That’s a huge feat, isn’t it?

So if a man ever calls you bossy, pay him no mind. You don’t have to tone yourself down or sound more gentle to accommodate their discomfort.

He’s just insecure that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a “boss.” 

2) “You’re overreacting”

It’s Taylor Swift who said, “A man is allowed to react. A woman can only overreact.”

And she’s right. 

Men are allowed to be angry. They can scream and punch walls just because their favorite football team lost. 

But when a woman tells her husband he’s not helping enough with the chores, she’s a “nagger.” 

If you ask me, that’s a telltale sign of insecurity.

When we call men out, we’re “overreacting” because they can’t handle being criticized

Because if, all their lives, they’re always told they’re “doing great” even when they’re lacking, they would never be able to handle the truth when a competent woman tells it to them.

3) “You’re too emotional”

Similar to women being told they’re overreacting, this phrase is another stereotype that relies on women having too many emotions to be capable of rational thought.

But really, all it does is dismiss women.

Because women are expected to be meek. To be submissive to men. To show no emotion, even when she is disrespected.

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She’s supposed to say “thank you” and “please.” When she’s pissed, she needs to stay calm. When she needs something, she needs to be polite. Otherwise, she’s overreacting.

When a man tells a woman she’s “too emotional,” it’s often because he can’t handle her, even if she’s not really displaying any signs of intense emotion.

And when she does show emotion, when she recognizes that she’s being disrespected, she’s suddenly defensive.

4) “Why are you so defensive?”

Ironically, standing up for yourself as a woman has got to be one of the most demeaning things you can do.

Because when you stand up for yourself, you’ll be disrespected even more by men who want to “put you in your place.” 

I mean, of course you’ll get defensive when you’re disrespected. What’s so wrong with that? Why do men think being “defensive” when you need to defend yourself is wrong? 

There’s only one simple answer: they’re insecure. 

Imagine a world where all women stood up to men when they’re disrespected. The power we hold would be so scary.

They don’t want you knowing how to defend yourself, because they always want to get away with disrespecting you.

5) “You’re too aggressive”

Aggression, anger, even violence—these are reactions we think are exclusive to men. 

Women are supposed to be gentle and timid, no matter what. So when a woman is told she’s being too aggressive, it’s usually far from the truth. 

When a man tells her, “you’re being too aggressive!” That’s code for her to calm down and get back in her place. 

This happens because when a man sees the potential of a woman and her power, he gets scared. Threatened. Insecure. 

So needs to water her down, to make her feel small, so he’d feel big and strong. And that’s nothing but a glaring sign of insecurity.

6) “You’re just seeking attention”

Women aren’t allowed to brag. 

When we accomplish big milestones and achieve our greatest dreams, we’re supposed to take it all humbly. Otherwise, we’re arrogant and attention-seeking.

In fact, when you see a woman flaunting literally anything on social media—her accomplishments, her selfies, even how much she likes her star sign—there will always be a man telling her she’s just seeking attention.

But it’s not always attention.

When men say this, sometimes, he’s the one who wants the attention himself, or he wants the girl to pay attention to him

Either way, telling a woman she’s an attention-seeker for either reason spells out insecurity.

7) “You’re too independent”

When I was younger, I liked to say I’m a strong, independent woman. I’d even say I’m a feminist which, at the time, scared away all the boys.

But even if I’m older now, I still find men being scared of my independence.

I think this is because of the 50s lifestyle we’re being fed until now; that all women should stay at home taking care of the kids or in the kitchen cooking for her husband. 

Now that women make their own money and can choose to live without a man, that scares them. 

Because now, women have a choice—they can choose not to marry a man at all, because it’s not a need anymore like it was before. 

That’s scary for men, because it’s easier to be needed than to be wanted. In this case, the fear of being alone is their main source of insecurity.


It was the American founding father, Thomas Jefferson who said, “all men are created equal.”

Unfortunately, he forgot about the women. It took decades for women in the US to reclaim their rights and their freedom.

What matters now is that women are more free to chart their own path and build their own lives. 

It’s this choice that makes men insecure and scared.

But the thing is, when men unlearn the roles imposed to them by our patriarchal society, they’ll find happiness, too. 

They’ll learn that, ultimately, being wanted is better than being needed, which is why a relationship with a strong, independent woman can be fulfilling for them, too.

Joyce Ann Isidro

Joyce is a writer who believes in the power of storytelling and changing lives by writing stories about love, relationships, and spirituality. A bookworm and art enthusiast, she considers herself a creative-at-heart who likes to satisfy her childish wonder through new hobbies and experiences.

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