14 Things Insecure Dudes Do To Undermine A Woman’s Intelligence

If you often feel insecure and stupid in your relationship, make sure your boyfriend’s not the one who’s trying to make you feel that way. Here are 14 signs he’s undermining your intelligence because of his own insecurities.

  1. He challenges your enthusiasm. You’re excited about something, but he’s always the first one to point out why you shouldn’t be so happy. Ugh. Talk about raining on your parade! It’s a guaranteed way to make you feel like you’re childish or immature. Screw that. Be happy about your successes and silly things that put a smile on your face. Don’t let him take them away from you.
  2. He’s a story-shifter. He keeps changing his story. When you ask him something about his past, for instance, he’ll tell you one thing and then change the story at a later stage so that you’re left thinking, “WTF?” It’s a manipulative tactic to make you feel like you’re crazy. When you question the different versions of things he tries to sell you, he might even tell you that you’re crazy or not listening to him, to further make you feel like the one in the wrong.
  3. He tells you you’ll catch a cold in that dress. As if you didn’t know it was cold out? WTF? This guy’s trying to control you and make you feel like a child by telling you the “right” thing to do. He always thinks he knows better.
  4. He looks at you like you’re stupid. Sometimes it’s not so much what he says but what he does. You see that look in his eyes when you tell him about your future goals and you feel like he’s really saying, “What a dumbass you are.” Your partner’s supposed to uplift and support you!
  5. He cuts in. When you try to express an opinion or share an anecdote, he often interrupts you. It’s like your opinions don’t matter. He never comes back to your point, apologizing for interrupting and asking what you were going to say. Nope, none of the above. He doesn’t care about your thoughts or opinions, which makes you feel like crap.
  6. You feel stupid before you open your mouth. Sometimes you get put off saying anything because you feel stupid in front of your BF. It’s ridiculous but something even as simple as the correct spelling of a word that you know is right can make you doubt yourself in his presence. Ugh, the dude’s toxic.
  7. He contradicts you in front of others. When you’re telling someone about a climate change fact you heard, your boyfriend will jump in and say, “No, that’s not right” before proceeding with his version of things. WTF? He always puts you down.
  8. He tells you what you are or aren’t. He makes comments about your personality as though they’re factual. Meanwhile, they’re just his stupid and incorrect perception. For instance, he’ll say, “I know you’re not technical” before explaining how he fixed your cell phone. It’s so infuriating! By making a judgment instead of first asking you if you’re technical, he’s undermining you.
  9. He says you don’t understand him. He explains why he’s upset about something that happened at work and you try to help him, but he’s quick to say, “Forget it. You don’t understand.” This is a clever way of shutting down the conversation while also making you feel like your help doesn’t matter. It’s toxic because it can also be a way for him to take his feelings out on you.
  10. He thinks he knows you better than you know yourself. And he’ll point that out to you. It’s not something said to flatter you. Rather, it’s said so that you’ll think you should trust his advice and opinions over your own. BS.
  11. He’s the king of “I told you so.” He doesn’t care if he hurts your feelings. He wants to make you feel small or that you can’t trust yourself, so, when you fail he’ll be quick to point out that you should’ve listened to him. What an asshole.
  12. He questions you. It’s great to get others’ advice or opinions, but if your boyfriend’s always quick to question you about your decisions, it comes across as negative. He’s not trying to help you with constructive criticism – he’s trying to make you feel bad about your choices. That’s screwed up. You don’t need such negative energy in your life.
  13. He fake-compliments you. He’ll say things that appear to be compliments but are actually insults. For instance, he’ll say how intelligent you are, but in a way that sounds sarcastic. Or, he’ll say that you’re a “smartie pants” when you have a clumsy moment or make a mistake. He’ll frame it as a joke, but really he’s trying to make you feel bad.
  14. He points out your “weaknesses.” When you share paintings you’ve done or your business proposal, he’s quick to show you where you’ve gone wrong – even though he’s never painted or done a business proposal in his life – and how he can help you improve on it. WTF? Who does this loser think he is? Most importantly, why are you still with him?
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.