Are Men Intimidated By Me? Signs Insecure Guys Can’t Handle Your Power

Traditional gender roles dictate that men are the chasers. They’re the ones who are supposed to pursue women when it comes to dating and relationships. We’d advise taking these roles with a grain of salt at the best of times, but the exception to this rule is when men are too intimidated by the women they like. If a guy is intimidated, it might stop him from pursuing you (not that that’s any reason to reel in your power). Keep reading for some classic signs that men are intimidated by you.

  1. They stare at you but won’t make a move. Do you notice that men often stare at you? And when you catch them staring, they look away? Usually, that happens when they like you. So if that happens without them following up with actually making a move, it’s possible that they feel too intimidated to make a move. A move can be anything from coming over to talk to you to adding you on social media to flirting.
  2. They don’t often ask you out. If guys do flirt with you, they might still feel too intimidated to ask you out. It takes a lot of courage to ask someone out at the best of times. So if you notice that guys do often flirt with you or hit on you but never want to take it further, maybe they just feel too scared. And one of the reasons why could be that they can’t handle how intimidating you are.
  3. They seem nervous around you. If you intimidate a guy, he’s likely to feel nervous around you. Everyone reacts differently to feeling nervous, but there are a few common signs to look out for. Often, if a guy is nervous, he might fidget, be unable to stand still, or stutter. He might flush red or become sweaty. He also might avoid being alone with you. These are all signs that he might feel intimidated by you.
  4. They brag in front of you. Bragging seems like a sign of cockiness. But it can actually be a sign of insecurity. If someone feels like they need to brag, then they are likely trying to gain your approval. They need your validation because their own isn’t enough. So this is one of the biggest yet most unexpected signs that a guy feels intimidated around you.
  5. They try to take you down a peg or two. Unfortunately, another classic response to men feeling intimidated is trying to drag that person down. If a guy feels like he can’t rise to meet you at your level, then he might try pulling you down to his. He might try to take you down by diminishing your accomplishments or trivializing your experiences. He might also take a swipe at your insecurities and sore spots. Of course, while we all feel intimidated from time to time, this kind of behavior is a huge red flag.
  6. They compete with you. It’s natural to try and compete with someone you feel intimidated around. A guy might try competing with you so he can prove that you’re not actually better than him. If you do similar jobs, he might try and compete with you in that department. Or he might compete with you around other people if you share mutual friends. Whatever the case, he might not want to let you shine if you intimidate him.
  7. They fish for compliments. It’s often the case that a guy who feels intimidated by you just wants your approval. If he’s intimidated, then your approval means a lot. This could lead him to fish for compliments. He might use self-deprecating humor to try and get you to swoop in and say something nice about him. Or, if he’s confident, might directly ask you how you feel about something, whether it’s his shoes or car or whatever.
  8. They tell you that you’re hard to please. If a guy tells you that you’re hard to please, that may just be because you are. The fact that he’s bringing it up suggests that he has actually tried pleasing you in the past, and failed. In most circumstances, that would lead him to feel at least a little intimidated.
  9. They put off going on dates with you. When a guy makes plans to see you but constantly cancels, it could be because he has anxiety about going on that date. Anxiety can come down to a lot of things, including that he simply feels intimidated by your presence. You’ll know that he actually wants to see you if he keeps making plans, even though he tends to cancel. And eventually, if he really does like you, he will follow through with those plans.

Here’s why men are intimidated by you

  1. You’re bold. No matter how much men think they’re aligned with women’s values or believe in their image of equality, they’ll always stand up straighter with a bold woman. They can play nice and schmooze the other women, but as soon as someone challenges them, it’s like everyone’s a teenager again. In an English class when two factions of the school are debating whether or not English is a ‘real’ subject. Or whether the authors meant all these minute details at all. (They did.) As a general rule, when someone’s voice gets louder in these situations, they’re losing the argument.
  2. You have a strong opinion on everything. This isn’t the behavior of a shrinking violet in the office. No, you’re a big presence in the courtroom, and people know that. They come to expect it from you. There’s no passivity or wishy-washy self-deprecation. No, you got to where you are now through hard work and self-advocacy. Why stop now? This is something that men don’t realize — how much women soften their decisiveness in the workplace to pander to the office ego. As a result, it inflates their own perception of how the social dynamic runs. They presume that this is our natural way of being, where we are most content. Oh to be a fly in the wall during that conversation when the wrong person gets ahold of it.
  3. You talk a lot. Not only do you have these opinions, but you also voice them. Hey, if it’s in the interest of your company or your client, why wouldn’t you tell them their idea will blow up in their face? It’s not productive to just share a knowing glance with your female colleague when a guy in the office does the rounds. You have to be clear and show your worth. Be active, play the game, but also, don’t be afraid to throw the rules out of the window. You’re here for your expertise and to provide best practices. If that talent intimidates people, then so be it.
  4. You challenge them when they’re wrong. This is even more important. When you notice another employee is doing something wrong, or you identify a way in which you can help him, he might brush it off. Or, he may try to mansplain the same basic concept to you in front of the higher-ups just so that he can hear the sound of his own voice. But he doesn’t mean anything by it, it’s just his way of getting known in the office. He just has to accept a challenge.
  5. You don’t back down. Most people when met with resistance would back down. Not you. Never. If you believe in something or know in your heart of hearts that it’s the right thing, you won’t be talked out of things easily and you certainly won’t give up at the first sign of trouble. You stick to your guns, and that’s intimidating.
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.