The eight red flag phrases that cripplingly insecure men say, according to science

READ MORE: Dating expert reveals warning signs that a man DOESN'T like you

If you're in a relationship where nothing seems to go right and every argument leaves you feeling like you're to blame, then your boyfriend is likely cripplingly insecure.

Now psychologists have revealed the eight red flags you may be missing that are dead giveaways that your partner lacks confidence in themselves and your relationship.

These signs are phrases that could leave you feeling like you were in the wrong, such as 'you're too sensitive, or negating an apology with a 'but' after saying 'I'm sorry.'

By understanding the intentions behind these science-based red flag comments, you can learn how to deal with the situation or finally toss him to the curb.

Your boyfriend could be using eight comments to mask his insecurities including telling you that you're too good for him or you're being 'too emotional'

Your boyfriend could be using eight comments to mask his insecurities including telling you that you're too good for him or you're being 'too emotional'

The red flags are forms of 'gaslighting,' that can make you question your feelings and helps your partner avoid responsibility for their actions.

A 2019 study suggested that these kinds of phrases signify emotional abuse which can be just as harmful to your psyche as physical abuse and can contribute to depression and low self-esteem.

1. 'You're too good for me'

This is just a self-deprecating way of your boyfriend saying he has low self-esteem and doesn't deserve your affection, according to Global English Editing, an online editing and proofreading company.

The phrase can create an unhealthy balance in the relationship of him needing you to endlessly reassure him of his worth and how much you care about him.

This could also effect your mental wellbeing because by constantly reassuring him, you're trying to fix his issues of low self-worth while ignoring your own needs and feelings.

2. 'I don't care what people think'

At first glance, this comment may seem like your boyfriend is exuding an air of confidence, but he may actually be saying it as a way to protect himself from criticism.

This statement could act as a shield for his insecurities by deflecting comments before they're made so they can't hurt him.

In reality, telling you 'I don't care what people think' could indicate that the opposite is true and he is overtly aware of people's comments and criticism of him.

3. 'I'm just being honest'

An insecure boyfriend might use this phrase to establish dominance and control over their partner and can use it to mask hurtful or negative comments.

It implies that you can't handle what they're saying and are taking too much offense and shifts the blame to your shoulders.

The criticism can be used as a tool to feel better about their own faults by making the other person a scapegoat and deflecting these insecurities to you.

This red flag can be a form of 'gaslighting,' that can make you question your feelings and helps your partner avoid responsibility for their actions.

Gaslighters 'are typically emotionally abusive people — often with low self-esteem — who wish to control others rather than engage in mutually respectful relationships that require consideration, empathy, compassion and kindness,' Monica Vermani, a Canada-based clinical psychologist told ABC5 News.

'They seek ways to undermine and overpower someone they fear losing, regardless of the damage to their target.'

If your boyfriend tells you 'I'm sorry, but...,' he is likely placing partial blame for the argument on you and is trying to apologize without accepting responsibility for his actions

If your boyfriend tells you 'I'm sorry, but...,' he is likely placing partial blame for the argument on you and is trying to apologize without accepting responsibility for his actions

4. 'I'm sorry, but...'

If you've had an argument or fight with your boyfriend and he tells you: 'I'm sorry, but...' as an apology, this is a tell-tale sign that he's insecure and about to place the blame partially on you.

This comment is used as a means to apologize without fully accepting responsibility and in part is to defend his actions.

Some people may have trouble acknowledging or admitting when they have made a mistake and could feel like they're exposing their weaknesses if they admit they were at fault.

'A gaslighting apology is a conditional apology that makes the person apologizing appear as if they are sincerely saying 'I am sorry,' but they aren't taking any responsibility for hurting you,' Jamie Schenk DeWitt, a psychotherapist and marriage and family therapist told Newsweek.

'They don't for one second think that they did anything wrong, and they are implying that it is your problem that your feelings got hurt,' DeWitt said.

5. 'I was just joking'

People often use joking as a way to communicate, offset tension or simply connect with others, but when used after a hurtful comment or criticism, it becomes a red flag.

When your insecure boyfriend tells you 'I was just joking' after a negative comment, it's an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for the hurt you feel by lightening the mood.

If this comment is made consistently, it could be time to address it so your mental health doesn't suffer as a result of the 'joking' hurtful and disdainful comments.

6. 'It's not a big deal'

This is a sure-fire way to brush off your feelings by downplaying a problem you might have brought up in the relationship.

An insecure man might use this phrase to end the discussion on his terms while also dismissing your feelings and concerns you've confided in him.

It is likely this stems from his insecurity of not being able to deal with criticism or conflict altogether and disrespects your feelings.

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7. 'You're too sensitive'

Telling someone they're 'too sensitive' is also a form of the well-known term, gaslighting - when someone makes you question whether you are justified in how you feel.

Susan Trombetti, a matchmaker and the CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, told InStyle: 'It's just a way to blow you up and make you think you are crazy.'

It gives him control and power over you that he might have felt was lacking in the relationship, exposing his insecurities and inability to accept responsibility for his actions.

This comment could make it difficult to stand up for yourself and feel validated in your emotions and could negatively impact your mental wellbeing.

8. 'I'm not perfect'

Imperfection and making mistakes is a fact of life, and acknowledging that in every day life is fine, but when using it as an excuse, it becomes a sign of your insecurity.

This phrase can be used to deflect blame, lower your expectations of him or justify how he acted or reacted to a situation.

It protects him from being held accountable for his actions and once again invalidates your feelings.

How to respond to these eight red flags

When you're placed in these situations, DeWitt told Newsweek it would be wise to try extracting yourself from being around someone who will 'do anything at any cost to preserve their greatness and power at your expense.'

How you respond to these red flags is ultimately up to you, but understanding the meaning behind these frequent comments could help you understand how to encourage more open communication in your relationship, or you could finally set yourself free.

'Addressing this behavior with your partner is imperative, and if they refuse to take responsibility or express a willingness to change, it might be time to reevaluate the relationship,' Samara Quintero, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Choosing Therapy told Business Insider.

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