Why Men Insult the Women That Reject Them
Exploring the instinct for men to respond to rejection with aggression
Ever turned down a man, only for him to tell you that he was never interested anyway and that you’re not really that great? Well, welcome to the club.
Rejection is a thing that haunts many of us and can leave you feeling hurt- no one particularly enjoys being turned down. However, it is how you respond to this rejection which is a signifier of what kind of person you are.
As a young woman, I have a few years of online dating under my belt, which has given me such a valuable insight into humanity. I have met and spoken to many different men from different backgrounds, that differ in age, looks and personality.
One of the things that I have taken away from my experiences with men, is that many of them cannot handle rejection.
I had one guy that I was chatting to on Tinder, and he asked me out for a drink. The day of the occasion, my friend had injured her ankle and asked if I could drive her to the hospital to get it checked out. I didn't know how long we would have to wait, so I thought it best to give him a heads up and ask if we could rearrange. I was incredibly apologetic but explained how she really needed my help.
He immediately fired back, accusing me of lying and telling me how selfish I was. I explained that it was, unfortunately, a real situation, however, I still wanted to see him on another date.
He began to tell me how I would never succeed in finding someone, how I was an awful person and he did not want to speak to me again. I realised that he was completely irrational and rude and I blocked him.
He then found me on other forms of social media and persisted to reach out to me, calling me obscene names for blocking him, despite having just told me to never speak to him again.
Whilst this man’s reaction was highly hyperbolic and probably more outrageous than many others I have received, it was not the only instance of this behaviour that I have witnessed.
Once I was walking home from work late at night and I had a car pull up beside me on a desolate street. I didn’t look up and continued my pace, absolutely terrified. The car window rolled down and one man shouted to me ‘hello beautiful, how’re you doing.’ I ignored the comment and continued to walk, which triggered the man to shout ‘you stupid ugly b*tch.’
So what is it that causes some men to respond to rejection with aggression and abusive behaviour?
Psychotherapist Jaime Gleicher, states that ‘when they’re rejected, they associate it with their masculinity. When that’s threatened by an outside source, they tend to fight for it — also as a way to re-prove their manliness.’
There is an inherent patriarchal belief in these men, that they must retain dominance and authority over women and when this stance is threatened, they seek for ways to assert their power.
This phenomenon appears like an almost bi-polar exhibition of behaviour, as the man initially tries to draw you in and compliment you, but when this fails, they love to shame you and highlight your flaws.
In actual fact, this pattern of behaviour proves that the initial exclamation of admiration was actually false, as the response to rejection proves their lack of respect for women.
If a man truly respected and admired you as a person, they would take the rejection with grace and move on.
Psychologist Sadaf Vida says that ‘insulting women, is a way to keep performing this ‘natural order’ of the genders that the men have been raised with.’
I spoke to my father, who has years of life and relationship experience, and I asked him how it feels to be rejected by a woman. He told me that going on dates and having relationships can be a confirmation that you are worthy as a person and liked. When you get rejected, it is hurtful and really knocks your confidence, but he told me that he sees it as a learning curve and an experience from which he can grow from.
He said that dating is almost like applying for jobs. You want to reach out to many employers as possible and go for many interviews, to help build your confidence around employers. This is the same with dating- going on dates can be experiences from which you can learn from, and when they fail they should be categorised as education on how to act around women.
However, people often react to rejection from an employer much differently than they do to potential partners. He said that you’d never lash out at an employer when they told you that you weren't the right fit for the job, you'd thank them for the experience and keep on applying elsewhere. So this should be no different from dating.
When you do not get a job, even though it is upsetting, you understand that there are many others out there and just because the employer didn't choose you on this instance, does not mean they did not appreciate your intellect and talents.
When men react so obscenely to your polite refusal, they think that they are exerting power and dominance, however, they are exposing their weakness. It takes real strength and grace to put aside your hurt and accept their decision.
If a reacts aggressively when you turn him down, stand your ground. Explain that your rejection was not out of malice, yet you simply did not think he was a right fit for your current situation. If he continues to insult you, walk away. This man has actually done you a service, by exposing his toxic masculinity.
With these types of men, it is important to be assertive and give them a very clear no. Ignoring them will not send the correct message, as they will believe it is their mission to chase you in the pursuit of boosting their ego.
So many men in the world are respectful and kind, yet it is a shame that there is a large percentage who cannot adhere to moral codes of respect for women. Their perceived masculine authority forces them to react in this way to protect their bruised ego, which can be extremely hurtful for women and leave lasting scars of insecurity.
So, I would now like to address these men: you do not gain anything by insulting those that turn you down, you make yourself look immature and vulnerable. If you think that by responding with aggression you reinforce your masculinity, you are sadly incorrect. If you are aligning your masculinity with strength and power, then being respectful in the face of feeling hurt is a more superior exhibition of your inner strength.