62 Signs Someone Is Trying To Look Way Cooler Than They Actually Are

Pretending to be a little different than you are is perfectly normal and quite common. We’ve all done it — laughed at a bad joke to make someone feel better, or faked a smile to hide what we’re really feeling. However, taking this fabricated persona too far can be deemed cringeworthy or just plain pitiful, especially if you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons.

Recently, ThatOddFrenchNobody turned to the internet to ask, “What screams ‘I am not [as tough as] I pretend to be’?” and people were quick to chime in with their opinions and stories. It seems like there are a few examples of people trying way too hard to seem cool and strong, but falling short and ending up looking foolish.

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Claiming you are an “Alpha Male”. If you have to tell people you are a natural leader you probably aren’t one.

Image credits: jasenzero1

We got an interview with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, and he explained how to spot someone pretending to be tough: “The telltale signs of someone pretending to be [cool] when they’re not, typically include overcompensation, excessive boasting, and a constant need for validation. These behaviors can be driven by cognitive biases such as the optimism bias and the halo effect. The optimism bias leads people to believe that they are better or more skilled than they actually are, while the halo effect causes them to overemphasize positive traits in themselves or others, creating a distorted self-image.”


“Inside me is a wolf, mess with me or my pack and I’ll show my fangs” or any similar cringy edgy quote about being an animal

Image credits: Ragingbull444


“Do you know who I am… or whose son/daughter I am” kind of people…

Image credits: No_Bullfrog5811

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky also explained why people do it: “People often pretend to be tough due to feelings of insecurity, which may stem from a desire to fit in or to establish dominance in social situations. The horns effect, a cognitive bias where we tend to see negative traits in a person and ignore their positive attributes, can contribute to this behavior. If someone feels they are perceived as weak, they may overcompensate by pretending to be tough in order to counterbalance that perception. In other cases, they might be influenced by the empathy gap, a bias where people underestimate the power of emotional states in their decision-making process. When people feel insecure or anxious, they may misjudge their emotional response and engage in exaggerated displays of toughness to protect themselves from perceived threats.”


Do you know those people who disrespect teachers, janitors, and other people who work just to make them able to not being f****d in the a*s by life? That. That screams it out loud. You’re not badass, you’re disrespectful and ignorant.

Image credits: RaimondoSpit


“You don’t want to see me mad”

Unless your name is Bruce Banner, STFU.

Image credits: yes_u_suckk

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky shared if he’d ever witnessed someone pretending to be tougher than they were: “While I cannot personally attest to pretending to be tough, I have certainly observed this behavior in others. As an expert in cognitive biases, I’ve seen people project a tough exterior to mask their insecurities or to fit into certain social environments. Sometimes, these performances can be quite convincing, but they often unravel when the individual is faced with a situation that tests their mettle.”


I saw a massively lifted truck wit the words “ALPHA AS F**K” stamped across the windshield the other day, does that count?

Image credits: gatheringdusk


Claiming to be “crazy” like it’s something to aspire to. In this context it just means abandoning tact and acting like an a*****e to feel like a badass.

ETA: I’m not referring to people with legitimate illnesses. I’m referring to people who think acting like an a*****e makes them look tough.

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Image credits: anon

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky also shared that most people put on this tough facade: “I believe that many people do indeed pretend to be tougher than they are, often due to the influence of cognitive biases such as loss aversion and the status quo bias. Loss aversion makes people more sensitive to the prospect of loss than the potential for gain, so they may act tough to avoid being seen as weak or vulnerable. Similarly, the status quo bias leads people to prefer the familiar, so they may maintain a facade of toughness to keep up appearances and not risk disrupting their social standing.”


“People don’t like me because I tell it like it is.”

No, people don’t like you because you’re an a*s.


I’m prior enlisted in the Marines and I’m happy I was in, but now that I’m out that time has passed, I can’t stand people that were in and it’s their entire identity after they get out. All clothes are military stuff, vehicles covered in military decals, all they talk about is when they were in and so on.

For anyone that wasn’t in, the easiest way to tell someone that was in the military but weren’t in any kind of real combat situations is if they wear and do all that c**p.



I went to lunch with a friend and a friend of his. The waiter was a little slow in bringing us our drinks and food because it was busy. So when our bills came, instead of leaving an actual tip, the other guy wrote something snarky as his “tip”. I was really embarrassed and ask if he can refrain from doing that. He refused and then basically called me a wuss. I left a bigger tip on my bill to compensate and never wanted to be associated with that guy ever again.

You’re a real badass now buddy – punching down on a retail worker who has to be at least polite to you to keep her job.


My gf serves tables for work right now. Apparently yesterday some “tough” dude refused to write his signature with her pink pen simply because it was pink

Image credits: underroad01


“I would have enlisted and probably made Special Forces, but I would have punched a Drill Sergeant if they had gotten in my face.”
Sure, bud.

Image credits: aircavrocker


“When I get mad I blackout and lose control”

Okay buddy.

Edit: I’m disappointed that there’s some people replying that claim to black out.

Image credits: anon


Anyone who gives themselves a tough-sounding nickname. They are to be earned, not self-imposed.

Image credits: history7s


Joker profile pic

Image credits: treeinaforest9


Fancy car, no money in bank account

Image credits: macaronsforeveryone


Spousal and child abuse.


Demanding respect, but giving none to anyone.

Image credits: yankstraveler


Refusing to wear safety equipment like helmets when its available. True badasses (including truly skilled people) have goals in doing dangerous s**t, and they understand the challenges in carrying it out.

Image credits: SilverYayFern


Continually requesting a fight, but never actually starting the fight.

Image credits: AlterEdward


People in their 20s hanging around with prepubescent kids, thinking they are the top dawg. Doesn’t have any friends their own age because people their age know what they are about.


People who boast about bullying


One of my ex has a joker sleeve and a pickle rick tattoo.
He also yelled that he was a *sigma male* and wouldn’t be listening to an alpha…. as a response to a werewolf based RPG system.

So… that.

**Edit to add**: *I didn’t expect this to be so popular or for so many people to tell me I f*****g deserved the abuse that ensued. Y’all are sick*


Saying ‘I’m a psychopath’.

Image credits: jimmisjumbobumbo


“Alpha” males losing their s**t when their self image is even remotely challenged in any way.


Picking on that one friend in the group around everyone and then acting like an offended little b***h when they even try to joke back with them.

Trying to start a fight with just about anyone that gives them a dirty look.

Buying a giant pick up truck that they need to climb into to just get in, and never even use the *bed of the truck for its purpose.

And finally… screaming/yelling at anyone who disagrees with them no matter how big or small the subject matter is.



I work in a psych hospital in a unit that is the roughest unit we have. We have a lot of people with violent histories and serious mental issues.

Without fail, the tougher someone acts, or the more intimidating they try to be is inversely proportional to how soft they actually are—and that goes for patients and staff alike.

The people you don’t want to f**k with are the ones who are confidently quiet.


Most military styled clothing, almost none of the actual special teams people I know wear that c**p.
Maybe the occasional shirt or whatever but the guys wearing tons of it, yeah that’s nonsense


Talking about being the most badass zombie killer in a zombie outbreak when truth is most of us would simply die

Image credits: Amy_Tar


Telling the same stories from years back.

I have a friend whose only personality is that she is aggressive, always telling the same story from middle school where she apparently had a reputation. Acting like she is the toughest person and no one should mess with her. Fake confidence, extremely annoying.


Post bible quotes online about how you’re being tested.

For example my Aunt, who has never had a job, has barely ever left her hometown. Has posted this quote:

* “The devil whispered in my ear, ‘you are not strong enough to withstand the storm’. Today, I whispered in the devil’s ear, ‘I am the storm’.”*

With a puppy dog face. When her previous visible post was about traffic.

Image credits: anon


guy at a Christmas party told me he could easily drink heavily and drive safely if he just concentrates. Half an hour later he passes out and falls on the Christmas tree.

edit: Infront of his boss and his whole family. I‘m 16 and he is 31. I‘m german so I drink too. I had to bring him to bed…

Image credits: iBrawler_


Moms who constantly threaten to go “mama bear” on people


I follow a guy on Instagram who try so hard to be a badass, always posting pictures of drinking black coffee, straight whiskey, smoking cigars, and he always has his handgun showing. But it’s so easy to tell the only time he does these things is when he posts on Instagram.


Men who take their shirts off when they’re mad, punch their chest like a gorilla and get red faced yelling. Usually someone’s going to pull them back so nothings really going to happen, nor is anyone scared. It’s all bark. If they can’t stay calm, there’s no doubt they’re not tough.


Driving a car without a seat belt and filming yourself speeding and putting it on Instagram or Facebook


Aggressive responses to non aggressive situations. Nobody who’s really about that life WANTS to do things to people.


“I’m a psychopath!

One day I made my therapist cry and that’s tooootally legit!

I’m insane! I have so many mental illnesses!”

Acquaintances I actually have to deal with.


The biggest indicator that you are not a baddass is telling me you are a baddass. If you have to tell me how important you are, you are not terribly important.


Bragging about how many people you’ve had sex with. No one really cares, and at worst, it’s a cause for concern.


Telling people how badass you are.


Basically any statement of being tough at all–whether that be outright spoken or written or whatever. Letting people know you’re tough is such a weak move. Tough people simply are that way and, a lot of the time, people would just have to f**k around to find out.


People who brag.

EDIT: I think most people understand what I mean but just to clarify, I’m not at all referring to being proud of your accomplishments or sharing your success with people you care about. That’s obviously healthy and good.


Feeling threatened by other people’s successes.


People that need to be the center of everything and they act special.


Revving your engine loudly at a red light/ burning rubber just to hit the next red light


Same picture of a lion that 20.000 others already posted to prove how they’re not sheep that fall in line.


Barbed wire tattoos.


18 year olds with more tattoos then face on their face.


Getting your a*s beat in a fight you provoked.


“I know karate”


Tribal tattoos.

“Sure thing Chad. You and Brett and the rest of the Orange County Native Council, have our attention.”


Acting like they don’t need things like sunscreen because they are manly


Jake Paul not fighting a trained professional boxer in his weight class


“Hold me back”


Pseudo edgy demeanor. A sort of sad deflector of your inner most insecurities that shine brighter and brighter the more you attempt to mask them.


A Punisher sticker on your car


Jesus, where do I start? Maybe humiliating people. The most frightening powerful people don’t need to prove themselves by making other people look small.


Only God can judge me


Keyboard warriors


Open carrying a gun


“Don’t tread on me”
Source: boredpanda.com

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