33 Ways Men Prove They Are Incels Without Even Realizing It

Believing that nice guys always finish last and that its women’s fault.

We’ve all heard the term “incel” floating around the internet, but what does it actually mean? Short for “involuntary celibate,” an incel is typically a guy who’s super frustrated about his lack of romantic or sexual experiences and often blames the subject of his desires, typically women, for his woes.

I recently stumbled upon a hilarious and eye-opening Reddit thread where user BlueFruitJam asked folks to share how to spot an incel in everyday life. The responses were pure gold and totally worth sharing. So, if you’ve ever wondered what subtle (or not-so-subtle) signs scream “incel,” look no further. Here are some examples of the top ways men unknowingly reveal their incel status. Get ready to laugh, cringe, and maybe even recognize a few of these behaviors in people you know!


# 1

It’s really hard for them to hide it because they reveal how they view women without even realizing it. When they see us as vending machines where they put in surface-level “niceness” and/or money and get sex in return, it becomes obvious pretty quickly. They genuinely don’t see us as people.

# 2

Just gotta pay attention to what they say and how they act. If they make broad generalizations and or act entitled to someone’s affections. If they say things like “women only want guys with money. I treat them well and they never want to date me” there’s a good chance that they are an incel.

# 3

If some news comes out about a woman being assaulted by a man, and they immediately decide to defend the guy, and look for reasons to not believe the woman.

# 4

Listen to how they talk about women, and ask them why they just don’t date what they’re not afraid of. The blinks and walkbalks following are the tell.

“Well women are all golddiggers and only want me for my money!”

“They why don’t you date someone richer than you? Lots of lawyers around.”

*blinkblink” “Uh… uhhhh…..”

Next will come a cascade of their own insecurities. This will make them so uncomfortable they won’t want to talk with you again. Job done.

# 5

Anyone who talks about or refers to an “alpha vs beta male” ideology. might not be an incel, but it’s probable.

Anyone who whines about what women like and how they do or do not fit the bill.

Anyone who decides they know how a woman should or shouldn’t behave in any sense.

# 6

“All my exes are insane”
What’s the common thread here? Could it be you? Why are all the women you get close to driven to madness?

# 7

If they’re from a Western country like the US but complain about women in their country being too independent. And if they talk about wanting to date women from somewhere like Eastern Europe, Asia or South America because they’re supposedly more submissive and treat men better. Bonus points if they’re over 30 and only attracted to very young women and don’t like women their age.

# 8

They mansplain what women want / how women are + ignore anything a woman says that counters their statement.

They slam and blame women for however they choose to deal with / survive / thrive in a patriarchal world, from preferring a specific type of men, to monetizing their sexuality, exploiting pretty privilege, to wearing baggy clothes etc.

# 9

Their words and actions especially when you tell them no or reject them.

# 10

Their reaction when I say I’m Bi. There’s something about their immediate response that will tell me all I need to know so I try to bring it up pretty early in the conversation so that I can see the type of person they really are. Any version of ‘Bet you just haven’t met the right man yet’, ‘So your indecisive?’ or ‘So how do two women f**k?’ as a response tells me all I need to know about their true outlook on women and I move on.

# 11

He stormed out of class because another student criticized Elon Musk.

# 12

I remember back in college there were boys who liked me just because I was a pretty girl. There were also boys who hated me just because I was a pretty. They assumed all sorts of bad things about me just because of my appearance. Those boys are the incels.

Incels hate you because they are attracted to you. They think that attraction gives you some sort of control over them. They assume you will use that power for evil instead of good.

Typically when someone projects that sort of thing onto you, it means that is what they would do in your shoes. They would do something bad to you if you were attracted to them.

# 13

When he is unable to interact with a woman as a person. There is only sexualization and weird devotion or blatant hate and misogyny.

# 14

He’s an incel if…

He thinks insulting or patronising you is a valid way to flirt, i.e. “negging” to assert their dominance.

He admires Andrew Tate and other incel-ebrities like that.

He tries to tell you that the real problem in the world is feminism, and women need to “get over it because gender inequality doesn’t exist – in fact, men actually have it WORSE now because they can be falsely accused of r**e at any second.”

Also if he tries to mansplain what women are “reaaally like” to you, a woman.

# 15

When they hate everything about women but still want to date them.

# 16

There was a man on the subway yesterday who was yelling at me that he was upset that “everyone is gay” because it meant nobody would have sex with him. He proceeded to call me a b*tch and talk about how he “deserved pussy” and was angry that no one would boink him… like maybe if you wanna get some, screaming at people on the subway that you deserve to have sex with them might not be the best strategy. So in conclusion, if you are being yelled at on the train about being owed sex, you may have just spotted an incel!

# 17

Referring to women as females or toids or whatever weird name they have come up with.

# 18

For me it’s whenever they say “women like…” or start going on about height.

Women like different things and we don’t all love the same things. Stop talking about what evolution says because we aren’t cavemen anymore.

And the height thing, they need to let it go. Times change and saying that women love tall men is just a very large generalization.

These two are just huge red flags for me.

# 19

Without being too snarky about it, it’s probably hard to spot one irl. First, they tend to be heavily online, at the expense of being out and socializing (hence why they’re often told to “touch grass”).

Secondly, when they do have to interact with other people, they don’t tend to be as obnoxiously racist, misogynistic, and generally horrible as they are in their echo spaces online. Incels aren’t unique in this; most people with extreme views are usually at least partly tempered in their day-to-day in-person interactions, compared to their online personas.

# 20

If they’re obsessed with Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan, that’s a dealbreaker ladies.

# 21

Weirdly negative of the women in their life. Act like women’s lives are easier. Are mean or dismissive to women they’re not attracted to, but uncomfortably nice to one’s they are. Weirdly s****y towards “attractive” men. Has a complex about his height or some similar feature. Just generally treats women like alien creatures. Jokes about rape and gets offended when told to stop. Gets offended by boundaries in general. Believes false rape accusations are common. Talks excessively about “pretty privilege” while being weirdly silent about racism, sexism, ect. Fishes for physical insults.

I’m sure I’m missing some and many of these aren’t diagnostic alone, but they’re a really good starting place.

# 22

Telling you about women rather than asking you about yourself as a woman.

# 23

It’s what they say. Common phrases include: “My biggest fear is that tonight we have sex and tomorrow you accuse me of r**e” “There is no such thing as equality” “Women only want xyz and that’s why no one will f**k me” “I don’t date because I’m not a free meal” “Sorry not sorry. I’m a guy and I’m gonna talk about have sex with you.” In my experience.

# 24

Refers to women as females and constantly plays the victim. Bonus if he keeps on talking what a gentleman he is and how women only want a******s.

# 25

I listen to their stories. They tend to complain a lot about:
– being single and blame society for it
– their female friends don’t want to date them
– their female friends are whores for prioritizing other male friendships
– constant negative assumptions about women’s lifestyle based on how they look
– trash talk about other men to make themselves more appealing

You can also try setting a firm boundary or saying no to their request and see how they respond. Such as “I don’t feel comfortable talking about this topic. Let’s talk about something else.” If they respect you, they’ll move on without further comments or questions.

# 26

They throw tantrums and plan your downfall as soon as you say no.

# 27

When you set any kind of boundary, no matter how small, how they react to that is very telling.

Also, the way they respond to a woman who is knowledgeable about any topic.

# 28

– lack of social skills
– woe-is-me mentality
– lack of hygiene
– misogynistic attitude
– envy of others
– insecure about height/appearance
– unwilling to foster a friendly or positive attitude
– expects something in return
– porn addict
– spends a lot of time online (spends a lot of time on phone, makes obscure internet references, gets into misogynistic internet subcultures like MGTOW)
– unrealistic, unconventional, or misogynistic views on relationships
– poor problem solving skills
– needs validation from others.

# 29

Asking me early on how many people I’ve slept with.

# 30

Something someone said to me which in hindsight should’ve had me running away (but I was beyond good decision making at that point):

I crashed at a colleagues place late one night after drinks.
He makes a move. We make out a little and then I say: “hold up, I’m not sure if this is a good idea”.
He goes: “that’s ok, we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.” … “as a woman you have the power” … “that’s the problem with monogamy, it’s given women too much power.”

Scotch and hormones had me a little less reactive to such a remark than I normally would’ve been. I still kick myself for not speaking up in that moment although if I had, it would have probably been even more awkward at work than it already is now…

TLDR: talking as if mutual consent is a power struggle that victimizes men, instead of it being of a non negotiable prerequisite for sex is an incel red flag.

# 31


Every guy I’ve met who uses that phrase turned out to be an incel. Every. Single. One.

# 32

They are bitter and resentful towards other people, because in their mind the world is being unfair to them. They don’t know how to make themselves appealing to a woman, and they are lonesome, and for that everyone piles up abuse on them, so they grow bitter and resentful.

It takes little to cure them, if you have good intentions.

# 33

People think incels have to be from the corners of the internet type troglodytes but they’re not. Anyone who has extremist views about marginalized genders and sexualities is an incel. It doesn’t even have to be people who are “celibate”. It’s people who uphold patriarchy, sexism, homophobia, racism and who want the repression of everyone because they think the world owes them more than they actually deserve or have worked for.

Stefanie Mustian

Stefanie is an architect with 15+ years of working both independently as well as on teams of some of the top Architectural Firms in the country located in Atlanta, Washington D.C. and New York. She currently runs BoardBatten.com a coastal architecture and design service in Port Aransas, Texas. She is also the wife of the dude who runs WorldWideInterweb.