Sometimes when we have un-dealt with insecurities or anxieties, we attempt to protect ourselves with defense mechanisms. I’ve seen this in some people who are close to me, and even in myself. Some people joke around more than normal when they are anxious as a defense mechanism. Sometimes, the joking may even seem annoying because it doesn’t seem to fit the situation. Others will project attention on the other person–normally in an accusatory way.
For example, a person who feels insecure in a particular area may attempt to belittle another person’s knowledge base or experience in that area if the other person appears to have it together. This takes the attention off of the person accusing and places it on the other person in conversation. In doing so, the projector feels that he has successfully protected himself, yet he remains clueless or insecure in his ability to resolve his own insecurity.