When someone is out of touch with their emotional landscape (as many men are because they are socialized to do so) then when something pokes at their emotions (insecurity, fear, doubt, etc.) people tend to go into a kind of cognitive dissonance where they are speaking to things that haven’t be brought up, defending against places that haven’t really been attacked, and otherwise are out of touch with what seems to be the issues at hand.
I get this All Of The Time in comments from people who are simply not able to engage in a straightforward manner, and when you try to talk to them, it devolves even more. They are off in their emotions but are also sure that they are the ones who are being rational. That’s when the gaslighting starts.