Tony learned early on to never show uncertainty. That was never an issue when it came to computers or electronics or machines of any kind. Those he got. It was all the other things, the life stuff that tripped him up. But he figured out pretty quickly that if he pretended, that if he didn’t let on that he had no idea what he was doing, that that bravado would get him through just about anything. It wasn’t always pretty and he wasn’t always proud of what he did do, but he got through.
Fake it ‘til you make it. Kind of his unofficial motto.
When he met Dr. Bruce Banner for the first time it was like standing in front of a mirror and seeing what he could have been if he’d let the fears and insecurities he hated to admit he had get in his way. Oh, he knew Bruce’s problems were far different from his own, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that Bruce was just as much of a genius as Tony was and he couldn’t stand to see someone so brilliant hide their light because they were scared.
“You’re tip-toeing, Big Man. You need to strut,” he told him as they tried to figure out Loki’s game.
Truer words, man. He intended to teach Bruce how if the other man would let him. He didn’t connect with people often (Heh. That was an understatement. Pepper and Rhodey, that’s about it. He supposed he could add Yinsen to that short-list, but he was gone and Tony still shied away from thinking too much about his fallen friend for all that he honored him every time he put on the suit.), but he connected with Bruce. He might have a funny way of showing it, what with shocking him and trying to rile him up (he was a pigtail puller; sue him), but Tony genuinely liked the guy.
Unfortunately all hell broke loose before they could really have that conversation. He’d just have to come back to it later. Right now, they had to save the world.