10 habits that signal a lack of self-confidence in a man

Self-confidence is a skill. And that’s why it’s not something that most of us will immediately have in our arsenal. 

Yet we live in a world that demands it from us. “Believe in yourself!” goes the cliche, but not everyone is afforded that sentiment. 

The road to self-confidence is not easy, it’s a non-linear process of waking one day believing in yourself and then not doing so the next. It’s faking it day by day until it sticks. 

And a lack of self-confidence affects everyone, no matter their gender. 

In this article, however, let’s talk about the habits that signal a lack of self-confidence in a man.


1) He is sensitive to criticism

Does he not respond well to criticisms? Does he not accept even constructive ones? Do past criticisms haunt him? Do you feel like you can’t call him out because of how he’ll react?

A man who lacks self-confidence will be sensitive to criticism. And even statements that weren’t criticisms might sound like that to him. 

His lack of confidence can make him feel like these harsh words are his only truths. These could also feel like an attack and whoever said it runs the risk of actually offending him. 

2) He rejects compliments

Does he brush people off when they say good things about him? Does he not believe them? Does he think people are just humoring him?

The same way he is sensitive to criticism, compliments are also difficult for him to accept. He does not believe in his capabilities to do well so why are people giving him a nod for it?

To be fair, accepting compliments can be difficult. And it’s not only people who lack confidence that are affected. There’s just something about compliments that feel *icky* to accept.

Saying that, an unconfident man will show this behavior, and it will be evident. 

3) He is prone to self-doubt

“What if I don’t do well?” is a phrase that a lot of us are familiar with. In times of extreme nerves hitting us, it’s easy to fall into self-doubt.

However, a man who lacks self-confidence will be more prone to self-doubt than others. He lacks trust in his capabilities and lacks belief that he will do things successfully. 

When this happens, it’s good to remind him of previous successes or previous times he overcame obstacles. And sure, confidence is a skill we need to build for ourselves, but a friendly face wouldn’t hurt. 

4) He feels like he is in constant competition with others

Friendly competition is normal, even encouraged in certain spaces. However, it’s unhealthy when someone feels like they’re in constant competition with others.

And a man who lacks confidence will follow this pattern. 

The tendency to see everyone as a rival is that you can find yourself not focusing on what you can do. Instead, you will spend precious time trying to see what others are doing.

This can lead to further feelings of inferiority and envy. 

5) He doesn’t like taking leadership roles 

A man who lacks confidence won’t feel “ready” to take on leadership roles. He won’t feel prepared to make decisions that can impact other people. 

Here’s the thing, leadership and confidence are symbiotic.

As one Swedish study found:

“Confidence in leadership [roles] seems important for having positive outcomes of leadership. Although this needs further research, it is something organisations should consider when working with leadership questions.”

Being in leadership roles could empower him, though! He will be forced to look at his strengths and weaknesses. He will need to make decisions, too. He will learn to understand his failures. 

He will need to earn the trust of those he is leading—and confidence plays a big role in earning this trust. 

6) He doesn’t want to be put in the spotlight

Is he the type to not join in the fun? The type who would back out of plans if there’s any inkling of being put on the spot? Does he not enjoy activities that would put a lot of attention on him?

Similar to the previous point, he who lacks confidence will feel intimidated by the spotlight. He wouldn’t want to be under it at all. 

7) He says yes to everything

His lack of confidence will make him cautious in saying no. Or worse, he won’t say no to anyone at all for fear of further disappointing them. 

But as a lot of us know, there is power in saying no. There are merits in setting and asserting our boundaries, positively affecting our self-esteem is just one of them. 

8) He has poor posture 

Notice him folding upon himself? Slouched or hunched all the time even outside of relaxed environments? Always hiding himself? Always trying his best not to be noticed?

The thing is, your posture can affect your confidence.

Even confidence in problem-solving increases with better posture, according to an experiment done by San Francisco State University.

And you know what? Other people can see it, too. 

9) He is indecisive

A man who lacks confidence is a man unsure. Unsure of what to do, what to decide, and sometimes, even who to be.

He doesn’t trust himself to make decisions, he doesn’t trust himself to make the right ones. At times, he even struggles with sticking to the ones he’s already made. 

His lack of confidence makes him believe that he’s incapable of making the decisions that matter. His lack of confidence makes him believe he will always make the wrong ones, even with proof of otherwise.

The lack of confidence makes him focus on the failures even when statistically speaking, he’s not made of just those.

10) He quits easily

Quitting isn’t shameful, let’s get that one out of the way first. This needs to be said louder for men, as you all are so often forced to “Man up” or “Toughen up!” 

Knowing when to quit, though? That’s the kicker. 

A man who lacks confidence will prematurely quit more often than others. There’s a lack of confidence in seeing things through to the very end. The lack of confidence manifests as fear of losing. They might use “quitting while you’re ahead” to never risk failing. 

But what do we know about failing? It’s vital to success. It’s how one learns, it’s how one grows. And that growth is even more important than success. 

TL; DR. Quitting is not shameful, but quitting too much and too early is escaping failure. And while that could be a smart move sometimes, not risking a loss is also removing your chance to win. 

And you deserve a win, too, no matter what your lack of confidence dictates. 

One last thing

“You learn something new every day” is a statement that I live by. I truly believe we are capable of this, and why can’t it be about confidence? 

And yes, perhaps this is easier said than done and even deceptively basic, but that is the essence of building your confidence. Bit by bit. One day at a time. Heck, maybe even minute by minute.

It’s a constant choice to “believe in yourself” and that is difficult to do for a lot of us, but not impossible. 

So whether it’s you who’s experiencing a lack of confidence or you’re seeing these habits in someone else, please proceed with kindness. 

We’re all just trying our best in a world that demands perfection. 

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

If your goal is to become happy, say hello to these 9 daily habits

7 compliments men give when they genuinely find you attractive, according to psychology