If a man displays these 8 behaviors, he lacks confidence around women

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We all know that guy — he’s charming, funny, and easygoing when he’s with his buddies. But bring a woman into the mix, and it’s like he’s a different person. 

Suddenly, he’s awkward, says weird things, or maybe even goes silent. Sounds familiar? 

Whether it’s your friend, your brother, or hey, even you, we’ve all seen men who seem to lose their mojo around women. 

I have a friend like this, even though he has so many amazing qualities that he should be proudly showcasing.

You might be wondering, what are the signs that a man is not confident when he’s around the opposite sex? I’ve noticed these 8 behaviors that make it pretty clear.

1) He avoids eye contact

The eyes are the windows to the soul, they say, and not meeting someone’s gaze often means there’s something you’re trying to hide or you’re not fully present in the interaction.

Or, you simply lack confidence and the eye contact makes you self-conscious, or it feels too intense.

This is one of the first signs I could see in my friend. He’s super relaxed around his guy friends, and can easily look them in the eye.

The same goes for women he’s known for a really long time and grew comfortable around, like me.

But I introduce him to one of my girlfriends, or he meets someone at a party, and suddenly his eyes start dancing around the room. 

If you recognize this behavior, whether in yourself or someone else, it might be time to acknowledge that there’s a lack of confidence at play. 

2) He stammers and hesitates

You’ve surely sat through a couple presentations that felt excruciatingly long because the speaker couldn’t stop saying “um,” “uh,” or making awkward pauses.

Well, though they can certainly improve their public speaking skills, we should be more empathetic to these speakers — this is another sign that they could lack confidence.

And for some men, this becomes a recurring theme whenever they talk to women.

My friend is a very eloquent speaker and expresses himself very clearly and engagingly. Heck, he could captivate a whole room effortlessly. But put him in front of a woman, and the stammers and hesitations kick in.

When I talked to him about it, he said it’s because he worries about how he’s being perceived. He gets anxious about saying “the wrong thing” and then starts second-guessing himself. 

3) He fidgets

Fidgeting is the third musketeer to the trio of lack of eye contact and hesitant speech. 

And it’s also one of the most obvious signs because it can be very distracting to the other person. 

A person who fidgets might start drumming their fingers on the table, constantly adjust their clothes or glasses, or tap their foot.

My friend in particular tends to play with whatever he has in his pocket at the moment. 

Fidgeting can often be a way to release nervous energy. It’s like your body is saying, “I don’t know what to do with myself right now!” 

Unfortunately, this restlessness can also make the woman a man is interacting with uneasy too. After all, if he can’t relax, how can he expect her to?

4) He overcompensates

Some signs, like the ones we saw above, are obvious indicators that a man lacks confidence around women.

But others may seem like the complete opposite. Like the guy who’s usually chill but turns into Mr. Know-It-All or Mr. Tough Guy when a woman walks into a room.

It’s like they feel the need to puff up their feathers, talk louder, and dominate the conversation, often interrupting others or boasting about their achievements. 

It’s true that this can really be part of someone’s personality. But another possibility is that they’re trying to mask their lack of confidence by overcompensating for it. 

My friend isn’t one to do this, but I have noticed it occasionally in some other guys — unfortunately, it’s not always done as smoothly as they think.

Women can generally sense when someone is being genuine, and overcompensating can make a man seem a bit forced and less authentic.

5) He avoids taking the lead

When you think about a typical confident man, you probably think of the Alpha Male — the classic leader of the pack, someone who likes and knows how to take charge.

And that’s not always the case — there are plenty of confident men who prefer to make decisions together, or ask for others’ preferences first.

However, some men would normally really like to take the lead but lack the confidence to do so. This becomes especially clear during dating situations. 

My friend, for example, is a whiz at planning outings with the guys — hiking trips, weekend getaways, you name it. 

But when he started dating his girlfriend, he became indecisive, always asking her to make the choices. From where to eat to what movie to watch, he seemed unable to take the reins.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about endorsing traditional gender roles or saying that men should always be in control. 

But an ability to at least participate in decisions is not just a sign of confidence, it’s also a very necessary skill for successful and healthy relationships. 

6) He seeks constant validation

Have you ever met someone who seemed to need constant reassurance about, well, everything? 

“Was that joke funny?” “Do you think she liked me?” “Was that a good idea?” These aren’t just casual questions; they’re cries for validation. 

When a man is always seeking approval, particularly from women, it’s a sign that he’s not confident in his own judgment or self-worth.

This can happen if a man puts a woman on a pedestal. She is perfect in his eyes, and so her opinion becomes the voice of truth. 

My friend and his girlfriend have identified this as one of the things they can work on together, and he has gotten a lot better at finding validation within himself.

This is something I’d encourage any guy who lacks confidence to spend time on, as it will help you support yourself to get so much farther in your goals. 

7) He backs down easily in conversations

Healthy debate can be a sign of a lively mind and an engaging personality, and a confident man can feel comfortable having a different opinion than someone else — including women.

But what if he folds at the first sign of disagreement? This is the opposite of having to win every argument, and while it’s much less conflictive, it’s certainly not any more healthy.

Because there starts to be no boundaries between his opinions and those of others. He may even start to doubt himself, and need to base his opinions off of what others think in the first place.

It’s normal to want others to like you and agree with you, but if you take it too far, you start to lose your sense of self, just bending to whatever you think others want from you.

In my friend’s case, he felt comfortable disagreeing, but whenever there was a conflict with his girlfriend, he always automatically apologized, even if he wasn’t the one in the wrong.

This played into his need for validation, and he’s gotten much better at it too. And his girlfriend agrees that this will benefit both of them — it sets healthy boundaries and helps them grow as individuals. 

8) He overthinks and overanalyzes 

Have you ever found yourself analyzing every little detail of something a person said or did? This is something men who lack confidence around women know very well.

It’s true that women are very complicated creatures — I should know! — but mulling over it for hours doesn’t make it any easier.

I remember when my friend first started dating his girlfriend, he used to turn to me for help interpreting her texts. 

He would worry that a short “Okay” meant she was upset with him, or obsess over the meaning behind an emoji.

It wasn’t just exhausting for him (and me!) — it also became a little nerve-wracking for his girlfriend, who tried her best to be very cautious about what she said.

At the end of the day, you can’t read anybody’s mind, and we each see the world in our own way. So you can never know for sure what a person is thinking.

The best you can do is communicate as well as you can, and you’ll probably find that most issues you imagined there to be are not really issues at all.

Building up your confidence

Let’s face it — confidence doesn’t come overnight, but recognizing the signs is the first step toward building it. 

We’ve gone over 8 behaviors that suggest a man might be lacking confidence around women. 

If you see yourself or someone you know in this article, remember that growth is always possible — and acknowledging the problem is the first step. 

Take small steps to face these insecurities, whether it’s holding eye contact a little longer, speaking up during conversations, or learning to stand your ground. 

The path to confidence is an ongoing journey, but every step you take makes you stronger and enriches your relationships with others. 

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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

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