Men who are confident on the surface but insecure underneath often display these 8 subtle behaviors

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For many men, confidence is easy to fake. Sometimes, they’re even convincing. 

They can stick their chest out, walk upright, speak loudly, drive expensive cars, and announce themselves to the world as “alphas.” 

But the thing about confidence is that, for it to be genuine, it has to come from deep within. 

Truly confident men have an inner peace about them that you just don’t develop overnight. 

There are posers everywhere, while self-assured men are far rarer than you think. 

If you have trouble making the distinction, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, I’ll take you through the behaviors of men who can fake confidence but are deeply insecure behind the facade. 

Let’s get it to it! 

1) They overcompensate 

I think we all know a guy (or five) who overcompensates for his deep-seated insecurities. 

Once you notice a man regularly trying a bit too hard or coming off too strong or aggressive, typically he has some self-worth issues.

I have an acquaintance who almost instinctively tries to intimidate new people–starting with a handshake that’s just a bit too firm, bordering on forceful. 

He’ll grab the other person’s hand so robustly that the recipient will often feel a hint of pain, as their knuckles collide with one another. I can attest to this. 

And overcompensating behaviors aren’t just limited to handshakes. 

Insecure men tend to go to great lengths to prove their value or superiority in areas they feel incompetent. 

Men who secretly feel inferior (whether consciously or not) will often resort to bragging about their achievements, being unashamedly open about their wealth (embellishing where necessary), or dominating discussions. 

Their favorite topic of conversation? 

You guessed it… themselves, of course. 

2) They seek validation 

There’s nothing a fake confident man loves more than a temporary, superficial ego boost. 

And in this digital, social media-dominant era, he can get an instant fix anytime he feels the need to, which is often. 

So if a man pretends to be confident, but beneath the surface, his foundations are shaky, expect plenty of an excess of self-indulgent, vain posts about his looks (i.e. selfies, occasionally shirtless ones), his work, achievements, and so on.  

He will not-so-subtly fish for words of affirmation and compliments. 

Meanwhile, when a man has nothing to prove, he doesn’t usually feel the need for external reassurance and validation. 

He has firm self-belief–and he gets most of his validation from that fact alone.  

3) They can’t accept criticism

The confident man knows he’s not perfect. 

He is also aware that making mistakes is a totally normal part of life. 

So when he falls short, as we all do, he takes well-meaning criticism in stride, using it as motivation to bounce back. 

This is not the case for the faux-confident gent. 

Despite his confident, occasionally brash facade, he might react poorly to any negative feedback. 

Maybe he’ll become defensive, angry, and dismissive. 

Rather than accept feedback gracefully, he takes it as a personal affront, as it touches on his underlying insecurities. 

He simultaneously lacks self-belief and thinks of himself to be above criticism–a hallmark of a delicate constitution. 

4) They sometimes become perfectionists 

Speaking of overcompensating behaviors, men who lack self-assurance sometimes demonstrate an obsession with perfectionism.

The thing is, we are supposed to be flawed; that’s part of what makes us human. 

In life, when something or someone is too perfect, or “too good to be true,” this could potentially be a red flag. 

The insecure man thinks that the world will judge them harshly and expose them for any perceived inadequacies. 

Hence, they have a constant desire to appear perfect–even though beneath the charade, they feel deeply unsure of themselves. 

Bottom line: They’re deeply concerned about others’ opinions of them. 

5) They get jealous 

This one’s a no-brainer. 

Truly confident men don’t feel the need to compete. 

They don’t have anything to prove so they don’t often feel threatened, particularly where there is nothing to be threatened about. 

Insecure men become the green-eyed monster pretty often, whether it has to do with someone else’s success or attention… or in their relationships. 

In the context of the relationship, if a man is regularly jealous, this tends to highlight a low level of self-worth. 

He can seem like the most muscle-bound, tattooed badass in town, but if he becomes jealous or controlling in his relationships, this is evidence of his inherent insecurities. 

I remember my first real relationship in my early 20s. 

I was naive, young, afraid. 

I came from a broken family which I suspect fueled my irrational insecurities

On occasion, my girlfriend would act, what I deemed, “too independent” of me, say by hanging out with her friends on the weekends, or chatting with other guy friends when we were at parties. 

This bothered me and l frequently let her know. 

She was just acting like any normal girl in her 20s would, whether single or not, and I felt threatened by that. 

So I began to stifle her, effectively making her miserable to appease me and my fragile ego. 

I’m sure you can guess how things played out.

 Live and learn. 

6) They constantly compare 

Genuinely confident men tend to find contentment and fulfillment internally. 

If they feel happy, that’s all that matters. 

Growth is relative, after all; everyone is on their own respective journeys and moving at their own pace. 

So when a so-called “confident” man has a bit of comparing himself to others, particularly on social media, this is a reflection of his confidence. 

To him, it doesn’t matter how he’s doing, if he isn’t driving the fastest car, has the most bank account digits, or has the best-looking partner in his social circle, he will feel inadequate–quite a contrast to his outwardly secure disposition. 

7) They often change their opinions or behaviors to fit in

When you have genuine confidence, you also tend to have a high level of self-awareness. 

This means that you have a firm set of beliefs, values, and personality traits that you don’t simply exchange for whatever’s fashionable. 

Weaker, more insecure men tend to modify their viewpoints and behaviors like chameleons, shifting their sentiments based on who they’re with, or where they are. 

They desperately want to be liked and accepted, which means compromising their inherent identity to fit in. 

Rather than stand tall and be proud of who they are, they bend to the will of the majority for fear of scrutiny and exclusion. 

Not very manly. 

8) They use humor or sarcasm as a defense

Have you ever met a “funny” guy who would relentlessly crack jokes and quips regardless of the environment? 

I think we all have come across this type of character at some point. 

They can get overbearing, hence most people can only put up with them in minute doses. 

Don’t be that guy. 

Funny is good. 

But like anything in life, when being the “joker” is done to excess, it becomes clear to many that your humor is used as a defense mechanism.

That’s right… some unconfident, insecure men will turn to humor or sarcasm as a way of deflecting serious conversations or avoiding addressing their feelings. 

They’re afraid to be vulnerable, something that takes emotional intelligence and confidence in equal doses. 

So instead, they transform into the court jester. 

Final words 

The great thing about humans is that we are naturally resilient creatures. 

So if you lack confidence today, evolving is always in the cards–if you are dedicated to change and putting the work in. 

We all feel insecure from time to time but many of us also grow out of that mindset and move forward. 

And the first step is realizing that there is a problem that needs fixing. 

You’d be surprised how many men are content with staying in denial. 

Once you own up to your shortcomings and embrace change, you’ll be a different, far better version of yourself in no time. 

But first, be honest with yourself. You got this. 

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