Men who are insecure about their appearance often display these 7 subtle behaviors (without realizing it)

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You know, we often talk about women feeling insecure about their appearance. But let’s be real for a second.

Men feel it too.

In fact, a lot of men are just as self-conscious about their looks as women, maybe even more so. Yet, they often hide it behind a tough exterior, afraid to admit it even to themselves.

What’s interesting is how this insecurity subtly manifests in their behavior. You might not notice it at first, but once you do, it’s like suddenly seeing the world in high definition.

So, if you’ve ever wondered, “Does my friend feel insecure about his looks?” or perhaps you’re a guy wondering “Am I subconsciously showing signs of insecurity?” then this article is for you.

Let’s delve into these subtle behaviors that often go unnoticed but can speak volumes about what a man truly feels about his appearance.

1) Constantly seeking validation

We all like a bit of validation, don’t we?

But men who are insecure about their appearance often take this to another level. They may constantly seek approval or compliments about their looks, even if it’s about the smallest things. A new haircut, a fresh shave, a workout result – you name it.

It’s like they’re fishing for compliments, in constant need of reassurance that they look good.

But here’s the catch. Even when they do get the validation, it never seems to be enough. It’s as if they’re trying to fill a void that just can’t be filled.

Does that sound familiar?

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with wanting validation. It becomes a problem when it turns into an obsessive need. That’s when it’s time to pause and rethink things.

2) Overly critical about personal appearance

Here’s something I’ve noticed in one of my close friends. Let’s call him Jack.

Jack is a good-looking guy, no doubt about it.

But he has this habit of standing in front of the mirror, scrutinizing every inch of himself. From the slight asymmetry of his nose to the faint lines on his forehead, he criticizes himself harshly for the smallest perceived imperfections.

He usually laughs it off as him being ‘detail-oriented’ or ‘just wanting to look his best’.

But I can’t help but notice the underlying insecurity it reveals. It’s as if he’s magnifying these tiny flaws that no one else would even notice.

And let me tell you, it’s not just about Jack.

Many men who are insecure about their appearance display this behavior. They’re overly critical about their looks, always finding something to fix or alter.

3) Avoiding situations that highlight physical appearance

Now, I want to share a story about my gym buddy, let’s call him Mike.

Mike was always the type to shy away from social events that revolved around physical activities. Beach parties, pool hangouts, even a casual game of basketball – he’d always have an excuse to skip.

At first, I didn’t think much of it. After all, not everyone is into sports or outdoor activities. But then I noticed something else. Mike would always wear baggy clothes, even in the heat of the summer. It was as if he was trying to hide his body.

One day, I asked him about it. He laughed it off at first, saying he just preferred comfortable clothes. But after a bit of prodding, he admitted that he felt uncomfortable with his body and didn’t want people to judge him based on his appearance.

That’s when it hit me – Mike was insecure about his looks and was avoiding situations that would highlight his physical appearance.

This may not be true for all men, but for some, this is a clear sign of insecurity about their appearance.

If you know someone who behaves like Mike, they might be dealing with similar issues without even realizing it.

4) Excessive grooming and checking

Ever noticed someone who spends an unusually long time grooming themselves?

It could be constantly checking their hair, excessively applying cologne, or even spending hours deciding what to wear.

It might seem like they’re just meticulous about their appearance, and to some extent, that’s true. But behind this behavior often lies a deep-seated insecurity about how they look.

This was something I noticed in a former colleague of mine. He would always be the last one to leave the restroom, making sure every strand of hair was in place, every crease on his shirt was ironed out.

At first, it seemed like he just liked to present himself well.

But over time, it became clear that this excessive grooming was more than just wanting to look good – it was a way for him to cope with his insecurities about his appearance.

It’s a subtle sign, but it’s there if you look closely. Always remember, understanding these behaviors is the first step towards helping someone deal with their insecurities.

5) Frequently comparing themselves to others

We live in a world saturated with images of ‘perfection’.

From magazine covers to Instagram feeds, we’re constantly bombarded with pictures of men with chiseled bodies, flawless skin, and perfect hair.

And this affects men just as much as it does women.

Take my cousin, for example. He’s always comparing himself to fitness models and celebrities, often saying things like “I wish I had his abs” or “If only I had his jawline”.

It’s not just idle chatter. Research shows that men who frequently compare themselves to others tend to have more body dissatisfaction and lower self-esteem.

6) Over-exercising or extreme dieting

A few years ago, I found myself in a tough spot. I was unhappy with my body and desperate for change. So, I started working out a lot. I’d spend hours at the gym, pushing myself to the limit.

I also drastically changed my diet, often skipping meals or eating very little. I justified it as ‘discipline’ and ‘dedication’. But deep down, I knew it was unhealthy.

With time, I realized that this extreme behavior was driven by my insecurities about my appearance. It wasn’t about being healthy or fit; it was about trying to reach an unrealistic ideal of what a man should look like.

And I’m not alone in this. Many men resort to over-exercising or extreme dieting due to insecurities about their bodies. It’s a subtle behavior, often masked as ‘commitment to fitness’, but it can be detrimental to both physical and mental health.

So, if you notice someone pushing themselves too hard at the gym or following an extreme diet, it might not just be about fitness goals. It could be a sign of deeper insecurities about their appearance.

7) Overcompensating with material possessions

Ever known someone who constantly splurges on expensive clothes, luxury watches, or flashy cars?

While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, it can be a way for some men to overcompensate for their insecurities about their appearance.

I’ve seen this with a friend who wasn’t comfortable with his looks. He’d always show up with the latest designer clothes or the newest gadget. It was his way of deflecting attention from his appearance and proving his worth in other ways.

What we need to keep in mind is that true worth isn’t determined by appearance or material possessions. It comes from within.

Once we realize this, we can start to let go of these insecurities and embrace who we truly are.

Embracing the journey of self-acceptance

If you’re reading this and seeing yourself in these subtle behaviors, it’s okay.

Insecurities about appearance are common among men, more than what’s often acknowledged. But remember, acknowledging our insecurities is the first step towards transforming them.

It begins with self-awareness.

Start recognizing the situations where these behaviors show up. Whether it’s seeking constant validation, being overly critical of your appearance, or overcompensating with material possessions – awareness is key.

Once you recognize these patterns, challenge them. Ask yourself – why do I feel this way? Am I comparing myself to unrealistic standards? How can I redefine my view of self-worth?

Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process, a journey. And every journey starts with a single step.

But most importantly, be kind to yourself along the way. Celebrate each small victory, each instance where you chose self-acceptance over insecurity.

In the words of renowned psychologist Carl Rogers, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

So embrace the journey of self-acceptance. It might not be easy, but it’s worth it. And in doing so, you’ll discover an inner confidence that outshines any physical appearance.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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