Men who take themselves too seriously usually display these 9 behaviors (without realizing it)

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There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and it often comes down to self-awareness.

Some men, without realizing it, cross this line by taking themselves too seriously. They don’t see the difference between commanding respect and demanding it.

These men exhibit certain behaviors that give away their self-serious attitude. And I’ve noticed that there are specific patterns to these behaviors.

In this article, I’ll share with you the 9 common behaviors I’ve observed in men who take themselves too seriously. Trust me, it’s not always what you’d expect.

1) Constant one-upping

We’ve all come across those people who can’t resist the urge to one-up every story, achievement, or experience shared in a conversation.

For men who take themselves too seriously, this is a common behavior. They feel the need to always be on top, even if it means diminishing other people’s experiences.

This happens because they’re usually too focused on ensuring their own value and worth is acknowledged. They want to be seen as superior, even if it means constantly turning every conversation into a competition.

Keep in mind though, this isn’t always done with malicious intent. Often, they may not even realize they’re doing it.

2) Overly critical of others

Now, let me share a personal experience. I once had a friend, let’s call him Mike. Mike was one of those guys who always had to find fault with something or someone.

Whether it was the way the waitress poured his water, how our mutual friend played guitar, or even the way I laughed – nothing was ever up to his standards.

But what he didn’t realize was that his nitpicking wasn’t about perfection, but rather about asserting his superiority. He used criticism as a tool to elevate himself and appear more important or knowledgeable.

If you find yourself always focusing on negatives and constantly criticizing others, it might be time to ask yourself: “Am I being overly critical because I take myself too seriously?”

3) Difficulty laughing at themselves

It’s an interesting truth that humor and the ability to laugh at oneself is a sign of high emotional intelligence. However, men who take themselves too seriously often struggle with this.

They see any form of self-deprecating humor or being the butt of a joke as a direct threat to their self-image. They fear that laughing at themselves could diminish their respect or status in the eyes of others.

This often leads to them being perceived as uptight or lacking a sense of humor. They might even get defensive or upset when someone tries to joke with them.

4) Always in control

Men who take themselves too seriously often feel the need to be in control of every situation. They want to dictate the pace, the direction, and the outcome of things around them.

This could be anything from insisting on choosing the restaurant for a group dinner, controlling the conversation, or making decisions on behalf of others without consulting them.

While it’s great to take charge when necessary, there’s a difference between leadership and control. The latter can become suffocating for those around you and can create a sense of resentment.

5) Unwillingness to show vulnerability

Vulnerability is a powerful thing. It shows our humanity, fosters connection and builds trust. However, for men who take themselves too seriously, showing vulnerability is often seen as a sign of weakness.

They believe they must always appear strong, competent, and unflappable. They keep their emotions and struggles to themselves, for fear that revealing them would undermine their perceived strength.

Unfortunately, this unwillingness to show vulnerability can create a barrier between them and others. It can prevent deep connections and hinder authentic communication.

6) Overemphasis on status and achievements

I’ve encountered men who equate their worth with their job titles, flashy cars, or bank account balances. Their chatter centers on recent conquests or acquisitions, as if these define their entire being.

Their self-worth hinges entirely on external symbols of success. They’re so entrenched in this mindset that they can’t distinguish their value from these material markers.

But reality check: life’s unpredictable. Overnight, these symbols of success can vanish, leaving them reeling with a blow to their self-esteem.

7) Impatience with others

I remember a time when I was impatient with a colleague who was learning a new skill. I took myself so seriously that I expected everyone else to be at the same pace as me.

This impatience was a reflection of my inability to empathize, to remember that everyone has their own learning curve, and that it’s okay for people to take their time to grasp something new.

Here’s the thing: Men who take themselves too seriously often expect others to match their speed, their efficiency, or their way of doing things. And if others don’t meet these expectations, they become impatient or even dismissive.

This can create a hostile environment and can make others feel undervalued.  

8) Difficulty admitting they’re wrong

Admitting you’re wrong can be tough. It requires humility, courage, and self-awareness. But for men who take themselves too seriously, it can be a monumental task.

They often view admitting mistakes as a sign of weakness. They believe it undermines their credibility, knowledge, or status. As a result, they would rather defend their point of view, even in the face of clear evidence to the contrary.

But here’s the paradox: refusing to admit when you’re wrong doesn’t make you look strong or credible. Instead, it can make you appear stubborn, close-minded, and even untrustworthy.

9) Lack of empathy

A big part of these behaviors boils down to empathy—or the lack of it. Those guys who take themselves too seriously? They often find it tough to see things from someone else’s perspective. 

This lack of empathy can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and strained relationships. It can make others feel unheard, undervalued, or disrespected.

But here’s the kicker: empathy isn’t weakness; it’s strength. It’s a testament to your security and maturity, demonstrating your capacity to acknowledge and honor others’ feelings and viewpoints.

Reflecting on self-awareness

When we start delving into why we act the way we do, it’s usually connected to how we see ourselves and how seriously we take that image.

For guys showing these behaviors, it might come from seeing themselves as super serious, needing to be in control, or battling with letting their guard down. But under it all, it often comes down to not really knowing themselves all that well.

If you spot any of these traits in yourself, don’t sweat it. Awareness is where the magic happens. Once you see these patterns, you’re already on the road to being more tuned in, empathetic, and just all-around grounded.

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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