Men who try too hard to look confident usually display these 8 behaviors (without realizing it)

Confidence can be a tricky act to master, and when overdone, it’s far too obvious.

You’ve seen it before – men trying too hard to appear confident, but their actions tell a different story. The more they strain to display confidence, the less authentic it seems.

These men are often unaware of their behaviors, but they are easily recognizable to the observant eye.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the common behaviors that are usually displayed by men who try too hard to look confident, often without even realizing it. This is not about mocking or criticizing, but about understanding and recognizing these signs.

Get ready to dive in.

1) Overcompensation

We’ve all seen this – men who are trying too hard to appear confident often overcompensate.

Overcompensation can take many forms. It could be as subtle as talking a little too loudly, or as blatant as constantly trying to boast about their achievements or possessions.

This behavior stems from the belief that confidence is directly proportional to the volume of their voice or the size of their accomplishments. But in reality, true confidence lies in quiet assurance.

Men who overcompensate in an attempt to look confident often don’t realize that they’re doing it. They see it as a way to assert their presence and command respect.

But to the observant eye, it’s a clear sign that the person is not as confident as they’re trying to appear.

If you notice yourself or someone else falling into this pattern, it might be time for some introspection and self-awareness. Remember, authenticity always trumps pretense when it comes to confidence.

2) Dominating the conversation

One behavior I’ve personally come across is when men try to dominate every conversation.

A few years back, I had a co-worker, let’s call him Jack. Jack was a good guy, but he had this habit of taking over every discussion, be it a team meeting or a casual lunchroom chat. He believed that by controlling the conversation, and always steering it back to himself, he would appear more confident.

He’d interrupt others, or speak louder to drown out someone else’s point. He hardly ever asked questions or showed interest in others’ opinions. The problem was, he didn’t realize how this behavior came across – it didn’t make him seem confident, rather, it made him appear insecure and self-absorbed.

True confidence is about being comfortable in your own skin and not feeling the need to constantly validate yourself. It’s about listening as much as speaking, and valuing others’ perspectives.

3) Flashy displays

Another common behavior displayed by men trying too hard to look confident is the use of flashy displays. This could be wearing excessively branded clothing, driving luxury cars, or even flaunting expensive gadgets.

These external symbols of success are often used as a crutch to project an image of confidence and power. But often, this ends up having the opposite effect on onlookers — making it look like you need a flashy display to boost your self-esteem.

True confidence comes from within and isn’t dependent on external validation or material possessions. So next time you see someone constantly showing off their latest purchase or achievement, keep in mind that it might be a sign of them trying too hard to appear confident.

4) Unnecessary competitiveness

Another common behavior you may notice in men who try too hard to look confident is an unnecessary level of competitiveness. They feel the need to turn every situation into a competition, believing that winning is a clear sign of confidence.

Whether it’s turning a casual sport into a serious match or turning a friendly debate into an argument, these men always want to come out on top. They believe that always being the winner will showcase their confidence and strength.

The irony is, true confidence doesn’t come from constantly competing and winning but from knowing your self-worth even when you don’t win. It’s about being secure enough in yourself to not see every situation as a battle that needs to be won.

5) Avoiding vulnerability

One of the most poignant signs that a man is trying too hard to appear confident is when they avoid showing any vulnerability.

Many men have been conditioned to believe that showing emotions or admitting to fears and insecurities is a sign of weakness. They put up a tough exterior and try to handle everything on their own, believing this is what confidence looks like.

But the truth is, it takes great courage to be vulnerable and open about our feelings. True confidence lies in the ability to accept ourselves as we are, flaws and all. It’s about knowing that our worth isn’t diminished by admitting we’re human and we can be hurt.

If you see someone who never lets their guard down, who never admits when they’re wrong or scared, it’s probably because they’re trying too hard to appear confident. But remember, it’s okay to be vulnerable. In fact, it’s one of the most authentic expressions of confidence.

6) Masking their true feelings

Another behavior that men trying too hard to look confident often display is masking their true feelings.

There was a time when I would plaster a smile on my face, even when I was going through a rough patch. I thought that showing any sadness or stress would make me appear weak. I believed that confidence meant always being positive and upbeat, even when things were falling apart.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that this wasn’t confidence, but a facade. True confidence is about being genuine and authentic. It’s about acknowledging your feelings and not being afraid to show them.

So if you notice someone who always seems to be in high spirits, regardless of the situation, it might be an attempted show of confidence. But it’s okay to show your true feelings. It’s a part of being human and it doesn’t take away from your confidence.

7) Constant need for validation

One of the more subtle signs that a man is trying too hard to appear confident is a constant need for validation.

These men often seek approval or compliments from others to feel good about themselves. They may frequently fish for compliments or constantly check to see if what they’re doing is “right” or “good enough.”

This behavior stems from a belief that confidence comes from external validation, but the reality is that true confidence comes from within. It’s about knowing your worth and not relying on others to validate it.

8) Fear of failure

The most significant behavior displayed by men trying too hard to appear confident is their fear of failure.

These men view any mistake or failure as a direct blow to their confidence. They go to great lengths to avoid failure, often playing it safe and avoiding risks.

But the truth is, failure is an integral part of growth and learning. True confidence comes from embracing failures, learning from them, and using them as stepping stones towards success.

Final thoughts: It’s about authenticity

The essence of true confidence is deeply intertwined with authenticity.

American author and lecturer, Brené Brown, once said, “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

This couldn’t ring truer in understanding the behaviors of men who try too hard to look confident. Often, they’re merely trying to fit into a mold of what they believe confidence should look like, instead of embracing their unique strengths and vulnerabilities.

True confidence isn’t loud or flashy. It doesn’t seek validation or shy away from failures. It’s quiet, it’s assured, and it’s unafraid to be vulnerable.

It comes from knowing oneself and being comfortable in one’s skin.

So the next time you see someone trying too hard to look confident, or if you find yourself falling into these patterns, remember Brené Brown’s words. Choose authenticity over appearance. Choose to be real over fitting into a mold.

Because at the end of the day, true confidence stems from being unapologetically you.

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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