People who lack confidence often display these 11 behaviors

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You know those people who always seem a bit unsure of themselves? The ones who don’t say much at parties or at work?

Just like we can learn a lot from what confident people do, we can learn from what those lacking confidence often do as well.

Let’s dive into the 11 behaviors often displayed by those who lack confidence.

1. Apologizing all the time

Ever met someone who says “sorry” a lot? Even when they’ve done nothing wrong? It’s like they have a built-in apology generator! This is often a sign of low confidence.

They’re sorry because they’re worried about taking up space, about being a bother, or about saying or doing something wrong.

While it’s great to apologize when we’ve messed up, saying “sorry” all the time can make it seem like we’re always in the wrong… even when we’re not!

If you notice someone constantly apologizing, they might just be lacking a bit of self-confidence.

2. Avoiding Eye Contact

Ever noticed how some people struggle to hold eye contact during a conversation?

They might look away or down, focusing on anything but the person they’re talking to.

This is often because they’re feeling unsure of themselves. Making direct eye contact can feel very vulnerable and for those who lack confidence, it might feel like too much.

Remember, it’s not that they’re being rude or uninterested, they might just be battling with their self-confidence levels.

If you’re one of these people, try practicing holding eye contact a bit longer each time. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice, it can help boost your confidence.

3. Avoiding New Experiences

Who hasn’t been reluctant to try something new, right?

I remember this one time when my friends wanted to try out this newly opened Thai restaurant.

Even though I love hanging out with my friends, I was hesitant.


Because I had never tried Thai food before. I was worried I wouldn’t like the food or, worse, that I’d embarrass myself by not knowing what to order or how to eat it.

Looking back now, I realize that my reluctance was a sign of lacking confidence.

People who lack confidence often avoid new experiences because they’re nervous about the unknown.

They stick to what they know because it’s comfortable and safe. But trying new things can be a great way to build confidence.

If you find yourself avoiding new experiences, try taking a small step outside your comfort zone. You might surprise yourself. 

4. Speaking Softly or Quickly

People who lack confidence often speak in a softer or quicker manner.

They might rush through their words or speak so softly that they’re hard to hear. This is usually because they’re worried about others’ opinions.

They might fear that what they have to say isn’t important, so they try to get through it quickly, or they say it quietly to avoid drawing attention.

But everyone’s voice deserves to be heard! If you notice this behavior in yourself or someone else, remember, it’s okay to take your time and speak up.

5. Struggling to Accept Compliments

Have you ever given a compliment to someone and instead of a simple “thank you,” they deflect it or downplay their achievement?

It’s as if they’re handing the compliment right back like a hot potato! This can often be a sign of low confidence.

People who struggle with self-confidence often find it hard to believe that they are deserving of praise.

They might brush off the compliment or immediately attribute their success to luck or the help of others.

While humility is a beautiful quality, it’s also important to acknowledge our accomplishments and accept compliments graciously.

When someone pays you a compliment, take a moment, let it sink in, and respond with a heartfelt “thank you.” It can be a small but powerful step in building confidence.

6. Avoiding Confrontation

Now, let me tell you about that one time I had a disagreement with a coworker. I was sure I was right, and they were in the wrong.

But did I speak up? No, I didn’t. I avoided confrontation like the plague, let it slide, and ended up doing twice the work.

Why? Because I lacked confidence.

People who lack confidence often avoid confrontation at all costs. It’s because they’re afraid that standing up for their opinions might lead to conflict or that others might think less of them.

But here’s what I’ve learned – it’s okay to disagree. Constructive disagreement can lead to better solutions and personal growth.

If you find yourself consistently avoiding confrontation, perhaps it’s time to take a deep breath and voice your thoughts. Remember, your opinion matters!

7. Being Overly Critical of Themselves

We all have moments when we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see, or we finish a project and feel like we could’ve done better.

But for those who lack confidence, this negative self-talk isn’t just occasional—it’s constant.

They’re their own toughest critic. Every mistake is a catastrophe, every flaw is magnified.

It’s as if they’re wearing these super-high-powered glasses that only spot the negatives.

It’s tough, it’s exhausting, and it’s one of the most common signs of low confidence.

We all mess up sometimes. We all have flaws. That’s part of being human.

If you find yourself doing this, try switching those glasses for a kinder lens. Start acknowledging your achievements, no matter how small. It’s time to be your own cheerleader. 

8. Struggling to Make Decisions

People who lack confidence often have a hard time making decisions.

This can range from big life decisions like choosing a career path, to small everyday choices like what to order at a restaurant.

They worry about making the wrong choice, disappointing others, or facing criticism. As a result, they might rely on others’ opinions or avoid decision-making altogether.

But here’s the thing: making decisions, big or small, is a part of life and it’s totally okay to make mistakes along the way. 

If you find yourself being a bit hesitant about what to do, try starting with small decisions and gradually work your way up. It’s a great way to build your confidence muscle. 

9. Feeling Uncomfortable Being the Center of Attention

I’ll never forget my 21st birthday party. My friends had organized a surprise for me, and I remember feeling so uncomfortable when everyone’s attention turned to me.

I felt like I was under a microscope and all I wanted to do was fade into the background. Looking back, I realize that this discomfort was rooted in my lack of confidence.

People who lack confidence often feel uneasy when they’re the center of attention. They worry about being judged or messing up in front of others.

But here’s something I’ve learned over the years – it’s okay to shine and let others celebrate you.

If you find yourself feeling this way, remember that it’s okay to bask in the limelight sometimes. You deserve it. 

10. Fearing Failure

Fear of failure can be a straight-up confidence killer.

It’s that nagging voice inside your head saying, “What if I mess up? What if I’m not good enough?” It can paralyze you from taking action, from going after what you truly want.

People lacking confidence often see failure as the end of the world. But it isn’t. Failure is not a reflection of your worth, but an opportunity to learn and grow.

If you’re caught in this fear, remember that every successful person has failed multiple times before they succeeded. It’s time to embrace failure as a stepping stone towards success, not a pitfall.

11. Comparing Themselves to Others

Lastly, and perhaps most brutally, people who lack confidence often compare themselves to others.

They look at their friends, colleagues, even strangers on social media, and think, “Why can’t I be more like them?”

It’s a vicious cycle that only fuels self-doubt and erodes confidence even further.

But here’s the raw truth: Comparisons are unfair. They make you judge your behind-the-scenes by someone else’s highlight reel.

Everyone has their own path, their own pace.

So next time you find yourself falling into the comparison trap, remember to focus on your journey. Your value is unique and incomparable.


Don’t worry if you relate to the above behaviors. We all have moments where we don’t feel so sure about ourselves. It’s totally normal.

The phrase “fake it till you make it” tells us that sometimes, we just need to act confident even if we don’t feel that way.

Everyone has been there, feeling a little shaky trying something new or speaking up about something. It’s a common thread that ties us all together.

And guess what? Each time we face these fears, we get a bit stronger, a bit more confident.

It’s like exercising a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets.

So whenever you feel unsure, it’s just a chance to grow. With a little courage, step by step, we can get past these fears and become more confident in ourselves.


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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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