We all know those guys who strut around like peacocks, puffing their chests out, trying to be the loudest in the room – all in an attempt to prove how “confident” they are.
But genuine self-confidence isn’t loud or showy. It’s a quiet, solid assurance that comes from deep within – without the need to shout it from the rooftops.
But if it’s not loud, how do we spot it?
Well, there are certain behaviors that these men often display. Today, we cover seven of the most revealing.
Let’s get to it.
1) They compare themselves to themselves
Let’s be honest. We’ve all, at one point or another, found ourselves scrolling through social media, comparing our everyday lives to someone else’s glamorous highlights.
But as you might imagine, constantly measuring ourselves against others like this can be detrimental to our mental health and self-esteem. Studies confirm that it.
There will always be someone who seems to have more or be better in some aspect. This is often because we tend to focus on the extremes – like cherry-picking one person with a luxury lifestyle and another with a perfect home life, forgetting that these are selective snapshots, not the full picture.
Anyway, what do confident men do differently?
They shift the focus inward.
Instead of comparing themselves to others, they measure their progress against their own past achievements. This promotes a growth mindset and alleviates negative feelings like jealousy and inadequacy. It allows for a more personal and meaningful evaluation of one’s achievements and progress.
But don’t take my word for it. Clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson dedicates an entire chapter to the importance of this in his bestseller 12 Rules for Life. He advocates for focusing on personal development rather than getting lost in the distractions of external comparisons.
If you aren’t already, start benchmarking your successes and growth against where you were yesterday, not against someone else’s best moments.
You might just be amazed at what this change in perspective can do for your confidence.
2) They embrace vulnerability
Ever noticed how some men seem unafraid to show their feelings or admit when they’re wrong?
It might seem counterintuitive, but authentic self-confidence involves embracing vulnerability. As put by Brené Brown, a renowned expert on vulnerability “Vulnerability is the cornerstone of confidence.”
Men who exude genuine confidence understand that showing vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of strength. These men aren’t afraid to express their emotions, admit their mistakes, or acknowledge their weaknesses because they recognize that nobody is perfect.
By embracing vulnerability, they demonstrate that they are comfortable with their imperfections.
3) They don’t take over conversations
In my twenties, while working in the finance industry, I had the chance to work under two very different managers. Let’s call the first one James and the second Henry.
James was the kind of guy who tried to dominate every conversation. He was always eager to assert his opinions, often talking over others to make his point.
In contrast, Henry had a different approach. He would sit back and listen intently, absorbing what everyone had to say before sharing his thoughts.
Who sounds more confident to you?
As you have probably guessed, James, in his eagerness to be heard, often missed the mark in understanding others’ perspectives.
Henry’s approach of listening more than speaking not only made him a better communicator but also a more respected leader.
Confident men, like Henry, are secure enough in their views that they feel no need to dominate or ‘convert’ others to their way of thinking. Instead, they recognize the value in hearing different perspectives.
Whether they know it or not, they usually embody the words of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus: “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
If you want to appear and be truly confident, you should, too.
4) They aren’t afraid to change their views
We all know those guys who stubbornly cling to their beliefs, even in the face of compelling evidence to the contrary.
Genuinely confident men don’t do this. They are open to changing their views when presented with new or contradictory information.
This adaptability stems from deep-seated security in their self-worth that isn’t dependent on always being right. They understand that holding onto outdated or incorrect beliefs doesn’t reflect strength or intelligence.
In contrast to what some might feel, this is not a sign of weakness. It takes courage to admit that one’s understanding may be incomplete or incorrect, and even more so to embrace a new viewpoint.
5) They don’t buy things to impress others
Recently, I watched an interview with Louis Theroux in which he described himself as wanting to be “anti-flash,” and it got me thinking.
In a world where social media often showcases men with fancy cars and oversized watches, it’s easy to get caught up in a culture that equates success and confidence with material possessions. But, this incessant display often feels like a loud cry for attention, something truly confident men have no need to indulge in.
Truly self-assured men don’t feel the pressure to flaunt their wealth or status through material things. Their self-worth isn’t tied to external validation or keeping up with the Joneses.
This isn’t to say they don’t appreciate or own nice things – many do. But the key difference lies in the intention behind these possessions.
For a genuinely confident man, a luxury car or an expensive watch isn’t a tool for impressing others or a status symbol; it’s more about their passion or appreciation for the item itself. They invest in things that bring them genuine joy or satisfaction, not because it’s expected or to showcase their wealth.
This mindset extends beyond just physical possessions too. Their lifestyle choices are made based on personal values and interests rather than societal expectations or the desire to be perceived a certain way.
Truly confident men don’t need loud symbols to affirm their presence.
6) They seek opinions, not validation
Insecure men often resort to phrases that subtly (or not so subtly) fish for compliments or affirmation. You might hear them say things like, “I really nailed that presentation, didn’t I?” or “This new watch is cool, right? It’s pretty expensive.”
These statements, more often than not, are veiled attempts to seek validation and reassurance from others.
Genuinely confident men approach conversations differently. They seek opinions and constructive feedback, not validation. Their inquiries are more about gaining insights or perspectives rather than just fishing for compliments.
They might ask, “How do you think I can improve my presentation skills?” or “What are your thoughts on this?” These types of questions demonstrate a secure sense of self and a genuine desire for growth and learning.
They value external opinions not for ego-stroking purposes, but as a means to challenge their ideas, broaden their understanding, and foster personal and professional growth. They are comfortable in their skin and with their abilities, yet they remain open to learning and evolving.
7) They celebrate others’ successes
It’s easy to view others’ successes as a threat to our own. After all, if someone else is winning, doesn’t that mean we’re losing?
Truly confident men don’t see it this way. They celebrate others’ achievements and see their triumphs as motivation, not competition. They understand that everyone is on their own unique journey, and one person’s success doesn’t diminish their own.
They’re secure in their abilities and accomplishments, so they don’t feel threatened by others’ success. Instead, they’re inspired by it.
The bottom line
It sounds counterintuitive but to spot a truly confident man in the crowd, we need to avoid listening for the loudest voice.
As you probably noticed, all of the above signs are quiet and as much about what these men don’t do as what they do.
But watch out for them. If you can identify a number of them in a man, he is likely the type of confident man many aspire to be, and we should all aspire to be around.
Until next time.