8 signs a man lacks confidence in social situations

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Confidence sounds like something that’d be pretty easy to tell, right?

I mean, if a guy speaks loudly and wears elegant clothes, it must mean his confidence is off the charts…right?!

Not so fast. There is actually more to confidence than meets the eye – and today, we’ll explore it in depth.

Here are the 8 signs a man lacks confidence in social situations.

1) He tries to make himself look small

First things first – body language. Most of us don’t realize just how loudly body language speaks. All you need to do is pay close attention.

When a man subconsciously tries to make himself look smaller, it’s a sign he’s not entirely confident and doesn’t feel comfortable being himself in the company of others.

Generally, you can recognize this behavior by looking at his posture. Is he hunching? Crossing his arms or legs? Keeping his head lowered?

Those are some classic examples of shy and defensive body language, and they usually signal discomfort, as well as a lack of confidence.

2) He doesn’t speak very clearly

Next comes his voice and style of speaking.

Years ago, I used to date someone who always spoke so fast it was quite difficult for me to understand him.

What’s more, his pronunciation wasn’t clear enough – he muttered a lot and didn’t put in the effort to finish his words properly, which made it sound like he wasn’t entirely confident in what he was saying.

If this sounds like you, try slowing down your speech. Speaking in a slow voice is often considered attractive because it signals you’re very comfortable in your own skin and aren’t rushing anywhere.

Plus, people will be better able to understand what you’re saying and connect with you on an authentic level.

3) He avoids eye contact

While none of us maintain eye contact 100% of the time – that’d probably come across as a bit weird – most conversations include some regular eye contact that keeps you connected on an emotional level.

However, a man who struggles with confidence might find it stressful or anxiety-inducing to maintain eye contact for longer periods of time, if at all.

This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as eye contact anxiety, and it can be treated through various means, such as calming yourself down in social situations, slowly trying to seek more eye contact, or treating your social anxiety as a whole.

4) He beats around the bush

Another sign to watch out for is his inability to be direct. A confident man knows what he wants and how to get it, and he isn’t afraid to go after it.

He’s brave enough to take up space and exist in social situations as his relaxed and comfortable self.

When a man beats around the bush, on the other hand, it might mean he’s too scared to assert himself. He may say things like:

  • “Huh, I’m not exactly sure, what would you like to do?”
  • “I’ve been thinking that maybe we could, uh, hang out or something? Like, not in a serious way, just like, I don’t know, it’d be fun?”

The confident alternatives would be:

  • “I’d like us to go for coffee, is that something you’d be up for?”
  • “Do you want to go on a date with me?”

5) He lacks initiative

While some shy men push themselves outside their comfort zone to indirectly ask you out or assert themselves in a social scenario, others might just…not do it at all.

They will be flaky, will leave every decision up to you, and will generally hold themselves back from expressing any real interest.

And whilst this can sometimes signal they just aren’t that into you or aren’t emotionally invested in the situation at hand, it might also mean they aren’t confident enough to put themselves out there and face potential rejection.

6) He says “sorry” too often

“Uhm, sorry, I didn’t mean to do that, sorry…”

Apologies are good. There’s no doubt about that.

But what you apologize *for* matters. A man who whips up “sorry” at every opportunity makes it sound like he doesn’t feel very confident in his decision-making abilities and like he’s walking on thin ice, always scared of destroying the status quo.

If you tend to apologize too often, try catching yourself the next time the word is making its way to your tongue. Then ask yourself, “Is this really something I should say sorry for? Is it really such a big deal?”

Oftentimes, you’ll realize that there’s actually no need to apologize because you’re just being yourself – and that’s something you ought to embrace rather than put down.

7) He puts himself down a lot

Speaking of which, another sign that a man lacks confidence is that he’s full of negative self-talk, be it through jokes or genuine expressions of worry.

While self-deprecating jokes can be fun to a degree – they show a high level of self-awareness and the ability not to take oneself too seriously – it matters a great deal how often you say them.

If a man puts himself down more than he lifts himself up, it means his confidence may have taken a hit in the past.

8) He tries too hard to please everyone

Our last sign on the list is good old people pleasing.

Sometimes, a man will go to great lengths just to make everyone happy. He will suck up to authorities, bend over backward for potential love interests or family members, and generally display a lack of integrity and self-assurance.

He simply tries so hard to make everyone like him that his own dignity comes second.

However, the inability to stand your ground even if it means displeasing others is a huge sign that your confidence may not be as strong as you think.

Of course, maintaining harmonious relationships with others *is* important – but at the end of the day, your relationship with yourself is the most crucial one. And if you’d rather avoid conflict with your boss than stand by your principles, it’s a sign your confidence may need some work.

Don’t worry, though. Confidence isn’t an inherent skill some people are just born with. It can be learned – all you have to do is start putting yourself out there, step by step.

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Hack Spirit! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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