7 subtle signs of emotional security in a man, according to psychology

Being able to validate one’s own feelings. Having the confidence to navigate the world authentically and with a sense of curiosity. Embracing vulnerability. Delving into the depths of what makes you who you are.

That’s emotional security in a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen.

Unfortunately, plenty of men lack in that department. From obsessive jealousy or validation-seeking behavior to avoidance and poor communication skills, they struggle to embrace and love themselves for who they are.

Here are the 7 subtle signs a man is the complete opposite – he is emotionally secure and comfortable in his own skin.

1) He seeks connection, not validation

When you’re talking to an emotionally secure man, the one thing that stands out the most is that they aren’t in it for validation.

And what do I mean by that?

They’re not going to go out of their way to showcase just how smart or well-read they are. They won’t unnecessarily bring up their achievements, put other people down to feel better about themselves, or fish for compliments.

A man who has a stable emotional core approaches everyone with an inherent sense of curiosity, respect, and a desire for an authentic connection.

He doesn’t feel the need to dominate conversations or seek admiration from others because he has learned how to validate his own accomplishments, emotions, and experiences, which means there’s no reason for him to look for it anywhere else.

As Psychology Today explains, “The need for approval and the quest to impress others can push you away from who you are. Seeking to be validated can have the same qualities. It’s best to have a healthy sense of who you are, you will be less inclined to look for approval and validation elsewhere.”

2) He has an aura of quiet confidence

A friend once told me, “Confidence is quiet. Insecurity is loud.”

And that changed my whole perspective on what it means to be truly self-assured.

When an uncle, co-worker or friend constantly makes jokes, steals the spotlight for himself every chance he gets, and rambles on for ages around the dinner table, you might think he is so incredibly confident that he isn’t afraid to put himself out there.

The truth is that he may be simply overcompensating for his low self-esteem.

In other words, he’s trying to fake it till he makes it.

Unfortunately, many men tend to take this act a bit too far – they are too loud, too boisterous, and take up too much space, making it impossible for other people to join the conversation in their full capacity.

That cousin or friend of a friend who quietly eats his steak and chimes in with solid responses when relevant?

There’s a high chance he’s actually more confident and emotionally secure than the other one.

3) He doesn’t chase, he loves

The way a man approaches romantic relationships says a great deal about how emotionally secure and intelligent he truly is.

This is because romance tends to bring out the best and worst in us – from showering someone with love of the purest kind to feeling all our old wounds and traumas resurface, it’s certainly a bumpy ride.

One thing to watch out for is a man’s behavior in the early stages of a relationship. If he tries too hard, chases you to the ends of the Earth, and writes poems about how much he loves you despite the fact he’s known you for two weeks, it’s a sign he may be emotionally insecure.

Why?

Because he’s essentially love-bombing you, and according to psychology, love-bombing is “considered a deliberate and manipulative tactic that is deployed in order to gain the upper hand over a new partner and increase his or her dependence on the bomber.”

Since a tactic of this kind is rooted in insecurity or the need to control someone, it makes sense that love-bombers aren’t exactly emotionally secure individuals.

A man who is genuinely confident won’t chase you, but he will also openly show his interest. He won’t talk about marriage after a week of knowing you, but he also won’t shy away from important discussions about your life goals.

He will masterfully dance the line between too much affection and too little, loving you authentically and openly without putting any pressure on you.

4) He isn’t afraid to admit he doesn’t know something

Listen up. This is a big one.

The average person apparently searches Google three or four times per day, and yet there are still plenty of men out there who will do anything just so that they don’t have to admit they don’t know something.

Well, if you are one of them, listen to me when I say it’s absolutely okay not to know everything. In fact, it’s impossible to be an expert at more than a few things in this day and age – we have simply gathered way too much knowledge for one person to hold onto.

What if I told you that the ability to admit you simply “don’t know” shows confidence? 

Not only that but it also displays curiosity and a healthy dose of humility.

Psychologist Bruce Wilson PhD explains:

“‘Not-knowing’ connects us to things as they are and helps us to be released from the illusion of stability and security. In a way, being aware of the fragility of stability encourages innovation, taking risks, and exploring. This demands courage and strength.”

Men who aren’t afraid to say, “I didn’t know that, I’d love to hear more about it,” are incredibly attractive because they are clearly secure in who they are.

5) He knows how to communicate his feelings

Do you know what else is attractive and points to emotional security?

Communication skills.

Here’s what I mean in a nutshell:

  • He is open to receiving constructive criticism
  • He validates his emotions and talks about them openly with his close ones
  • He empathizes with the other person’s point of view
  • He tries to keep the tone of the conversation respectful and calm
  • He takes some space when need be but also knows how to reassure the other person he isn’t walking out on them
  • He listens with intention and a desire to understand
  • He formulates his words with care so that he accurately phrases how he feels
  • He tries not to get defensive and not to shut down when upset

If a man can do that…

Jackpot.

It’s a huge sign he’s emotionally secure and possesses excellent communication skills to top it all off.

6) He takes accountability for his actions

The ability to communicate in a respectful and productive manner is directly tied to one’s willingness to admit when they’ve made a mistake, take accountability for their actions, and apologize if necessary.

It’s not always easy to put our hands up and say, “I screwed up and I’m sorry.”

If a man can do it, though, it’s further confirmation that his sense of self stands upon a solid foundation.

He knows that his mistakes don’t define him – they only point out that he needs to make some adjustments in the future. This increases his resilience and honesty, not to mention it makes him more pleasant to be around.

When dealing with someone who is ready to carry responsibility for their behavior, it’s easier to feel emotionally safe and to nurture a sense of trust in the relationship.

7) His words and actions are in sync

Another way to build trust and safety in one’s relationships with others is to keep your word.

Sounds easy enough, right?

And yet this is the part where many people fail. A man might make plenty of promises, but that in and of itself doesn’t say anything about his character – until he goes ahead and fulfils those promises.

Emotional security isn’t just about self-regulation and honesty, although those are incredibly important, too.

It’s also about integrity, which is defined by psychologists as “an unwavering commitment to moral and ethical principles.”

Jessica Koehler PhD says, “Integrity is, simply put, doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. Upholding integrity speaks to an individual’s inner strength and values and serves as a moral compass guiding their actions.”

When a man is emotionally secure, he can distinguish between right and wrong; he understands the importance of reliability; he only says what he truly means.

And that’s because he knows himself, knows how to show up as his authentic self, and cares about the world around him on a deep level.

In other words, he is overflowing with love.

And that is what emotional security is all about, after all: a deep sense of self-love that radiates into the world around us, impossible to miss.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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