15 things men do when they’re down on confidence

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Feeling like you’re not good enough or that things don’t seem to be going your way lately?

Men suffer from confidence issues like anyone else. And this is why 85% of people report self-confidence issues at some point in their lives.

But it’s no secret that we men are largely terrible about talking about our feelings and will often keep them bottled up inside. It’s part of why there’s a mental health crisis in this country.

So, if you’re wondering whether something’s not quite right with the men in your life, here are some subtle signs of a lack of confidence in the room.

1) They make excuses

Confident people have faith in themselves and their ability to make things happen. But that works both ways too.

When things don’t happen, they take responsibility. Sound idealistic? It does, but this applies because confident people are supremely confident in their ability to control their own destinies.

Take President John F. Kennedy. After the failed attempt to take back Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, JFK went right on TV and admitted the failure. That’s a sign of someone confident in their ability to do better.

2) They quit, start, and quit again

Quitters never prosper because you’re taking away opportunities from yourself by not trying. Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer sums his mindset up as “I never quit trying. I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.”

Only confident people believe they’ve got a chance. Men lacking in confidence are likelier to quit something, start something else, and then quit again when the going gets tough.

However, some men don’t even get through this cycle, and here’s why.

3) They need the stars to align to act

Ever had someone in the office who constantly has to ask, “Can I do this?” or “Should I do that?”

You’d expect that from the new intern but not from someone who’s been working there a year. In most cases, they already know the answer but require someone else’s validation to spring into action.

If it doesn’t occur to them to do what they think is correct, there’s a high chance they’re low on self-confidence.

4) They seek attention

Nobody likes someone who hogs the limelight. While teenagers often act out because of their hormones and the confidence that comes with growing, this is the hallmark of the unconfident.

If you know someone who’s started engaging in attention-seeking behavior, there’s a good chance they’re overcompensating.

Confident people don’t need approval or praise because they’ve got all they need inside.

5) They need to be praised

“Jugglers and singers require applause. You are a Lannister.”

– Tywin Lannister 

This quote from the hit show Game of Thrones also rings true in the real world. Confident people don’t need a parade every time they complete a task. Their success doesn’t hinge on others.

Unconfident men require this pat on the head from their bosses and colleagues before they know they have done an excellent job. But sometimes, the praise stage never comes, and here’s why.

6) They put things off

Procrastination can arise from laziness, with 20-25% of adults classified as chronic procrastinators. But if this behavior has recently emerged, it’s a big red flag.

If you notice a man who suddenly feels paralyzed or incapable of acting without hours of psyching themselves up, something isn’t quite right.

Confident men don’t put things off. They grasp the bull by the horns.

7) They are judgy people

Gossip is something we’ve all indulged in at some point, but there’s a difference between the occasional gossip session and actively passing judgment on anything and everything.

Men lacking self-confidence will often try to bring someone down a notch, not out of spite but so that they can feel better about themselves. Confident men don’t value themselves against what their peers are doing.

But even though they might judge, there’s one threshold unconfident men halt at.

8) They are conflict avoiders

Conflict is sometimes unavoidable. Few people take joy from actively engaging in conflict, but even confident men know that sometimes an issue must be confronted.

On the other hand, if you’re the sort of man who does everything to get out of all forms of conflict, have you ever wondered why?

Uncomfortable conversations and making unpleasant decisions are something that requires confidence. If you doubt your abilities, it’s easier to abstain and avoid an argument. By not engaging at all, you’re potentially cheating yourself.

But here’s another way that a lack of confidence could be helping you to cheat yourself.

9) They get thrown off course when things aren’t perfect

Are you letting the little things get you down?

Maybe it’s a job title, the right colleagues, or financial resources. Either way, if you’re not making the best of your situation, you may have self-confidence issues.

Men who need everything, even to attempt a task, believe that anything less will make the task impossible. Men brimming with confidence see their lack of resources as a challenge.

10) They let themselves go

It’s no secret that many people struggling with conditions like anorexia and chronic obesity often have poor mental health.

Confident men know that to fuel themselves, they must treat their bodies like temples. In other words, they eat right, exercise, and observe their grooming habits.

If your bro has traded in his six-pack for a six-pack of beer, there’s a chance that he’s at a low ebb.

11) They don’t want to learn

It’s easy to think that confidence equals arrogance. Although there’s a fine line between the two, they’re not the same.

Confident men know what they know, and they also know what they don’t. Unconfident men often feel threatened, so they overcompensate by crossing into arrogance.

If you’ve ever heard the following statements, you’re dealing with an unconfident man:

  • That’s stupid!
  • What, I don’t need to learn that.
  • I already know enough.

And unconfident men also display another red flag when it comes to advancement. Read on to find out what it is.

12) They don’t ask questions

Why don’t unconfident men ask questions?

Because asking questions implies that you don’t know something, which wouldn’t allow you to overcompensate. It exposes your flaws and lack of knowledge – and that’s just unacceptable if you lack confidence.

But this isn’t the mind warp that confident men experience. They’re excited to learn something new because they know the answers could make them an even better version of themselves.

13) They are people-pleasers

Roughly 15% of people are classified as people-pleasers. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a step back and letting someone have their win, it’s not a healthy habit to indulge in.

For example, let’s say that two people start a YouTube channel and reach 100,000 subscribers on the same day. They’re both deciding which direction they should take to reach one million subscribers.

Confident YouTuber knows what has worked for him and dismisses the wild suggestions he gets from his haters because he doesn’t care about his haters. He knows that he can’t please everybody.

Unconfident YouTuber is overwhelmed by his initial success. Now he’s trying to expand rapidly, and so he listens to all of his haters in the comments instead of sticking to what made him successful in the first place.

That doesn’t mean Confident YouTuber is arrogant or refuses to listen to anyone.

The difference is that this man assesses feedback based on its merits in the context of his vision. He says yes because he believes it’s the right path, not because he’s worried about upsetting people by saying no.

14) They change because of what others say

We’ve all grown up pretending to like something in school because the popular kids liked it. And we did this because we cared about what they thought. We wanted to be them.

But while that behavior might win you an invite to Chad’s parent’s house for the wild party during Spring Break, it doesn’t have the same success rate in the real world.

Confident men embrace who they are. They don’t care what the popular kids think, and they’re certainly not going to alter their styles, personalities, or hobbies over it.

No, they’re investing their time in something else instead.

15) They’re always standing still


Confident men understand this more than anybody else. They don’t want to miss out on any of their potential, whether it’s buying and restoring a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird or becoming the President of the United States.

The point is that they never get too comfortable because they believe that they can do better. It doesn’t mean they’re workaholics or have unhealthy obsessions.

Confident men just believe they can do better.


Everyone experiences a confidence crisis at some point. Confident men aren’t the best at what they do. They might not even have a shred of natural talent. But what separates them is that they are always willing to reflect upon how they can do better, and then they act.

Any man can be confident. Whether it takes therapy to overcome past traumas or the services of a professional confidence coach, the first step is being honest with yourself.

So, are you a confident man?

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