11 behaviors that give people the impression you’re not very confident

We often hear about what confident people do. But, what about the things they don’t do?

Surprisingly, there are certain behaviors they avoid because these can make them appear less confident.

Let’s dive into 11 behaviors that can give people the impression you’re not very confident.

You might be surprised by what you find out!

1. Apologizing too much

Apologies are important when you’ve made a mistake or hurt someone’s feelings. But saying sorry for every little thing? That’s a no-no.

If you’re constantly apologizing, even when it’s not needed, people might think you’re not confident. It can seem like you’re always worried about doing something wrong.

So, next time you’re about to say sorry, pause and think. Did you really do something wrong? Or are you just saying it out of habit?

Remember, confident people know when to apologize and when to stand their ground. Be like them!

2. Avoiding eye contact

Ever noticed how some people look everywhere but at you during a conversation? That’s a classic sign of lack of confidence.

Eye contact is super important, guys. It shows that you’re interested in the conversation and you respect the other person.

But if your eyes are darting all over the place, it can make you seem nervous or unsure.

When you’re chatting with someone, try to maintain eye contact. It might feel a bit awkward at first, but trust me, it’ll get easier with practice. And you’ll come across as way more confident!

3. Speaking too quickly

I used to be a super-fast talker. I mean, words would just rush out of my mouth like they were in a race. Not a good look, right?

Speaking too quickly can make you seem nervous or anxious. It’s as if you’re worried people will stop listening, so you try to say everything as fast as you can.

But guess what? It often has the opposite effect. People may find it hard to keep up with what you’re saying and might tune out.

So, slow down. Take your time when you speak. I’ve found that not only does it make me seem more confident, it also helps me express my thoughts more clearly.

Give it a try, you might notice a difference too!

4. Fidgeting

Do you know that playing with your hair, tapping your feet, or constantly shifting in your seat can signal to others that you’re not very confident? Yep, it’s true!

Fidgeting is often a physical response to anxiety. When we’re nervous or unsure, our bodies might respond by moving around a lot. It’s as if we’re literally trying to ‘shake off’ the uncomfortable feelings.

So, try to keep the fidgeting to a minimum. Not only will it make you look more confident, but it’ll also help you feel more calm and composed.

5. Not accepting compliments graciously

It’s a wonderful feeling when someone appreciates us, isn’t it? Yet, some of us find it hard to accept compliments.

Instead of saying a simple ‘thank you’, we might downplay our achievements or brush off the praise.

I get it, accepting compliments can feel a bit awkward. But when we don’t accept them graciously, we might come off as lacking confidence. It’s as if we’re saying, “I don’t believe I’m worthy of your praise.”

When someone gives you a compliment, take a moment. Let it sink in. Then, smile and say ‘thank you’. You’ve earned it and you definitely deserve it!

Remember, every compliment is a recognition of your hard work and talent. Stand tall and own it with confidence. 

6. Hiding in the background

I used to be the person who’d always stand at the back during group photos. I’d hide behind others, hoping to blend in and not stand out. I thought I was being humble, but in reality, I was showing a lack of confidence.

When we hide in the background, whether it’s in photos or during meetings, we’re sending a message that we don’t think we’re important enough to be seen or heard.

So, take a step forward. Literally and metaphorically. Make your presence felt. You have every right to be seen and heard as anyone else.

Believe me, once you start doing this, you’ll notice a big boost in your confidence!

7. Not standing up for yourself

We’ve all been there – someone crosses a line, says something rude or treats us unfairly. And we say… nothing. We think it’s easier to stay quiet than to rock the boat.

But here’s the hard truth – when you allow people to disrespect you without standing up for yourself, you’re showing them that you lack confidence. You’re saying it’s okay for them to treat you poorly.

Now, standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you have to start a fight or be rude. It means speaking your truth calmly and respectfully. It means setting boundaries and letting people know when they’ve crossed them.

It’s not easy – trust me, I know. But it’s necessary. And the more you do it, the more confident you’ll feel. You’re worth standing up for, remember that. 

8. Never expressing your opinion

Did you know that people who lack confidence often avoid expressing their opinions? They fear that others might judge them or disagree with them.

Individuals who express their opinions are perceived as more competent and confident.

Don’t hold back. Speak up! Your thoughts and ideas are just as valuable as anyone else’s.

It’s not just about agreeing with everyone else, it’s about contributing to the conversation.

Keep it respectful, keep it real, and watch your confidence grow. 

9. Avoiding new experiences

I’ll be honest with you, guys. I used to be a creature of habit. I’d stick to what I knew, and avoid anything new or unfamiliar. It felt safe, but it was also holding me back.

When we avoid new experiences, we’re not just missing out on potential fun or learning opportunities.

We’re also telling the world (and ourselves) that we’re not confident enough to step out of our comfort zone.

I challenge you – and myself – to try something new every once in a while. It might be scary at first, but it’s also exciting.

And every time you do it, you’ll feel a little bit more confident. Trust me, the world outside of your comfort zone is pretty awesome. 

10. Talking negatively about yourself

Let’s face it, we can be our own worst critics. We say things to ourselves that we would never say to anyone else. “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t do this”, “I’m such a mess” – sound familiar?

But when we talk negatively about ourselves, we’re not just hurting our own self-esteem. We’re also giving others the impression that we’re not confident.

Let’s make a pact to stop the negative self-talk. Yes, we all have flaws and make mistakes. But guess what? We also have strengths and achievements. Let’s focus on those instead.

11. Always seeking validation

I get it, it feels good when others approve of us. But if we’re constantly seeking validation from others, we’re showing that we lack confidence in our own judgments and decisions.

Here’s the thing: it’s your life. You know what’s best for you. Sure, it’s helpful to get advice and input from others sometimes. But at the end of the day, you need to trust yourself.

So, next time you find yourself seeking validation from others, take a moment. Ask yourself: “What do I think? What do I want?” Trust your gut, trust your judgment. You got this!

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder 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 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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