11 things men do in relationships when they lack self-esteem

Ever noticed how some guys act differently when they’re in a relationship?

Well, believe it or not, a lot of that behavior can come from not feeling too good about themselves.

Yes, you heard it right – guys can struggle with self-esteem too. And when they do, it can change how they behave with their better halves.

Let’s dive into the 10 things men do in relationships when they’re not feeling their best.

1. They constantly seek validation

One of the most common things men do when they’re lacking self-esteem is to constantly seek validation from their partners.

This could be about anything – their looks, their work, or even their personality traits.

“Why do you love me?” “Am I doing a good job?” “Do you think I’m attractive?” These are questions they might ask regularly.

They need constant reassurance to feel good about themselves because they struggle to find that assurance within their own selves.

It’s not that they want to be annoying or needy. They’re just grappling with self-worth issues, and your words of affirmation help them feel a bit better about themselves.

Understanding and patience can go a long way in helping your partner navigate through these issues.

2. They avoid conflicts

Ever noticed your man backing off from an argument? This might be because he’s struggling with low self-esteem. Men with low self-esteem often avoid conflicts like the plague.

They might think that disagreements will lead to their partners leaving them or thinking less of them.

To keep peace, they often agree with everything their partner says, even when they don’t necessarily agree.

While it might seem like they’re just being super agreeable, it’s often a sign that they’re afraid to voice their opinions.

Healthy conflicts are part of any relationship and are essential for growth. If your man is always avoiding disagreements, it may be time for an open conversation about why that is.

3. They compare themselves to others

I’ll never forget the time when I found myself constantly comparing my achievements with those of my partner’s ex.

I would stalk his Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other social media platform I could find him on. It was like I was on a mission to prove to myself that I was somehow less than him.

Looking back, I realize that this was all because of my low self-esteem. I didn’t feel good enough and was constantly looking for evidence to prove it.

I wanted to be the best in everything, not for my satisfaction, but to feel worthy in my relationship.

If you notice your man doing something similar, comparing himself with others unnecessarily, it might be a sign that he’s grappling with self-esteem issues.

A supportive conversation about his fears and insecurities might be an excellent place to start addressing the problem.

4. They apologize excessively

Did you know that excessive apologizing can be a sign of low self-esteem?

Men with low self-esteem often apologize for things they don’t need to, simply because they’re overly worried about offending others or making mistakes.

They might say “sorry” for things that aren’t their fault or are completely beyond their control. This stems from the fear of being judged or disliked.

In their minds, saying sorry is an easy way to avoid potential conflict or criticism.

So, if your man is always apologizing, even when he doesn’t need to, it might be a sign of low self-esteem.

Encourage him to express his feelings openly and reassure him that it’s okay to make mistakes – after all, we’re only human!

5. They struggle with trust

Imagine feeling like you are not worthy enough, not good enough for your partner. You love them dearly, but deep down, you can’t understand why they love you back.

This is a reality for men struggling with self-esteem issues. This deep-seated insecurity often leads to trust issues.

They may question why their partner would choose to be with them when they could be with someone better.

They might constantly worry about their partner leaving them or being unfaithful, even if there’s absolutely no reason to think so.

If your man is always questioning your loyalty or finding it hard to trust you, understand that it’s less about you and more about his internal struggles.

Patience, understanding, and open conversations can help him overcome these trust issues over time.

6. They struggle to make decisions

I remember when my girlfriend asked me where we should go for our anniversary dinner. Now, I know this sounds like a simple question.

But for me, it felt like a massive weight. I was terrified of making the wrong choice and spoiling our special day.

I realized later that this struggle to make decisions, even simple ones, was a sign of my low self-esteem.

I was so scared of making mistakes or disappointing others, that I would rather not make a decision at all.

If your man often hesitates to make decisions or always wants you to call the shots, it might be because he’s struggling with self-esteem.

Reassuring him that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you appreciate his efforts can help him feel more confident about decision-making.

7. They hide their true feelings

Guys with low self-esteem often feel like they’re walking on eggshells. Scared to death of saying something wrong, or letting their true feelings show.

They bottle up their emotions, hiding behind a mask of “I’m fine” even when they’re clearly not.

They might be scared that showing vulnerability will lead to rejection or ridicule. So they keep their feelings locked away, choosing to carry the burden alone rather than risk being seen as weak.

If your man rarely opens up about how he’s feeling, it could be that he’s wrestling with low self-esteem.

Let him know that it’s okay to not be okay all the time and that showing vulnerability doesn’t make him any less of a man.

It might just give him the courage he needs to start sharing more.

8. They overcompensate

Did you know that men with low self-esteem often try to overcompensate in other areas of their life?

It could be by working excessively, exercising obsessively, or even buying expensive things they can’t afford.

According to psychologists, this overcompensation is a way to boost their self-worth.

They believe that if they can excel in these areas, it might make up for their perceived inadequacies.

If your man is going overboard in some aspects of his life, it could be a sign of low self-esteem.

Expressing appreciation for who he is, rather than what he does or owns, can help him realize that his value isn’t tied to these things.

9. They put their partners on a pedestal

In my previous relationship, I remember how I would always put my girlfriend on a pedestal.

She was perfect in my eyes, and I felt lucky to be with her.

But this admiration quickly turned into an unhealthy obsession, where I felt inferior and unworthy of her love.

Putting your partner on a pedestal might sound romantic, but it’s often a sign of low self-esteem.

Men who do this tend to feel that they are not good enough for their partner and live in constant fear of losing them.

If your man always makes you feel like you’re out of his league, it might be because he’s struggling with self-esteem issues.

Reassuring him of your love and telling him that you value him for who he is can help boost his confidence.

10. They constantly check up on their partners

Ever felt like your man is always checking up on you? Like he needs to know where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re doing all the time?

It’s not because he’s controlling or doesn’t trust you. More often than not, it’s because he’s scared.

Men with low self-esteem often fear losing their partners. They worry that they’re not good enough for you and that you’ll leave them for someone better.

So they check up on you, not to control you, but to reassure themselves that you’re still there.

If your man is always checking in on you, it might be due to his low self-esteem. Open conversations about trust and insecurities might help him deal with this issue.

11. They put themselves down

Finally, one of the most heartbreaking things men do when they struggle with self-esteem is put themselves down.

They might make self-deprecating jokes or dismiss their achievements as ‘no big deal.’

They do this because they genuinely believe they’re not good enough. And it hurts them more than they let on.

If your man often puts himself down, it’s a cry for help. He needs reassurance that he’s valued and loved.

Let him know that he’s good enough just the way he is, and his achievements, no matter how small, are worth celebrating.

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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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