If a man displays these 9 behaviors, he’s not a man of his word

Ever been at a social gathering, a business meeting, or even just a casual chat with friends and noticed that one man whose actions don’t seem to match his words?

You’ve probably just encountered a man who’s not true to his word.

Sure, it may be puzzling and even frustrating to deal with such individuals. But understanding their behaviors can give you some insight into their character.

So, let’s delve into these peculiarities and highlight 9 behaviors that if a man displays, he’s most likely not a man of his word.

1) Inconsistency in actions

Imagine you’re in a situation where a man promises to do something one day, but then acts entirely different the next.

This is a clear indication of inconsistency.

If a man’s actions don’t align with his words, he’s likely not a man of his word.

This doesn’t necessarily mean he’s evil or untrustworthy — it might just be that he lacks the discipline or awareness to follow through on his commitments.

Inconsistency can manifest in many ways – from promising to call and then not doing so, to swearing off a bad habit and then falling back into it.

These inconsistencies might seem minor, but you know what?

They’re key indicators of a person’s reliability and integrity.

Simply put, they chip away at the foundation of trust, and without trust, the structure of your relationship is on shaky ground.

2) Evasiveness in conversations

Ever been in a conversation where someone keeps dodging the questions or changing the topic?

I have.

I remember a friend of mine, always brimming with charismatic stories and big plans.

But when it came to nailing down specifics, especially about promises he’d made, he turned into a master of evasion.

Honestly, it felt like trying to hold onto water—impossible.

That’s why I’m sure about one thing: this kind of evasiveness, where clear answers are perpetually out of reach, is a red flag.

When a man habitually sidesteps direct questions or redirects discussions away from his commitments, it reveals an unwillingness to engage with the reality of the situation.

This behavior doesn’t just muddy the waters of communication. It also signals a deeper issue with maintaining his word.

If simple questions can’t get straight answers, can his word be trusted?

After all, trust is built on the solid ground of transparency, not the shifting sands of ambiguity.

3) Frequent excuses

This one is more obvious:

If a man consistently fails to fulfill his commitments and then justifies it with an array of excuses, he’s likely not a man of his word.

Whether it’s about missed deadlines, broken promises, or unfulfilled tasks, the constant need to justify failure indicates a lack of responsibility and accountability.

Frequent excuses are the hallmark of someone who struggles to keep their word.

You’ve probably heard—or maybe even used—the classics:

  • “I got caught up with something else.”
  • “Something important came up.”
  • “I just lost track of time.”

These phrases are common in everyday life, and while they can be legitimate reasons at times, they start to sound like a broken record when they become a regular refrain from the same person.

This pattern of excuse-making is often a sign that someone isn’t taking their commitments seriously.

Now, I know that each excuse might seem minor on its own. But together they form a pattern that speaks louder than the promises made. 

4) Lack of empathy

There’s something about empathy that ties us all together, a shared understanding that I believe is the glue of all relationships.

I’ve encountered people who have an impressive way with words, who can spin tales and make promises that paint a bright future.

However, without empathy, those words often fall flat.

I’ve felt the sting of disappointment when I realized that the person who had vowed to stand by me couldn’t actually understand or share my feelings when I needed them most.

Let’s face it:

A man lacking empathy won’t fully grasp the impact of his broken promises.

If he can’t—or won’t—put himself in someone else’s shoes, he’s likely to dismiss the frustration and hurt that comes from expectations not met.

It’s been my experience that the ability to empathize directly affects a person’s integrity.

When someone truly understands the weight of their words, they are more careful about the commitments they make and more likely to keep them.

This disconnect goes beyond mere miscommunication — it’s a fundamental difference in valuing and respecting others’ feelings.

5) Over-promising

pic1664 If a man displays these 9 behaviors, he’s not a man of his word

There’s an old saying, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” but some folks never seem to learn that lesson.

I’ve seen it firsthand:

A colleague who eagerly jumps at every task, and vows to be the superhero who delivers the impossible.

“Sure, I’ll get that report to you by Monday,” he says with confidence.

But Monday rolls around, and the report is nowhere in sight.

This pattern repeats, each promise a little less believable than the last.

This tendency to over-promise is a red flag in questioning a man’s word.

It’s often a mix of good intentions and poor planning—or perhaps an ingrained habit of saying ‘yes’ without considering the reality of the situation.

While optimism is a valuable trait, when it leads to a pattern of over-committing, it’s a problem.


Because it chips away at trust until those promises, no matter how grand, start to mean nothing. 

And when the smoke clears, you’re left with the realization that words without action are just air.

6) Lack of eye contact

You know the feeling. You’re speaking to someone, and their gaze is everywhere but on you.

It’s unsettling, isn’t it?

Well, lack of eye contact can be a subtle but telling sign that someone might not be fully sincere.

Sure, not everyone who avoids eye contact is hiding something—some people might just be shy.

But when a man consistently avoids your gaze, especially when making promises or during important conversations, it could be that he’s not fully committed to his words.

Here are a few instances where this might come into play:

  • He looks away when making a commitment.
  • His eyes dart around the room when you’re seeking confirmation.
  • He can’t hold your gaze when you’re trying to get a straight answer.

These moments, when the eyes fail to support the words, can speak volumes about his reliability. 

If he can’t meet your gaze, maybe it’s because he knows his words won’t be meeting your expectations.

7) Habitual lateness

We all run late sometimes – it’s part of life.

But one thing is for sure: if a man is habitually late, constantly missing deadlines, or always keeps you waiting, it could indicate a deeper issue.

If he often fails to respect the time of others, it shows a disregard for their commitments and schedules.

And guess what?

It’s a sign that he may not value the importance of keeping his word or honoring his commitments.

Don’t get me wrong — being late occasionally due to unforeseen circumstances is understandable.

However, when lateness becomes a habit, it’s a clear indication of irresponsibility and lack of discipline.

8) Inability to apologize

I’ve always believed that a heartfelt apology has the power to bridge the widest of gaps.

But there’s a type of person I’ve encountered who seems allergic to the words “I’m sorry.”

This inability to apologize, to acknowledge fault or hurt caused, is often intertwined with a person’s commitment to their word.

Think about the last time someone stepped on your toes, literally or figuratively, and instead of apologizing, they found a way to blame you for being in the way.

It’s annoying, right?

Well, I had a friend like that.

He’d make lofty promises, miss the mark, and then somehow spin a story where the fault was never his.

It left a sour taste, a feeling of unresolved tension.

The inability to apologize is more than just an annoying trait. It’s indicative of a deeper issue with accountability.

If a man can’t own up to his mistakes, can you trust him to honor his word?

True strength, I’ve found, comes from the humility to admit when you’re wrong.

Without this, promises have little foundation, because it’s in the moments of making amends that trust is rebuilt and words regain their strength.

9) Selective honesty

Selective honesty is a sly trick I’ve seen played too often.

It’s like choosing to tell the truth only when it’s convenient or when it serves a purpose.

I remember a partner who would share just enough to appear transparent, but I could sense the omissions—the truths left unsaid that would have exposed the real story.

This selective sharing is a form of deception, a betrayal that erodes the foundation of trust.

When a man picks and chooses what truths to reveal, he’s manipulating the reality of his word, turning honesty into a tool rather than a principle.

The hardest truths often carry the most weight in proving a person’s integrity.

Here’s the deal:

The most powerful indicator of a man’s commitment to his word is not in what he says, it’s in the unvarnished truth he’s willing to stand by, even when it’s hard.

Beyond words: Decoding the truth of a man’s promise

The behaviors we’ve explored are telltale signs that a man might not be the stalwart keeper of promises he portrays himself to be. 

So, what’s the takeaway?

When it comes to trust, actions are what ultimately matter, not the sweetness of one’s words. A man of his word is not defined by the promises he makes but by the promises he keeps.

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Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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