Men who are confident on the surface but have low self-esteem deep down usually display these 7 behaviors

There’s a fine line separating genuine confidence from a facade that masks deep-seated insecurities. This line, often blurred, can be tricky to navigate.

When a man appears confident on the outside but struggles with low self-esteem on the inside, certain behaviors start to surface. Actions, as they say, speak louder than words.

Being a relationship expert, I’ve seen this scenario play out time and again. These men may walk tall and talk big, but their actions reveal a different story.

In this article, we’re going to explore seven telltale behaviors that men with superficial confidence and underlying self-doubt often exhibit. And no, it’s not always about overcompensation or aggressive behavior. There’s more than meets the eye.

So let’s dive right in and unmask these hidden traits. It’s time we understand that not all that glitters is gold.

1) Overcompensation

Let’s face it, we’ve all seen it before.

Men who appear extremely confident on the outside, making grand gestures and talking loudly, usually to draw attention to themselves. This behavior is commonly known as overcompensation.

Overcompensation is often a way for individuals to mask their internal struggles, particularly those related to self-esteem. They put on a bold facade, but deep down, they’re grappling with insecurities that they’re trying hard to hide.

Here’s the thing: true confidence doesn’t need to shout. It whispers. And it certainly doesn’t require one to dominate conversations or constantly be in the limelight.

2) They’re often the quietest in the room

Here’s where things get a bit counterintuitive.

While some men with low self-esteem overcompensate with loud and attention-seeking behavior, others go the opposite direction. They become the silent ones, the listeners, the men who seemingly prefer to stay in the background.

These individuals may appear confident because they’re not constantly seeking approval or validation. They seem comfortable in their own skin, unbothered by others’ opinions. But this is often a camouflage for their deep-seated insecurities.

They have learned to mask their low self-esteem behind a wall of silence. By saying less, they believe they are revealing less about themselves, thereby reducing the chances of being criticized or judged.

3) They often seek validation

In the realm of relationships, one behavior I’ve often noticed in men who appear confident but struggle with low self-esteem is a consistent need for validation. They may be the life of the party or exude an impressive persona, but behind closed doors, they’re constantly seeking approval.

These men need to hear that they’re doing a good job, that they’re valued, that they matter. This constant need for reassurance often stems from an underlying fear of not being good enough.

In my book, “Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship”, I talk about how this need for validation can lead to unhealthy codependency in relationships.

So next time you notice someone always seeking validation, remember that beneath the confident exterior might be a person wrestling with self-worth issues.

4) They’re often overly critical of others

In my experience, men who appear confident but have low self-esteem often display this behavior. They’re overly critical of others, sometimes even bordering on rudeness.

Now, you might wonder why someone who struggles with self-esteem would behave in such a manner. The answer lies in a simple psychological concept – projection.

These individuals project their insecurities onto others. By focusing on and criticizing the flaws in others, they can divert attention away from their own insecurities.

As the wise Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Remember, if someone is overly critical of you, it’s more about them than it is about you. Their criticism could be a reflection of their own insecurities and self-doubts hidden beneath a confident exterior.

5) They’re prone to perfectionism

Another behavior I’ve noticed in men who exude confidence but harbor low self-esteem is a tendency towards perfectionism. They set incredibly high standards for themselves and are rarely satisfied with their performance.

From the outside, this trait might look like ambition or drive. But on the inside, it’s fueled by a fear of not being good enough. This fear drives them to strive for perfection in everything they do, hoping that flawless performance will silence their inner critic.

I’ve seen this play out in many scenarios, from professional settings to personal relationships. These men believe that if they can just achieve perfection, they’ll finally feel secure and confident. But the reality is often quite the opposite.

Perfection is an unattainable goal, and the pursuit of it can lead to increased anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. So remember, if you spot this behavior, it could be a sign of hidden self-esteem issues beneath a confident exterior.

6) They avoid confrontation

This might surprise you, but men who appear confident while dealing with low self-esteem often avoid confrontations. They might be the last people you’d expect to back down from a challenge, but when it comes to personal conflicts, they often choose to sidestep rather than face them.

In my experience, these men view confrontation as a risk – a risk of revealing their insecurities, of being seen as less competent or confident. Because of this fear, they prefer to dodge confrontations rather than address them head-on.

As the late Maya Angelou wisely said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

For more insights like these, follow me on Facebook at Tina Fey’s Love Connection. I regularly share my latest articles and relationship advice there!

7) They struggle with self-love

Let’s get real for a moment.

Men who project confidence but secretly grapple with low self-esteem often have one thing in common: they struggle with self-love.

Beneath their confident exterior, they’re wrestling with feelings of unworthiness. They find it hard to believe that they’re deserving of love, respect, and kindness.

If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this, it’s this: Everyone deserves love and kindness – especially from themselves. Low self-esteem can be a tough hurdle to overcome, but with empathy and understanding, we can help those around us navigate through it.

Wrapping up

Everyone carries their own set of unique experiences, beliefs, and internal struggles. Men who present a confident front while grappling with low self-esteem are no exception.

They might seem to have it all together on the surface, but deep down, they’re wrestling with self-doubt and insecurities. The seven behaviors we’ve discussed here are telltale signs that often reveal this hidden struggle.

As we navigate our relationships and interactions with these individuals, it’s crucial to approach them with empathy and understanding. Remember, everyone is fighting their own battles, most of which we know nothing about.

While this article provides a starting point for understanding the complex behavior of these men, there’s so much more depth to this topic.

To dive deeper into these complexities, I’d recommend watching this insightful video by Justin Brown where he reflects on whether it’s too late to settle down and start a family in his 40s. This video will resonate with people who feel pressured by societal expectations and those who want to more critically reflect on their lives.

YouTube video

The journey towards understanding others begins with understanding ourselves. Let’s continue on this path together, exploring the intricacies of human behavior and relationships.

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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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