People who are experts at faking confidence often display these 7 subtle behaviors

Ever heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it?” It’s fitting for people who have mastered the art of faking their confidence. It refers to imitating confidence when you don’t have it until it becomes a part of who you are. 

But the real question is, how do you know when someone is pretending to be confident? Is it the know-it-all at work, the friend who wants your approval, or an overly optimistic attitude? 

You might be surprised, but it’s actually all of the above. 

Being confident means knowing your worth and believing in your abilities without looking down on other people. When you have a strong sense of self, others naturally gravitate towards you because they trust you. 

But if someone’s belief in themselves is misplaced or absent, you can spot it a mile away when you know how to unveil their disguise. Their attitude and mannerisms are unattractive and come from a place of insecurity. 

To understand where they’re coming from, the people who are experts at faking confidence often display these 7 subtle behaviors. Let’s take a look at them below. 

1) They’re very well-groomed  

We all like to look good because it creates a positive impression, but people who are considered masters of fake confidence go out of their way to maintain a polished appearance. 

The difference between being well-groomed and having false confidence is balance. 

People who lack self-worth hide behind a flashy exterior. They wear designer labels, plenty of accessories, polished shoes, and don’t have a single hair out of place. Even if they can’t afford it or it isn’t their personal style, they’ve got to maintain their high-end appearance. 

It’s a case of “ask no questions, hear no lies.” 

They’re protecting themselves from being judged or criticized by using materialistic things to feel powerful. It’s a security blanket because their outward appearance will prevent other people from attacking their self-esteem and seeing who they really are. 

It’s not that obvious because you might just get the impression that they’re eccentric rather than lacking true confidence

2) They try too hard

Most of us have experienced that one person in our lives who feels the need to replay everything they’ve done for us. They detail how they’re such a good person and how many friends they have because they want us to know how lucky we are to have them in our lives. 

You might even find yourself agreeing with them, but in the back of your mind, you know something’s off. 

The reason that someone feels the need to tell you how great they are is because they want affirmation to feel good about themselves. 

There’s no doubt that this type of behavior shows a lack of true confidence. 

I don’t know of a single self-assured person who has ever needed to explain why they make a good friend or why they deserve your love and respect. 

Confident and authentic people recognize their inherent value. They don’t sell themselves because their self-assurance comes across in their attitudes and behaviors. 

The reason that people try too hard is because they feel intimidated by the appearances, financial status, or lifestyles of other people. They go out of their way to let you know how fantastic they are because they constantly want your approval

3) They laugh at their mistakes

Nobody likes to make a mistake, especially when you’re in the spotlight. When you struggle with confidence, the last thing that you want to deal with is failure. 

Even the most confident people don’t like to fail, but they recognize that it’s all part of life. Over time, they learn to accept their faults by learning from them

It’s different when you’re already unsure of yourself, and you don’t want others to see that, in reality, you’re low on self-esteem. 

So people who have perfected false confidence pretend that they aren’t bothered by a mistake by laughing or shrugging it off rather than admitting to it. 

They want you to believe that they’re sure of themselves, so they adopt a nonchalant attitude by chuckling at errors like they’re above it. 

If you don’t know that they lack confidence, you wouldn’t think much of a nervous laugh, but it’s all a facade. 

4) They constantly hint at their achievements 

habits that make people perceive you as less confident People who are experts at faking confidence often display these 7 subtle behaviors

When someone has misplaced confidence, they use the people around them to boost their egos. 

I can best explain this scenario with an encounter I had at work. When I started in my new position, I was befriended by a colleague who worked in the same department. Over a few weeks, I noticed that conversations always centered around her. 

She’d constantly hint at her achievements and how she worked her way up the career ladder. But as soon as I showed less interest, she stopped talking to me. 

People who lack authenticity look for opportunities to feel better about themselves. They’ll mention their achievements more than once and then pretend it’s the first time they’re telling you about them. 

They subtly let you know “their worth.” 

If you’re not invested in what they’re saying, they have no problem disregarding you. That’s because they have an agenda, and if you aren’t helping them achieve it, you’re out. 

The only way to pick up on their behavior is to pay close attention to what they say. 

Do they ask about your life and interests, or is the conversation all about them? Do they touch on their education, life experience, or background in conversation when it’s not really necessary to do so? 

These are all sure signs that you could be dealing with someone who is simply pretending to be confident. Their insecurity pushes them to brag about their background or achievements, and to feel better about themselves; they use people to their advantage. 

5) They’re overconfident 

You’d think that someone who acts overconfidently is quite obvious, but the truth is that overconfidence comes in many shapes and forms. 

Overconfident individuals believe that they know better than others, and they’ll go as far as sharing their personal opinions on subjects that they know very little about. 

They pretend to have a vast knowledge base because they want to impress. 

I’ve seen this so many times in social settings when one person tries to take the lead in a conversation by appearing more intelligent than everyone else. 

They’ll speak in a firm and convincing tone, so if you aren’t clued up on the topic, you’ll fall hook, line, and sinker for everything that comes out of their mouths. 

It’s an absolute art, and I would most certainly call them experts at faking confidence. 

6) They’re entitled

dismiss criticism you lack self awareness People who are experts at faking confidence often display these 7 subtle behaviors

Most of us are familiar with the attitudes of entitled people, and I’m sure you would agree that they’re quite unpleasant to be around. 

Entitlement is about thinking that you’re better than others and feeling like you deserve special treatment because of who you are. 

People who pretend to be confident are not obvious in their entitled behaviors. They’ve mastered the ability to show their airs and graces in a very underhanded way. 

Pay attention to their tone and facial expressions in conversation. 

They have a sarcastic and condescending way of speaking and tend to smirk or fake their smiles. They might even roll their eyes in disagreement or irritation. 

Not only is this a display of fake confidence, but it also shows a lack of empathy. They pretend to be interested in what you’re saying, but in their minds, they’re telling themselves that they’re better than you, and it shows in their body language. 

7) They’re unrealistically optimistic

Having confidence is about knowing who you are and adopting a positive attitude. You only need to spend a short amount of time with someone who is self-assured to be influenced by their infectious optimism. 

Fake self-worth leads people to act overly or unrealistically optimistic. Their happy-go-lucky attitude isn’t genuine, so they overdo the smiles and positivity to make you think that they feel good and everything is going well. 

They’re so convincing in their attitude that you end up believing their unrealistic reality. 

Fake optimism is actually a toxic trait because it’s based on the assumption that an outcome will always be positive or go your way, with no evidence to support this way of thinking. 

Final thoughts

A false sense of confidence is like a survival mechanism. When people feel like they aren’t good enough or they’re threatened by someone else, they protect themselves with materialism, sarcasm, and overconfidence. 

It’s not always easy to identify because, with practice, many individuals become experts at faking their confidence through subtle behaviors. 

Some of the more obvious signs include someone loud, arrogant, and very critical of others, but when you’re trying to hide a lack of self-worth, it’s a little different. You find it hard to admit you were wrong instead of learning from your mistakes, and you believe that everything will go your way. 

Never forget that truly confident people don’t fake their emotions. They don’t need approval, and they’re realistic about their present and future. 

The moral of the story? Don’t fake being confident, and instead, work on aspects of your life that are making you feel inadequate or help someone else in their journey to building and strengthening their self-worth. 

Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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