9 warning signs of low self-esteem in a man

There will come a point in your life when you’re just done.

Done attracting the wrong men and regretting your decisions.

Done looking for love in the wrong places and in the wrong bodies. 

Done questioning your worth and settling for less. 

So here’s the deal: I’m about to reveal the signs that might just tell you that the man in your life is dealing with some serious self-esteem blues.

But before we get all serious, let’s set the record straight: 

These aren’t meant to be judgmental; these are guideposts to help you navigate this tricky situation and, hopefully, provide some support. 

So if you’re ready to dive in, here are the nine signs that you must keep an eye out for!

1) He’s a serial “dater” 

A man who has low self-esteem can’t stay single for long. 

Probably because he lacks the discipline and emotional maturity to process the breakup and make time for his own healing. 

And if he’s not been single for more than three months since his last relationship, then you bet he has a problem being alone.

Which is why he’s always on the lookout for his next rebound!

So if you happen to go out on a date with a serial dater, make sure to get to know the person on a deeper level first before fully committing. 

Figure out whether he’s on the date because he’s genuinely seeking a real connection or if he’s dealing with some self-esteem issues he hasn’t sorted out yet.

Also, be very wary if…

2) He won’t stop talking about himself

A man with low self-esteem can still dominate a conversation. 

He hides his insecurities by talking about things that make him appear successful and superior to others. And this could be anything—his school, his favorite brands, his job, or his salary. 

Remember that this is his way of seeking validation and trying to prove his worth

And because you’re a good friend or partner, you will always feel the need to be patient and understand. 

But you also have to acknowledge that this behavior can prevent you from emotionally connecting with him. 

Plus, a one-sided conversation can be super draining in the long run!

Which is why it’s important to interject from time to time, especially when…

3) He can’t shut up about the attention he gets 

An insecure man loves to be the center of attention. 

He’s also got a bit of a unique perspective on things. 

For instance, when a woman asks him for directions, he’s convinced it’s just her subtle way of trying to hit on him. And if he catches another guy giving him a quick glance, he’s also quick to jump to the conclusion that he’s being checked out.

Remember that a true confident man will never boast about the attention he gets. Why?

Because it has become such a daily occurrence for him that he doesn’t even bother to remember it. Also, he knows it’s superficial!

On the other hand, a man with low self-esteem finds satisfaction in the belief that the world revolves around him. 

But when other people give you attention, he gets frustrated easily and claims that…

4) He’s the “jealous type”

phrases narcissistic use 1 9 warning signs of low self-esteem in a man

He doesn’t even try to hide it. 

He proudly tells you that he’s jealous, aka insecure, so you can act according to his expectations. 

He’s the type of partner who feels bad when you’re having a great time with someone else. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s your family, your best friend, or your colleagues you are with; he lets you know that he’s upset. 

He can’t wrap his mind around the fact that you have a life of your own. He also unconsciously creates an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells. 

Eventually, you find yourself second-guessing every little action and even beginning to internalize that somehow you deserve his unwarranted jealousy

But don’t be fooled because…

5) He always plays the victim game

A man who’s insecure finds it convenient to play the victim role instead of taking accountability for his actions. 

He’s quick to label things and people as “wrong, bad, or toxic” without analyzing his own role in the situation.

He also has 1001 excuses for why he isn’t thriving in life. 

But the truth is, his external reality is simply a reflection of his inner world

And this is a hard pill to swallow for someone who’s grown so attached to his victimhood.

So instead of working on himself and taking full responsibility for his reality, he’d rather blame others and base his mood on how others choose to show up. 

No wonder…

6) He forces you to change

A man who has deep insecurities isn’t always self-aware. 

So if he’s not feeling something, rather than trying to see it from another angle, he’s all about changing the whole situation. And sometimes he wants to change you. 

Don’t get me wrong. He still likes you. 

But only those parts and details about you that align with his own values. 

So don’t be surprised if, for instance, he forces you to change your appearance and tells you:

“You’re too fat/skinny. You should lose/gain weight to fit in.”

“If you truly cared about yourself or me, you’d make an effort to change how you look.”

“If you don’t change how you look, I’ll break up with you/stop talking to you.”

He might also hint at you that your career is taking so much of your energy and attention that you have no time for him anymore; therefore, you should find another job. 

But you’re actually doing so much better than him; that’s why…

7) He sees you as a competitor 

He always tries to one-up you by downplaying your achievements.

He also either treats you as a superior or an inferior, but never as an equal. 

So every time you mention your small and big wins, he tries to bring up his own in an attempt to minimize yours. He says things like: 

“Oh, that’s not a big deal. Anyone could have done that.”

“Wow, you must be a genius to have achieved something like that.”

He has a dismissive attitude towards you and always uses sarcasm as a response. He also has a habit of belittling your effort and questioning the significance of your accomplishment.

And you know he has low self-esteem because he doesn’t care enough to soothe your insecurities. But when you return the same energy to him, he gets mad easily.

If you have this kind of man in your life, it’s important to set healthy boundaries.

Remember that your personal relationships are meant to inspire, support, and encourage you, not bring you down. 

Speaking of which, you might also notice that…

8) He goes out of his way to put you down

Warning signs youre in a relationship with a narcissist 9 warning signs of low self-esteem in a man

Do you know why a bully acts the way he does? It’s because he’s insecure

Putting others down is his way of elevating himself and proving his worth. 

So a guy who has low self-esteem might find satisfaction in bullying or roasting you. He makes harsh jokes and makes fun of you for feeling offended. 

If, for instance, you make a regular human error like mispronouncing or misspelling a common word, he makes a big deal out of it by making fun of your intelligence and telling other people how you couldn’t spell “spaghetti”. 

He might also give you a lot of backhanded compliments, like:

“You’re smarter than you look.” 

“You did well, considering your background.”

“You’re so ambitious; it’s cute.”

It almost feels like the only way he can feel better about himself is by making others feel worse. 

Like attracts like, right? So it’s not surprising that…

9) He puts up with people who treat him like sh*t 

This is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll elaborate anyway. 

A man who’s secure in himself and his values will never allow other people to treat him poorly.

Sometimes, a man who has low self-esteem isn’t the “bad guy” in your story. 

He’s someone who deserves respect like anyone else yet struggles with standing up for himself. 

He often ignores his intuition out of fear, shame, or guilt. 

Which is why it’s difficult for him to say “no” and admit that he needs help, too. 

Maintaining a stable and healthy relationship can become quite a challenge when dealing with a guy who doesn’t set any boundaries. 

As the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

So a man with low self-esteem needs to recognize his own worth before he extends that love to another. 

Final thoughts

Remember, nobody’s perfect, and we all have our shadows. 

So if you notice a few of these signs in the man in your life, practice non-judgement. 

However, never allow their own projections to turn into your mirror and define your worth.

Building up someone’s self-esteem is not exactly easy. But guess what?

With patience, love, and radical accountability, the sky’s the limit!

Picture of Julienne Merza

Julienne Merza

Hey, I'm Julienne - a freelance writer with a passion for all things spiritual, wellness, and personal growth. I practice slow living in the countryside, where I have constant access to trees, wildflowers, and bodies of water. I love romanticizing the mundane and finding magic in life's simple moments. Through my work, I aspire to share my stories of healing and overcoming. If you feel aligned with my energy, please say hi to me on Instagram: @irishjulienne

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