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13 Characteristics Of A Man With Low Self-esteem

Dating a man with low self-esteem can be confusing at first. You’re bound to wonder what the problem is in the beginning. Often, it’s difficult for men with low self-esteem to form healthy relationships. This is due to the various behaviors that are a result of low self-esteem. 

How Can I Tell If He Has Low Self-Esteem?

I’ve dated a low self-esteem man before. Guys like this come off as controlling at times. They seem shallow or as though they want to one-up everyone. These are just a few of the signs that a boy doesn’t have healthy self-esteem. Several behaviors can point to him having self-esteem issues.

1. Comparing themselves with people

Individuals that have low self-esteem are more likely to compare themselves with people that they think are better than them. In the long run, this actually hurts their self-esteem more. 

It leads to a downwards spiral of more comparison, and lower self-esteem. You’ll notice that they constantly compare themselves because they don’t feel that they are equal

Your man may not outright compare himself to someone else. Instead, you will notice him making comments about other people. These will not always be nice. For example, he will say things like “he always has to dress better than everyone else.” 

2. Fear that you’re going to leave

fear that you're going to leave

Guys with low self-esteem are more likely to be scared that you’re going to leave them, even if they have no reason to believe that. This is because the man feels as though he is not worthy of you. 

He may think that you will have a better future without him. This is because he doesn’t value what he brings to the table. 

It leads to him wondering when you’re going to realize that you’re worthy of so much more than he can offer. Remember, he doesn’t seem to be himself the same way that you do. 

To combat this, you need to help him feel secure in the partnership. Avoid false praise or empty promises. Instead, tell him why you love being in a relationship with him

Discuss how you feel about being with someone. For example, tell him that you believe in working through things instead of leaving. 

3. They don’t say good things about themself

Guys with low self-esteem don’t use a lot of positive words to describe themselves. This is one of the signs of low self-esteem. 

A great way to determine if a guy does lack confidence is to ask him to describe himself. He’ll struggle with listing wonderful things about himself. 

4. Previous toxic relationships

People with low self-esteem are more likely to find themselves in toxic relationships. Difficulty setting boundaries go hand in hand with self-esteem issues. This is what results in them constantly finding themselves in unhealthy relationships.

5. Poor body image

As mentioned earlier, people with low self-esteem often have a hard time feeling good about themselves. This is not just pertaining to their character. 

They are more likely to not view themselves as attractive. When you compliment their body, they might have a difficult time accepting those compliments. 

Men that have a poor body image due to low self-esteem can benefit from saying great things about themselves. Keeping a positive affirmation journal is a great idea. You may want to discuss counseling with him to encourage him to seek help.

6. Attention-seeking behavior

attention seeking behavior

Individuals with low self-esteem are more likely to seek attention. This will be seen with you and with others. 

Attention-seeking behavior can take on various forms. It might be a direct attack on you, such as accusing you of doing something. They might use the relationship to make themselves feel better, such as by posting several pictures on social media. Being nice and sweet can also be a way to get attention. 

Other attention-seeking behaviors commonly seen in a relationship include: 

  • Talking to other people to spark your jealousy
  • Bringing up topics they know will start an argument
  • Being controversial
  • Seeking validation
  • Fishing for compliments
  • Want you to take care of them
  • Injuring themself, and then telling you about it to get your attention

Attention-seeking behaviors can cause a significant amount of damage to the relationship. Make sure that you discuss these behaviors with your partner.

7. Acting overconfident

Guys with low self-esteem are more likely to act confident, even though they are not. This is also referred to as fake confidence. 

Men will say things that make them sound like they think they are amazing, such as saying that a relationship with them is wonderful. Getting them to admit that they are wrong is surprisingly difficult. 

These men give the impression that they are cocky. To determine if it’s due to a lack of self-esteem, watch for other signs that he doesn’t have a healthy confidence level. 

8. Other side effects of low self-confidence

People that have poor self-esteem are more likely to suffer from other things. For example, individuals with depression are likely to have low self-esteem. Having poor self-esteem can also lead to other symptoms. These include: 

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  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse 
  • Higher levels of stress
  • Eating disorders
  • Little happiness

When people do not value themselves, they are more likely to seek out ways to change themselves, such as eating disorders. Likewise, having a mental illness can result in a person having low self-esteem.

9. Destroy relationships

destroy relationships

When people do not have healthy self-esteem, they often don’t think that they deserve to be happy. Things might seem to be going great, and they will sabotage them. 

For example, the relationship might seem ideal. Everything is going smoothly. Then, they will pick a fight and say that they are considering leaving. 

You’re left feeling confused and wondering if you’re in a toxic relationship. This is because they are trying to find a reason to sabotage things. 

10. Feeling guilty about wanting their needs met

One of the most frequently seen signs of low self-esteem is a person not addressing their own needs. It’s rare for them to speak up when they want or need something.

In a relationship, they will have a hard time saying that they want to spend quality time with you. It’s common for them to feel anxious discussing their needs, too. 

It’s critical that you have a conversation when you notice this behavior. Both people getting their needs met should be an important point of the conversation. 

11. They fear making mistakes

One of the signs of low self-esteem is that they do not want to make mistakes. Most people with healthy self-esteem are willing to face challenges. They understand that you learn from your mistakes. 

You’ll see the opposite in people with low self-esteem. Instead of being ready to try new things, these guys stray away from them. They prefer to stay inside of their comfort zone instead of risking failure. 

Men with low self-esteem have a hard time maintaining their cool when things go wrong. You’ll notice that when he makes mistakes, it can easily ruin his entire day. This is when he’ll not want to try the same thing again due to being afraid of failure.

12. Negative criticism is often viewed as a personal attack

When you say that you don’t like something, they take it as an attack on their personality. They refuse to accept that you’re simply stating your feelings, or perhaps would like to see something change in the relationship. 

This can cause quite a few problems in a relationship. It can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work through problems. When the other person refuses to accept that there is a problem, the two of you cannot work as a team to solve the problem. Working on communication can help.

13. Jealousy is often due to self-esteem issues

jealousy is often due to self-esteem issues

Your man thinks that you can do better than him. He doesn’t seem to understand why you’re with him. Deep down, he thinks it’s only a matter of time before you leave him. 

Those nagging thoughts soon turn into jealousy. He becomes jealous of you hanging out with your male friends. When you spend time away from him, he wants to know who you’re with. 

Some men let their jealousy take things a step further. Instead of merely not wanting you to hang out with male friends, he might want you to only spend time with him. When you’re away from him, he’ll constantly want to call or text. It can be suffocating. 


What are the signs of a man with low self-esteem?

Men with low self-esteem exhibit several signs. Jealousy is one of the most common signs. Attention-seeking behavior and self-sabotaging are frequently seen. Underlying conditions, such as mental illness, should be expected.

What causes a man to have low self-esteem?

Trauma and previous relationships are often behind poor self-esteem. This “relationship” can mean previous romantic relationships or ones with parents and siblings. Men with low self-esteem often find themselves in toxic partnerships, which then makes their self-esteem lower than it already was.

Can a man with low self-esteem love?

Yes, a man with poor self-esteem is capable of loving you. He is not capable of loving himself, though. Because of that, he might not show you love the same way that other people do. You’ll also find it difficult to form a healthy partnership with him.

What do you say to a man with low self-esteem?

Remind them that you love them, and tell them why. Encourage positive self-talk. Do not engage in conversations that are centered around negative self-talk. Compliment him. Avoid giving fake compliments or praise. He’ll be able to tell that you do not genuinely mean what you are saying.

What do you call a person who lacks confidence?

Another word for someone that does not have a lot of confidence is someone with poor self-esteem. Low self-worth is a way that you can say someone does not value themselves. Poor self-image means that someone does not have a positive view of themselves.

In Conclusion

Dating a man with low self-esteem is possible. There are quite a few things that you can do to help him once you realize that he doesn’t have a high level of confidence. The key is figuring out that he has low self-esteem. What are some other clues you can look for to determine your man has low self-esteem? 

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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