A man’s self-esteem is critical to his well-being and how he perceives himself. It involves loving oneself, acknowledging that he can be loved, valuing his opinions and feelings, and pursuing his passions.
When a man has low self-esteem, he may feel worthless and undeserving of love and attention. This negative self-image can impact his behavior and, in turn, your relationship.
Dating a man with low self-esteem can be challenging and unpredictable, much like a rollercoaster ride. Understanding him and supporting him can help build his confidence and strengthen your relationship.
If you’re wondering whether your partner has low self-esteem, pay attention to the way he talks and carries himself.
By identifying the signs and offering him support and encouragement, you can help him overcome his insecurities and enjoy a more fulfilling relationship.
Check these 11 fundamental signs to find out he’s got low self-esteem and avoid the destruction of your relationship and yourself:
1. He doesn’t like being vulnerable and denies any feedback
If you sense that something is wrong with him and you bring it up in the conversation, he acts negatively. He puts his defenses on.
One of his ways to escape insecurity is to suck the feelings in and choose to not show vulnerability. Because sharing his feelings and thoughts makes him feel insecure and less manly.
That way he can hide his feelings and feel superior toward you. At times he will be over-competitive by comparing his achievements with you or even with your guy friends – making you sure that he is more valuable than them.
2. He has a hard time understanding why would anyone love him
Different factors can impact his idea of loving himself and being loved. His past relationships or friendships are one of the factors that often contribute to low self-esteem.
Because of being hurt in other relationships, it becomes very difficult for him to understand why he can be loved by someone else. Fear of being hurt again and insecurity lead him to be all pessimistic and sometimes mean towards you.
If his achievements are less than his dad’s or other than his friends then it will be difficult for him to love himself and be loved, since he feels unworthy in this case.
But, while he is dealing with his low self-esteem or having trouble loving himself, you find yourself constantly in a vicious make-up/break-up cycle.
You may be confused at this point and being in an on-and-off relationship can drain you.
He makes you believe that you are the reason that these little and constant breakups happen and he is always the one that comes and tries to make it up. Since he thinks he is not the one to blame for this.
3. He puts his inner criticism towards you: Shifts the blame from himself to you
His low self-esteem does not let him accept feedback or even when the slightest joke or comment is made towards him.
He is afraid of taking comments or even constructive criticism since he thinks that will make him look weak and unworthy.
It can lead to you having a difficult time addressing a problem, and often, by the way, when he receives your address, you feel like you are never good enough for him or for him.
If it affects you very negatively, and he’s insensitive to your feelings – especially pain – then he’s not the one; he needs work done by himself perhaps even through professional help.
4. He carries himself with very low confidence: Denies any complement towards him
If a guy has low self-esteem then he carries himself with very low confidence.
The lack of confidence makes him socially withdrawn. He is withdrawn from you and others at the same time, he isolates himself only within his world.
He is pessimistic and often confused about his worthiness. That leads to him not accepting compliments or underrating his achievements.
He underestimates his achievements to get validation and at times he does this because he feels his achievement wasn’t good enough.
Even when he receives compliments, he overthinks them and probably takes them the wrong way. It is a fact that he doesn’t know how to react to it.
5. He has the body language of an insecure man
Body language is a key sign of spotting him if he is insecure, confident, happy, interested, or not interested.
His body language shows he’s insecure if he slouches, his shoulders are not broadened, and his arms and legs are crossed.
If you want to know if your husband/boyfriend or even the guy you are dating is insecure, first check his body posture and his body language.
The psychologist Amy Cuddy states that your body language shapes who you are.
Despite his posture, if he is insecure and full of self-doubt he will touch his face or nose before saying anything, he will rub his neck or will give you just a slight smile, not a full one.
6. He feels inferior to you, and other people around
Having an inferiority complex is another sign of him having low self-esteem. Different occasions contribute to making him inferior to himself and other people in general.
It could be him having his heart broken by an ex-partner, losing his job unexpectedly, not being valued enough during childhood, his parents comparing him with his other siblings and the list goes on and on.
How does he manifest this condition? He does that by using his overly sarcastic tone to harshly criticize himself. He even doubts your love for him.
He calls himself lucky that someone like you chose him: “How can someone like you love someone like me?”.
He could reflect all the negativity that self-doubt creates him and use his sarcasm to hurt your feelings and others’ too as a way to even himself with you or others.
7. His self-doubt makes him a bad listener and makes him look like a selfish human being
If you are having a conversation and he is not listening, he does this because he is having a war within him, and it’s loud: Trying to solve what you are thinking of him right now.
His overthinking leads to losing focus and being a bad listener. Also, he is analyzing his behavior, and what he is saying or doing from the moment you meet until you leave.
He might also try to hide his insecurity by trying to be the main character. Through this, he erases his self-doubt and distracts himself from his negative thoughts.
8. He has the victim mindset: Always being pessimistic and jealous
Well, here we go at the most important sign and the one that drains you and him the most. His victim mindset. This kind of mindset makes him have a pessimistic approach to everything in life.
If you have found yourself with your partner always blaming you for hurting him, making him feel inferior, not being there for him ‘when needed’, or accusing you of cheating on him.
This is a deep sign of him having extremely low self-esteem and having a pessimistic touch on your relationship.
He accuses you of not being there for him when needed but you’re always there for him. The thing is that one of the characteristics of people with low self-esteem is the fear of abandonment. He is afraid of you leaving him, he cannot accept rejection.
9. He is easily influenced by outside opinions: Can’t decide on his own!
He is unstable: his mood and behavior are highly affected by the people surrounding him. He waits for others to tell him what to do and if he has their validation, he will go by those decisions.
Lack of confidence and searching for validation leads him to get influenced by the thought that others have about him.
At this point, it is important to notice if he lets others influence his decisions regarding your relationship. If your boyfriend or husband makes decisions about you relying on others’ opinions then this is both a sign of immaturity and a sign of low self-esteem.
10. He is overly apologetic and constantly feels guilty
Does he apologize to you and others a billion times a day? If he does this constantly then he is feeling that he is doing something wrong all the time or it’s his way of avoiding conflict.
What causes the state of being overly apologetic is the feeling of insecurity and inferiority is the lack of self-love and not having any boundaries.
These aspects trigger him to feel like he is not good enough and feels like a burden to you and others. Or, he avoids conflict because he doesn’t feel enough to stand up for himself and just agrees with you every time.
11. He’s seeking happiness and fulfillment outside the inner realm
The moment you realize that he is struggling with his self-esteem is when he is constantly seeking happiness outside of the reality realm.
While being away from reality he finds the strength to boost his low self-esteem. He is prone to become materialistic, and to fade away from his low self-esteem: being dependent on money, expensive things, cheating, or even developing addictions.
He looks for external sources to boost his ego, and bring him joy. He feels unworthy and can’t fill the void with what he sees inside himself
12. It affects your sex life too
The way he perceives himself will impact your intimate life too. If he has body image issues, gets moody all the time, and is pessimistic, he won’t be engaged in his intimate life as a man with higher self-esteem would do.
The lack of confidence, insecurity, and being afraid of rejection will affect the way you two communicate and ‘perform’ sexually.
Having a lack of confidence he won’t be able to communicate and share his thoughts and needs with you. Which will have a negative impact on your sex life. And it can often leave you doubting his love, thinking he’s pretending to love you.
To understand in further detail his low self-esteem and the negative energy that your relationship gets, let’s brush off some of these questions.
How can low self-esteem affect the relationship?
The impact is vice-versa as the low self-esteem affects the relationship and the relationship affects the self-esteem. As much as that person affects the relationship, the relationship affects the person too.
It is all about reciprocity. If having low self-esteem tires him then the same happens to you. Since you have to be the partner that supports him to get out of that hole.
While he has low self-esteem, he cannot express himself to the fullest, or ask for help, he creates walls with you and others, is all insecure and jealous but still doesn’t want to discuss it, and has difficulties being himself.
As he finds it very difficult to love himself and express his feelings, all that negativity will reflect on you too as his partner:
– You feel alone even if you are in a relationship with him;
– It feels like you are never good enough for him;
– You feel like you have no one to talk to;
– Being all negative will drain your positive energy too.
It is hard to find a balance in this type of relationship, but being willing to work things out from both sides will help in improving the relationship.
Is it easy to spot a man with low self-esteem?
Spotting a guy with low self-esteem sometimes may be a challenge. Some guys are aware of their self-doubt but choose not to talk about it and others are not aware of it yet.
A guy may seem very confident but still have low self-esteem. There are little details that make the difference.
Learn how to spot his behavior by paying attention to:
- He says something and reacts with the comment that he sounded stupid but laughs it off with a smile. He feels uneasy and lacks self-control.
- Every guy needs some space but if you can sense that he has been isolating himself from everyone, including you then take note.
- Guys are competitive for real, but if he does that constantly and starts nagging you about it, then it could be his way of trying to prove to himself, you, or others that he’s worthy.
- He shuts everyone away and finds it hard to maintain any type of relationship. Whether it is with you, his friends, or his parents; He is victimizing himself in every case.
- The comfort zone is his safe zone, new changes scare him and fuel his negativity in him.
- He follows this pattern of mindset:
- I am not good enough,
- Everyone hates me,
- Please, what are you saying:? I am better than anyone, *but he doesn’t believe this himself*
- They don’t like me at all. It is always easy for him and not for me…
- I am always the one who is hurt.
How can you help him to build up his self-esteem? Is your help enough?
How does one love himself? It’s not something to be achieved by external factors, but having a supportive partner helps.
First, do not consider him as a project! Treat him like a person that needs support and love. Don’t treat him like someone that needs fixing.
Second, try to not criticize him directly. Start small. Make him feel important by giving tasks that make him feel he’s helping you and that he is an important factor for you.
Third, words of affirmation are needed here. Some of them:
– You are going to succeed today;
– You’re in control of your thoughts and how you react to yourself and others;
– You are allowed to take up place;
– You are one of a kind;
– You are strong enough to make your own decisions.
Fourth, try to control your anger and practice listening to him. Try to talk to him even though the conversations might be messy and full of negativity.
Fifth, you should understand his defense mechanism. Even when he feels like opposing you, try to understand why he is doing it and make him feel secure that he can open up to you.
Sixth, be you and do not make mean jokes. Making mean jokes can immediately hurt him and make him feel worthless.
And the last one, do not surpass your standards. Your support is very important in this type of relationship but if you surpass your needs and standards while trying to help him everything will get messy.
FAQ: Can a man with low self-esteem love you?
1. What causes low self-esteem in men?
Men might have low self-esteem due to many reasons. But those that fuel this state the most are:
1. Being compared to other people or siblings at a young age;
2. Not being treated right in previous relationships;
3. Having anxiety or depression can help in developing low self-esteem;
4. Not feeling quite right with their body image;
5. Suppressing his feelings.
2. Can women be attracted to guys who have low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence?
Yes, they can. Every human being is challenged once in their life with a lack of confidence.
You just cannot love yourself that day, even feel stupid for saying something, or have a negative attitude towards yourself and others.
If a guy who lacks self-confidence and deals with low self-esteem can learn to cope with these feelings and overcome them, he then can maintain a relationship.
What attracts women is the feeling of being understood, being helped, and finding a guy who can cooperate.
3. Does noticing these signs earlier prevent you from a toxic relationship?
Yes, noticing early signs of low self-esteem in a man can prevent you from a toxic relationship. It’ll help you take things less personally and understand the core of his behavior.
To conclude: Spotting low self-esteem signs may be very tricky, but with a little effort and attention is something easily done.
Be aware that low self-esteem is not permanent, he would change in a certain period if he is willing to. If you ask, is it worth the fight? Sure it is until you are not personally exhausted and drowned in negativity.