10 Signs of Low Self Esteem in a Man

Before you delve into understanding the signs of low self-esteem in a man, it is first important to understand the meaning of self-esteem as a psychological construct.

Without understanding the true meaning of self-esteem, you won’t be able to effectively identify the signs of low self-esteem in a man.

So, what is the meaning of self-esteem? Self-esteem refers to an individual’s understanding of their value. The opinion one has about themselves is self-esteem.

These factors include feelings of competence, feelings of belonging, self-confidence, and self-worth. An individual’s level of self-esteem plays a pivotal role in different areas of life, such as the occupational domain, educational domain, interpersonal domain, and social domain of life.

The role of self-esteem in relationships is very important. This is because self-esteem determines how much you are fond of yourself or like yourself, how much confidence you have in yourself, and how you treat yourself.

Not only that, but it also impacts your motivation to attain what you want to in life and your ability to form supportive, loving, balanced, and healthy relationships.

10 major signs of low self-esteem in a man

Now that you know about the value of self-esteem and the importance of having moderate to high self-esteem let’s take a look at how to tell if a guy has low self-esteem.

Consider the following 10 signs of low self-esteem in a man:

1. He keeps on criticizing you

Low self-esteem in relationships can take a very ugly turn in terms of predicting the long-term potential of relationships. Why does this happen? This happens because your man has low self-esteem, he more often than not, criticizes you.

He may bring you down even when you succeed. He may easily unconsciously resort to undermining you or labeling your victories as mere coincidences or accidents. Simply put, he may be projecting his low self-confidence on you.

This negative behavioral pattern may easily brew a lot of contemptuous feelings from your end towards him. And when you hold strong negative feelings towards him, it can affect the future of your connection.

2. He has a very negative attitude toward a lot of things in life

Is your man a negative Nancy? This is another one of the tell-tale signs of low self-esteem in a man. Men with low self-esteem often have an extremely pessimistic attitude towards their life and life events.

Their life expectancy and outcome expectancies are generally negative by nature. And if you’re in a romantic relationship with such a man, you are bound to fall victim to several missed opportunities in your life. Why?

This happens because his negative attitude rubs off on you. You might slowly start perceiving opportunities as threats instead of challenges. Guys with low self-esteem just like to keep complaining about life.

They’ll just whine to you if you tell them about a certain problem you’re facing. You’ll hardly ever get any suggestions for solving a problem that you might be facing.

3. Jealousy comes easily

Feeling insecure about oneself is another one of the signs of low self-esteem in a man. Feeling confident about your abilities, your appearance, your skills, your potential, and so on, are all a big part of having high self-esteem.

Having confidence about how valuable you are to your partner is pivotal to holding a relationship together. Jealousy and insecurity about their worth to their partner is a tell-all sign of men with no confidence.

Does your partner feel insecure or upset about your guy friends? Do they not like you hanging out with your male cousins and other relatives? Does he have a problem if you’re having a good time with your loved ones, even if it is in his presence?

Well, it might be time to move on. Putting up with this can lead to a lot of negative feelings and subsequent conflicts between you and your boyfriend.

4. He is scared & unsure about taking any major responsibility

One of the most prominent signs of low self-esteem in a man is his fear of failure. People who feel that they do not have the ability to manage something or take the lead will most probably try to steer clear of opportunities where they have to do so.

This manifests in the man’s inhibitions to take any responsibility, whether big or small. He doesn’t think he can steer it into fruition. As mentioned earlier, he sees opportunities as threats. Therefore, he will have a very difficult time taking any responsibility.

He will shy away from small things like feeding your pets to major responsibilities like the possibility of moving in together or getting married. So, ask yourself, is it going to be worth your time and effort to be with such a man?

5. He exhibits sexually coercive behavior

Although sad but true, sexually coercive behavior towards you is another one of the signs of low self-esteem in a man. If your man is a very negative being, you might have a hard time expressing your sexual desires to him.

He, in turn, might perceive this as you not being attracted to him. Therefore, he may resort to pressurizing you to perform. Male self-esteem issues can often manifest in the sexual domain of your relationship.

Sex might stop feeling enjoyable for you because of the coercive behavior. This is a very serious issue. It has the potential to do a lot of damage to you.

6. He has low self-confidence

Self-confidence is a huge part of self-esteem. They bear a strong positive correlation to each other. This implies that a self-confident man has high self-esteem. If your man feels like he doesn’t know how to manage himself in different situations, he probably suffers from poor self-confidence.

This low self-confidence means that his quality of life and his well-being is gravely impacted.

7. He is addicted to different things

One of the more subtle signs of low self-esteem in a man is addictive behavior. Addiction does not always mean that your man is addicted to smoking, drugs, or drinking. It can include any of these things, but it definitely isn’t limited to these things.

Your man may be completely obsessed with cleanliness or some other activity. He might be spending a good chunk of this time doing that particular thing. A common sign of lack of confidence in men can manifest as porn addiction.

8. He is easily prone to influence

Another one of the subtle signs of low self-esteem in a man is gullibility. Is it very easy for your man to believe something that is told to him by someone else? Does the extent of readiness seem very absurd to you?

Well, it’s probably because of self-esteem issues. This may be because your man lacks fundamental principles. Owing to the lack of principles, he doesn’t have any beliefs or values to stand for.

If you often see him fluctuating in his opinions, it’s because of self-esteem issues. The easiest way to understand this sign is if he easily changes his beliefs or opinions even in situations where he isn’t under pressure.

9. He is bad at handling criticism of any kind

Men and self-esteem are not very tricky to navigate through. The easiest way to see how confident your man is in himself is to analyze his reaction to criticism.

The criticism may be constructive or just negative. It doesn’t matter. If your man suffers from low self-esteem, he will not take criticism well. He will probably react very negatively to any criticism from anyone.

Such individuals view criticism, even if it’s constructive, as a direct attack on their character. So, they react to the criticism with hostility and anger.

10. He faces great difficulty admitting his mistakes

One of the signs he has low self-esteem is his perception and understanding of mistakes. Human beings are bound to make mistakes. However, people with moderate to high self-esteem perceive these mistakes as important life lessons.

People with low self-esteem, on the other hand, have a difficult time wrapping their heads around the fact that mistakes are wonderful learning opportunities. Therefore, they end up blaming it on other people. They don’t introspect. They don’t try to learn.

How to support a man who has low self-esteem

Now that you know how to tell if a guy has low self-esteem, there are certain ways to navigate your way through low self-esteem and relationships. Here’s how:

  • You must figure out healthy ways to cope with the frustration and anger when it comes to dealing with your man. If you burst out, it won’t help the situation.
  • Try to encourage him and make him feel good about himself by complimenting him often. Make sure that these compliments are heartfelt, realistic, and sincere.
  • Accept that he is defensive by nature and therefore, try to steer away from cracking jokes that he might take personally.
  • Active listening and empathy are two of the most powerful tools to validate your man and boost his self-esteem. Try to also encourage him to engage in positive self-talk.
  • He might be seeing himself in a negative light. It would be better if you suggest counseling who can actively help build his self-esteem.
  • People with low self-esteem can keep to themselves, and such isolation can lead to depression and anxiety. Try including your man in different activities and meeting new people.
  • Remain patient while dealing with his insecurities. There could be upsetting times that you might not be ready for but know that there is no quick-fix for the problem and it might take time.


Now you know about the signs of low self-esteem in a man and how to support such a man. It is a difficult situation to be in but patience, awareness, sincerity, and empathy can take you a long way.

Once you identify the signs, it won’t be difficult to deal with them. And if there’s a point of no return, it’s better to move on!

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