How can you tell when a guy is insecure or lacks confidence? (self.AskWomen)

17 ups - 4 downs = 13 votes

Explain what you think are some behaviors or traights that are "tells" of an insecure / unconfident guy

68 comments submitted at 10:50:40 on May 15, 2013 by KillerSocks

  • [-]
  • cleoqkazoo
  • 15 Points
  • 12:21:16, 15 May

Constantly putting down or making fun of other people. Trying to find out what they're 'supposed' to be doing. Looking around the venue too much. Can't take a compliment. Slouching. Looking at their feet. Mumbling. Bad hygiene.

  • [-]
  • [deleted]
  • 1 Points
  • 14:24:37, 15 May

[deleted]

  • [-]
  • MistaPitts
  • 1 Points
  • 14:50:28, 15 May

That attitude isn't gonna do you any favors.

  • [-]
  • NillaSuspect
  • 1 Points
  • 14:56:31, 15 May

It has done more than anything in your lifetime.

  • [-]
  • MistaPitts
  • 1 Points
  • 15:05:46, 15 May

Oh, a troll.

  • [-]
  • [deleted]
  • 1 Points
  • 15:44:50, 15 May

[deleted]

  • [-]
  • jonesie1988
  • 1 Points
  • 16:30:36, 15 May

Gendered slurs and graceless generalizations of gender aren't allowed here.

Please read the rules here, and take a look through our FAQ while you're there. If you'd like to talk about the removal of your comment, message the moderators.

  • [-]
  • MistaPitts
  • 1 Points
  • 15:54:27, 15 May

lol

  • [-]
  • hidemythundr
  • 14 Points
  • 11:21:38, 15 May

Avoiding eye contact is a trait that springs to mind.

  • [-]
  • danceswithhousecats
  • -6 Points
  • 12:25:20, 15 May

Avoidance of eye contact is a mild tell for autism/aspbergers though.

  • [-]
  • acidotic
  • 13 Points
  • 12:48:58, 15 May

So? The percentage of the population that actually has autism is pretty small. The percentage of that population that I could be observing at a bar or gathering is smaller. If I see a guy who won't make eye contact, I'm not going to immediately think "ooh, I bet he possibly has autism!"

  • [-]
  • ICallsEmAsISeesEm
  • 4 Points
  • 13:18:01, 15 May

Not on Reddit

  • [-]
  • acidotic
  • 2 Points
  • 13:50:21, 15 May

If I can figure out how to make eye contact over Reddit, I will be spending the rest of the day sending death glares and eye rolls to people who make misogynistic comments.

  • [-]
  • danceswithhousecats
  • 1 Points
  • 14:50:53, 15 May

Well, not all of us has the full autism spectrum. I for example just have a hard time picking up on body language and social codes. I've been called rude several times just simply because I don't know how to behave in a certain situation.

  • [-]
  • dukec
  • 2 Points
  • 13:31:25, 15 May

It's also a tell for being asian, so there's that.

  • [-]
  • leeceia
  • 25 Points
  • 11:21:18, 15 May

Sometimes, you can't.

Sometimes, it's so blatantly obvious because of how they try and integrate themselves. There's a lot of holding themselves awkwardly, of reacting awkwardly when their space is compacted on in a fairly normal way (super jumpy if someone moves past them in a crowded bar for example). There's a lot of either bad clothes, or super trendy clothes that he doesn't seem confident in. There's a lot of sunken chests and lowered heads. There's a lot of standing to the sides, and not being comfortable in moving. Absolutely no dancing unless it's super awkward and looks pained. Way too many self-depreciating jokes, an inability to get super fully involved in whatever's happening unless it's well within their element. A mate having to introduce them, and they have a look of pure terror in their eyes. A beer held close to their chest. A half hearted smile, or one that doesn't always reach their eyes. Bonus points if they mention an inability to get girls.

  • [-]
  • PlasticSky
  • 30 Points
  • 11:36:44, 15 May

>A beer held close to their chest.

Classic mistake. I hold my beer straight out to exhibit how confident and dominant I am while I fully assert myself as a skilled beer holder.

  • [-]
  • leeceia
  • 8 Points
  • 11:38:14, 15 May

I meant like crazy close, to the point it'll warm it up. Also, kinda referred to a complete lack of gesturing and a really rigid posture. But I did appreciate the humour.

  • [-]
  • monkeyfett8
  • 1 Points
  • 14:34:14, 15 May

Well crap...this is all me.

I guess I thought I was doing better but maybe I'm just as useless as ever.

  • [-]
  • CheshireIsBack
  • 1 Points
  • 15:53:57, 15 May

NO! Don't think that. Gaining self-confidence can take time to build, a lot of people struggle with it. Even confident people, there is usually something that they're insecure about. Don't give up and don't think you're useless - because you're not. Everyone has some quality about them that makes them shine. Find that quality.

  • [-]
  • Quazz
  • 7 Points
  • 11:30:26, 15 May

> Absolutely no dancing unless it's super awkward and looks pained.

I for one, simply do not enjoy dancing. I get no enjoyment out of it at all.

>A beer held close to their chest.

Depending on the context, this is actually your best bet. I can't tell you how much beer I've lost by not keeping it close to my body.

  • [-]
  • leeceia
  • 5 Points
  • 11:31:18, 15 May

That's totally fine, but I bet you're confident in yourself enough to not let a pretty lady sway your resolve to not dance.

  • [-]
  • Quazz
  • 1 Points
  • 11:33:10, 15 May

Well, in that situation, actually maybe, because it might deliver her enjoyment, you know?

  • [-]
  • leeceia
  • 2 Points
  • 11:35:20, 15 May

Well if so, at least in my experience, the more confident guys at least brave enough to strike out and do something a little crazy as a joke, or move in real close. The less confident guys kinda just bob and watch. Again, my experience only.

  • [-]
  • FeministNewbie
  • 2 Points
  • 12:57:10, 15 May

They'll also avoid leaving their little group of peers and gather in "defensive" posture, usually going for a safe spot somewhere on the side and keeping it at all cost.

Confident people can walk away to talk to someone they know (or not) and come back, confident people will move around, take space or change for a more comfortable spot. An awkward person will sit behind a table for the whole evening and not switch place.

  • [-]
  • spindleweb
  • 4 Points
  • 13:51:31, 15 May

I disagree. A confident person can sit in one place for the whole evening, but they will own that space and be relaxed if approached. You don't have to be a social butterfly or extravert to be confident, but you will probably have to leave that spot if you want to be pursuing people.

  • [-]
  • narwhalbaby
  • 9 Points
  • 12:42:56, 15 May

Trying to hard to be cool - it's so transparent when someone isn't genuine. Also often these people are very easily affected by others - for example, doing what people say without thinking or liking someone because they give them attention, regardless of whether or not they're a good person.

  • [-]
  • acidotic
  • 8 Points
  • 12:56:26, 15 May

Too accommodating - Yes, I can hang out whenever you're available! I'll put everything on hold for this conversation! I can drive you! There's a line between helpful and desperate. Similarly, trying to extend the interaction - trying to keep a conversation or a date going way too long just to stay on someone's radar.

Not having an opinion / not having a stable opinion is sort of a sign for me. Ex: Guy says "Man, I hate that restaurant!" and then I say "Oh, why? I really like it!" and then guy spends 10 minutes trying to explain how he doesn't actually hate it, he actually likes it, he was just saying...If you're going to state an opinion, own it. Stand up for it. We don't have to have the same opinions about everything, and it makes you look weak when you constantly recant something you said ten minutes earlier.

  • [-]
  • spindleweb
  • 4 Points
  • 13:55:56, 15 May

A long rant on a strong opinion is pretty off-putting, though.

  • [-]
  • anonagent
  • 3 Points
  • 14:01:39, 15 May

I guess you could say I don't have a "stable opinion" but that's not because I'm trying to fit in, tbh I don't care what anyone thinks about my opinions, I just tend to not have binary opinions, and have trouble trying to stuff my real opinion into a binary box I guess you could call it.

  • [-]
  • jonesie1988
  • 1 Points
  • 16:35:48, 15 May

why does your opinion have to be binary? Why does it have to be yes or no? It's really cool when you meet a person like that, who can see things many ways. It's silly to not share your opinion because of that.

  • [-]
  • anonagent
  • 1 Points
  • 16:41:42, 15 May

My opinion isn't binary, and it seems like everyone expects a binary opinion, and to be frank, my mind just doesn't work like that. I agree, I love people with perspective and many thoughts on something instead of just a yes no answer, but the reason I don't tell my full opinion, is because it feels like I'm rambling for way too long about something that ultimately doesn't matter much.

  • [-]
  • acidotic
  • 0 Points
  • 14:03:26, 15 May

I don't know what this means.

  • [-]
  • anonagent
  • 1 Points
  • 14:40:11, 15 May

It's a response to what you just said, maybe you should re-read it then.

  • [-]
  • deepthot42
  • 1 Points
  • 14:29:23, 15 May

"I once and got a warm salad... who messes up salad amiright? It could have been an off night though."

  • [-]
  • JustWordsInYourHead
  • 1 Points
  • 14:02:13, 15 May
  • Placing anything expensive within view in unnecessary situations, like having his smart phone on the table when we're having dinner.
  • Talking about himself and all the good he's done for the world--nonstop.
  • Randomly referencing how he knows this famous person and that famous person.
  • Using a lot of generalized affirmative/negative words, like "I always do this" or "I NEVER do that." To me, "always" and "never" are words that a person uses when they are boasting about something that is not true.
  • One-upping any one else whenever they tell a story. Instead of listening to the other person's story, they interrupt by saying, "Oh you know WHAT, this happened to me AS WELL, and I--"

Basically, to me an insecure person is someone who tries really hard to appear confident to others. I feel like they are so insecure about themselves that they have to constantly "reassure" themselves by trying to impress other people.

  • [-]
  • monkeyfett8
  • 1 Points
  • 14:38:31, 15 May

So you're saying if you're not confident don't try to be, then?

  • [-]
  • JustWordsInYourHead
  • 1 Points
  • 15:26:27, 15 May

Well, there's a difference between lying and being confident.

When I hear anyone, man or woman, use the words "I always" or "I never", I automatically assume they are lying.

Those phrases are different than "I have always" or "I have never", as the "have" part of it implies past tense. Which makes sense when you think about things like "I have never had anal" or "I have always used this taxi service."

But when it is just the two words "I always" or "I never", it is in the present tense and therefore that expression is more of a personal statement. So when people say "I always hold the door for a lady" or "I never fart in public", I tend to think they are lying, because the possibility of these things being such a constant is hard to believe.

Also, one-upmanship is not confidence. That's arrogance. Worlds of difference.

And showing off with expensive shit? Materialistic, not confident.

  • [-]
  • Africanfratboy
  • 1 Points
  • 16:51:48, 15 May

I've never smoked a cigarette but, if I tell you that in that manner you'll think I'm lying?

  • [-]
  • JustWordsInYourHead
  • 1 Points
  • 17:03:41, 15 May

Please read what I wrote in full.

"I have never smoked a cigarette." Past tense implies it has already happened, so a person can make such statements with confidence and have it sound true.

"I never smoke cigarettes." Present tense implies that it is the past and current situation, and it is also implying that you will never "choose to" do such thing in the future. Because people can't say for sure that they won't ever do a specific thing in the future, these type of statements logistically sound false.

Are two different statements.

  • [-]
  • peeingintheshower
  • 1 Points
  • 12:19:57, 15 May

Speaking rather quickly, not keeping eye contact, glancing around a lot, fidgeting of the hands (i.e. wiping them on pants etc.)

  • [-]
  • lazybarista
  • 2 Points
  • 13:18:26, 15 May

I pretty much can. Lack of eye contact. Looks down a lot. Says things like "is this okay?" "What are you thinking?" "did I freak you out?" , seems terrified of losing contact with you so always is texting or calling. Mumbles things. When in a group, always kind of quiets up and doesn't contribute to the conversation. Little stuff like that.

  • [-]
  • MadtownMaven
  • 1 Points
  • 14:41:53, 15 May

Conversationally, when a guy makes a lot of self deprecating jokes. One or two is ok, but more than that you are putting yourself down and I'm going to start believing that.

  • [-]
  • rakelllama
  • 1 Points
  • 16:09:53, 15 May

From what I've noticed, whenever guys talk about women as if they're another species. "I don't know how to talk to women." "Women, ya know?" etc. The type who upon seeing a woman, associate them with all the various gender stereotypes that could make them different from being a man, which is all they can relate to, apparently. Sure, there are behaviors that are inherently feminine, but who wants to be written off as just another woman? It sucks when a guy says that, because it shows that he's not willing to look beyond that crap and appreciate a woman for her individuality.

I just see that as a facade for insecurity.

  • [-]
  • TIG23
  • 1 Points
  • 16:31:49, 15 May

If they're slouching, don't make eye contact, or are constantly looking at the ground.

  • [-]
  • chugledmilk
  • 1 Points
  • 16:37:50, 15 May

Looking away instinctively when our eyes meet, like a reflex. Walking awkwardly. Complains a lot about himself when you get to know him. Sometimes I mistake shyness for insecurity.

  • [-]
  • danceswithhousecats
  • 2 Points
  • 12:23:02, 15 May

He treats service staff(like waiters, coffee guy, teller at supermarket) like shit. Like he's trying to show how he's "better" than them.

  • [-]
  • fdomingues
  • 4 Points
  • 13:05:13, 15 May

I (as a really awkward and shy person, and without any confidence at all) can say that I never treat service staff poorly, actually I try to smile to everyone, It's the best I can do...

I can pass off as rude because of not responding to something, like ignoring some request because of the fear of not doing it well, but never I will try to seem superior to someone else, regardless of their social/work position.

(And I identify with most, if not all, of the other responses)

  • [-]
  • SikhGamer
  • 1 Points
  • 15:21:43, 15 May

That isn't an insecure guy, that's a moron of a human being. FYI cashiers at a supermarket are hilarious.

  • [-]
  • danceswithhousecats
  • 1 Points
  • 15:32:30, 15 May

Yes it is. It also makes me think that he's really insecure and has to prove something to me.

  • [-]
  • PriscillaPresley
  • -2 Points
  • 10:53:58, 15 May

Can't take a compliment, and clothes are too trendy. If a guy spends ridiculous amounts of time and money on clothes, I feel like he's trying to make up for something.

  • [-]
  • happy_dan_pew
  • 16 Points
  • 11:38:04, 15 May

A lot of us just really like nice clothes.

  • [-]
  • cleoqkazoo
  • 7 Points
  • 12:21:58, 15 May

Yeah I don't get that one.

  • [-]
  • rakelllama
  • 1 Points
  • 16:07:23, 15 May

I think she's trying to say those guys who while they don't particularly have style, they think being overly-groomed will attract the ladies instantly. Sometimes people can see beyond the clothes that you're trying too hard.

  • [-]
  • PriscillaPresley
  • 1 Points
  • 12:51:59, 15 May

Nice clothes never go out of style, trendy clothes show others that you're keeping up and willing to spend money on the newest thing.

  • [-]
  • happy_dan_pew
  • 2 Points
  • 13:14:40, 15 May

Outside of the basic staples of wardrobes a lot of things tend to fall in and out of style, and for a lot of people being at the cutting edge of fashion is a big part of their lifestyle.

  • [-]
  • PriscillaPresley
  • 0 Points
  • 13:32:13, 15 May

If they can afford it, that's one thing, but when I say ridiculous amounts of money I mean people spending large amounts of their income on clothes at the expense of other more important areas of their life. Like, $150 shoes but they never have minutes on their phone, or 10 pairs of sneakers but they live in a shit hole. When a person's clothes don't really match their life style, it seems like they're putting on a show.

  • [-]
  • happy_dan_pew
  • 1 Points
  • 13:41:23, 15 May

Ah yeah, that makes sense.

  • [-]
  • MistaPitts
  • 1 Points
  • 14:54:15, 15 May

Clothing is a hobby for a lot of guys.

  • [-]
  • MKL
  • 2 Points
  • 13:12:46, 15 May

What do you mean by can't take a compliment? Could you type an example for us?

  • [-]
  • PriscillaPresley
  • 0 Points
  • 13:16:02, 15 May

"You look great"

"Well, I'm glad you think so."

  • [-]
  • MKL
  • 1 Points
  • 13:44:36, 15 May

hahaha you made me laugh. Which is sad, I feel sorry for whoever told you that :(

  • [-]
  • The_Canadian
  • 1 Points
  • 16:27:48, 15 May

I suck at taking compliments because I rarely get them. I usually just say "Thank you."

  • [-]
  • jonesie1988
  • 1 Points
  • 16:37:34, 15 May

uh, that's what you should say. It's affirmative. It's like saying, "thank you for noticing that great feature I have!" rather than, "oh, well I guess if you like it it's cool."

  • [-]
  • quik366
  • 1 Points
  • 14:50:11, 15 May

Ehhhh not really good advice. I wear nice cloths and spend tons of time and money on them yet I am very confident. You know what! I really hate when women spend alot of time and money on cloths.... just seems like you know they are trying to make up for something. now does that really make any sense at all?

  • [-]
  • PriscillaPresley
  • 1 Points
  • 16:24:45, 15 May

I would definitely think the same about a woman who spent a disproportionate amount of her income on fashion.

  • [-]
  • quik366
  • 1 Points
  • 16:56:40, 15 May

I was hoping you would say that, because 99% of women spend a disproportionate amount of their income on fashion.

  • [-]
  • jonesie1988
  • 1 Points
  • 17:03:23, 15 May

99%? I think that number is way off.