The 7 Signs Of Low Self-esteem In A Man: Top Characteristics

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Apr 30, 2024
low self esteem

Finding someone to love us is hard if we do not learn to love ourselves first.

This is easy to say but much harder to do.

Over the years, I have worked with many men. Hundreds. They all suffered from low self-esteem issues and needed help repairing themselves and finding love.

Working closely with all these men, I noticed a few common signs of low self-esteem in a man. I’ll review the characteristics of a man with low self-esteem in this guide. 

Now, the men I worked with could not value themselves. 

Quite simply, they did not see themselves as worthy of love.

Low self-esteem was the key reason they were single. 

Their poor self-image and negative feelings stopped them from finding a companion.

That is why, when guys ask me how to find love, I tell them they must look inside themselves first. 

If they do that, then love will find them. 

What Is Low Self-Esteem In Men?

Low self-esteem means you can’t express yourself because you’re afraid. This fear stops you from recognizing your strengths and living life fully. 

Self-esteem plays a huge factor in living a healthy life. It’s like the lens we use to see how awesome we are and what we’ve achieved. 

Our self-esteem drops when that lens gets smudged with doubt and criticism. 

Low self-esteem can make us feel less than, unworthy, and even invisible when it seems like everyone else has it all together. 

Figuring out how self-esteem affects our lives can help us overcome these challenges.

Do you feel uneasy, uncomfortable, or dissatisfied whenever you’re alone with your thoughts? 

Well, it could be a sign of low self-esteem. 

Low self-esteem disguises itself as humility or realism. But really, it holds you back from reaching your full masculine potential. 

Instead of celebrating wins, low self-esteem makes you obsess over failures. You’ll shy away from challenges. This sucks the joy out of life. It can also spiral into serious mental health issues if left unchecked.

Sure, the occasional confidence dip is normal. However, constant self-doubt points to deeper self-esteem problems, which can have big consequences on one’s life and relationships. 

Many people suffer from low self-esteem. This means they often feel unhappy or dissatisfied with themselves and cannot find their genuine love connection

no confidence instantly makes you look less attractive

Here’s what causes low self-esteem

Figuring out why someone has low self-esteem isn’t always easy. It can be as tricky as discovering their whole life story since birth.

For many, those seeds of doubt get planted early on. I speak to so many guys about this. 

And the truth is that there is no single answer.

For some men, it is about patterns set in an unhappy upbringing. 

Or perhaps by parents or teachers who were often critical of them when they were a child or young person. 

A lack of positive influences can shape a child’s self-esteem. 

And this sets patterns that have a lifelong impact.

For other men, low self-esteem issues are a feeling that has emerged in adulthood. This could be the result of unhealthy, abusive, or toxic relationships. Or a general sense of underachievement in their academic, work, or personal lives.

The stresses and strains of modern life can contribute, too. 

Major life events such as relationship breakdown and divorce can lead to self-esteem issues. Financial problems, too. These can often lead to a lack of self-worth. 

Moreover, medical issues and mental health disorders affect your self-confidence.

The impact of low self-esteem in men

Don’t underestimate the impact of low self-esteem. 

Whether you are a Hollywood star or a regular guy looking for love, low self-esteem can put a pause on your life. 

No, seriously. It can prevent you from finding the love you crave. 

Most guys come to me for help because they feel “stuck.”

They have low self-esteem issues. In other words, they do not feel that they deserve love. 

They tell me that they feel sad and lonely. Some tell me that they are suffering from a mental health condition, like depression. 

They cannot find a soulmate, and they’re convinced they have to live their lives alone. 

But then I tell them this:

“How will you ever convince someone else to love them if you can’t even love yourself?”

Self-esteem issues prevent you from finding the genuine, deep love connection that you might long for.

The word these guys use to describe their situation is ‘hopeless’.

But that just isn’t true.

I promise you, with help, any guy can build healthy self-esteem. This will then change the way that others in the world view them and connect with them.

From years of experience, I know that this is the absolute key to finding happiness. 

If men can be helped to shift how they see themselves, everything else starts to fall into place. 

The soulmate they seek will be within reach. Feelings of loneliness will be left behind. 


Boost your confidence, master your sexuality, and find your purpose.

So you can reignite the passion in your relationship or attract your perfect woman.

The Top Signs Of Low Self-Esteem In A Man

Here are the top signs of low self-esteem in a man: 

  • Constant self-criticism
  • Repeating negative relationship patterns
  • Severe fear of failure
  • Little to no resilience 
  • Always looking for a way out
  • You apologize for almost everything
  • Afraid to voice your opinion and express yourself

Recognizing the characteristics of a man with low self-esteem is no different from reading between the lines. It’s not always obvious. 

Yet, the signs are there. You’ll notice how a man acts if you spend enough time with them. 

Knowing these signs can be the first step toward a transformation. 

Side Note: You’re less likely to have sex when you’re afraid and lack the confidence to make a move. And unfortunately, fewer people are having sex. It was even mentioned in an article in the Scientific American that not as many people are having sex anymore. 

1. Constant self-criticism

Do you focus on your weaknesses or shortcomings?  

Men who are hard on themselves and constantly compare themselves unfavorably to others will lose the game of life. You’ll only live your days with negative feelings: 

  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Anger

Who wants to live a life when these are your primary emotions? 

In extreme cases, low self-esteem can be even more severe. A negative self-image can lead to the diagnosis of mental disorders. I’m talking about anxiety disorder and depression. 

Perfectionism is not the answer. 

You don’t even need to be perfect to attract your dream woman. I summarized why in my short YouTube clip below, which I suggest watching:

2. Repeating negative relationship patterns

Look at the pattern of relationships you have had in the past. How did those relationships work? 

  • Have you had toxic relationships?
  • Did you bend over backward to accommodate your partner?
  • Were you convinced that she was too good for you?
  • Did you ever feel undeserving of their love? 

A man lacking confidence may be in a loop of unhealthy dynamics. These patterns are rooted in a lack of self-worth. 

And yes, this can manifest into jealousy

Trust becomes an elusive concept. The fear that a partner’s love isn’t genuine can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In the quest for validation, a man with low self-esteem may unintentionally attract partners with similar insecurities.

3. Severe fear of failure

Do you always walk away from a challenge? 

For example, you would never approach a woman and ask for her phone number. The fear of embarrassment and failure prevents you from making a move.

Does that sound like you? Well, that’s something men with low self-esteem would do. 

Those with low self-esteem will use whatever excuse they can to avoid challenges or difficult situations. They believe that they do not have the abilities needed, so they avoid challenges rather than risk rejection

This fear isn’t simply about avoiding discomfort. It’s a profound terror of not measuring up, of falling short of perfection. 

men with no confidence dread almost everything

4. Little to no resilience

Do you find it hard to cope with changes or life events? 

Things could be going great, but then an obstacle appears unexpectedly. 

People with healthy self-esteem take challenges like this with pride. However, men with low self-esteem are easily derailed by things they do not anticipate.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from life’s setbacks. Except for men with low self-esteem, this elasticity is often absent. 

Simple challenges might feel overwhelming. It could trigger a strong stress response, damaging both your physical and mental health. 

A lack of resilience can manifest in various ways, such as the following: 

  • Changes in eating habits
  • Withdrawal from social interactions
  • Fatigue
  • Severe anxiety
  • Muscle pains 

5. Always looking for a way out

You were invited to an event a week beforehand. After receiving an invitation, you’re stoked. You’re excited and looking forward to it. 

When the clock ticks forward, you realize that this was a mistake. 

Now, you’re trying to look for a way out. 

Or you may never have considered going in the first place. Your initial thought might have been, “No way.” You give yourself some excuse and show avoidant behavior.

And if this is always happening, you probably have low self-esteem. 

This doesn’t just happen in that one scenario described. Looking for a way out could also mean looking for an escape from reality. 

Worse, it can lead to mental health disorders. It may also lead to self-harm through substance abuse, developing an eating disorder, and more. 


Boost your confidence, master your sexuality, and find your purpose.

So you can reignite the passion in your relationship or attract your perfect woman.

6. You apologize for almost everything

Let me be honest here: apologizing doesn’t always make things better. 

There are times when you might disagree with someone. Just because you’re not on the same page as them doesn’t mean you should apologize. 

Apologizing for everything even when you’re not in the wrong is unhealthy. 

Sure, there are a few exceptions to this. Apologizing can help you mend bridges. 

But for men with low self-esteem, “sorry” becomes a reflex uttered far too often. This pattern of over-apologizing can stem from a deep-seated need for peace and avoiding confrontations. 

And guys, confrontation isn’t always a bad thing. More often than not, it can lead to mutual respect. 

You’re probably the nice guy who gets friend-zoned if you’re constantly apologizing even when you’re not at fault. Do you want to know if you’re a needy, nice guy? Watch this short clip below: 

7. Afraid to voice your opinion and express yourself

You have a voice. Except you’re afraid to use it. 

You only use your voice to agree with others while nodding your head. Low self-confidence forces you into silence. 

Fearing judgment is normal. But fearing judgment to the point you feel you’re not worthy of anything is something else. 

A man’s reluctance to speak up can lead to his being easily influenced or swayed by others. He may lack the conviction to stand by his own beliefs. 

In other words, he lacks masculine energy. A man with no self-confidence struggles to stand up for himself. 

How To Deal With Low Self-Esteem Issues

Low self-esteem doesn’t have to last forever. You can end it by doing the following: 

  • Stop being too harsh on yourself
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Spread positivity, not negativity
  • Get comfortable with yourself
  • Stop comparing yourself to others
  • Deep self-reflection

The journey to rebuild self-esteem is not always linear. It requires patience, self-compassion, and a willingness to improve. 

Stop being too harsh on yourself

If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and move on. 

Negativity and self-criticism fuel low self-esteem. It is critical to learn how to block out the negative self-talk that holds you back.

The road to higher self-esteem begins with silencing the inner voice that puts you down. 

Change begins with mindset. Shift your frame of mind and put that voice of doubt aside! 

constantly putting yourself down wont make things better

Be kind to yourself

Have you put those negative thoughts aside? 

Good. Now, the next step is to be kind to yourself. 

Give yourself the same compassion as you would to a loved one. Embrace your flaws and acknowledge the beauty of imperfection. This understanding will boost your sense of self-worth. It will also help you connect with your feminine side and strengthen your emotional and mental well-being. 

Spread positivity, not negativity

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “What comes around, goes around.” 

The universe is strange. It works in mysterious ways that I doubt we’ll ever be able to understand fully. 

When you’re kind to others, that kindness will return to you. Eventually, this can be healthy for your self-esteem. 

If you only spread negativity, it’s no wonder why you’re surrounded by it. When there’s only negativity around you, your sense of self-worth decreases. 

However, when you’re filled with positivity, it affects how you perceive your self-worth. And in a good way. 

Are you not sure where to begin? Consider joining a men’s support group for starters. 

Get comfortable in your own skin

Get comfortable being your genuine self. If you can’t, then it’s most likely why you always fail the sh*t test.

Embrace your unique qualities. Accept yourself. Know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Understand what makes you truly happy. Think of the most important things to you and those that aren’t.

Finding comfort in your skin without external validation is a huge step. Self-acceptance can boost self-esteem. You’ll also begin to live with greater authenticity and self-confidence.

Part of this process involves making healthy lifestyle choices.

Give yourself positive affirmations. Focus on maintaining healthy relationships. Find joy in your strengths and capabilities. Stop fixating on unrealistic benchmarks and superficial values. 

Once you know yourself, you’ll be able to set your boundaries and increase your self-confidence:

Stop comparing yourself to others

Look, just stop comparing yourself to others. 

You may have faults, but so does everyone else. Don’t allow your flaws to derail your self-esteem. 

Part of that is about letting go of the past and overcoming sexual trauma. Things that might have hurt you can stay there.

Comparing your own life to others can be a significant source of low self-esteem. If this becomes a habit, you’ll destroy your mental health and self-confidence. You’ll do nothing but feed self-criticism. 

And do you know what makes this issue worse? Social media addictions. This could even lead to you unknowingly sabotaging your relationship.

I’ll be honest. Most stuff you see on social media is exaggerated. 

Everyone wants to show the highlights of their life, not the lowlights. Constantly comparing yourself to others only leads to devaluing your self-worth. 

Deep self-reflection

As mentioned, it’s hard to imagine getting into romantic relationships when you can’t even love yourself.

Anyway, deep self-reflection is essential. 

Journal your thoughts and feelings. Meditating is also an excellent opportunity to connect with your higher self. 

If you are drowning in low self-esteem, do this: tantric breathing. This is a game-changer. It instantly helps calm your nerves and helps balance your energy levels. 

Live More In The Present To Improve Your Mental Health

Just as you should not rake over past mistakes, you should also work on not worrying too much about the future. 

Instead, learn to live in the present moment. 

Enjoy where you are in life rather than thinking, “If only,” 

Living too much in the past or future can make one feel depressed. According to ADAA, many men suffer from depression: 

“Over 6 million men suffer from depression per year, but male depression often goes underdiagnosed.”

One way to solve this is by being fully conscious of the “now.” Other ways to address this is through practicing assertiveness and strengthening your body.

Assertiveness and physical exercise are key

People with negative self-esteem often struggle to express what they want or expect from others.

To assert clearly and confidently what you want as a man, you must start by believing that you are worthy of and deserve love. This is something that women find incredibly attractive and are naturally drawn to. 

Without assertiveness, sparking sexual polarity will be almost impossible.

Finally, take some practical steps too. 

Cut down on the unhealthy stuff. Drink less. Exercise more.

Regular physical activity is good for your body and mind. It is a proven way to stave off mental illness and deal with negative thoughts that can affect a person’s self-esteem. And remember, it does not need to involve winning gold at the Olympics. 

It could be as simple as a short walk each day. Set yourself clear, achievable, healthy targets and stick to them.

learn from your mistakes and be present in the moment

Conclusion: Do You Show Any Characteristics Of Low Self Esteem In Men?

Have you noticed any of the signs in this guide? 

Low self-esteem is a shadow that can hold you back from living a fulfilling life.

At least now, you know the top signs of low self-esteem in a man. 

The characteristics of a man with low self-esteem are unfortunate. If you’re never comfortable with yourself, you’ll never lead the life you want. 

And eventually, life becomes bitter. 

I don’t want that for you. It doesn’t have to be you. You can become the man you want to be by improving your positive self-image. And the kind of man that women want to be with.

Do you want to start that journey? Then, watch my free attraction training video. It doesn’t cost a penny. In it, I explain some of the simple, practical steps you can start to put in place to build healthy self-esteem.


Boost your confidence, master your sexuality, and find your purpose.

So you can reignite the passion in your relationship or attract your perfect woman.


How do you know when a guy has low self-esteem?

A guy has low self-esteem when he’s unable to act in his free will. He acts in a way that pleases everyone. Expressing yourself is a foreign term to a guy with low self-esteem. He’s constantly seeking validation and approval from others. Moreover, he almost always has a lack of positive energy. He’s filled with self-doubt. 

How does a person with low self-esteem act?

They act apologetically. A person with low self-esteem often feels inadequate, insecure, and lacking confidence in themselves and their abilities. Being overly self-critical and afraid to take risks or try new things is normal to them. 

What is the root cause of low self-esteem?

The root cause can come from trauma and negative past experiences. Childhood and upbringing are huge factors. Low self-esteem happens because of insecurities. 

How do you win over a man with low self-esteem?

Have patience and never rush progress. Judgment and criticism are also no-gos. They only reinforce their negative point of view. Also, gently challenge their negative self-talk and skewed perspectives. Help them identify their strengths and encourage them to leave their comfort zone. 

How does a man with low self-esteem act in a relationship?

He acts with full insecurities. Jealousy and controlling behavior are typical. He’ll want validation from his partner. So, he may also intentionally be emotionally distant to get his partner’s attention. 

How do you know if a guy has low self-esteem?

The biggest is when he seeks constant validation. He lacks assertiveness and is afraid of expressing himself. His insecure thoughts and behaviors are the culprit. 

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

I am the founder of The Tantric Man Experience™, a pioneering transformational coaching program for men. With over 1500 hours of certified tantra training in India and Thailand and 7 years of experience helping hundreds of men worldwide save their marriages and reignite passion in their love lives.

I have over 8 million views on YouTube and have been featured on VICE and Newstalk Radio for my life’s work - helping men unleash their full masculine potential.

My holistic FLT method seamlessly integrates ancient tantric philosophy with my modern expertise in relationships, sexuality, dating, and men’s health.

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