He could be six feet tall, he could have the best abs and he could be even in a profession that entails taking life risks, but he could be a man with low self-esteem. Sounds strange right? But unless you know a man really closely you wouldn’t really understand that you are dating a man with low self-esteem.
There will be serious character flaws that you will have to deal with. But let us warn you from the beginning, loving a man with low self-esteem is not easy.
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Besides all the love you might feel for him, your hormones blind you to his faults. Sometimes it takes a couple of years and sometimes even a decade to know you are dating a man with low self esteem.
There may be many faults in your man, he may have a short temper, he might be a lazy bone or an alcoholic or a gambler. The one defect that is least detectable is low self-esteem.
This is one trait that is behavioural, and that gets masked by characteristics like bravado, a superiority complex or even by the strong silent type of personality. The telltale signs of low self-esteem are prominently these.
What Are The Signs Of A Man With Low Self- Esteem?
You could be dating a man with a low self-esteem and if you read this article then you will understand why he behaves in the way he does. A study conducted in 2016 on 116,356 men show male low self-esteem statistics. Almost 40% men reported feeling low self-esteem because of their body image.
What causes low self-esteem in men? Apart from their issues with body image, the other causes of low self-esteem in men could be as varied as toxic parenting, erectile dysfunction, sense of insecurity, low levels of education or skills, all could lead to low self-esteem.
A man with low self-esteem will show these particular signs. Read on to find out.
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1. Misplaced sense of superiority
It is said that people who are always trying to prove they are superior to others are actually the ones who feel inferior inside. In other words we call this superiority complex.
Austrian Psychologist Alfred Adler who is the founder of the school of “individual psychology” talked about superiority complex as a defense mechanism for feelings of inadequacy that we all struggle with.
Things never to say to a man of low self-esteem is that they have made a mistake. He could be your colleague, your classmate or the love of your life, but you could end up unleashing the monster in him if you tell him he is wrong. He cannot accept it.
He has an exaggerated sense of self and loves to throw his weight around. He always believes he is better than others.
2. He is an escapist
If there is any kind of trouble he is always looking for a way out. Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a clinical psychologist based in California says that there are people who avoid reality and it is called the “escapism psychology”. They are incapable of taking the bull by the horn and instead they prefer to escape the situation mentally.
So if you are dating a man with low self-esteem and you realise that to make ends meet you need to keep three part-time jobs, be sure when you come home you would find him on the couch watching football.
Try to talk to him about the financial situation and that he needs to pull up his socks, you would find him wandering in the football field inside the TV. He has found his escape.
It could be the other way round too he could be a workaholic and find his escape in the workplace while you will keep grappling with other responsibilities mainly at home. People with low self-esteem also find their escape in food, drugs and travel.
3. A man with low self-esteem has an inflated ego
His ego comes from his low self-esteem that’s why he has to always chase goals, always achieve and always show that he is the best. He is not the kind who can really relax and have a good time with his date. His mind would always be on how to prove he is the best. He could be behaving like the alpha male and you will have to deal with it.
Don’t be surprised that on a date he would be having a monologue and you would be listening. He has to keep attesting the fact that he is an achiever, a superstar and you have to keep clapping and cheering and tell him he is the best.
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4. He is hyper competitive
How to love a man with low self-esteem? Never step on his competitive toes. He has a fiercely competitive self and he could end up to be like that with you also. If you get a promotion don’t be surprised if he ends up sulking instead of rejoicing. Because instead of looking at your achievement as an individual effort, he instantly gets competitive and starts to analyze if you are going ahead of him.
So you have to keep pampering his hyper competitive ego and tell him that you are nowhere near him when it comes to achievements. If you love a man with low self-esteem then a good way of handling him is to keep your ambitions and achievements to yourself. Stay in his shadow, he will love you with all his heart.
5. A man with low self-esteem often has OCD
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is not only about repeated washing of hands it can raise its ugly head in different areas of life. OCD comes from fear and people with low self-esteem often develop OCD because they suffer from anxiety and distress.
They indulge in compulsive and repetitive behaviour. They want order around them and can get severely distressed if plans suddenly change and or there is an emergency meeting in the workplace.
He could have irrational fears about safety, can have extreme fear of contamination, could be a hoarder and you would find 20-year-old newspapers in his house or he could just keep fiddling with the cutlery to ensure that the alignment is right.
How to help a man with low self-esteem and OCD? You have to be extremely patient. Sometimes psychological counselling can help develop the confidence he lacks.
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6. He is suspicious and insecure
Dating a man with low self-esteem could be tough because he could be overly suspicious. You could go to the next door neighbour to get a can of milk and he could keep thinking that he is hitting on you. He also has serious trust issues and don’t be surprised if in his mind you have already run away with the neighbour.
He is always paranoid that you would find someone more interesting than him and would keep a silent watch over your phone. He could even go through your texts, insist on having your social media passwords and don’t be surprised if one fine day you get to know he has cloned your phone data.
If you are dating a man with low self-esteem be aware that he has no idea of healthy relationship boundaries and if you try to create emotional boundaries you will be met with extreme resistance. You might find his controlling nature really loathsome but if you love a man with low self-esteem you might have to tread really carefully to handle his temper.
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7. He could be like a baby
Dating a man with low self-esteem could be like dating an only child where you have to keep pampering him like a baby and he would throw temper tantrums if he feels ignored so you have to give him constant attention.
He could become clingy in the relationship and want you to mother him all the time. Since he has some lazy traits as well he would want you to take care of his wardrobe, his food, his bills his everything.
Initially his possessiveness could be flattering but then it gets suffocating. He could also have some tendencies to self- sabotage the relationship so there are times you could end up breaking up with a man with low self-esteem.
8. Beware of his roving eye
If you are in love with a man with low self-esteem then better be aware that he could be flirting with others. Though he has all his fingers grasped on his woman, it does not deter him from letting his attention rove on other women.
He flirts because he constantly needs validation that he is attractive, charismatic and desirable because of his low self-esteem. This is the real downside of having a man like this in your life because while he would want you to be exclusive he wouldn’t think twice before flirting with his eyes with the girl in the red dress at the party.
Loving a man with low self-esteem is hard but if you love him dearly you end up accepting most of his negative traits but when it comes to his need for senseless flirting most women can’t take it and that’s when the break ups happen.
9. He would always play the victim card
When things go wrong like a depression in the economy, causing business to go down, or ill-health, or even if he feels he is being ignored by his own siblings, he would go into a tirade of self-pity – why is this happening to me, why is my life so sad, and so on. He would then proceed to sulk.
Loving a man with low self-esteem can prove to be hard when he keeps wallowing in self-pity and blaming others for everything that happened. Trust us it can get really exasperating after a point. You have to assure him, mollycoddle him and make him believe all is well. Whew! That’s a lot of hard work.
10. He is extremely pessimistic
When you are out on a movie date and he is driving the car and grumbling that inevitably he won’t find parking at the multiplex, you feel like whacking him on his head for his pessimism.
But that’s how pessimistic a man with low self-esteem can get. Another thing is he could be extremely God fearing or superstitious and believe in specific rituals and prayers to bring him good luck.
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What To Expect When You Love A Man With Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem in the man you love is one of the lesser evils, and can be managed by applying tender loving care to his inner child. Make him feel well loved, pay him sincere compliments and never, never beat him down in any issue that you may be discussing.
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A man with low self-esteem could be throwing temper tantrums, could be depressive or could run to you for a shoulder to cry on but it is unlikely he would be abusive or would indulge in things like gaslighting.
Breaking up with a man with low self-esteem is an easy option but if you are thinking how to love a man with low self-esteem or how to help a man with low self-esteem, then you can take some positive steps.
Help him see reason gently. Also when your friend’s circle sees how well you care for him, they will stay away from taking pot shots at him. Another important point to remember is that all men like to be needed, no matter how independent they may be. So this man is no exception that way.