8 Signs He Has Low Self-Esteem

You’ve probably had your fair share of moments battling your self-esteem—we all have—but dating a guy with constant low-self esteem issues can make your relationship much more difficult. Here are a few signs he’ll probably need a bit of a boost.

  1. Whenever you suggest a plan, he shoots it down. He might just be a jerk, but there may also be a deeper reason why he’s against every weekend plan. It’s because he’s self-conscious. When you think about going on a hike or imagine a group activity the two of you can do together, he’s worried that he might look stupid if he can’t keep up with you. If you say “antique fair,” he’ll feel like one of his friends will find out about it and judge him. His best ideas involve ordering food in because it doesn’t require a lot of steps and he’ll be in the comfort of his own home. You can try to ease him out of his shell, but this will be a huge obstacle to get through.
  2. He doesn’t assume you’re dressing up for him so doesn’t dish out the compliments. Back before the two of you were official, you put a lot of energy into your appearance and he seemed to appreciate it and do the same. But now that he has you, he feels like his job is over. Instead of boosting you up and telling you that you look great (which you do, by the way), he assumes he’s just not good enough for you anymore.
  3. You’re never right. Your guy is probably pretty smart, but not everyone gets all the answers right. If he tries to correct you and it turns out he’s wrong, he’ll never admit it and give you the credit you deserve. This is because he has low self-esteem and he may think that knowledge is the one thing he has. He needs to be a little easier on himself but also get over himself a little bit when it comes to trivia.
  4. He’s a little too self-deprecating for his own good. Sometimes, it’s funny, especially when he uses the riff in a comedic way. But after that first diss, it becomes a little painful. It proves he doesn’t think all that highly of himself and wants to point out his flaws before others in the group have a chance to. You fell for this guy for some reason, so make sure he knows you appreciate him if you’re looking for this relationship to last.
  5. He hasn’t bought new clothes in a long time. If he gained a little bit of weight, he may be more self-conscious than ever about his body. Not only does he not want to spend money on a frame he isn’t all that happy with, but in his mind, it’s like he’s giving in. It might be hard, especially if he has a particular sense of fashion, but taking him out for a new outfit he feels great in might help. At least, temporarily.
  6. He drops the L-bomb pretty quick in your relationship. In his mind, he thinks he hit the jackpot with you and it’s only a moment of time before you come to your senses. That means he may rush the big relationship milestones. He’s terrified of losing you. That, or he hasn’t been in enough relationships to know what love really feels like.
  7. He doesn’t know how to take criticism. For him, criticism isn’t a list of things he might want to work on. Instead, it’s more personal. If he wrote a song and asks you for your opinion on it, then storms off when you say it’s a “great first start,” he has low self-esteem. As you know, not everyone can be great at everything. He just wants to skip ahead to the part where he’s fantastic at a craft.
  8. He’s constantly tired and depressed. If he has a bad day, he storms in his room. You probably won’t see him until something tomorrow afternoon. Incidents like this happen pretty often. Instead of talking it out with you, which he likely feels is a waste of time, he goes into hibernation after a bad day. If his depression has gotten to the level where he’s threatened to hurt himself or anyone else, that’s not a matter to take lightly. If you think he may be at risk, make sure to call the police for a wellness check.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.