A lot of guys are sabotaging their own presence without even knowing it. You might be one of them.
Every day, I see men, plenty of them, doing these subtle self-sabotage numbers.
They’re making you look weak.
It’s probably not your fault; we’re all fed a truckload of nonsense from every corner of the culture about what makes a man ‘strong’. But it’s time to call BS on these behaviors.
Today, we discuss seven such behaviors.
We are all guilty of some, but how many?
Let’s find out.
01) Constantly seeking approval
You know the type: the guy who laughs a little too loud at the boss’s not-so-funny jokes, the one who’s always looking around to see if people are impressed with his new watch, car, or that not-so-subtle name drop about his weekend escapades.
Let me lay it out straight: Seeking validation from everyone around you is like putting up a neon sign that flashes, “I don’t believe I’m good enough.”
It’s the kind of behavior that makes people smell insecurity from a mile away, and it’s as appealing as burnt popcorn at movie night.
So what’s the fix?
Start by giving less of a damn.
Not in the ‘I’m going to be a selfish jerk’ way, but in the ‘my self-worth doesn’t hinge on your approval’ way. Make decisions because they’re right for you, not because they might get you a pat on the back.
When you stop asking the world “Am I good enough?” and start telling it “I’m good as I am,” you’ll be surprised how much strength you project.
Carry yourself like you’ve got something to prove, and you’ll look weak.
Carry yourself like you’ve nothing to prove, and you’ll look like you own the damn place. Guess which one has people’s attention for the right reasons?
Here’s a hard truth: If ‘sorry’ is spilling out of your mouth more often than ‘hello’, you’re not being polite, you’re being a pushover.
For many men, it’s time to cut down on the “sorry’s”.
Now, I’m not saying you should be impolite, far from it.
Just stop using ‘sorry’ as a conversational placeholder or as a reflex every time you express an opinion. You have a right to take up space, to speak up, to exist.
This over-apologizing nonsense waters down your presence. It’s as if you’re telling the world, “I’m not sure I should be here, but thanks for tolerating my existence.”
Take a moment. Pause before the ‘s’ word comes out.
Ask yourself, “Did I actually screw up, or is this just filler?” If it’s the latter, swallow the ‘sorry’ and replace it with something that stands tall.
Instead of “Sorry, can I add something?” try “I’d like to add something.” See the difference?
Take charge of your words, because they shape how people see you. Speak with intention, own your space, and trust me, you’ll start to feel a hell of a lot stronger.
Remember, there’s a power in silence, too. Not every situation needs your commentary—especially not the kind that sounds like you’re apologizing for breathing.
03) Avoiding confrontation at all costs
Being assertive isn’t about being aggressive. It’s about respecting yourself enough to say, “Hey, my opinion, my feelings, and my rights matter.” It’s about knowing how to draw your line in the sand, even when your voice shakes.
The world respects a man who can hold his ground—not stubbornly, but confidently.
Next time you find yourself backing away from a necessary confrontation, plant your feet. Practice makes perfect.
Start with the small stuff. Send that steak back if it’s overcooked. Tell your friend you don’t appreciate that joke they made at your expense. Work your way up. It’s like building muscle; you don’t start bench pressing 400 pounds on day one. You train up to it.
You’ll find that most confrontations are not life-or-death.
They’re just uncomfortable. But here’s a secret: everyone’s uncomfortable.
The men you perceive as strong?
They’re just as uncomfortable as you—they’ve just learned that the discomfort won’t kill them. By facing the conflict, you’ll not only show strength to others; you’ll start to feel it in your bones.
04) Behavior 4: Indecisiveness
Ever met Mr. “I Don’t Know, What Do You Think?” That guy who can’t pick a restaurant, a movie, or a shirt without a five-person panel discussion?
Yeah, don’t be that guy.
Indecisiveness is like putting a blinking sign above your head that says, “I don’t trust my own judgment.” It’s not the aura of a man who’s got it together.
Sure, being thoughtful and weighing options is smart, but if you’re taking longer to choose a Netflix show than it takes to watch one, there’s a problem.
It’s not about being impulsive or reckless; it’s about exercising the muscle of decisiveness. Like any muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
Make a call and own it.
Whether it’s ordering the steak instead of the chicken or leading your friends to the next bar, take the lead.
Not every decision is life-altering, but showing that you can make choices with confidence is a big boy move. It tells people you’re capable and reliable. It’s sexy. It’s powerful.
Remember, a man who can’t make decisions for himself leaves the door wide open for someone else to make them for him.
And when that happens, you’re no longer in control of your life. You’re just a passenger. So grab the wheel, make your choice, and drive.
05) Playing the blame game
This is a big one.
Yeah, you know him—Mr. “It’s Not My Fault,” the guy. When something goes wrong, he’s the first to point a finger elsewhere.
Playing the blame game makes you look like you’ve got zero control over your life. It’s like saying, “I’m not the captain of my ship; I’m just here for the ride, and hey, look at that big iceberg ahead!”.
It’s not convincing anyone you’re strong; it’s showing them you don’t have the guts to face the music.
It means standing up and saying, “Yeah, that was on me. My bad. I’ll fix it.” It doesn’t just earn you respect; it earns you trust. And trust is the currency of the strong.
06) Needing to have the last word
The constant need to have the last word doesn’t scream ‘alpha male.’ Instead, it whispers, ‘insecurity.’
It’s a telltale sign that you’re not comfortable in your own skin unless you’re ‘winning’ every interaction.
But life isn’t a scoreboard, and conversations definitely aren’t competitions.
Think about it. The strongest men you know—do they bicker over every little thing? Do they need to prove their point until everyone in the room is blue in the face, or do they speak their piece and then coolly step back?
Strength is in the silence that follows a well-made point, not the incessant hammering of it into the ground.
Break this habit.
Start by asking yourself, “What’s my goal here? To be right or to be happy?” Sometimes they align, but more often, the pursuit of being right leads to a whole lot of unnecessary conflict and stress.
Let others have their say. Dialogue is a rhythm, not a duel. And when you let go of the need to cap every conversation with your signature, you might find that people listen more when you do speak up.
07) Refusing to ask for help
Ah the classic; Mr. “I Got This,” even when he clearly doesn’t.
It’s great to be self-reliant, but when the chips are down, and you’re drowning in quicksand, insisting on no assistance isn’t stoic—it’s foolish.
The strongest men—the real titans of self-possession—know the value of a helping hand and the collaborative spirit of growth.
Asking for help isn’t a white flag of surrender; it’s a green flag for improvement. It shows you’re wise enough to recognize when you’re out of your depth and you value progress over pretense.
You’re secure enough in your manhood to say, “Hey, I need a boost here.”
Acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay. As you grow more comfortable seeking assistance, you’ll find your load lightens, and you can go further than you ever could solo.
Remember, the most admired figures in history were not lone wolves. They were pack leaders who knew the strength of the pack was the wolf, and the strength of the wolf was the pack.
So be a pack leader. Reach out, build alliances, and accept that two hands are often better than one.
The bottom line
So there you have it—seven common behaviors that, despite best intentions, may not be projecting the strength and confidence you’re capable of.
Recognizing these behaviors is half the battle. The other half?
It’s about taking action. It’s about the gritty process of rewiring habits and forging a new path—one where assertiveness, accountability, and resilience are part of your daily armor.
Stand tall, be bold.