You’ve probably noticed that some guys just seem to exude confidence.
The problem is that, while it’s obvious that men who convey confidence stand out from the crowd, it’s not always obvious what “conveying confidence” even means.
Just what are the signs of a confident man? And more to the point, what characteristics or traits do you need to develop in order to join his ranks?
It took me more than a few years to find answers to those questions. I wish I could tell you I finally figured it out after years of careful study and the obtainment of a phD in human nature.
But the truth is that it was as simple as closely observing the kind of extremely confident, self-assured men I wanted to become, and making note of what set them apart.
And you can do the same. Whether you’re a guy wondering how he can project confidence or a woman wondering how to tell if a guy is confident, below you’ll find dozens of sure signs and character traits of a confident man.
Check out the list and ask yourself which of these confident characteristics you already have, and which ones you need to start developing.
And if you’re looking for an even more comprehensive roadmap for confidence, check out my Amazon #1 best-selling book Man in Command: How to Go From the Most Self-Doubting Guy in the Room to The Most Confident Man.
The Surest Signs of a Confident Man
What does the confident man do differently? Well, he…
They don’t think in zero-sum terms, but instead look for win-win solutions that bolster everyone.
Following from their abundance mindset, people with confidence give first and take second.
This doesn’t always mean monetary giving either; they give their time, energy and attention without expecting anything in return.
In Olivia Fox Cabane’s excellent book The Charisma Myth, she explains that there are three elements that contribute to a person’s charisma, which is closely related to confidence.
The first is power. As Fox Cabane writes, “When you meet a charismatic person, you get the impression that they have a lot of power and they like you a lot.”
Power doesn’t necessarily mean physical strength, although that certainly helps. It can also mean situational power. For instance, the CEO of a company has a lot of power, even if they’re physically diminutive.
Whether its physical or situational, the confident man knows he has power, and knows others can sense it.
The second of Fox Cabane’s three elements of charisma is presence.
Presence is the foundation upon which charisma – and quite often, confidence – is built. To have presence is to make an impact in any room that you’re in, regardless of how extroverted or outgoing you are.
For instance, Fox Cabane points out that people who meet the Dalia Lama, a fairly quite and introverted man, are often impressed by his presence.
But they say the same thing about Bill Clinton, a famously extroverted charmer.
Whether his presence his quiet or loud, a confident man is comfortable in his own skin, and others can sense it.
The final of the three components that make up charisma is warmth.
This is one that you might not immediately associate with confidence, but it’s crucial. Insecure people who lack confidence often take it out on others by being petty, rude or dismissive.
Confident and charismatic people, on the other hand, have a generosity of spirit. It goes back to the point above about thinking abundantly:
When you feel like you have all the security and self-esteem that you need, you don’t mind doling out warmth to others, so that they can feel the same.
Confidence and kindness go hand in hand.
When you possess power, presence and warmth in equal measure, you have no fear that your kindness will be misconstrued as weakness – and no qualms about treating other people well.
Confident men aren’t necessarily the most talkative – you don’t have to be a gregarious extrovert to be confident.
But when they do speak, they’re able to express their ideas clearly.
Carries Himself Well
Confident guys convey their self-esteem not just through the way they communicate with words, but through their body language.
Makes Strong Eye Contact
There’s something personal, almost intimate, about looking into someone’s eyes.
Confident guys don’t shy away from it; instead, they meet people’s gaze and feel comfortable holding it.
Insecure guys sometimes think they have to scowl and look brooding in order to convey strength.
Confident guys recognize the benefits of smiling and never hesitate to express optimism and joy.
Takes Pride in His Accomplishments
Confidence doesn’t mean arrogance.
Confident men don’t waste time bragging about petty shit, but they don’t shy away from acknowledging their achievements, either.
Yes, it’s possible to be both proud of your accomplishments and humble at the same time.
Confident guys are proud, but also secure enough that they don’t have to boast about every little thing they’ve ever done.
Doesn’t Put on Airs
Part of being confident means being comfortable in your own skin, flaws and all.
As a result, confident guys don’t pretend to be something they’re not – and definitely don’t pretend to be more hautier, more cultured or more sophisticated than anyone else.
One distinct advantage of being secure enough to not talk about yourself all the time is that it frees you up to listen.
Confident guys genuinely listen to what others have to say and make other people feel acknowledged.
Is Assertive, But Not Aggressive
Insecure guys will often try to mask their insecurity with bravado, which sometimes results in needless aggression.
Confident men stand up for what they think is right, but do it in a diplomatic way.
Stands Up For Himself and Others
In addition to standing up for their principles, confident guys stand up for their people.
This manifests itself in ways both large and small, from protecting people in a physical altercation to defending their friend’s reputations when others disparage them.
Is Easy Going
Confident guys are comfortable enough in themselves that they don’t get too riled up; instead, they’re able to let things slide and don’t waste time sweating the small stuff.
Has an Open Mind
Confident guys are able to entertain new ideas without becoming defensive or territorial, which opens them up to a wide variety of possibilities and experiences.
Has A Solid Sense of Humor
Having a good sense of humor doesn’t mean you’re going to get up on stage and improv a 10-minute stand up set.
But because confident guys are easy going, they’re able to laugh at life’s many absurdities – and laugh off things that lesser men might perceive as slights.
Looks Put Together
Even if they don’t exactly look like George Clooney on the red carpet, confident guys know that when you look good, you feel good.
That’s why they invest enough time to present themselves well and do what they can to look as handsome, attractive and polished as possible.
Confident guys recognize what they have and actively express gratitude for it.
Doesn’t Take Criticism Personally
Confident guys are able to recognize criticism for what it is: feedback.
Sometimes it’s valid, sometimes it’s not, but confident guys realize that it’s never a personal indictment.
Behaves Like a Gentleman
The more confident you are, the more likely you are to practice proper etiquette.
Confident guys hold doors, display patience and otherwise behave like a gentleman.
It’s definitely possible to be confident without being a leader – but it’s impossible to be a leader without being confident.
Setting a strong example for others is a sure sign of confidence.
Steps Outside His Comfort Zone
Confidence allows you to be more comfortable with discomfort.
Confident guys embrace self-improvement, and recognize that the only way to grow is to try new things and step outside their comfort zone every once in awhile.
Confident guys embrace another of Covey’s seven habits: they take action.
Confidence and action have a reciprocal relationship: the more confident you feel, the more prone you are to taking action, and the more you take action, the better you feel about yourself – and the more confidence you build.
The confident guy follows the advice Dale Carnegie laid out in How to Win Friends & Influence People some 80 years ago, which is as true today as it was then:
“Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
The confident man compliments others frequently and prides himself on making others feel good.
Confidence gives you the strength to express yourself honestly and resist the urge to try to hide who you are.
As a result, confident guys are honest both with themselves and with others.
Knows His Strengths and Weaknesses
Because their honest with themselves, confident guys are able to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, which allows them to identify areas where they need to improve.
Confident guys remember the words of Socrates: “All I know is that I know nothing.” (Like I said: they’re pretty humble.)
They perpetually seek out new knowledge in order to continue learning and growing.
When you’re insecure you’re often defensive, which can prevent you from admitting when you’ve done something wrong.
Confident guys know they’re not perfect and have an easier time acknowledging when they’ve made a mistake.
And because they’re proactive, they’re also quicker to set about fixing it.
When you’re unsure of yourself, you tend to agonize over every little decision.
Confident guys make a call, because they know that if they’re wrong they have the strength of character to own up to it and correct it without feeling embarrassed.
Human beings are social creatures, which means that real power – and real confidence – comes not from any one individual, but from groups working in harmony toward shared goals.
Despite what pop culture would have you believe, the most confident man is not the lone wolf who always goes it alone.
The real power belongs to those who know how to build a coalition, and amass an army of friends and allies.
Invests in Himself
Just as the confident man invests in relationships with others, he also invests in himself and his own betterment.
That means he invests the time, energy and money it takes to ensure that his mind, spirit and body (on which more below) are constantly growing, evolving and improving.
You don’t need to have a physique like Chris Hemsworth to be confident, but you absolutely need enough physical energy and stamina to achieve your goals and put the other traits on this list into practice.
The best way to do that is through regular exercise in which you push yourself to your physical limits, then give yourself enough time and fuel to recover properly.
And speaking of fuel…
Eats Healthy Foods
Just as BMWs only run on premium gas, a man can only operate at the peak of his potential if he’s fueling his body with healthy, hearty foods.
New fad diets come and go ever year, but the fundamentals of eating clean couldn’t be easier:
Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, keep your protein sources lean, cut way down on empty carbs, and avoid sugar as much as you possibly can.
Again, a confident man doesn’t have to be a gym rat or a health nut, but he does have to be healthy enough to get sh*t done – and for that, you need a clean diet.
Confident guys are just as prone to negative thoughts and self-doubt as anyone else.
The difference is that they do what they have to in order to overcome these hurdles, and don’t let themselves get bogged down.
The good news is that keeping negative thoughts at bay and cultivating a confident mindset is actually pretty straightforward.
To find out how to do it, enter your email address below and I’ll send my proven, four-step process for overcoming negativity straight to your inbox.
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More Advice on Building Confidence & Self Esteem from Irreverent Gent:
- 99 Awesome & Inspiring Confidence Quotes for Men
- The 8 Best Things Guys Can Do to Build Self-Confidence
- 7 Self-Confidence Tips Guys Need to Know – and 7 Myths to Stop Believing
- Answering Some Common Questions on Self-Confidence
More Signs of a Confident Man From Around the Web:
- 8 Things The Most Confident Guys In The Room Already Know – The Good Men Project
- The 4 Sure Signs of Confidence Women Look for in a Man – eHarmony