“You are not good enough, you never will be.”

He yelled across the room, making sure she heard exactly what he said and that it made an impact. This actually happened to a female friend of mine recently.

And unfortunately some women tolerate this type of behaviour from their man for way too long. When a man has low self esteem, it’s important that you see it, feel it, and be aware of how it will affect you, long term.

A man who is masculine at his core would never admit to having low self esteem, so it often comes out in very controlling or even abusive ways.

So in this article, let’s talk about the 5 telltale signs that a man has crippling low self esteem.

Hey it’s D. Shen here. I’m the founder of Shen Wade Media & Commitment Triggers where we teach you how to show up as a high value, high status woman who easily attracts high quality men into your life and inspire them to want to commit deeply to you.

I want to share with you these 5 telltale signs so that you would never get yourself in that situation where you trade your confidence and self esteem for a man’s approval or momentary pleasure.

Now if you’re a man reading this, it’s probably not going to be worth your time.

See, the biggest problem with a man who has low self esteem is the fact that he simply cannot be with you, be there for you and want the best for you. It is even very difficult for him to truly fall in love, not because he doesn’t want to, but because he would have too many subconscious emotional barriers that would prevent him from letting go, becoming vulnerable and letting that natural process of falling in love occur.

(We all know it takes a huge amount of vulnerability to fall in love, the same applies to men!)

A low esteemed man would be too worried about himself and how he fits in this world than to truly appreciate your existence, your radiance and love. As a woman, it is critical to be aware of low esteemed and low value men because just sometimes their existence will eventually become the cancer to your own self esteem and self worth.

But the biggest problem is that these low esteemed men will often times lie to your face to keep you around and drag things out, making it as painful as possible for as long as possible.

Time passes, and the damage is usually not perceived until much later on. It’s always harder to see things objectively when you’re clouded by emotions.

So today, I want to help you become more aware of these behaviours of low esteemed men.

Let’s not waste any more time.

Here are the 5 telltale signs that he has low self esteem.

Sign 1) He secretly enjoys putting you down.

No, I don’t mean putting you down in a playful “throwing pebbles” type of way. I mean directly or indirectly putting you down, adding unnecessary fears and insecurities into your life.

There’s a very specific term that is used in the scientific community, and that is “low mate value”. And plenty of scientific research now has shown that men with “low mate value” behaves in a very different manner to those men who have “high mate value”.

In a study by Emily Miner and Todd Shackelfod and Valerie Starratt, they concluded that men of low mate value deploy more partner direct insults than men of high mate value… and it’s independent of their partner’s mate value.

In other words, bringing their partner’s esteem down as a way to control them and keep them around.

Another way to look at this is… Imagine you’re an 8 out of ten, and your man feels like he’s a  6 out of ten. He would naturally feel as though you could easily leave him, and that perhaps he doesn’t truly deserve you regardless of how you feel about him.

(By the way, I hate this out of 10 rating system, but for the purpose of this example, it’s easy to demonstrate using simple numbers. Now of course, how we rate out of 10 has nothing to do with your looks or your personality. It has everything to do with how you show up, the context and your mindset… Perhaps we can touch on this topic in another article in the future)

So if a man feels like he’s a couple of notches below you, on this imaginary scale of desirability and mate value, then he has two choices:

Choice number 1, he could take the high road and do everything in his power to increase his own mate value to match yours. He could become more resourceful and keep taking action despite his own fears.

He could stop drinking beer on the couch and start working out. There’s a million ways he could start showing up in a different way, a more high value high status way.

But of course, this choice is energy and emotionally intensive. It’s not always to be resourceful when all you have is fear and insecurities. It’s not always easy to get your butt to the gym when you’re exhausted.

This choice, this path is not only difficult but also full of uncertainty. This choice exposes him to his deepest fear of what if he just was never enough in the first place.

That’s where choice number 2 comes into it. He knows he’s only a 6 out of ten, so he does everything in his power to drag you down with him. If he isn’t going to risk increasing his own “mate value” to match yours, then he might as well pull you down to match him.

After all, it’s less risky and he gets to exert more of his “value extracting” dominance in that relationship. Yes that’s right, “value extracting” dominance. If he’s able to keep you small, then there’s a significantly smaller chance that you might leave him.

If he’s able to rip apart your self esteem, then you become more reliant upon him and his approval of you. Low value men and low esteemed men are very good at tearing apart someone else’s confidence.

(After all, they’ve probably had a lot of practice before you came along.) This often extends to verbal abuse, emotional abuse and even physical abuse. That friend of mine I told you about at the start? She was kept small and insignificant by her boyfriend through direct verbal abuse and manipulation.

Her boyfriend repeatedly told her that she was fat and needed to go to the gym.

(And the funny thing was, she was never even close to fat. But he said it so many times that she started to feel like it was the truth.)

He also told her that she wasn’t good enough to go out with, and that she wasn’t social enough, wasn’t “cool” enough for his friends. After a while, she just got used to the feeling of “not being good enough”.

And of course, years down the track they finally broke up… only to leave her with zero self esteem and zero respect for herself.  She used to have dreams of starting a business, and changing the world, now she only has confusion and insecurities.

And I’m sure she isn’t the only one to go through that.

Sometimes you can’t see the damage a low esteemed man could do, until much later. A high value and high esteemed man would never do this. Instead, a high esteemed man would lift himself and you up, instead of keeping you small. But to attract a high value man, you need to start showing up in a high value high status way.

(We’ll talk about this topic later on in another article.) Let’s move onto sign number 2.

Sign 2) When he speaks, people don’t listen.

A low esteemed man cannot command the attention of others for long. He doesn’t have enough intrinsic value to offer those around him. He lacks social value.

People don’t pay him much attention because they sense this from a long way away. We, humans are extremely social beings and we naturally gravitate towards those who offer the most presence and value.

Low esteemed men know that they can’t hold people’s attention for long, so they are constantly looking for the attention of new people. It’s always those who don’t get enough attention that seek attention without end.

High esteemed individuals who can easily command attention find no need to go out of their way for attention. Let alone, do it in a low value way. And as a result of all this, sometimes low esteemed men will tend to avoid situations where he’s in the presence of more confident and high esteemed males.

He’d want to hide away, leave and not be seen. Perhaps it’s a party where he won’t know too many people. Perhaps it’s refusing the opportunity to speak in front of a group of people.

After all, his comfort zone is only so big. And he doesn’t like to and is afraid to explore beyond the boundaries of that. Just look around you next time you’re out… look for the types of men that naturally command attention, in contrast with those men who speak but nobody listens.

Look at their body language. Look at the way they speak. Look at where they focus with their eyes. You’ll start to see the difference real soon.

Sign number 3) He exhibits sexually coercive behavior.

If a low esteemed man isn’t able to naturally draw out the sexual energy of a woman, then he will try to pressure it out of her. It’s a “last ditched effort” type of strategy used by low esteemed men because they know they don’t have the value or status to make women swoon.

They can’t add any value to the woman so they might as well take value from her if possible. After all, she is probably going to leave anyway sooner or later… By pressuring for sex, the man is making a last ditched effort to extract as much value from the woman as possible, before she moves on.

(This is the difference between investing in a woman versus exploiting a woman, the two mindsets of which men look at women from, that we will explore later in another article)

It’s like when you’re travelling to those touristy places where they know they’d never see you again, so they might as well try to rip you off and extract as much money from you as possible before you leave.

Sounds bad, I know.

Even scientists have come to the universal conclusion that low esteemed males use more sexually coercive behavior because of their relative inability to attract and retain faithful sexual partners.

That’s why low value men love to get off on “easy women”. A high value high status woman sees right through this type of men. She would never fall for his bullshit.

So low value men don’t approach high value women often, they know their games don’t work on these women.

Again, another reason for you to show up as a high value woman. Of course, for men this is only ever a short term strategy. You can only take value so much until people catch on and pack their bags right?!

This type of low esteemed man typically goes through lots of friends. They’re always out to “meet new people”. And yet at the same time, they’re metaphorically burning those around them and leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth (pun not intended).

(By the way that’s why he needs to go out to meet more new people, otherwise he’d be forever alone.)

On the surface, he may seem to have “many friends”, but in reality he has zero true friend and constantly taking value from those around him.

Sign number 4) He loves other people’s failure a little too much.

We all have a need to feel significant. And yes, it’s our right to feel important and significant. But low esteemed men don’t have as many intrinsic ways to feel significant about his life and his existence, so he looks for external cues to feel this sense of significance.

Seeing others fail gives the low esteemed men instant pleasure as if his life just became infinitely more important due to the events of someone else’s life. He feeds his own self esteem upon other’s failures.

(Doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, does it!?)

(Reminds me of the time I once visited a colleagues home and he kept trying to show me #epicfail videos on YouTube over and over. I was not impressed or entertained.)

High esteemed people don’t have this incessant need to see others fail to be entertained. Like you and I, us high value individuals don’t need to feed our souls from other people’s failures.

We create our own path, our own significance by building ourselves up and not from tearing others down. Highly esteemed men are going somewhere, they’re not static. They propel themselves forward, they don’t look at those who have fallen behind and feel good about themselves.

Highly esteemed men don’t bother with keeping the status quo. They don’t want things to stay the same.

They value growth. So take a moment to listen to his words and how he speaks. How often does he talk about other people’s failures, downfalls or misfortunes? Does he love to see others fail?

Sign Number 5) He can’t appreciate a woman’s true radiance.

As you have probably gathered from everything up to this point, low esteemed men are all about themselves and what they can take from the world and from women.

These men are too caught up with their own need to control and feel certain that they can’t step back and really appreciate a woman’s true feminine energy, and true radiance that has no boundaries.

They can’t appreciate it because it’s not about them. To truly appreciate is not to take or to think about what you can get out of this situation. To truly appreciate is to observe, feel and to enjoy. It is to be grateful. It’s to know truly in one’s heart how special this moment is.

Sometimes a low esteemed man may even feel angry about very radiant very attractive women. He knows that she is way out of his league and he brews this sense of resentment towards high value radiant women.

“Why should she get all the attention and not me?”

(Again, from point number 1, low esteemed men naturally want to drag others down to his level.)

This anger and resentment often manifests itself in very pathological ways. Ie… becoming abusive to women in general, making it wrong for the woman to be and feel attractive, and to reject her need to express and feel her emotions.

I remember this one time, with the same friend I mentioned earlier. She just had gotten a phone call that she got through to a job interview at her dream job.

As you can imagine, she was ecstatic. But her boyfriend didn’t share her joy. She wanted to dance around spontaneously in the food court, because the joy was too much to hold it all in. He didn’t want that. So instead of celebrating her joy, he said in this nasty critical tone… “Why are you doing that? Stop dancing… Don’t you know it’s inappropriate. You’re making a fool out of yourself…”.

“It’s a stupid job, the salary is too low and you’re going to hate it soon anyway.”

(What a dampener to the mood!)

He wanted to suppress the natural spontaneity of her feminine energy to keep her small. A low esteemed man doesn’t know how to appreciate the true radiance in a woman.

The radiance can even becomes a threat to him. Click here to know if your man is commitment phobic.

Because in that moment of full feminine expression and radiance, she becomes a 10 and he’s still stuck being a 6.

(So he freaks out… “Quick, drag her down before she realizes how low mate value I am in contrast”.)

Now just take a moment right now, close your eyes and feel how much this has resonated with you. Feel where all of this is true in your own life.

Take this moment right now to do this, and let all of this sink in. Now that you’ve absorbed all this information, here’s what may just happen for you.

Over the next 48 hours, more and more things will subconsciously start to resonate with you. Ideas will start connecting for you.

And hopefully you will gain some new awareness into everything I’ve mentioned.

So again, these are the 5 telltale signs of a low esteemed man.

Sign 1) he secretly enjoys putting you down.

Sign 2) When he speaks, people don’t listen.

Sign 3) He exhibits sexually coercive behaviour.

Sign 4) He loves other people’s failure a little too much.

Sign 5) He can’t appreciate a woman’s true radiance.

What does all this mean to you?

Sometimes we’re so caught up in the moment to think about how things will be years down the track.

So if you’re in a relationship where things don’t feel right, you don’t feel supported or that you’re starting to question things… take the chance right now to ask yourself…

“If things stay the way they are right now, where would I be in 5 years time? Where would my self esteem be in 5 years time?”

You will know the right answer deep down in your heart, and in your gut. And you need to trust your gut, because your gut has never let you down. Low value and low esteemed men can cause enormous damage to your self worth and esteem over time.

The best way to avoid this altogether is for you to show up as a high value high status woman. It will not only repel those low quality men who love to drag others down, but also it is the only way to naturally attract a man who is also high value and highly esteemed.

Click here to know if you are actually dating a commitment friendly man.

Now with everything I’ve mentioned in this article, it’s very easy to think that any time you catch a glimpse of a sign of a low esteemed man, that you should pack your bags and run.

That’s not at all what I am saying… I put together this article so that you could be more aware, but what you do with that awareness is your choice.

You can go take this awareness and judge the men that you come across like I’m sure some women would do, or you can take this awareness to improve the relationships you have with all the men you know…because now you have more insights and understanding into the situation.

As a man, we get down sometimes. We lose our direction and focus sometimes. We forget important things and we have bad days too. Sometimes all we need is someone special to see through our behaviour and love our soul so deeply that it inspires us to become more.

My advice, always take the high road. Always give more value than you take.

Always look after yourself first because if you don’t look after yourself, there would not be anymore YOU to give to others.

NEWPolaroid David

D. Shen

Commitment Triggers

P.S. Oh… by the way, I’ve got some good news. A lot of women have been asking me to teach them on how to show up as a high value high status woman… for about 2 years now.

I’ve finally got around to it, and so I’ve prepared a free video series on exactly that to be released real soon, I’m going to teach the mindset and the skills of becoming and showing up as that high value high status woman. The kind of woman men respect, adore and want to emotionally commit to. 

So if you want to learn the intricate details of how you can also show up as a high value high status woman, this is your opportunity.

Subscribe, join my email list, and I will notify you when the video series is officially released.

And if anything resonated with you in this article, share your thoughts with me by commenting below.  I always love to hear it.

Alright, that’s all from me today.

Until next time, make sure you look after yourself, give yourself the resources you need so that you can show up as the high value high status woman you were meant to be.

Get Notified For the Release of the Free Video Series on Becoming a High Value High Status Woman…

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42 Comments on "5 Telltale Signs Your Man Has Crippling Low Self Esteem"

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Sophie C.

Thank you so much for making this article. 🙂
It’s like it’s gathering all I’ve been trying to understand, but in one place.
It also helps me a lot to have the insight of a man.
(I’m currently in a similar situation)
Thank you again!

Please excuse my English, I’m not a native speaker.


Wow… this brought back a LOT of unpleasant memories, but also put things into perspective. Thanks for a great article!


david,you are something special!i recognised all 5 signs in the most destructive ex i have ever related to!i wish i knew then


It’s great to see it in words. Happens every day I leave the house, getting harassed by these types of jackasses.


What a great article. It is compassionate towards both genders, backed by both scientific and anecdotal evidence, but more it feels right and it doesn’t preach it only suggests. I really love this article, it comes from the best place of goodwill to all people !!


Thank you David, very resourceful article. I will surely forward it to my female friends. I also recognize the majority of the signs in an ex from long ago when I was still very young and inexperienced. Also, love the ending (i.e. what does this all mean to you?) … this is putting it in context in a very balanced way. Thanks, Mila

Primrose Kamikazi Mugisa
Primrose Kamikazi Mugisa

I enjoyed reading this article. Thanks so much for the great advise about 5 telltale signs of a low self esteem man. I have had issues of choosing the wrong men, thanks to u am fully aware og the right man to choose next time.


My boyfriend has all the sighs it says. But in a way the first sigh doesnt apply to me. He doesn’t put me down I put myself down and he assures me that I am great. I would like to know how to help those types of guys.


This is why I finally left my ex husband…I dealt with his low self esteem for years. I thought I could “love him through it” but I finally had enough. I couldn’t take him dragging me down and putting me down.


[…] attempt at protecting our own identities, or if we have low self esteem, or live in fear, judgements are to push uncomfortable emotions further and further […]

Jenn Esquivel

This is the answer to all my questions…Thank you so much for your help..After 16 years.. I tought it was over..Until u came..I understand and will never give up..Thank you


It sounds like another name of the article could be, “red-flags for women dating men”, wonderful insight, thank you.

I was wondering about my fiancee, this sounds more like my monster x. My Fiance is not down about me, though once he said I was a “7”. He downs himself a lot. His family is kinda mean too. “Oh you look sick and thin, pale, you look awful”. *granted he is a slender guy but sheez. It sometimes offends me tho. When I compliment him and I get a laundry list of basically why I am a liar since he is something better kept under bridges. -_-. So what I am a lunatic that is blind in love that… Read more »
Haley Mitchel

This article is so perfectly accurate! I had to read it more than once. It sheds so much light on my last experience and others I’ve had before. I absolutely love this article and the examples are spot on as well. Thank you David!


Step 1: Tell women what they want to hear.
Step 2: Frame that as “advice”
Step 3: Provide a nice little disclaimer in bold at the end of your article so when women indulge in your hackneyed advice and their relationships fall apart, you can deny accountability.


Step 4: Enjoy your incredible internet traffic. Of course, I had to contribute to that myself in order to leave this scathing response. I’m gonna go kick myself for that now.

Private Property
I’m a six foot three 34 year old white male United States citizen, I hit the gym 4 times a week though I only started 6 months ago. I’m not fat. I have 13% body fat my muscles are starting to get a little bigger but I don’t look like a bodybuilder or anything not yet at least. I passed my CPA exam and I’m starting a job with a Fortune 100 public accounting firm in the month and I just bought my own house. I think I may have crippling self-esteem issues. But I would never want to put… Read more »
Caden Bell
You are saying so much that this article mentions if you have low self esteem you won’t understand or even benefit from. You reference multiple times women bringing your esteem down, ball busting, etc. Men with low self esteem can’t handle a woman expressing how she feels when you do or don’t do certain things. Everything she says or expresses you take as a hit to yourself and you don’t even hear how she feels, what she wants, what she likes, what she doesn’t like because all your concerned about is looking great. Men with higher self esteem don’t feel… Read more »

I think this article is incredibly inaccurate and just conflates low self esteem with being possessive/borderline abusive, which I’ve rarely seen in any guy with low self-esteem. Of course maybe some of the guys who are possessive do indeed have low self-esteem.


Reading this as a guy actually wasn’t a waste of my time, it made me realize that I have low self esteem. Really made me think about everything and all my perceived problems. If you have any advice on guy stuff for improving or any direction you want to send me in please do. Thanks


This article was very helpful to me. It’s clear to see this is the type of man ex boyfriend is. He was always controlling. Physically and emotionally abusing me. When I wouldn’t take him back he called me terrible names and put down on my appearance. Made me feel awful. I’m still working to gain my confidence back. This article really helped me to understand. Thank you

This article has brought me to tears. I have built so much defense mechanisms from years of low self esteem, I didn’t realize I had such low self esteem until recently. I keep on stepping on my girls “toes” in our relationship and I can never figure out why. She keeps saying If I took a moment and stopped worrying about feeling bad after I mess up and just pay attention to how she’s feeling I would naturally do the considerate and respectful thing. Acknowledge what I’ve done wrong and hold space for her feelings. That we would be connected… Read more »
As a woman who has attracted either men with low self esteem or verbally abusive men who think they are just great, my entire life I can tell you that you are only describing the self-aware men with low self esteem. Maybe such men as I have encountered would be better described as “low value” with no self awareness. Certainly #2 -When they speak nobody listens applies to low value men with no self awareness, but not the other four. Low value men with no self awareness will love anybody who will love them back, do not see your flaws… Read more »

We need more men like you buddy, Godbless amazing article!

Joyce Wong

very good article. I don know how to help low value man. Haiz. Heart Pain

Thank you Shen, your input on this topic is breathtaking! I needed help to go inside myself and your expertise on the topic nailed it. I must say, you are gifted and definitely knowledgeable. I have always presented myself as a high valued along with high status person but on a subconscious level unknowingly, I believe to men. So, when I met my boyfriend, I eventually experienced him having all the characteristics of a low valued man. Shortly, after reading your article, tears came into my eyes, the feeling of truth finally hit me. I was awaken to new knowledge… Read more »
Thank you very much for writing this article! It was a great read! I thought it was just all in my head but I picked up on a few red flags 2 months in and I knew I didn’t want this for myself so I left.Everything mentioned is spot on, makes so much sense now. I’m so glad I did not settle for what could have turned into an ugly, messy relationship. My advice to any girl out there, just leave! You’re better, stronger, worth more than that! Stay close to your family and friends, don’t isolate yourself from people… Read more »
sascha alexandra

Super article, spot on. Had a series of men with low self-esteem, the only thing that bothers me, is that i also have low self-esteem..which makes me insecure to choose the men i really want. I am looking for love in myself now, accepting myself completely and wow what a beautiful feeling THAT is…never better <3

David Britton
I know you said this article is only useful to women but I think it’s extremely important for men to look for similar qualities in their male friends. I have a friend that seems to display all but #2 and I feel I should limit my exposure to him. Every time I start talking about something I want to do he always has some interjection about why I can’t do it or why I’m not smart enough, how i haven’t really accomplished anything, if I was going to accomplish my goals I would have already, etc. I don’t actually feel… Read more »
Jasmine Prasil

This really opened my eyes to some men I dated in the past. Thank you very much for this article. This helped me A LOT! It also really explains why I have a hard time dating here. It all makes sense now.

peter name

this seems strange to me, the people who seem to treat women the worst are confident men, i have rediculously low self esteem and i would never treat a girlfriend like that, ever ! whats so sad is men with low self esteem have a hard enough time getting a girlfriend and articles like this make it even harder ! thanks.

Arron Kilburn

If this article was written with the roles reversed women would be going crazy

I really enjoyed reading this & it took me back to all the hard work I’ve put into this 3 year relationship to inspire & make the man I love better b/c how I found him was broken, bitter & insecure I couldn’t help but to cry knowing how true yours words are this whole time I thought it was a woman writing this no offense but to find out it was you was awesome & refreshing thanks for being honest & I so agree got to look out for yourself I always tell myself don’t loose who you are… Read more »


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