Experts Reveal 3 Little Things Men Wish Women Would Do To Boost Their Confidence

No matter how "tough" he seems, he needs these small gestures from you.

guy smiling at woman flirting AYA images / Shutterstock

It might not always look like it, but men are hurting. The source of their pain? Their personal demons — mental and emotional health challenges that originate from their own inherited physiology, from cultural expectations, from personal trauma and so much else.

A recent survey by the Priory Group, an independent mental healthcare provider in the United Kingdom, asked 1,000 men to identify the biggest pressures in their lives, how they believe those pressures influence their mental health, and whether they ever speak with someone about their emotional health.


Considering that in the United States men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women, the results of the Priory survey were not a big surprise. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the survey participants acknowledged experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related conditions.

Meanwhile, 40 percent of those who admitted to mental health challenges said they had never spoken to anyone about it.

RELATED: Beware! If A Man Does These 15 Things, He's Majorly Insecure

This is clearly not the healthiest approach to mental health management. If someone doesn't talk about their emotional baggage, the people around them are likely to assume that everything is A-OK. 


Here's the thing, though. Not every emotional health challenge requires years of therapy. Sometimes, all a man needs is a reminder that others see the best in him and value his existence. 

In marriage and long-term relationships, a man might — rightly or wrongly — derive much of his sense of self-worth from how he is perceived by his partner. In this sense, women can play an instrumental role in preserving men's confidence and self-esteem.

We asked a panel of YourTango Experts to share their insight into how a woman might, with the right combination of gestures and words, help boost a man's confidence in himself and his place in the world. It's a small, but important, step toward helping men crash through the tough-guy stereotype and focus on their own mental health.

RELATED: 27 Men Describe The #1 Thing A Woman Did That Made Them Fall Deeply In Love


Here, experts reveal three small things men wish women would do to boost their confidence: 

1. Be there, be open, and acknowledge their insecurities

Ultimately self-esteem is an inside job. But most men fight insecurity at some level, and women can do some small basic things to help.  

All men (not just your romantic partner):

  • Look them straight in the eyes when they are talking and listen.
  • Ask them questions that get under the facts to inquire how they are feeling.
  • Allow them to feel however they want with compassion, not criticism.
  • When they say something you think is smart, let them know.
  • Laugh at their jokes.
  • Let them know you don’t blame them personally for global misogyny.

RELATED: The Secret Thing Men Want More Than Love (And How To Give It To Them)

For your romantic partner:

  • Tell him what personality trait you find most attractive about him (especially if you have been together for a while).
  • Tell him about those unexpected moments when you think he looks hot (after a workout, in the shower, dressed for work).
  • Laugh with him about the things about him that drive you crazy.
  • Ask him out on a date you know he will like.
  • Tell him how proud you are of him and to be his partner/wife.
  • Take seriously events in his life that are important to him even if they don’t really interest you.
  • Cuddle with him at night.

Tom Matlack, writer, speaker, and men's health advocate

RELATED: 20 Little Things Women Do That Guys *Secretly* Love

2. Let them know you appreciate what they do and who they are

I believe that men just want women to acknowledge them in positive ways. Sometimes this is as simple as holding your tongue when they make a mistake. At other times, I think it's as simple as just telling them the truth about how thankful you are that they are in your life. 

I think as women we sometimes forget that men need acknowledgment, too. I think we sometimes take our men for granted and yet, the truth is, our lives are richer for having them in it.


Mimi Whittaker, intuitive life coach

RELATED: The Top 12 Issues Men Face Today

3. Offer sincere, specific compliments

I believe heartfelt compliments are a strong confidence booster. Sincere and specific compliments can have a profound impact on a man's confidence.


No matter if it's about their appearance, achievements, skills, or personality traits, letting them know what you admire and appreciate about them can make a positive impact on their self-esteem.

Clare Waismann M-RAS/SUDCC II, founder, Waismann Method Rapid Detox and Domus Retreat

RELATED: 5 Little Ways Men Wish They Could Be Loved — Every Single Day

Carter Gaddis is the senior editor for Experts and Wellness with YourTango.