What is Peacocking? The Many Types & Why Guys Show Off Around Girls

You’ve heard the term, but what is peacocking? No, it has nothing to do with brightly colored feathers and everything to do with the male ego!

what is peacocking

To understand peacocking, we need to understand men, how they impress women, and why some guys are just so nice!

No matter what you may think, women will always have a soft spot for nice guys. You know, the type that helps elderly people cross the street, pacify crying babies, help overburdened ladies carry their groceries.

And who could blame women for falling for these gentlemen?! Nice guys are easy to approach and less likely to make them feel uncomfortable. Nice guys seem trustworthy.

However, there’s a question that you need to ask before you assume he’s a pure gentleman: is he genuinely nice or just showing off?

To understand this, you first need to know what peacocking is. [Read: 34 unmissable, spot-on signs a guy is flirting and trying to impress you]

What is peacocking exactly?

Peacocking comes from the behavior of the bird of the same name. Male peacocks flaunt themselves and their decorative plumage whenever a female peacock is around their immediate vicinity.

They puff out their chest, let loose that beautiful fanlike tail, and strut around as if to say, “look at me!”

Now, men don’t literally grab a handful of feathers and start wearing them around *that would just be odd*, but they do follow the same pattern of behavior. Basically, in the dating dictionary, peacocking means they are showing off to impress women.

The method, called Pick Up Artist (PUA) strategy, was developed by a PUA guru called Mystery. His gimmick involved wearing top hats and other eye-catching pieces of clothing.

Using this observation, behavioral scientists coined the term to describe the extra flashy behavior men display whenever there’s someone of the opposite sex near the area.

Men assume that women will look at his strutting and chest-puffing and think, “oh my, he’s rather delicious!” [Read: What makes a man attractive? 38 traits that make him very desirable]

Some men do this physically by rolling up their sleeves and showing off their bulging biceps or their impressive pecs. Other men, who may not hit the gym so frequently, may use their personality.

However, this is far worse. With this type of peacocking, you can never be sure if it’s their actual personality or a fake version used to attract a woman’s attention.

A peaocking man might be extra helpful or extra nice to you. They might go out of their way to make you laugh. Either way, it’s still peacocking at its finest.

But the question still remains, why do men do this? [Read: How guys flirt – 25 subtle things guys do to impress a girl]

Why do men exhibit peacocking behavior?

From an evolutionary perspective, peacocking is a behavior adopted by males of different species to increase their chances of attracting a partner.

Just as how it works for peacocks and other birds, other animals and humans each have their own version of a “courtship display.” This is to impress nearby females and convince them to become their mate.

So while peacocks and other birds strut around and display their feathers, frogs puff their chins, fish flash different colors, gorillas beat their chests, and human men act nicer than their usual selves. Worrying, right? [Read: 25 things that make a man attractive to women]

You might wonder if this peacocking is a sign of deception if they are pretending to be something they’re not. However, it’s not that complicated or deceitful in reality.

Peacocking is just a way of getting attention in order to stand out from the crowd. They are not lying to you, per se. And trust us when we say that the peacocking behavior won’t last once they think they’ve attracted and completely impressed you.

You’ll see their true colors, if they are being deceitful in any way, as soon as they know they’ve won you over!

So, what does this have to do with the male ego? A lot, actually.

When he’s trying to attract you, he’s doing everything he can to show you his best side. Now, if you don’t see that or you rebuff his advances, his ego is going to take a pretty hard hit. Believe it or not, men take rebuttals pretty hard, whether they show you or they try and hide it.

When a man is peacocking, he’s not only saying “look at me,” he’s also putting his ego out there for a bruising while hoping that you are kind! [Read: What men like in bed – 32 things they deeply lust for]

A few facts about male peacocking

Now you know what peacocking is, you’re probably nodding your head as you think back over times when you’ve seen it in action. Let’s look at a few interesting facts to understand why men sit up straight, ruffle themselves, and go into flattering mode as soon as they see a girl they like!

1. Most men display peacocking without realizing it

As mentioned, peacocking is a behavior hardwired in a man’s genes. Chances are, if you ask him what it is, he may not even be aware of the term.

Most of the time, men who exhibit peacocking behavior are not aware that they do it.

Peacocking happens on impulse when a man spies a desirable lady within his vicinity. Like an involuntary twitch, he suddenly changes his actions and tries to become the definition of a desirable man. [Read: Sexual Market Value and the biggest factors that boost a man’s SMV]

2. Peacocking is not only limited to nice behavior

Peacocking is not just about showing her that you are nice to others. It also manifests in different forms. Peacocking, in general, involves a man flaunting his perceived desirable asset.

So aside from being a nice guy, he could also flaunt his looks by wearing a trendy outfit or showing off his gym-sculpted muscles. He might show off his wealth by sporting expensive clothes and flashy jewelry or driving an expensive car. Perhaps he will show off his intelligence by dominating the conversation.

3. All men peacock, even the genuinely nice ones

Peacocking is a behavior observed in most men. A guy who does this cannot be judged for putting on a show. Even nice guys peacock. They just flaunt it when a girl of their type is around watching him.

4. The more attractive the woman, the more a man will peacock

Peacocking is directly proportional to observing a female’s level of attractiveness. Meaning, the more attractive the girl is, the likelihood that a guy peacocks also increases. [Read: 18 things a girl does that makes a guy think she’s an easy lay]

The reason for this lies in the simple explanation that men prefer to choose younger, more attractive females to display their desirable traits in order to get their attention. [Read: 34 sexual and physical turn-ons that arouse a guy instantly]


5. Peacocking behavior still depends on whether a girl is a guy’s type

If a guy displays this behavior between an overly attractive woman and a lesser attractive woman of his type, he’ll choose the latter.

Why? Because the rules still apply. Guys still lean toward girls of his type regardless of their level of attractiveness. [Read: Science of attraction – 17 aspects that go far beyond appearances]

The most common types of peacocking among men

While all this may sound superficial, it offers a level of success for men to pick up women. And that is one reason why this behavior is deep-rooted in their system. So in the context of modern dating, how do men display peacocking?

1. A well-crafted social media profile

A guy’s personal social media profile shows a good sample of flaunting if you look closely enough. From the carefully selected profile photo that flaunts his best angle to the humble-bragging posts, you’ll see men peacocking online everywhere.

This is all the more prevalent if more than half of his network is composed of females. [Read: 30 lusty signs he wants you badly and finds you incredibly desirable]

2. Dressing up for a date

Sure everybody dresses up for a date—especially on the first one. But guys take extra effort to dress like a million bucks worth if they know that they’ll meet a woman they would like to impress.

If by day he’s just a plain dresser, you’d be surprised how he can transform into someone you won’t recognize overnight.

3. Changing body posture

Let’s say that there are a bunch of guys waiting in a room. Suddenly, there’s a very attractive girl who enters the said room.

Once the guys realize an attractive girl is in their presence, you’ll notice a shift in their body language and see all of them fixing their appearance and posture!

4. Acting as the knight in shining armor

Have you ever wondered why stores and charity booths are manned by attractive ladies? Well, you have peacocking to blame for that.

Being as men are, they will be more likely to buy a product that they won’t need or donate to a charity they haven’t even heard of if they are approached by a girl who seemingly “needs their help.” [Read: Damsels in distress and why men find them irresistibly attractive]

5. Peacocking through their conversational skills

It is not only limited to displays of good behavior, wealth, and physical appearance. A man may also be bold enough to state his desirable points in a conversation with an attractive woman. After all, sometimes physically flaunting all you have is not enough! [Read: The 7 stages and how men fall in love with a woman]

Men do battle through peacock behavior

If you see two men trying to out-peacock one another, it’s really quite an interesting sight to see. Seriously, sit back and observe because that is a lesson in male evolution right there!

If you get two guys who both like the same girl, they’ll try to outdo one another via peacocking. You’ll see that one dresses up slightly more than the other, one tries to do more good deeds than the other, and maybe one will try to overrun the conversation more.

It’s a silent battle of wills.

Again, guys might not know that they are doing it, but they’re subconsciously peacocking to try and win the affection of a lady. [Read: Masculine traits – 21 healthy and unhealthy manly characteristics]

If you’re in the middle of this battle of wills, all you can do is smile. At least they are showing you some attention, and let’s be honest, when two guys are trying to battle it out for your affection, it’s a boost to the ego, right?

[Read: How to be an alpha male and unleash the irresistible inner you]

Women love themselves a nice charming guy. For this reason, men aspire and sometimes act as such. So the next time a guy sits up and behaves nicer to you, just know that he’s peacocking and trying to impress you because he subconsciously wants to be your mate!

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...