What is Peacocking? Why Men Instinctively Indulge in Peacocking

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

Despite what they say, women will always have a soft spot for nice guys. You know, the type that helps elderly people cross the street, pacify crying babies, and ones who help overburdened ladies carry their groceries. And who could blame them? Nice guys are easy to approach and less likely to make them feel uncomfortable.

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 is peacocking? [Read: How to stroke the male ego & uncover his alpha side when he’s down]

What is peacocking exactly?

Peacocking comes from the behavior of the bird of the same name. Male peacocks are known to flaunt themselves and their decorative plumage whenever a female peacock is around their immediate vicinity. The push out their chest, let loose those beautiful feathers, and they strut around as if to say “look at me!” Now, men don’t literally grab a handful of feathers and start waving them around (that would just be odd) but they do follow the same pattern of behavior. Basically, they’re showing off.

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. They assume that women are going to look at their strutting and chest puffing and think “oh my, he’s rather delicious”. [Read: What makes a man attractive? 15 traits guys should focus on]

Some men do this physically, i.e. they’ll roll up their sleeves and show off their bulging biceps or their impressive pecs, while others use their personality. This is the most dangerous type of peacocking because you can never be sure if it’s their actual personality or a fake version used to attract attention. They 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?

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 mate. 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, 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’re 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. They’re 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 you. You’ll soon see their true colors if they are being deceitful in any way.

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 shove. 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’re kind! [Read: The awesome omega male: What makes him better than the alpha?]

A few facts about male peacocking

Now you know what is peacocking, 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.

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. [Read: 7 things nice guys do that girls mistake for flirting]

2. Peacocking is not only limited to nice behavior

Peacocking is not just about showing her that you’re 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 dressing up in a trendy way or showing off his gym-sculpted muscles. He might show off his wealth by sporting expensive clothes or driving an expensive car. Perhaps he will show off his intelligence by dominating the conversation. [Read: 10 unassuming signs that show you’re dating a jerk]

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 as doing it for show. Even nice guys peacock too. 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.

The reason behind this phenomenon lies the simple explanation that men prefer to choose younger, more attractive females to display their desirable traits in order to get her attention. [Read: 18 physical turn ons that arouse a guy instantly]

However…

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 of dating still apply. Guys still lean towards the girl of his type regardless of her level of attractiveness. [Read: Science of attraction – 17 aspects that go far beyond appearances]

Types of peacocking among men

While it may sound superficial to show off whenever a girl is around, it offers a level of success for men to get a girl. 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. From carefully selected display photo which flaunts his best angle, his profile description, and humble-bragging posts also suggest peacocking, especially if more than half of his network is composed of females. [Read: 8 annoying social media users that make you wanna scream]

2. Dressing up for a date

Sure everybody dresses up for a date—especially on the first date. But guys take extra effort to make themselves look like a million bucks if they know that they’ll meet a woman they would like to impress. If by day he’s just a plain dresser, you would 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, the initial reaction would be self-consciousness about their appearance and posture. [Read: How guys flirt – 15 things they do subconsciously while attracting a girl]

4. Acting 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 as a means to get a woman’s attention. Because maybe, flaunting it all around is not enough.

Men do battle through peacocking 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 a good deed more 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’re doing it, but they’re subconsciously using peacocking to try and win the affections of said 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’re 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: Unleash the irresistible inner you]

Women love themselves a nice charming guy. For this reason, men aspire and sometimes act as such. Peacocking is a behavior observed in males in any species. It’s used for the purpose of finding and impressing a potential partner.

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.

Paul_Mangay
Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul aka Morty is a keyboard-pounding cubicle-dweller based in Manila where he occasionally moonlights as a writer for anyone in need of his mediocre word-strin...
Follow Paul on