9 signs people secretly admire you, according to psychology

We all have those moments when we wonder, “Does anyone actually admire me?” Well, according to psychology, there are subtle signs that people might secretly admire you. And no, I’m not just talking about the obvious ones like compliments or constant attention.

Subtle admiration can be even more meaningful, but it’s often harder to spot. Luckily, psychology provides us with some key indicators to look out for.

In this article, I’ll share 9 signs that suggest people secretly admire you. This isn’t about feeding your ego, but rather understanding how you impact others and recognizing the positive qualities you possess.

Let’s dive in. 

1) They mimic your behaviors

Ever noticed someone mimicking your gestures or expressions? It might seem strange, but it’s actually a sign of admiration.

This is called the “chameleon effect”. Psychologists have discovered that we naturally tend to copy the behaviors, postures, and mannerisms of people we admire or like. It’s our subconscious way of bonding or connecting with them.

If you notice someone often mimics your behaviors, whether it’s your hand gestures during a conversation or even your style of dressing, there’s a good chance they secretly admire you.

However, remember this is only one sign. It’s important to observe other indicators and the overall context to make an accurate judgement.

2) They remember small details about you

Another sign of secret admiration is when someone remembers inconsequential details about your life.

Allow me to share a personal example. I have a colleague who remembers the most random things about me. For instance, she recalled that I love cinnamon swirls from a specific bakery, even though I mentioned it just once in passing.

At first, I thought it was odd, but then I realized that she was paying attention because she admired my work and respected my ideas. It taught me that when people genuinely admire you, they make an effort to remember these small nuggets of information about you.

If you find someone storing away tiny details about you like precious gems, chances are they admire you more than you think.

3) They frequently initiate contact

If you notice someone often initiating contact with you, it’s a strong indicator that they admire you. This could be anything from starting conversations to suggesting meetings or get-togethers.

Now, here’s something you might not know. According to research in the field of interpersonal relationships, people tend to initiate contact more frequently with those they admire or are attracted to. It’s a subconscious way of ensuring they stay connected with the individual they admire.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that every person who messages you first secretly admires you. But if it’s a consistent pattern, it might be a sign of their underlying admiration.

4) They compliment you subtly

Compliments are a clear sign of admiration, but they aren’t always as straightforward as you might think. People who secretly admire you often give you compliments that are more subtle or indirect.

For instance, they might not tell you directly that you’re smart, but they could mention how they appreciate your thoughtful insights during a meeting. Or, instead of saying you’re talented, they might express admiration for your skills or achievements.

These subtle compliments often come across as genuine appreciation rather than flattery. So, if someone seems to regularly highlight your positive traits or contributions, it’s likely a sign of their secret admiration.

5) They defend you

Here’s a powerful sign of admiration: someone standing up for you, especially when you’re not around to defend yourself.

People who secretly admire you tend to be your silent warriors. They may not always shower you with praises, but they won’t tolerate anyone speaking ill of you.

If they hear someone criticizing or spreading false stories about you, they will likely step in and defend your character. This is because people who admire us often believe in us and our abilities, and they’re not afraid to make that known, even if it means going against the crowd.

If you’ve heard about someone defending you or your actions, it’s a strong indicator that they hold a deep sense of admiration for you.

6) They show genuine concern for you

There’s a certain warmth and kindness that comes from people who admire you secretly. They genuinely care about your well-being and show concern for you.

They are the ones who ask if you’re okay when you seem a bit off, or offer to help when they see you struggling. They remember your important dates, like a big presentation or a doctor’s appointment, and check in to see how it went.

This kind of genuine concern is more than just polite interest. It’s an indication that they value you deeply, often stemming from a place of admiration. 

If someone consistently shows concern for your well-being, it’s quite likely they hold you in high regard.

7) They value your opinion

There was a time when I was working on a project with a team. I noticed that one of my teammates would always ask for my opinion, even on matters that were not directly related to my role. At first, I just thought he valued everyone’s input. But over time, I realized he specifically sought out my viewpoint because he admired my perspective and problem-solving abilities.

When people admire you, they tend to value your opinion highly. They might ask for your advice on various issues or consult you before making important decisions. This is because they respect your judgment and believe that your insights can add value.

If someone often seeks your viewpoint or advice, it’s a strong sign of their admiration for you.

8) They give you meaningful gifts

Gift-giving is a common way of expressing admiration, but when someone secretly admires you, the gifts they give often have a deeper meaning.

They might give you a book by your favorite author, a piece of artwork that matches your taste, or even a simple item that reminded them of a story you once shared. The value of the gift doesn’t matter. What matters is the thought and consideration that went into choosing it.

These meaningful gifts show that they pay attention to your likes, dislikes, and interests. They’ve put thought into choosing something that would resonate with you. This attentiveness and effort can often be a sign of their secret admiration.

9) They make time for you

In our busy lives, time is one of the most precious commodities. So, when someone goes out of their way to make time for you, it speaks volumes about their admiration for you.

They might rearrange their schedule to accommodate a meeting with you or give up their free time to help you with a task. Even if they’re busy, they’ll find a way to spend time with you or be there for you.

This willingness to prioritize you and your needs is a powerful sign of admiration. It indicates that they value your relationship and hold you in high esteem.

After all, we make time for the people and things we truly care about.

Food for thought: Admiration is a mirror

As we navigate through the world, understanding the subtle signs of admiration can be quite enlightening. It allows us to see how we touch the lives of others, often in ways we’re not even aware of.

But here’s something equally compelling – psychology suggests that the qualities we admire in others are often a reflection of what we value or aspire to in ourselves.

In other words, when you identify these signs of secret admiration in others, it’s not just about recognizing their regard for you. It’s also an opportunity for self-reflection.

Are they mirroring qualities that you value? Are they highlighting aspects of yourself that you’re proud of or want to further develop?

The signs of secret admiration, therefore, are not just markers of your impact on others. They’re subtle mirrors reflecting back at you, reminding you of your worth and potential.

So the next time you spot these signs, take a moment to appreciate not just the admiration from others, but also the reflection of your own admirable qualities.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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