Finding it hard to figure out if someone likes you?
We’ve all been through it: that agonizing period between meeting someone you find attractive and figuring out whether they like you or not.
For the lucky few, this period lasts just a few days or weeks; for others, it can last for years.
And staying in this for years is definitely not recommended for your personal anxiety and mental health.
So how do you tell if someone likes you?
In this article, we discuss everything you need to know to help crack the case: from why exactly this can be so hard, to the common (and not so common) signs of attraction, to the steps you can take after you find out.
Before we get into the exact signs to know if someone likes you, let’s first talk about the subtle differences between flirty and friendly that could save you embarrassment.
Flirty VS Friendly – The subtle differences that can save you the embarrassment
The age-old question that all of us have dealt with at one point or another – is someone you like reciprocating your attraction by being flirty, or are they simply being friendly?
The hints and cues differentiating flirtiness and friendliness can be extremely subtle, and knowing these differences can save you the embarrassment of professing your love to someone who doesn’t actually feel the same way.
Some people are just really great at making us feel good about ourselves simply through their social behavior, and that can sometimes come off as if they’re flirting.
It’s up to you to know whether they’re flirting because they like you or just being nice. Let’s go through these behaviors one by one and see their differences:
1. Eye Contact
Friendly: They look you in the eyes and keep eye contact during the conversation. They may look away from time to time but they will give you the respect and courtesy to stay attentive while you are talking.
Flirty: They look longer and with greater intensity as if they are really trying to speak to you telepathically with just their gaze. There is an unironic intensity in the eye contact – instead of a nod, the person might lean towards you instead.
2. Their Questions
Friendly: They don’t really care about any specific thing, but they want to be friendly by engaging with you and making you lead the conversation. They can ask casual questions – what brings you here, how are you, what are you into, and more.
Flirty: The main difference in flirty questions is the agenda. There seems to be a direction to the conversation, and they’ve been dictating the direction with each question. They eventually get into more personal questions such as your love life and sex life.
Friendly: Friendly banter is just part of everyday life, especially if you’re a girl with guy friends. Friends turn each other into the butts of their jokes all the time, so a few light (and sometimes heavy) jokes don’t necessarily mean that they like you.
Flirty: They seem to go overboard with their teasing, and even your friends or the other people in your friend group get that feeling. You are the target of their jokes much more often than anyone else, but they don’t like it when other people start to tease you.
Friendly: It’s normal for friends to pay attention to each other, and this includes giving each other eye contact during conversations, replying to each other’s messages, and asking each other about their days and how things are doing.
Flirty: Attention can go from friendly to flirty if they simply up the ante, and they start becoming attentive in a way that may seem unnatural.
For example, if they remember special dates that you might have mentioned to them, or they surprise you with something you like such as food or movie tickets. If they like you, they make more of an effort to impress you with their attention.
Now that you understand the differences between flirty behavior showing that someone likes you and friendly behavior, let’s go over 31 surefire signs that someone does indeed like you.
QUIZ: “Does he like me?” Every woman has asked this question at least once about a guy. I’ve put together a fun quiz to help you figure out whether he likes you. Take my quiz here.
31 signs that someone likes you
1. He feels like a hero
Even if two people are just friends now, does the guy feel needed? Is he allowed to step up to the plate for her? Does she let him provide for and protect her (in both little and big ways)?
Then chances are he’s going to like her a lot.
There’s a fascinating new concept in relationship psychology that’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment. It claims that men are much more likely to fall in love with women who make them feel like a hero.
People are calling it the ‘hero instinct’.
The simple truth is that men have a biological urge to provide for and protect women. It’s hardwired into them.
By making a guy feel like a hero, it unleashes his protective instincts and the most noble aspect of his masculinity. Most importantly, it will unleash his deepest feelings of attraction.
And the kicker?
A man won’t fall for a woman until this thirst is satisfied.
I know it sounds kind of silly. In this day and age, women don’t need someone to rescue them. They don’t need a ‘hero’ in their lives.
But here’s the ironic truth. Men do still need to be a hero. Because it’s built into their DNA to seek out relationships that allow them to feel like one.
The hero instinct is a legitimate concept in relationship psychology that I personally believe has a lot of truth to it.
And there’s an art to making a man feel like a hero.
There are phrases you can say, texts you can send, and little requests you can make to trigger his hero instinct.
To learn more about these emotional trigger points, check out this free online video by James Bauer. He is the relationship psychologist who first introduced the hero instinct concept.
Some ideas really are life-changing. And for romantic relationships, I think this is one of them.
2. Exchange eye contact
If your glances are met with their glances and your eyes lock on a regular basis, two things could be true: you’ve got something on your face and they don’t know how to tell you or, and this is probably more likely, they like you.
If you’ve got low self-esteem or you’ve been burned before, it might be hard to imagine that someone is interested in you.
But if you find yourself making eye contact on the regular, smiling, exchanging glances, and even getting a little embarrassed by how many times you’ve looked at one another, they are probably into you as much as you are into them.
Of course, you don’t want to stare at them to see if they look back.
According to behavior analyst Jack Schafer, there’s a technique you can use to see if they are really looking at you because they like you:
“You can increase mutual gaze by maintaining eye contact as you turn your head to break the gaze; the other person does not perceive your extended gaze as staring because your head is turning. If the person you are with maintains eye contact, they like you.”
3. Casual touches
Sitting near one another or passing in the hallway, you’ll experience casual touches. You might find that they place their hand on your shoulder or gently touch your hand.
People don’t do that for just any reason, they do that so they don’t have to say that they like you.
If they are making an effort to come into contact with you, chances are that they are excited to be around you and want to be closer to you.
Here’s a great example of touching that someone might do if they if someone likes you:
“If you walk near each other, he’ll place his hand near the small of your back to guide you through a noisy party or bar. Plus, he wants to show all the other men that he’s got this. Plus, it’s a reason to touch you and seem like a gentleman all at the same time.”
4. They are using the same body language and words as you
If it suddenly feels like you are looking in a mirror when you are talking to someone, there’s a good chance they are not doing that on purpose.
When people like and connect with one another, they subconsciously start to act like them. Sitting in the same position, taking on the same posture, and even quickly adopting the same language and word usage.
All of these mirroring acts mean that the person you are talking to likes you – it doesn’t always mean they like you romantically of course, but it could be, especially if they are too afraid of rejection to admit it.
If they “see themselves” in your actions, it could be for real.
This is actually rooted in the brain’s Mirror Neuron System.
This network of the brain is the social glue that binds people together.
A greater level of activation of the Mirror Neuron System is associated with liking and cooperation.
5. He feels appreciated
For a man, feeling appreciated is often what separates “like” from “love”.
Don’t get me wrong, guys love strength and independence in a women. But he still wants to feel wanted and useful — not dispensable!
This is because men have a built in desire for something “greater” that goes beyond love or sex. It’s why men who seemingly have the “perfect girlfriend” are still unhappy and find themselves constantly searching for something else — or worst of all, someone else.
Simply put, men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel appreciated, and to provide for the woman he cares about.
Relationship psychologist James Bauer calls it the hero instinct. I talked about this concept above.
As James Bauer argues, male desires are not complicated, just misunderstood. Instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior and this is especially true for how men approach their relationships.
So, when the hero instinct isn’t triggered, men are unlikely to commit to a relationship with any woman. He holds back because being in a relationship is a serious investment for him. And he won’t fully “invest” in a woman unless she gives him a sense of meaning and purpose and makes him feel appreciated.
How do you trigger this instinct in him? And give him this sense of meaning and purpose?
You don’t need to pretend to be anyone you’re not or play the “damsel in distress”. You don’t have to dilute your strength or independence in any way, shape or form.
In an authentic way, you simply have to show your man what you need and allow him to step up to fulfill it.
In his new video, James Bauer outlines several things you can do. He reveals phrases, texts and little requests that you can use right now to make him feel more essential to you.
By triggering this very natural male instinct, you’ll not only give him greater satisfaction but it will also help to rocket your relationship to the next level.
6. Leaning in
When someone is interested in what you have to say, they’ll move closer and lean in. This is another subconscious action that tells the onlooker (you) that the person likes you.
They may lower their head, lean in while you talk, and even move their body closer to yours – all without even realizing they are doing it.
People are funny like that.
It’s interesting to watch people who aren’t together, but whom like one another, interact: they do a lot of the same things and are leaning in so much it looks like they might fall over.
“DOES HE LIKE ME” QUIZ: If you don’t know whether a guy likes you, you need real and honest advice. My new quiz will help you figure it out. Take the quiz here.
7. Remove things that get in the way
When we feel stand-offish and don’t want to be around someone, we’ll put up physical barriers in their way.
For example, you may cross your arms when talking to your cranky boss. It’s a subconscious way of telling your boss to back off and stay out of your space.
But when you like someone, you are more likely to spread your body wide and make sure that they feel welcome in your space.
If someone is uncrossing their arms around you, it’s almost like you’ve disarmed them and they are welcoming you into the conversation.
It also means they like you. When they don’t feel like they have to protect themselves around you, that’s a good thing.
So when evaluating body language, here’s what to look for:
- Crossed arms might indicate that a person feels closed off or defensive. Open body language indicates the opposite.
- Hands behind their back may indicate that they are feeling bored, or angry.
- Fidgeting can also indicate that they are bored.
- Open posture involves keeping the trunk of the body open and exposed. This can indicate opennesses and friendliness.
8. They point their feet toward yours
One of the strangest ways to tell someone likes you is if you look at their feet and they are pointed in your direction.
Even if they are turned to talk to someone else and their attention is occupied, if their feet are in your direction, you might have a crush on your hands.
Again, our bodies like to give us subtle ways of letting us know that we like someone.
You might feel anxious or uptight about something and later realize that it’s because you find yourself attracted to someone and didn’t know what to do with that information in your body.
(What if you knew the secret to what goes on inside a man’s mind, and what secretly turns him on? Learn more about it here).
9. They’re acting weird
Are they acting weirdly around you?
Maybe they stumble over their words, become tense or nervous, or even pull away suddenly and unexpectedly. They’ll probably tell some awkward jokes.
These are actually counter-intuitive signs that someone likes you.
Weird behavior like this when you like someone is actually more common in men than women.
This is because male and female brains are biologically different. For instance, the limbic system is the emotional processing center of the brain and it’s much larger in the female brain than in a man’s.
That’s why women are more in touch with their emotions. And why guys can struggle to process and understand their feelings. The result can be some pretty weird behavior (in your eyes).
If you’ve ever been with an emotionally unavailable man before, blame his biology rather than him.
The thing is, to stimulate the emotional part of a man’s brain, you have to communicate with him in a way that he’ll actually understand.
Try watching this simple and genuine video from Carlos Cavallo.
Most men don’t think about commitment in a logical way. Because men are mainly concerned with how the relationship makes them feel about themselves.
In short, your man needs to feel like he’s found the absolute best woman for him. Like he’s won the game of love.
Carlos Cavallo will show you a really simple and genuine way to give your man this unique feeling…
10. They laugh at everything you say
Someone who likes you is going to think you are the funniest person on the planet…even if you are not.
So if you are wondering if your crush likes you back, just tell a lame joke and see how they react.
Our sense of trying to make people feel important and acknowledged when we like them is so high that we will go out of our way to make ourselves look silly (aka laughing when we shouldn’t be) so that the other person is raised up. Love is a tricky thing, isn’t it?
11. They are obviously trying to stand next to you
Whether the room is crowded or you are the only two at the bar, they make a point of standing next to you or sitting next to you.
It might be obvious that they want to be near you, especially if they actually push someone or try to move someone quickly so they can snag the seat next to yours.
We see this in romantic comedy movies when the man is enamoured with a woman and can’t seem to find his footing as he tries to squeeze into the last seat on that side of the table.
12. They remember the weirdest things
If they show up with a present or a token of appreciation to commemorate a particular time or date or event, you better believe you are important to this person.
When someone likes you, they can’t help but absorb all of the things that might seem unimportant to you.
If you mentioned your dog’s birthday is next week, your crush might show up with a treat for your dog.
Or at least, text you to say happy birthday to your dog.
Weird, no? Perhaps. But it’s a surefire way to tell if someone is into you.
13. They blush
If you enter a room and find your crush blushing or trying to turn away so that you can’t see them blushing, you can go ahead and count your chickens on that one.
They are into you for sure if their body is having a physiological reaction to your entrance. You might even find that you are having the same reaction.
Men and women blush and it’s something we can’t really control.
When we receive an unexpected compliment, we can’t help but get a pink tinge on our face from embarrassment.
So if you find that they blush around you, it’s a great sign that they like you.
However, it’s important to figure out if they blush easily around other people as well.
Isn’t love grand?
14. They’re chatting to you constantly on social media
When we’re on social media, it’s our free time, so we can literally do whatever we want.
So if they’re using that time to respond to you and properly chat with you, it’s a sign that they want to spend that time with you.
However, what you need to keep in mind is whether they are just giving you one word answers, or they’re taking they’re time to respond to you.
Perhaps they’re just being polite by responding.
But if their responses are thoughtful, that’s a good sign that they like you.
15. They stand taller, pull their shoulders back and suck their stomach in
This is a great sign that someone likes you.
Because subconsciously they want to impress you and that means that their body will react accordingly.
A great way to check out their posture is when they walk past you. If they like you, they’ll be very conscious that you’re looking, which means they’ll push their shoulders back, puff their chest out and suck their stomach in.
16. They’re drunk dialing you
You’ve probably heard the saying: “A drunk person’s words are a sober person’s thoughts.”
Alcohol makes you honest with your emotions.
17. Friends make an effort to leave you two alone
This is a big one and a fairly obvious one at that.
If their friends leave when you come around or make it obvious that they want to leave you two alone, there’s a fair chance that they know how their friend feels about you.
Leaving you two alone is a way to help out their friend.
18. They’re asking personal questions
These aren’t the normal “getting to know you” questions.
These are questions that really try to get to know you for who you are. The questions might even have an emotional bent to them.
For example, instead of asking what your job is, they’ll ask you what motivates you to do what you do. It will be questions that you’re not really used to.
After all, they want to get to know deeply because they’re intrigued about you and they like you.
19. They are up in your grill. In a good way
Sounds nasty, but it’s not. If they are doing everything they can to be near you but crawl onto your lap, they’re into you. And if you are crushing on them and they’re hanging around like they want to be your lapdog, you’re good.
It can be intimidating to have someone hanging around you like that all the time, but watch for the subtle ways they want to be near you. If they’re being creepy about it, move on. But if they’re sweet about it and they want to be closer to talk to you, they might be a keeper instead of a creeper.
[Independence is a key attribute of strong women. In our latest eBook, we outline why men love strong women and how you can become one yourself. Check it out here.]
20. They smile at you
Everyone is so busy these days that if someone takes the time to smile at you, you might want to sit up and pay attention – especially if it’s someone you are crushing on.
Just look at how many other people in the bar didn’t smile at you!?
If they’re laughing at your jokes and making lots of eye contact and flashing their pearly whites at you from across the room or even from across the table, they’re hooked.
21. They are present and accounted for
When someone is into you the way you are into them, they’ll let you know by leaving their phone in their pocket.
We’re on call 24/7 these days and if they’ve been gazing into your eyes all night long and hasn’t picked up their phone once in the last ten minutes, they’re setting a new world record.
We’re so distracted by our phones these days. People who are worth liking are the ones who look up from their phone and talk to you for real.
Questions, concerns, compliments: they are there and they are checking all the right boxes.
22. Their friends are into you
If you aren’t sure if they’re into you, look at what their friends are all about.
Are they paying attention to you? Are they making eyes at them and pointing in your direction?
Do they like you as a friend and invite you to things? Are you just “one of the friends” to them? It could be that they’re into you.
People don’t easily let people into their circle. If you’ve broken the fence and gotten in with their friends, you might be in luck.
Plus, hanging around their friends is a great way to get them to spill the beans on how they really feel.
23. They say the right things
When their close and paying attention to you, reading the menu aloud sounds sexy.
Pay attention to how they express themselves and how they talk to you. If they are saying all the right things, it could be a match made in heaven.
If not, at least you’ll have fun finding out! You might find that shy people – don’t discount the shy people! – also, say all the right things, but it takes a little longer for them to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings.
Be patient. If your crush is known for keeping to themselves but they are inching their way across the bar one foot at a time, you might be in for a relationship after all.
24. They’re preening themselves
Preening refers to the act of “fixing oneself” in different ways.
It could be adjusting their clothes, running fingers through their hair, or touching their face.
After all, if they like you they want to look better around you. And of course, people are naturally fidgety when they’re anxious and nervous.
And if they like you, it’s likely that they’ll be experiencing nervous tension.
Preening is a subconscious way to advertise one’s interest and encourage you to escalate the seduction.
Here’s an example of a female preening yourself:
25. Their pupils dilate
This is a great sign to look for as it’s something we can’t control.
Our eyes dilate to take in more of the pleasing surroundings.
Interestingly, the research found that you need a lower level of arousal for your pupils to dilate than you would for other physiology measures. So the eyes really can give them away.
Make sure you check their pupils in constant, standard level light to work out if they’re bigger than average.
26. They’re using open body language
If they’re comfortable around you and there’s strong rapport, they’ll most likely be loose with their body language.
Are they spreading their arms and legs? That’s a great sign that they’re comfortable and warm.
While feeling comfortable is a good sign that there’s a strong rapport between the two of you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re attracted to you. This will probably depend on context. If you haven’t known each other for very long and they’re feeling comfortable, then that means that things are going pretty smoothly and they might be attracted to you.
But if you’ve known each other for a long time, then feeling comfortable is obviously to be expected.
27. They’re visibly shy or nervous
If they like you, and they don’t really know you, then they’re likely to get nervous around you.
After all, they’re feeling the pressure of making a good impression.
According to Business Insider, there are six signs to look for to tell if someone is nervous: –
1) They touch their face: This can include rubbing their forehead, pushing their cheek and squeezing their face.
2) They compress their lips.
3) They play with their hair: This is a stress-reducing behavior.
4) They blink more frequently: Eye-blink rate increases when someone is nervous.
5) They contort and rub their hands together.
6) They yawn excessively: Yawning helps regulate our body temperature (the brain gets warmer when we’re stressed).
So if they are showing these signs around you, they might be nervous because they like you. You’ll also want to get a baseline of how they act around other people, too.
28. They’re trying to figure out whether you have a partner
This can slide past a lot of people’s heads. And I’m not talking about if they ask you: Are you single? That’s an obvious sign that they’re into you.
Instead, they’re probably going to be a little more subtle. They might mention that they’re single in the hope that you reveal your status.
Maybe they’ll talk about how they went to a wedding by themselves on the weekend.
Keep on the lookout for little signs likes this.
If they’re trying to figure out if you’re single or not, there’s a good chance they like you and want to see if this can lead anywhere.
29. They start to reveal their quirky side
When someone becomes more comfortable around you, they’ll reveal more of who they truly are.
First impressions are important to most people and they tend to hide their weird side.
So if they are revealing their quirky or geeky side, they’re confident that you’ll accept them for who they are.
Now, this by itself doesn’t mean they like you. A friend can feel comfortable with you. But if you’re not friends yet, this is a good sign that they are picking up what you’re putting down.
30. They’re telling you personal details about their life
In the same vein, when they’re comfortable around you, they’re willing to reveal more of themselves.
This is an excellent sign that they see you as someone they can trust. They also may be more willing to talk about their plans for the future to see if you will fit in those plans.
Keep in mind that if you’ve been friends for a while, then they’ll undoubtedly reveal more about themselves as time goes on.
But if you aren’t particularly good friends, then this is a great sign that they’re letting you into their world because they might see a future with you.
31. Conversations between you two seem effortless
And with chemistry and rapport, there’s a high chance that feelings are developing. After all, if you both like each other, then you’ll both be motivated to keep the conversation going.
You should both be talkative and asking questions. This makes the conversation work and flow nicely.
Questions to Ask Yourself If You’re Still Not Sure if Someone Likes You
Still not sure if someone likes you?
Men and women act differently when they are attracted to a person, and lumping these two together and their respective signs can be a recipe for error. So here are specific questions you should ask if you want to know if someone likes you, guy or girl.
We want to make it as easy as possible to figure this out, so here are 10 important questions to ask yourself that will help you find your answer:
If It’s a Guy
1) Does he get shy or slightly awkward when you are around your friends?
2) Does he show up to places where they know you are going to be?
3) Does he look away when you meet his eyes? Do his eyes wander to your lips?
4) Does he compliment you when he gets the chance, if you’re wearing something new or if you have a new haircut?
5) Does he playfully pinch you, punch your arm, touch your face?
6) Does he lean in towards you, more so than other people?
7) Does he perform any alpha body language without realizing it (standing taller, shoulders back, pulling his stomach in)?
8) Does he get quiet when you talk to another guy friend?
9) Does he help you with any problems you might have or talk about?
10) Does he look at you after he makes a joke while you’re together in a crowd, looking for your reaction?
If It’s a Girl
1) Does she pout or lick her lips more often when you’re around, and gaze upwards at you?
2) Does she ever sit down and look at you while putting her hand on her chin?
3) Does she seem to make more of an effort with the way she dresses and grooms herself around you?
4) Does she uncover her wrists by raising her sleeves (this can signal attraction and trust)?
5) Does she have trouble keeping prolonged eye contact with you?
6) Does she shoot short glances your way, but darts her eyes away when you meet her eyes?
7) Does she subconsciously expose her neck towards you while you talk?
8) Does she subconsciously caress an object like a phone or a pen in her hands while you talk?
9) Does she play with her hair when you’re around her?
10) Does she introduce you to her friends?
Putting These Signs Into Context: Learning How to Read the Signs
It’s important to remember that no single sign is a sure-fire indication that a person likes you. Figuring out if someone likes you is all about measuring the odds, and trying to see as many of the signs as possible.
The more often you might say “yes” to the questions above, the more likely that person is to like you.
But there are still cases where you might experience every sign that a person likes you but they don’t actually have those feelings.
These cues can be subtle and complex, and it’s important that you always view them within your individual context.
A mistake that many people make is that they view actions and behaviors outside of the context of their situation, meaning you might be interpreting them the way you want to interpret them rather than the way they actually are.
The last thing you want to do is start chasing signs wherever you might see them.
For example, if a waitress or a bank teller smiles at you and gives you great eye contact, she’s simply doing that because it’s her job. In certain situations, signs aren’t enough to indicate that a person may like you, and in these cases, you have to look out for anomalies of behaviors, such as excessive flirting or hair touching.
They like you, what now?
These 31 signs will help you understand whether someone likes you.
However, there’s one crucial ingredient to relationship success I think many women overlook:
Understanding how men think.
Let’s face it: Men see the world differently to women and we want different things from a relationship.
And this can make a deep passionate romantic relationship — something that men actually want deep down as well — difficult to achieve.
While getting your guy to open up and tell you what he’s thinking can feel like an impossible task… there’s a new way to understand what’s driving him.
Men want this one thing
James Bauer is one of the world’s leading relationship experts.
In his new video, he reveals a new concept which brilliantly explains what really drives men. He calls it the hero instinct. I talked about this concept above.
Simply put, men want to be your hero. Not necessarily an action hero like Thor, but he does want to step up to the plate for the woman in his life and be appreciated for his efforts.
The hero instinct is probably the best kept secret in relationship psychology. And I think it holds the key to a man’s love and devotion for life.
My friend and Hack Spirit writer Pearl Nash was the person who first introduced the hero instinct to me. Since then I’ve written extensively about the concept on Hack Spirit.
For many women, learning about the hero instinct was their “aha moment”. It was for Pearl Nash. You can read her personal story here about how triggering the hero instinct helped her turn around a lifetime of relationship failure.