“You do you!”
If any of these phrases sound familiar, you’ve probably had someone be angry with you before but refuse to tell you what’s up.
At the same time, though, each of them could also be totally innocent and straightforward.
So how the heck are you supposed to find out if the person is actually mad at you or not!?
I’ve got you.
While a few people out there are terrific at masking their true feelings, most people are pretty lousy at it. This is especially true when they’re angry.
So I’m going to help you out. If someone is secretly mad at you, they usually display these 12 behaviors, which can be easy to pick up on and almost impossible to ignore.
1) They won’t talk to you.
We all know the silent treatment, but it’s way too common not to mention.
As a kid, my mother taught me that if I don’t have anything nice to say, not to say anything at all, and I think this is deeply ingrained in me.
So when I get mad at someone, one of my first instincts is to stop talking to them. I don’t always do this, but I certainly feel like I don’t want to give the time of day to someone who’s gotten into my bad books.
I don’t think anything could be more obvious a sign that a person is mad than cutting you off like this.
Well, maybe a slap in the face?
2) They don’t look at you.
Well, one other clear sign that someone is mad at you is that they don’t look at you.
Either that or they look at you way less than normal.
What’s going on here?
Chances are that they don’t want to deal with you and don’t want you around, so they try to remind themself of you as infrequently as possible.
Essentially, they’re wiping you off the map with the good old “if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” solution.
But how can you tell if they’re actually looking at you less?
You’ll notice that they almost never make eye contact. If they do, they’ll quickly break it and look away.
They might also use quick head movements to scan past you if they have to look at something else, thus reducing the time they actually have you in their field of view.
We humans are really good at tracking where others are looking, so if someone isn’t looking at you, trust me, you’ll know!
3) They’re overly formal and polite.
When we’re close to someone, we can let loose and act naturally.
So, formality is the opposite. It’s a way of being civil to other people while still keeping them at arm’s length.
That’s why when someone is mad at you, they might suddenly change how they behave towards you and speak to you.
Instead of being a friendly “What’s up?” they might give you a stiff “Good evening.”
While that sounds fine coming from a stranger, it can sound weird and even rude coming from someone you thought you were close with.
And they’re doing this either consciously or unconsciously to push you back, to take you out of their intimate space and into the space of a tolerable stranger.
It’s a pretty clear sign that something is really wrong.
4) They blow you off.
If someone is secretly mad at you, they’ll often be dealing with a lot of different negative emotions and ideas, and one could be revenge.
Yes, that old chestnut.
What I mean is that if they’re mad because you did something wrong that hurt them, they might want to hurt you back.
What’s a great way to do this, you ask?
One of the most passive-aggressive revenge strategies out there is messing with people’s time.
They might seem perfectly happy to make plans to meet you somewhere and then not turn up.
They’ll blow you off to make you feel upset like they already do.
5) They ghost you.
These days, we’re hyper-connected, and we’re pretty sensitive about it.
I can still remember the days when you could answer an email tomorrow or next week, and nobody would get too upset about it.
But those days are gone, and we’re pretty much always one call or one text away from the people we’re in touch with.
That’s why ghosting you is a really sudden and obvious sign to send that they’re angry.
It’s the silent treatment times ten.
They don’t talk to you, see you, or even read your messages. You’re blocked right out of their whole life, both in the digital world and the real one, too.
6) They seem tense.
If you walk in and their shoulders tense up, there’s definitely something wrong.
Sure, it’s possible that they’re experiencing some other emotion like worry or fear.
However, if you’re guessing that they’re secretly angry with you, then that’s probably what’s going on.
This kind of visceral reaction is something they probably can’t control, so you can pick up on it pretty easily.
Other signs include crossing their arms, sighing audibly, clenching their fists, and grinding their teeth.
Having you around is affecting them so physically that it’s not going to be a secret for much longer!
7) They make you see them happy with other people.
This is one of my favorites because it’s a really obvious way for someone to be passive-aggressive in showing you how mad they are at you.
What not just tell you?
Where’s the fun in that?
No, instead, it’s a lot more satisfying to smile and joke and laugh with other people but to totally clam up and frown when you come in.
Yes, you were supposed to see that!
The whole idea behind this behavior is sending this message: Look how happy I am with these other people. I could be happy with you, too, but you’ve made me so mad.
You’re definitely meant to see this and figure it out for yourself.
8) They’re short with you.
OK, you’re talking.
That’s good, right?
Well, then again, it’s mostly you who’s doing the talking. Their answers are mostly short, clipped, one-word responses that allow them to still talk but actually communicate with you as little as possible.
Yes. No. Fine. OK. Whatever.
Their tone is also going to be pretty grumpy and often downright hostile, even if their words aren’t.
But at least you’re talking, which means that this might be an opportunity to bring up the things they might be angry about (if you have any idea what it is!).
9) They find you more annoying than normal.
We can all be annoying at times. Yes, some of us more than others.
But the point is that when someone is secretly mad at you, they will often behave in a way that tells you you’re more annoying than normal.
What does this look like?
They might roll their eyes or turn away from you much more easily than normal.
They could walk off and leave you alone, or they might tell you straight up that you’re annoying them.
And, of course, if you keep it up, they might lose their cool and snap at you. Maybe this is normal, but if it’s a lot easier for your behavior to push their buttons, that’s very likely because they’re already mad.
10) They’re holding in rage.
Rage is a powerful emotion that’s like anger on steroids.
If someone is really that mad at you but hasn’t said anything about it or confronted you, they’re still probably finding it really tough to keep it in.
And you’ll definitely be able to notice.
Even with their back turned and their lips silent, their body can still show you the rage that’s inside.
They might turn red from biting their tongue and holding their breath. They could be sweating visibly or even actually shaking as they try to stop their body from displaying their anger.
But it won’t work.
This amount of anger can’t be kept inside without at least some of it leaking out.
Just be careful of it suddenly exploding if you decide to push and prod.
11) They don’t smile.
Even if the person you suspect of being secretly mad at you isn’t very smiley, you’ll likely still notice a change.
They’ll smile less around you or else not at all.
And if they’re already smiling at something else and you make eye contact, they’ll wipe that smile right off their own face.
12) Someone else will spill the beans.
What’s the easiest way to tell if someone is secretly mad at you?
They’ll tell someone else.
They might even strategically tell someone close to both of you, knowing that you’ll probably ask.
That’s it. When someone is secretly angry, they usually display these 12 behaviors, which make it really easy for you to tell!