9 signs someone is hiding their feelings for you, according to psychology

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When you like someone, being honest about how you feel isn’t easy. 

I’ve had the rather awkward experience of professing how I felt to a close friend only to be turned down and ghosted! 

After learning a very hard lesson, I’ve got to admit that my ego took a bit of a knock, and I’ve put up an emotional wall ever since. 

But the biggest question is, why exactly do we conceal our emotions in the first place? Isn’t honesty supposed to be the best policy? 

Some people feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed by their emotions, so it’s easier to tuck them away. Concealing romantic feelings can also stem from a lack of confidence and the fear of being hurt if their affections aren’t reciprocated. 

That’s not to say that there aren’t any “telltale signs” when you secretly like someone. 

In this guide, I take the guesswork out of having a secret crush by investigating the 9 signs someone is hiding their feelings for you, according to psychology. 

Let’s get started. 

1) They change their body language when they’re around you

There’s one aspect of emotion that is incredibly hard to hide, and that’s body language.  

Your facial expressions, the direction of your feet, and your fidgety hands are all types of body language you subconsciously perform based on how you feel. 

According to psychology, some body language signs that someone is attracted to you include flared nostrils, slightly parted lips, and uncrossed legs. Open palms and strong eye contact are also indicators of attraction. 

If you suspect that someone close to you isn’t being truthful about their feelings for you, tap into their physiology. 

While most people can hide their emotions behind what they say, they cannot hide their body language. 

2) They hug you like they mean it

Psychologist and relationship expert Dr. Betsy Chung suggests that you pay close attention to the way someone hugs you. 

A long, lingering embrace is usually a sign that they’re into you. 

Unlike a friendly hug that is warm and gentle, someone who’s hiding the way they truly feel will give you a firm squeeze to let you know that they’re present and attentive. 

You might not think twice about the way someone hugs you, but if a friend or acquaintance has their eye on you, they’ll be giving you more than a soft embrace. 

3) They mirror your behavior

The next time you’re in the company of someone you think has a secret crush on you, observe their behavior. Do they copy your posture and lean in when you move closer? 

Without you realizing it, they might mimic your mannerisms and word choices. 

If you’re confused by what I’m telling you, there’s actually a science behind mirroring behavior. Someone who’s attracted to you may subconsciously copy what you do because they’re influenced by you. 

As they listen intently to what you’re saying, they’re taking in the way you talk and move without awareness. They mirror your actions because, deep down, they want to impress you, and it’s a behavior they simply cannot hide. 

4) They like to tease you

Apart from making physical gestures and mirroring your behavior, someone concealing their true feelings for you will engage in light-hearted teasing. 

They’ll joke about how you say or do something to get your attention. It’s their way of flirting without being vulnerable and telling you outright that they like you. 

This type of flirtatiousness is meant to be fun, and if you have feelings for them too, then you should reciprocate. 

Just remember, teasing is not meant to be demeaning or insensitive, so if you feel uncomfortable with how they speak to you, let them know that it’s unacceptable. 

In addition to teasing you, someone who’s hiding their feelings uses phrases in conversation that are very telling. 

If they invite you out and you let them down, they might respond with “Don’t worry about it” or “It’s nothing.” If you delve a little deeper, you’ll discover that they use these phrases to bury their hurt and disappointment. 

5) They become tongue-tied, trying to impress you

Some say it’s part of our biology, while others believe it’s just our emotions getting the better of us, but getting tongue-tied happens when we’re around someone we find attractive. 

Getting tongue-tied means stumbling over your words or failing to speak because you’re too embarrassed or shy. The harder you try to impress the other person, the more you clam up and struggle to express yourself. 

It happens when you become overwhelmed by social anxiety. 

So, if you’re unsure about the way someone feels about you, look for moments of awkwardness. 

I know from personal experience that when I get tongue-tied, I struggle to complete sentences, and I blush profusely over the smallest things. 

It’s not something they can control, and the more they try to impress you, the more they seem to say all the wrong things! You get the impression that they’re just being silly without realizing that they get nervous and easily embarrassed around you. 

6) They want to learn more about you

If you’ve ever been around someone who seems to ask endless questions about your likes and dislikes, it could be because they’re attracted to you. 

Rather than tell you how they truly feel, they find ways of getting to know you so they can figure out whether you share hobbies, values, and general interests. This also makes it easier to talk to you because they’re learning how to be more relatable. 

You aren’t going to ask someone about their life goals if you aren’t interested in them!  

Sometimes, they might be unaware that they’re asking so many questions, but they’re driven by a natural desire to connect with you. 

My only advice is to ease into a relationship and not share too much personal information from the get-go. 

Manipulators like to lay on the charm and get you to trust them rather quickly. When you divulge, they’ll use this information against you to control the relationship. 

In addition to being curious about you, look for other signs such as open body language, shyness, and mirroring to avoid being trapped by someone who has a hidden agenda. 

7) They get jealous when you pay attention to someone else. 

It’s incredibly difficult to hide jealousy. No matter how hard you try, some signs reveal what you’re truly thinking and feeling. 

If someone’s trying to hide their feelings for you, they’ll get jealous when anyone else gives you attention. 

It comes from a place of insecurity and frustration. 

They can’t tell you how they feel because they’re unsure as to whether you’re interested in more than friendship. It’s a matter of confidence and not being emotionally strong or courageous enough to handle rejection. 

So how do you know that someone who’s hiding their feelings for you is jealous? 

A few telltale signs of envy include their lack of support for new relationships and being highly critical of potential romantic pursuits. 

It’s normal to feel a little bit envious when the person you share a connection with is enjoying the company of someone else. But if a friend or acquaintance becomes possessive and makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s a red flag, and it’s probably time to walk away. 

8) They change the tone of their voice

The obvious signs of attraction include a preoccupation with one’s appearance and sultry stares, but what if your tone of voice was another factor? 

According to a psychological study involving vocal change and physical attractiveness, a lower tone of voice, particularly in men, was associated with a positive physiological response when speaking to someone attractive. 

Men and women change the tone of their voices when they communicate with a person they find physically desirable. 

Men usually lower their voices and speak slowly, while women use a higher pitch in the presence of someone they find attractive. 

9) They always make time for you

Someone who is keeping their feelings for you a secret will drop everything to help you when you need them. 

Whether it’s in response to a text message or assisting with an emergency, they’re always there for you. 

I can tell you that anyone willing to show that level of commitment deeply cares about you and wants you to see how loyal and loving they are. 

Last words

You might question the way your friend looks at you or why they seem overly protective when you’re dating new people, but these behaviors could stem from their secret crush on you. 

When someone hides their feelings for you, they find it challenging to be honest about your bond or their desire to start a relationship with you. 

They don’t want to lose you, so they try their best to conceal their true emotions, but when romantic feelings are involved, the things they say and do leave you questioning their intentions. 

If you’re in a situation where you suspect someone close to you likes you beyond a platonic relationship, consider the signs I’ve mentioned above. 

Hopefully, they can provide much-needed clarity so that you can move forward with a friendship or an everlasting relationship. 

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