7 signs someone secretly dislikes you, according to psychology


Let me tell you a secret.


There are people out there who dislike you.

Ouch. I know. Everyone’s ego takes a hit when we realize that not everyone views us in a positive light.

What helps me in those uncomfortable moments of self-doubt, however, is to remember that it is basically impossible for every single person on planet Earth to love me.

Some people just aren’t on the same wavelength. And that’s okay.

Still, though – it’s helpful to be able to recognize if someone secretly dislikes you so that you can either talk to them about it or make your peace with the situation.

Here are the 7 signs someone doesn’t like you very much.

1) They remain cold and detached in your presence

It probably comes as no surprise that positive rapport between people is often established through smiling, laughter, exchanging compliments, and expressing some sort of affection.

Ever heard of positivity resonance?

It’s what happens when two people express their positive feelings, thereby multiplying their shared happiness.

If someone secretly dislikes you, it’s the complete opposite of that. There is no shared laughter, no compliments or words of support.

This is because the person in question is simply not interested in forming a deeper connection with you.

They stick to surface-level small talk, they don’t show more emotions than necessary, and they hide their true selves behind polite formalities.

Of course, things are never black-and-white – sometimes, a person who seems detached at first could be a bit shy and may potentially need more time to come out of their shell.

In general, though, emotional detachment and coldness are rarely a good sign.

2) Their personality switches from cold to warm once they’re around other people

The best way to tell the difference between someone who’s shy and someone who just doesn’t like you very much is to observe how they act when you’re out of the picture.

Are they cold only when talking to you specifically? Do they laugh and make jokes with others while you watch from across the room? Do other people have a completely different experience of this person than you do?

If your answer to these questions is yes, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this person might have a bone to pick with you.

However, do keep in mind that while they could definitely just dislike you for who you are, the chance of that is extremely small.

Most people don’t go around disliking people left and right. More often than not, they have a specific reason, which could be born of wrong assumptions or misunderstandings.

Therefore, it might be a good idea to try and talk to them about it.

3) Their body language is closed off

Just because someone dislikes you in secret doesn’t mean their body language isn’t going to give them away.

In fact, our bodies make up a huge percentage of all communication, which means that knowing how to read other people’s movements, gestures, and expressions is a great perk that can help you see through people more easily.

If someone’s body language is closed off, it means they either don’t like you very much, are intimidated by you and are trying to reduce their presence, are closed off to getting to know you more, or feel uncomfortable.

And since non-verbal communication is a very complex science, there are plenty of other meanings hidden behind closed postures and gestures.

This is why it’s important to take the following signs with a grain of salt. It all depends on the context.

Alright, here goes…

Closed-off body language is characterized by:

  • Crossed arms or legs
  • Sitting in a rigid position
  • Leaning away from someone
  • Frowning or a lack of smiling
  • Feet turned away from the person you’re talking to

4) They don’t invite you to group events

Imagine there’s a party going on, and while everyone else from your friend group is invited, you’re kind of just… left out.

Ouch. Shady.

If a particular person doesn’t invite you to come along to group events, be it house parties, dinners with friends, networking retreats, or celebrations, it’s a clear sign they either purposely decided not to invite you or you didn’t even cross their mind.

The first signals dislike and the latter indifference.

Whilst there is definitely a difference between the two, it all boils down to this: the person in question doesn’t have strong enough feelings for you to actively choose to hang out.

And you know what?

That’s okay. Not everyone is our cup of tea. If you’re not invited somewhere, you might just as well have a blast doing something else.

5) They make passive-aggressive remarks

Moving on to the most obvious sign on our list, say hello to…

Passive aggression, aka, the art of bombastic side-eyes and eye-rolls.

Yep, if someone acts in a passive-aggressive manner around you, I’m sorry to break it to you but it means they probably aren’t your number one fan.

According to licensed therapist Loriann Oberlin MS, LCPC, passive aggression includes:

  • Silent treatment
  • Rolling eyes
  • Obstructing what people want
  • Scorekeeping
  • Sulking
  • Black-and-white thinking

…and more. She explains that passive aggression has some very negative long-term consequences for our relationships, often leading to grudges, misunderstandings, and anger.

If one of your friends, colleagues, or family members keeps giving you a passive-aggressive attitude, it means something’s up.

Try to talk to them about it. And if that doesn’t work out, remember that your own peace of mind is of the utmost importance. Look after your own well-being first and foremost.

6) They never reach out first

Another way to tell someone dislikes you is that they simply never initiate contact unless necessary.

Like, ever.

Here’s a small exercise for you – try to look at the relationship from a bird’s-eye perspective and ask yourself, “If I stopped putting in effort, would the relationship still function? Or would it completely fizzle out?”

If it dawns on you that you’re the only one carrying the whole relationship on your shoulders, it might be time to take a step back and see if the other person picks up the slack.

If they don’t…

They either don’t care enough or they aren’t really keen on being in regular contact with you.

7) Your gut instinct is telling you something’s off

Final advice?

Listen to your gut feeling.

Sure, you might be overthinking it. Sure, it’s possible that you’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

In many cases, however, those worries that keep swirling in your head are rooted in some sort of truth – you’re just too afraid or too confused to admit it to yourself.

If that little voice of intuition is telling you that something’s wrong, there’s a high chance that there really is more to your relationship with this person than meets the eye.

They may not necessarily dislike you – they could just be upset about a specific issue or too busy to give you the time of day – but things probably aren’t as pitch-perfect as you’d like them to be.

And that’s enough to warrant a genuine discussion that will allow you the space to air your grievances, ask for clarification, sort out your differences, and hopefully come to some resolution.

Before you go, though, remember that not every relationship needs fixing. Sometimes, people are simply on different wavelengths, and that’s alright.

You don’t need to be friends with everyone. As long as you have your inner circle of people who love you for who you are… that’s all that matters.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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