6 signs someone secretly dislikes you, according to psychology

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

We’ve all heard the term frenemy… 

But how do you know when someone you thought was a friend is actually a secret hater or foe?

Fear not.

Some subtle clues can provide you with much-needed clarity and insight. 

And with the help of psychology, you can spot the signs before you get in too deep. 

Do any of these six behaviors sound familiar to you? If so, chances are, someone secretly dislikes you.

1) You’re always the first to reach out 

Do you have that one “friend” who never reaches out (or replies)?

Now that you think about it…

You’re always the one to make the first move and include them in plans (if not, they’ll get mad). 

But somehow they’re always busy, have a long-winded excuse, or worse, leave you unread. 

And if they do finally decide to get back to you, it’s usually because they need something like money or a helping hand. 

It’s like they have no interest in getting to know you unless it benefits them.

Here’s the thing.

It sounds to me like you have a one-sided friendship, and psychologists agree. 

What’s more, psychology TikToker, Josh Fraser Young, claims that it’s a clear sign that someone secretly dislikes you. 

He makes the point, that nowadays, “people are on their phones 24/7.” Therefore, “If someone wants to contact you, they will.”

2) They’re physically distant

You arrive a little early to meet up with your group of friends. No one’s there apart from that one guy…

You know, who. 

That same guy who gives you the cold shoulder each and every time he sees you. 

Sure, he waves and says “Hi.” But his body language tells a completely different story – it’s forced. 

He never really talks to you unless you’re in a group.

And even then (whether it’s intentional or not) he seems cold, dismissive, and closed off

So much so, you can feel the tension in the room. 

For some reason (unbeknownst to you), he does everything in his power to put some physical distance between you both. It’s as though he doesn’t want to be there – or perhaps, just not with you!

Well, this is another sign he might secretly dislike you.

Let me explain…

Communication is made up of a series of verbal and non-verbal cues. In fact, according to the 7-38-55 rule, only 7% is made up of words alone.

The rest is through things such as pitch, cadence, facial expressions, and (you guessed it) body language. 

For example…

Maybe they cross their arms, point their feet (or torso) away from you, roll their eyes, or avoid eye contact altogether. They even do the dreaded “side duck-lip stretch.”

All of this points to discomfort and disdain. 

3) They’re overly polite

Good manners are important. I’m sure your parents told you that. 

But is there such a thing as being too polite and cordial?

According to experts, there might be. 

Research shows, that when someone uses excessive social niceties it can come across as superficial and insincere

Especially if your conversations never go beyond surface-level topics. 

The truth is, they’re most likely trying to overcompensate. And the same goes for that fake smile.

But it’s not all bad news. 

Psychology expert Austin J. reveals that responding with something either “superficially polite” or “subtly insulting,” can provide some much-needed insight.

In other words, it lets you know if they secretly dislike you (or not).

It’s a technique he’s coined “startling the snakes.”

The theory goes

That if you compliment a friend’s outfit, they’ll appreciate it. But if they’re a “secret enemy,” they’ll “interpret this negatively and lash out.”

This, he says, “will indicate their true feelings” towards you. 

4) They make snide (passive-aggressive) remarks

We’ve mentioned non-verbal cues (i.e. body language) but what about the vocal ones…

I’m talking about those loosely veiled insults known as backhanded compliments (or left-handed compliments).

But unlike superficial politeness, this insincere adulation isn’t about overcompensation or feelings of guilt. Instead, this reeks of passive (micro) aggression and contempt. 

You just might not realize it.

The truth is…

Some people are so good at dressing up these subtle snubs, that they can easily go over someone’s head (even yours). 

Especially if these comments appear to be helpful or genuine on the surface. 

So, how can you tell when that praise also comes with a (sneaky) side critique? 

Well, according to experts it’s all about how they make you feel. And if that “compliment” leaves you questioning that person’s intent, there’s a good chance it wasn’t meant to be nice

Moreover, they might secretly dislike you.

5) They try to one-up you (and point out your flaws)

We all know someone who can’t help but one-up you every chance they get by downplaying your achievements.

Perhaps they actively ”joke” about your flaws or make indirect statements that are rude or mean.

It’s annoying, to say the least.

What’s more, it’s designed to undermine you

Usually, it’s a sign of insecurity and jealousy – a defense mechanism.

But more than that, it could indicate that someone secretly dislikes you. 

6) You constantly get your wires crossed 

Here’s the problem – they don’t actively listen to you. 

As a result, even when you’re seemingly making the same point, somehow you’re at loggerheads and unable to agree on anything. 

It’s as though you’re both on completely different wavelengths, destined to never (quite) see eye to eye. 

And that’s because they don’t value your opinions or feelings. 

Something which psychologists say, is a clear indication that they simply don’t care. 

Ultimately, they have a negative perception of you. So, whatever you have to say (correct or not), they’ve already made their mind up about you and your thoughts. 

Therefore, they readily dismiss (or outright ignore) you without a second thought. To them, it’s simply not worth the effort

So there you have it. Six signs someone secretly dislikes you with the psychology to back it up! How many did you recognize?

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

People who are truly happy in their marriage usually practice these 11 daily habits

21 warning signs your introversion is turning into harmful isolation