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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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