10 subtle signs that people think you’re attractive, according to psychology

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There are a lot of mixed signals out there, particularly in the world of dating and romance. 

Does she like you for real? Does that guy think you’re hot or is he just being friendly?

It can be hard to determine whether a person really finds you attractive or whether they’re just a bit flirtatious or kind to everyone. To find out the truth, it’s necessary to go a bit below the surface to look at the subtle (and unfakeable) signs of attraction. 

Do you want to know if somebody’s really feeling you or they’re just trying to make you feel good and be “nice?”

Here are the signs they’re attracted to you for real, no matter how low-key they play their cards in your interactions. 

1) They get closer (literally)

Never underestimate physical proximity. 

It’s so basic that many people miss out on this most subtle but basic sign that somebody finds you attractive:

They sit, stand or walk close to you. 

Regardless of what they say or do, their body language is saying they’re comfortable with you and find you attractive.

As psychologist Jeremy Nicholson, M.S.W., Ph.D. writes:

“When someone is interested in you, they tend to have open and forward body language. 

They may take a few minutes to warm up, but you should see them lean in and get a bit more animated in their movements as they get into the conversation.”

2) They make eye contact

The eyes are the windows to the soul, and they also indicate a lot about how somebody feels towards you

Not only do pupils tend to dilate when somebody is attracted to you, but they also make eye contact with you. 

At the very least, they are rarely the first one to break eye contact with you when the two of you are looking at each other. 

This is a sign that they find you attractive, after all we all want to keep looking at something or somebody we find beautiful.  When you notice somebody keeps looking at you, there’s almost always a reason why. 

“If the person you’re with maintains eye contact, they like you,” advises behavioral analyst Jack Schafer, Ph.D.

There is an exception to the eye contact rule…

3) They excessively avoid eye contact

On the flipside of making eye contact a lot is avoiding eye contact a lot. 

Somebody who is insecure, shy or embarrassed about their attraction to you will often avoid looking at you. 

If somebody is studiously avoiding looking at you it means they are either very attracted to you or upset at you or dislike you for some reason. They may be very upset and avoiding looking at everyone, too. 

But there is rarely a neutral reason for a person avoiding your gaze

If an otherwise pleasant-seeming and well-balanced individual always seems to look away shyly when you glance at them and avoid your gaze, make no mistake:

They may well be attracted to you, in just the same way as somebody who always seems to be looking at you. 

As relationship expert Sylvia Smith explains:

“Avoiding it may suggest the individual is feeling self-conscious or unsure about how to act around the woman. 

Additionally, it could be a sign of attraction as some people tend to look away when they feel overwhelmed by someone’s presence.”

4) They listen to you closely

In addition to making eye contact a lot or avoiding it, another key but subtle sign that somebody is interested in you is that they listen to you closely. 

They seem to hang on your every word, even if they’re not contributing to the conversation or adding anything. 

They listen closely and seem to respect your words more than most. They give weight to what you say that goes above and beyond how much they do to other people. 

This is a classic sign of subtle attraction: they admire you and really love hearing what you say and paying attention to it closely. It’s not something they do for everyone. 

Which brings me to the next point…

5) Mirroring your actions

When somebody is subtly attracted to you, they will often mirror your behavior and actions without even realizing it. 

On the body language level this can include having a similar posture to you, making similar gestures and nodding or other behaviors that you are doing. 

At the verbal level it often manifests as using words and phrases that you use or echoing subjects you bring up and letting you set the frame of what’s being talked about and why. 

You lead, they follow (they mirror!)

As psychology writer By Farrah Daniel explains

“When someone is attracted to you, they’ll subconsciously adopt some of your mannerisms and behaviors. 

To create a bond or feel more aligned with you, your love interest might hold their coffee cup like you, use the same phrases you do, or even mimic your stance.”

6) Small touches

Small, affectionate touches are common in many cultures and workplaces on a friendly level. 

But they can sometimes mean more than that, particularly if it’s a person who you’re wondering about in terms of whether they’re attracted to you. 

They may pat you lightly on the shoulder, let their touch linger after shaking hands or put a supportive hand on your forearm. 

A kind rub of the back during a hug or making excuses to hug and get physically close are also subtle examples of seeking out closer contact with you. This is what a person does when they are attracted to you: they try to touch you. 

“When someone is attracted to you, they will likely find some excuse to touch you more and will be more receptive to your touch as well,” notes Nicholson.

7) They’re always on fleek around you

Some people just look their best whenever possible and get all fixed up whenever they leave their home (or even at home!)

But a classic subtle sign that somebody likes you is that they are just a tiny bit extra dolled up or coiffed around you…

You can see that a little bit of extra attention has gone into their appearance and it’s not just your imagination. 

This is especially true if you notice them extra concerned with their appearance and details of their appearance when they’re around you. 

“You might catch someone who’s attracted to you fixing their hair often when they’re around you, applying makeup, or checking their reflection. You may also notice that they always try to dress their best for you,” points out dating coach and former psychiatric nurse Cher Gopman.

8) They ask you questions about yourself

Another subtle sign that somebody is attracted to you is that they ask you questions about yourself. 

These questions may be under the rubric of professional curiosity or conversation on a shared interest or hobby:

But if you notice that the questions skew sharply towards you personally rather than the topic at hand, it’s often a sign that they’re very much attracted to you. 

The conversation interests them too, of course, but the most interesting of all to this person is the chance to get to know more about the object of their affection. 

As psychology writer Vanessa van Edwards asks:

“When you are with this person, do they ask you deep questions and truly want to understand you, or do they just graze the surface with boring social scripts?”

9) They drop their relationship status

This is a clever strategy that many people use to fend off somebody they’re not interested in who they’re talking to…

“Well yeah, my boyfriend always likes to…” or “my girlfriend loves that band,” and so on.

The opposite case is also true, and a person who finds you attractive may find ways to subtly drop in their relationship status to a conversation or interaction with you.

It’s not always that obvious, but may be more indirect along the lines of “yeah, the dating scene sure is rough these days,” and comments like that. 

As Brightside notes:

“If they ‘randomly’ insert in your conversation that they’re currently not dating anybody, you should pay attention to it. They very well may have a reason behind saying that.”

10) They subtly try to find out what you think of them 

When a person is attracted to you, they have one main question in mind:

Are you attracted to them, too

To find out, they will subtly try to find out what you think of them. This is because if they’re smart they know that sexual and romantic interest is (sadly) often unrequited. 

As Nicholson observes:

“The research also indicates that more individual biases creep in too, with both men and women projecting their own level of sexual or commitment interest on a partner as well.”

For this reason, somebody who’s interested in you will want to avoid assuming you feel the same and will try to ask questions to find out whether you’re single and what you think of them.

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