Stolen touches and secret glances: nothing gets the heart racing like a workplace romance. Do you have a budding love story on your hands?
Things to know
- Body language can reveal a person's true thoughts and feelings, and is often more reliable than verbal communication.
- Reading body language well requires good observation skills, which can be developed over time by increasing awareness, considering context, looking for multiple cues, establishing baseline behaviors, understanding comfort vs. discomfort and relying on less conventional cues like the movement of legs and feet.
- Research shows that the most powerful non-verbal cues come from body parts that are less expected, such as legs and feet, as these movements are involuntary and hard to control consciously.
Here's what we'll be looking at to help you figure out if the office hottie likes you:
- The Power Of Body Language
- The Science Behind Non-Verbal Communication
- How To Read Body Language
- Powerful Signs Of Male Attraction
- 7 Signs He Finds You Attractive
- Body Language Of An Uninterested Man
- He Likes You, Now What?
The Power Of Body Language
Body language can help you understand his true thoughts. His facial expressions, gestures, touching, body movements, and the tone of his voice are all-powerful non-verbal cues. According to experts, these unconscious non-verbal cues tend to be more reliable than verbal communication.
He might be careful with his words, especially if he’s a shy guy. But he probably isn’t aware of the non-verbal clues he’s sending out. So, how he feels about you lies in the little things he does when he's around you.
The Science Behind Non-Verbal Communication
What’s the science behind the non-verbal cues we’re unaware of? It’s all got to do with the limbic brain. Whenever we’re faced with a situation, the limbic brain sends signals to the body telling us what to do.
These signals are difficult to hide because they happen automatically. This is why the limbic brain is called the ‘honest brain.’ It instinctively reacts to all our senses and emotions, making it difficult for us to hide how we truly feel to the keen eye.
How To Read Body Language
Reading body language well requires good observation skills. Just like all other skills, observation skills can be developed over time. Experts recommend doing these things to improve your skills:
Increase your awareness
If you want to get better at reading people, start by being more aware of your surroundings and the people around you. You can also get up to speed on some of the most common non-verbal cues.
Observing cues without considering the context isn’t exactly helpful. Try to be mindful of the typical non-verbal behaviors associated with certain settings or situations. What kind of body language would you expect to see in professional settings? How would it differ from more personal settings?
Look for multiple tells
For greater accuracy, look for multiple tells. Consider a person's body movements and facial gestures.
Pay attention to the tone and pitch of their voice. Observe how they make use of space and the objects around them. Is their body language consistent with what they're saying?
Establish baseline behaviors
When interacting with people, try to figure out their ‘baseline’ behaviors. Pay attention to their posture and their typical facial expressions.
This will help you pick up on any changes in their thoughts, emotions, or intent. Just remember to be subtle about it. You don't want people to feel uncomfortable around you.
Understand comfort vs. discomfort
Ask yourself if what you’re reading from someone is comfort or discomfort. Are they exuding positive or nervous energy? Generally, being able to tell the difference between the two will help you recognize the most important cues.
Rely on less conventional cues
Now that you know why body language is a great way to tell how he feels about you, what should you look out for? Is it his face, his eyes, or perhaps his hands? The answer might shock you.
According to research, the most powerful non-verbal cues come from the body parts we’d least expect, like our legs and feet. This is because, from a young age, we’re trained to ‘fix’ our faces to conceal our true feelings.
Long before our verbal language evolved, our feet helped us flee from threats. Today, we can still see remnants of our past. The movement of our feet is involuntary and honest.
When our feet turn away from someone, we’re disinterested and want to get away. Contrastingly, when we bounce on our feet or wiggle them, we’re signaling excitement. Crossed or uncrossed legs can signal comfort or discomfort. Clues from the legs and feet tend to travel up the body, making them accurate indicators of how we truly feel.
Powerful Signs Of Male Attraction
Before we get into deciphering male body language, here are some of the most powerful signs of male attraction:
Availability is one of the most significant signs a man likes you. Does he spend more time at your desk than at his? A man who's interested in you will try and spend as much time with you as he can.
Look for subtle signs like going the extra mile to help you with certain tasks. When it comes to team projects, do you always end up working together? He might even insist that you have coffee together or that you take your lunch breaks at the same time. Either way, he'll make sure you're inseparable.
Does he keep inviting you out for drinks after work? Is he overly interested in your weekends? If he keeps trying to make plans with you outside of work, take that as a clear sign he’s attracted to you.
If he likes you, he'll make excuses to talk to you. He won't stick to the usual social scripts or office gossip. He'll ask a lot of personal questions.
He might not be too direct about it, but he’ll find ways of asking you about your love life or your relationship status. If he wants to know more about what you did over the weekend or who you spent time with, he's sending a clear signal that he's interested.
We tend to be emotionally vulnerable around people we like. This strengthens our emotional connection and makes establishing a romantic relationship possible. His level of emotional vulnerability can let you in on his intentions and feelings. If he wants to build a strong emotional connection with you, he likes you.
He might share personal details or confide in you. If he sees you as a close friend rather than a coworker, he'll be more open about his personal life. He'll want to know more about yours too.
4. Emotional attentiveness
Is he attentive when you’re around? Does he notice when you're in a lousy mood and encourage you to talk about it? If he’s the first person to notice when you’re going through a slump, you can be sure he’s paying close attention to you.
When he talks to you, is he fully engaged and interested in what you have to say? Look out for the tilt of his head when you speak. This shows engagement. If he's into you, he'll want to know more about you, and he'll remember every little detail you share with him.
Signs He Finds You Attractive
Generally, a man who likes you and finds you attractive will want to convey his attractiveness too. From an evolutionary perspective, this is driven by the innate desire to signal his suitability as a mate.
His body language will communicate availability and fertility. He will smile, keep an open stance and give you his undivided attention. Keep an eye out for other common male body language signs such as:
5. Body positioning
If he likes you, he'll stand up straight, square his shoulders and display his hands more often. Look out for where his body is angled. If it's turned towards you, he's fronting. This signals attraction and interest. He's saying, ‘I'm here, and I've got my sights set on you.’
Watch out for the flirting power pose. This is when he stands tall with his hands on his hips. He's accentuating his physical size and conveying sexual attraction. It’s also a pointing gesture. When we're attracted to someone, we tend to use our hands to 'point' at our best assets and where we'd like to be touched.
6. Eye contact
Do his eyes always find you in a room full of people? Does his gaze linger? When a man is genuinely attracted to you, he’ll make intense eye contact.
If his smile reaches his eyes, you've got a winner. It means he's genuinely happy to be around you. If his pupils are dilated, he likes you. Pupil dilation is a brain response to being attracted to someone. Pay close attention to how much time he spends looking at you. If he spends a lot of time looking from your eyes to your nose and lips, he's definitely into you.
If he drops his gaze and makes a pattern from your eyes to your chest, he's doing what's known as intimate gazing. Studies show that a man’s gaze will often move between a woman's face, chest area, and midsection if he is romantically attracted to her.
We mirror the behavior of those we like—even subconsciously. Mirroring is when you copy how someone speaks or when you mimic their behavior. Look out for subtle things like him using the same words as you. If the way he speaks mirrors your own style, he likes you.
Make a note of the pitch and tone of his voice. If his voice drops in pitch when he talks to you, he's showing off his masculinity and that he finds you sexually attractive. Consider his body movements too. Does he shift when you shift? Does he smile when you smile? When you frown, does he follow suit? If he does, he’s signaling strong interest.
Proxemics is a fancy word for space. You can tell a lot about how someone feels about you by the amount of space they keep from you. Your personal space is between 0 and 18 inches from your face. If he gets pretty close (in a non-threatening way), he likes you.
Leaning in is another subtle way of communicating that he wants to be close to you. If he claims your space by draping an arm over your chair or shoulders, he's attracted to you.
9. Physical touch
If he finds excuses to touch you, he's into you. Perhaps his touch lingers when you shake hands. If you are past handshakes, maybe he greets you with a firm, warm hug that lasts longer than 2 seconds. Watch out for the subtle brush of your hand as he's handing something over. He might place his hand on your back while opening the door for you.
He might rest his hand on your shoulder while showing you something on your computer. If you notice that he seems to accidentally bump into you or brush past you very closely throughout the day, you have an interested man on your hands.
If he's attracted to you, he'll stroke his cheek with the back of his fingers, touch his ears or rub his chin. By rubbing his chin or the back of his neck, he's engaging in a subconscious behavior that’s meant to release pheromones.
If he tends to touch his lips, it could be a combination of nervous excitement and autoerotic touching. When we're attracted to someone, our skin (most noticeably our lips and mouth) become sensitive to touch and other stimulation.
10. Facial gestures
One of the first things you’ll notice about a man who is attracted to you is that his whole face will become more expressive. Raised brows, parted lips, flaring nostrils, and wide eyes give the face a friendly, "open" expression.
Pay attention to his face when he first sees you. Do his eyebrows rise and fall? Do his lips automatically part for a moment? Lifting his brows pulls his eyes open, making them look bright, large, and inviting. It's easy to miss, but if you do spot it, this is a clear indication that he likes you, even before he’s even registered it himself.
When you’re having a conversation, look out for his facial expression. If he’s animated, he’s interested in what you're saying. A quizzical expression signals that he finds you fascinating. If he seeks you out in group settings and immediately lights up when he sees you, he's definitely into you.
Does he look a little more well put together these days? Is he wearing a different cologne? He might be trying to impress you. Next time you're together, look out for a few preening behaviors.
Does he smooth his hair out or brush it away from his face? Do you notice him straightening his tie or fixing his collar when he approaches you? These are sure signs that he wants to look good for you.
In addition to these common preening behaviors, he might stroke his tie or smooth out a lapel. These are known as displacement activities, and they suggest that you make him a little nervous. He might even be feeling the unconscious desire to take off his jacket so you can get a better look at him.
Body Language Of An Uninterested Man
We’ve looked at all the signs he likes you. Open body language is a major green light. Closed-off body language is never a good sign.
Look out for crossed arms or anything that creates a barrier between you. Is his torso facing away from you? Is he leaning away as though to say, ‘don’t touch me’? All these cues are obvious signs of discomfort or disdain.
If he’s totally not into you, his nose might wrinkle up, and you might even see his upper teeth. His feet might be pointed towards the nearest exit, and he might flinch when you accidentally make physical contact. Take note of his facial expression. Do you occasionally catch a glimpse of a bored or flat expression? Sorry, but he’d rather be anywhere else.
If he spends lots of time with you despite his negative body language, be careful. He might be trying to deceive you. On the other hand, he could just be experiencing a bit of social anxiety.
He Likes You, Now What?
Let's be honest; when it comes to flirting, a lot can get lost in translation. There's also a thing called signal amplification bias. This is when you think that your flirting clues are obvious when they're not.
Aside from that, men read body language using a different part of the brain, meaning they aren't as good at reading body language as women. So make sure you fully understand how to appear more attractive using body language and with that in mind, try doing these things if you want him to know the feeling is mutual:
One of the best ways to let him know that you like him is to match his availability. Get in his space too, and initiate meaningful conversations. Reciprocate his energy and show him that you enjoy his company.
Don’t be shy to make the first move and invite him out somewhere. Take him up on any invitations to get to know each other outside of work.
To get things going, be open. Being open means letting him know through your actions, words, and body language that you’re interested.
Make it known that you're single and ready to mingle. It wouldn't hurt to drop a few not-so-subtle hints that you find him attractive. Pay him a compliment or two. More importantly, make him laugh. You want him to associate you with positivity.
Ensure that you aren't closing yourself off to him by crossing your arms or slouching. Stand tall and exude confidence. Make direct eye contact, smile, and stay close. When he flirts, flirt back. Show off your best features and let the attraction between you grow.