Figuring out whether or not someone likes you can be quite tricky, especially when they’re giving you mixed signals. But one recent study focusing on how to know if someone likes you psychology has made it a little clearer.
Associate professor of psychology R. Matthew Montoya from the University of Dayton identified a list of nonverbal behaviours that indicate attraction. “There is a specific suite of behaviours associated with liking, and this same set of behaviours can be found in cultures from around the world,” he said in a release.
How to Know If Someone Likes You Psychology: What Science Says
Regardless of the culture, these behaviours were found to be related to attraction:
1. Making eye contact
Sure, maintaining eye contact is seen as simply polite in some cultures, but people who are attracted to you will maintain a special kind of eye contact. They do this subconsciously because they’re interested in you and they want to learn more about you.
2. Smiling and laughing
Being around someone you’re attracted to releases plenty of happy hormones, which obviously makes you smile and laugh more. But of course, the person could just be a smiley person by default.
3. Initiating conversation
“When we like someone, we act in ways to get them to trust us,” Montoya said. “From this perspective, we engage in behaviours to increase the degree of overlap, interdependence, and commitment to an agreement.”
Initiating conversation helps establish a relationship with the other person, so if someone you know is always trying to rope you into a conversation, that’s a good indication that they’re attracted to you.
4. Maintaining physical proximity
Someone who’s attracted to us will probably stay close to us physically whenever possible. This doesn’t mean that they get touchy — though some people do this as well.
While the above behaviours apply to cultures around the world, the following behaviours were found to be related to attraction in Western cultures:
5. Mimicking behaviours
We sometimes subconsciously mirror our loved one’s behaviours to communicate compatibility. If you notice yourself picking up someone’s mannerisms, that could mean that you’ve got a thing for them.
6. Head nodding
Like smiling and laughing, head nodding signifies agreement and compatibility, which is why many people nod their heads when listening to someone they like talking.
Funnily enough, the study on how to know if someone likes you psychology found that the following behaviours that have been long thought to be indicators of attraction are, in fact, not related to it at all:
- Hair flipping
- Eyebrow lifting
- Head tilting
- Maintaining open body posture
- Leaning in
- Primping clothes
The more you know, right?