When we meet new people, we form first impressions really fast without even realizing it. Some people immediately win our trust and fondness; others make us feel uncomfortable without any obvious reason.
Therefore, you may want to know if someone you just met likes you or not. Whether we talk about sexual attraction or a friendly interest, there are indicators that betray dislike.
So how to tell if someone doesn’t like you? All it takes is to observe their body language. People’s words and even faces can lie, but their bodies always reveal their true feelings.
12 Body Language Signs Someone Doesn’t Like You
1. They make little or no eye contact
Eye contact is a huge predictor of attraction and interest. When we like someone, we tend to use every opportunity to look them in the eye. It’s our unconscious way to show that we are interested in what they are saying.
Therefore, when we don’t like someone, we will do the opposite. Our eye contact will be too short or even non-existent. The person who doesn’t like you will prefer to look elsewhere.
2. They turn away
Another important cue is someone’s body position. Are they leaning toward you or is their body oriented away?
When we like and trust someone, we feel comfortable in their company and lean towards them. When the opposite is true, we instinctively turn away.
Body language expert and former FBI agent Joe Navarro says that these subtle behaviors are controlled by our brains’ limbic system that is responsible for our survival and safety.
Our belly is an extremely vulnerable area where many vital organs are located, so we subconsciously try to protect it. This is why we turn our belly away from someone we dislike or mistrust.
3. They keep a distance
Another obvious sign someone doesn’t like you is that they are trying to distance themselves from you. It means that they will avoid touching you or getting close to you.
Of course, if you just met someone, it makes sense to keep a safe distance. After all, you don’t know this person and are unsure whether you can trust them or not, so this behavior is reasonable.
But if someone you’ve known for a while seems to distance themselves from you, especially when you are trying to get closer to them, it’s a huge sign they don’t like you.
It’s another unconscious behavior that aims to protect us from something or someone we don’t trust.
4. They keep their arms crossed
Crossed arms betray closed body language, which often translates to disagreement and disapproval. Of course, sometimes closed body language can also betray a reserved personality and insecurity. So you should be careful with this one.
However, if you repeatedly notice that someone crosses their arms when you speak, it could be a sign of dislike. This person’s body says, “I don’t agree with you, I don’t like what you are saying”.
5. They point their feet away
According to Joe Navarro, someone’s feet and legs reveal their true feelings more than anything else. People can fake their facial expressions, but they can’t control their feet and legs when they are distressed or uncomfortable.
Say that you just got to a social gathering. You are approaching a group of people to say hello and have a chat. Watch their feet. Are they turning toward you as soon as these people see you? Or do they remain still or are pointed away from you?
People can fake their smiles and say social niceties just to look polite. But if they don’t like you, their bodies and feet will be oriented away from you, and they can’t help it.
So if you suspect that someone doesn’t like you, observe their feet when you approach them or talk to them.
6. They don’t nod when you talk
Nodding your head is another indicator of interest and approval. We subconsciously move our heads up and down as the other person talks if we approve and agree with their words. It also shows that we are paying attention and are actively involved in the conversation.
When someone dislikes you or what you say, their neck will be stiff. Or they may simply be bored and not follow at all. In either case, they won’t nod when you talk.
This body language cue translates into “I don’t agree with/care about what you say” or “I don’t find this conversation interesting”.
7. They constantly check their phone/watch or look at their feet
When you like someone, you are interested in what they have to say and are fully engaged in the conversation. You show it with the nonverbal cues we already discussed above such as nodding your head, leaning toward the person, and maintaining eye contact.
But when you are bored and find the other person dull or annoying, you will focus your attention on anything else but them.
For example, you may check your phone all the time to see if there are any texts or notifications from social media. Or you may constantly look at your watch without even realizing it. If you are bored, you may also look at your feet and think about something else instead of listening to the other person.
If someone behaves this way when you talk, then they probably don’t like you. Alternatively, they are indifferent and feel bored in your company.
8. Their pupils constrict
How to tell if someone doesn’t like you? Look at their pupils. It’s a well-known fact that our pupils dilate when we see something or someone we like. So when the opposite happens, they constrict.
However, it may be quite difficult to catch this nonverbal cue, especially if the other person doesn’t make much eye contact. But if you manage to see that their pupils constrict when they look at you, it’s a sign they don’t find you interesting or attractive.
9. Their feet stand steadily on the ground
Navarro explains that when we feel comfortable and relaxed, we tend to cross our legs. When the opposite is true, we keep our feet steadily on the ground. We do it because we want to be able to run away at any given second.
Once again, it’s our limbic brains that govern these behaviors. When we feel uncomfortable around someone, our bodies are tense, and our subconscious gets us ready for fighting or running away. To get away from the perceived threat, we also need to keep our feet firmly down.
So if someone doesn’t like you, they won’t feel relaxed in your company, and this is why they also won’t cross their legs.
10. Their body language is unresponsive
When we are interested in someone, we unconsciously mirror their body language. Just like nodding our heads or looking them in the eye, it’s a way to show that we follow with what the person is saying.
If someone doesn’t find you appealing or interesting, they won’t mirror you. You may change your body position and move your hands as you talk, but the person will remain still.
It is also an indicator that they don’t empathize with you. We tend to feel empathy for the people who seem similar to us in one or another way.
So if someone’s body language is unresponsive, they might believe that they have nothing in common with you.
11. They don’t smile
Another one of the telling signs someone doesn’t like you is that he or she doesn’t smile at you. And even when they do, it looks more like a fake smirk.
Experts say that when we are interested in someone, we tend to show our upper teeth while smiling. It’s another behavior that happens subconsciously and betrays trust and appeal toward someone.
Then there are also a few facial expressions that can help you tell a fake smile from a genuine one.
For example, if the person smiles, but their eyes don’t sparkle with joy, then most likely, they are faking it. The same is true if their eyes remain wide open. A genuine smile involves both the muscles of the mouth and those of the eyes.
So if someone smiles only with their mouth while their eyes remain indifferent, they are pretending to enjoy your company. In reality, they probably don’t find you interesting or funny.
12. Communication feels forced
Want to know how to tell if someone doesn’t like you? Pay attention to your own emotional responses.
The feeling you get when you spend time together is another nonverbal cue that reveals whether the person likes you or not. Do you feel comfortable, relaxed, and free to express your opinion? Does the conversation flow easily?
Or do you have a feeling that communication is forced and the other person doesn’t really want to talk to you?
Yes, it’s quite a subjective emotional experience. But if you listen carefully to your own gut instincts, you will feel the difference between someone who genuinely enjoys your company and someone who just pretends to.
When you get a vague feeling that someone doesn’t want to be here with you and doesn’t enjoy the conversation, there is probably an actual basis behind it. So don’t ignore this feeling.
These are some of the body language cues that reveal dislike and disapproval. I hope this information helps you make better sense of other people’s attitudes toward you so that you don’t find yourself in the wrong company.