Tracey Cox reveals the 16 signs your office crush likes you
Sex expert Tracey Cox reveals the 16 SECRET signs your office crush likes you too (and how to seal the deal with a date)
- Tracey Cox shares signs to spot if you want to know if your crush is interested
- She says your crush may like you back if he is mirroring your body language
- She advises trusting your gut to know the difference between banter and flirting
Can’t stop thinking about someone in the office and desperate for them to ask you out?
If you’re under 35, the first thing you’ll do is try to flirt with them through a social media app.
Go right ahead – but good luck interpreting his behaviour simply by seeing how many ‘likes’ he gives you.
In the old days – before dating apps, when people actually met in person – we’d consciously and subconsciously read each other’s body language to find out who was interested and who wasn’t.
It’s a lost art – but a damn good one to reacquaint yourself with because body language can tell you if someone fancies you before they even know it themselves.
Not only that, you can use body language to send secret signals without ever having to be the first one to make the move.
Interested? Here’s 16 (secret) signs he’s interested.
Relationship expert Tracey Cox revealed 16 signs for interpreting how your workplace crush feels about you (file image)
How to tell if he likes you back: The good news
1-4. The top four giveaways he’s keen
His smile gets bigger when he sees you, he moves in close when you speak, leans towards you and makes eye contact.
But don’t give up if this doesn’t happen: he might be shy and you won’t be the first to interpret shyness as arrogance.
If he makes direct eye contact but then his eyes slide away, only to come back again, he’s nervous but can’t help himself looking at you.
5. His feet point directly towards you
Our feet point to where we want to go. If his point directly towards you, he’s happy staying where he is.
If his torso points towards you but his feet point towards the door, not such good news.
He’s sitting down? If he’s sitting with legs wide apart and feet firmly planted on the floor, directly facing you, he’s effectively saying, ‘Here I am. Take a good look at what’s about to be yours.’
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6. His ‘flirting triangle’ is big
Eye movement studies show we look at different parts of other people’s faces depending on the situation and level of attractiveness.
With strangers, we make a small triangle by moving our eyes from eye to eye, dipping them as we move across the bridge of the nose.
Tracey (pictured) says nervous behaviour is a sign your crush may be interested
With friends or work mates we know well, the triangle widens as our eyes drop below eye level to include the nose and mouth.
With people we’re attracted to, the triangle broadens even further, dropping below the mouth to include the breasts and body.
The more he fancies you, the more concentrated the eye contact becomes at certain parts of the triangle.
7. He’s blinking a lot
If someone looks at you and likes what they see, they tend to blink more. This is because the brain associates rapid blinking (batting our eyelashes) with finding someone sexually attractive: the more you blink at someone, the more attracted you feel to them.
This, of course, can be manipulated to your benefit.
If you blink more when talking to your crush, he’ll unconsciously try to match your blink rate, to keep in sync with you – which in turn, makes you both feel more attracted to each other!
8. He ‘squares’ when he sees you
In go our tummy’s, out goes the chest when we ‘square’ – he’s making himself look his best.
9. He hesitates when you’re around, not knowing whether to leave or stay or chat or not
This means he’s nervous but keen for contact.
10. He’s fiddling with his clothing or his hair when he sees you approach. He’s preening: we preen when we want to look our best.
Men preen by straightening their collar, smoothing clothing and smoothing or mussing their hair, depending on the style.
11. His body language mimics yours
This is called ‘mirroring’: we like people who are like us and the quickest, most effective way to bond with someone is to do what they do.
Most mirroring is done subconsciously but if you find he leans forward when you do or leans back when you do, it’s a sure-fire sign he likes you.
12. He teases you
He likes you. Men use teasing and sarcasm to show affection.
13. He tries to attract your attention
This is a very good sign. For some men, this might mean a slight shift in their chair along with a silent prayer you’ll notice the flash of movement.
Others aren’t so subtle and are practically jugging and doing handstands the second you’re in view.
Tracey revealed facial expressions such as raised eyebrows are a give away of how interested your crush is in what you’re saying (file image)
14. His eyebrows are raised when he’s talking to you
A slightly surprised, quizzical expression means he finds you fascinating. Or completely nuts.
Quite frankly, either are preferable to a man who looks at you with a smooth, relaxed brow and eyes. He simply finds you boring.
15. He stands with his hands on his hips
This accentuates his physical size and suggests body confidence.
16. He’ll lend you his coat or sweater if you’re out and about. This is a VERY clear signal he’s keen
It’s protective, sexy and an ownership gesture: ‘what’s mine is yours’, something that’s been close to my skin is now close to yours. It smelled of him to begin with and it will smell of you when you return it.
… and the bad news
1. He’s blocking.
We block to keep people in – and to keep them out by using our body (or other objects) to establish a boundary around ourselves.
If he’s crossing his arms or moves behind a desk or chair when you approach, he’s creating a barrier between you.
2. He does the opposite to you.
If he stands if you sit and/or vice versa, it’s a bad sign.
The quickest way to break a moment of intimacy is to change your body language so you’re doing the opposite to what the other person is doing.
He’s secretly wanting to walk or run away if he’s rising up and down on his heels, tapping his foot, shifting weight from foot to foot or doing any sort of leg or feet jiggling. This could be prompted by fear (he fancies you but you frighten the hell out of him) or disinterest.
Look for other signs to work out which it is.
3. He’s doing an arm cross
This usually means back off.
Some people do cross their arms for comfort, but just about all of us adopt this position when we feel defensive, protective or threatened.
If he doesn’t find you attractive and is aware you are flirting with him – and it’s unwanted – this is something he’ll do to show the attention isn’t welcome.
Tracey says a relaxed body can send of a signal that you’re happy to talk to him (file image)
How to show him you like him (and get him to ask you out)
1. Keep it simple
The average female will send out five times more sexual signals than the average man.
One study of women flirting in a bar identified no less than 52 moves women use to show men they’re interested. The average man chooses from a maximum of 10 to attract a female.
If you feel like you’re being blatantly obvious with your ‘ask me out’ signals and nothing is happening, check they include the basic stuff like smiling and making and holding eye contact. The signals he can’t possibly miss.
2. Relax your body
If you’re nervous all sorts of dire things might be happening like clenched fists, a tight jaw, rigid spine and shoulders lifted so high, they’re practically around your ears. All send a signal to him that you aren’t happy talking to him.
Try to unclench without being obvious about it and breathe. We often hold our breath when nervous, robbing the brain of oxygen makes us say even sillier things and feel faint.
3. Make sure your body language is open
Don’t stand with folded arms or hold anything – like a bag or a drink or papers – like a shield in front of you. It puts a barrier between you and them and makes you look defensive.
4. Mirror his body language
As I said earlier, mirroring body language is the single most effective flirting tool at your disposal.
Tracey recommends being aware of your facial expressions and using big smiles to show you’re pleased to see him (file image)
WHAT’S OFFICE BANTER AND WHAT’S FLIRTING?
Determining who’s just being friendly and who’s genuinely interested in you, isn’t easy.
Some guys just flirt. Some people have flirtatious personalities – they flirt with anyone and everyone and that’s just what they do. It might be that’s the way they relate to people, it might be he gets a kick out of being flirted with, taking it as a compliment.
Or it might be he’s flirting to see if you’ll take the bait, even though he’s already attached or has no intention of taking it further, purely for the ego boost.
It’s easily to tell if you’re special or not.
Answer this question: Does he behave the way he does with you and only you, or does it act like that with everyone?
Banter makes the day a bit brighter. Mildly flirting and bantering with workmates is one way to make work a bit more interesting. It doesn’t mean he’s playing with you, he’s just doing it for a bit of fun. Though sometimes there is something sinister going on…
He’s playing mind games. Sometimes, people flirt with everyone else in the room except the person they really want. They do it because they’re too shy to flirt with them and hope they’ll notice them by flirting with others around them.
Other times it’s to make them jealous. If you’re a pawn, not the target, watch to see if they keep glancing at someone else as they’re paying attention to you.
Don’t rely on one body language gesture only. Instead, look for clusters – at least three or four signals all saying the same thing.
Trust your gut instinct. Let your body react instinctively and respond to the obvious before honing on detail, trying to see what you want to see rather than what’s actually there. If you’re not sure, ask an honest friend what their reading of the situation is.
Make discreet inquiries if he doesn’t seem to be taking the hint. Identify who his closest work mate is and discreetly find out if he’s single. If he is, drop a hint that you find him attractive and would be up for a date if he was interested. If you’re too shy, ask a friend to do the digging for you.
5. Have prepared responses if you’re nervous
If you know you’re going to go blank if he so much as says ‘Hi’, work through some possible replies beforehand.
Have a few work related topics to fall back on if you’re already on talking terms so you don’t get tongue-tied.
Did you know they’re getting rid of the cafeteria? Have you seen they’ve opened a Pret next door? What do you think of the new boss?
If you don’t know what to say, imagine you’re talking to another work colleague, one you aren’t attracted to. What would be natural to talk about with them?
6. Use words that instantly bond you
Instead of ‘Anyway, I was talking about X’ say, ‘Anyway, as I was telling you about X’.
Including ‘you’ makes people feel you’re talking to them specifically and pushes the pride button.
‘You would love it’. ‘Do you think I’ve done the right thing?’.
7. Give good face
Don’t be scared to show emotion: it doesn’t make you look over eager to please, it makes you look interested in him as a person.
Smile – a big, broad, happy smile when you see him – and use lively facial expressions.
8. Open up when he does
Avoid the trap of telling too much too soon, by trading secret for secret.
It doesn’t matter who goes first, just make sure you start off small and extend one intimacy carrot at a time, rather than the whole bunch, complete with roots.
Usually, we start by swapping clichés (‘It’s hot, isn’t it’) to facts (‘I live in East London’) then opinions (‘Trump is an absolute b*****d). Feelings follow (‘I was really hurt when X happened’), then intimacies (‘My Dad left us when I was 10’).
If you’re worried you share too much, too soon, check with a friend to see if you’re a blabber.
If your relationships fade before they really get going, you might not be telling people enough vulnerable stuff.
9. Hang around lots but then be unavailable
The more you interact with someone, the more they’ll like you, according to human behaviour experts. (The only time this doesn’t hold true, is it their initial reaction to you wasn’t good). So, forget about being aloof to begin with: instead find lots of excuses to spend time with them. Have lunch at the same time they do, sit with them, bring them coffee when you get one for yourself.
But just when you’re convinced you’ve won them over, start being a little less available.
Go to lunch at a different time now and then; don’t stop by his desk before you go home for a little chat.
You’ve now effectively instigated ‘the law of scarcity’.
We all know this one: people want what they can’t have. Be around and then not around and they’ll start seeking you out.
10. Start by including him in group things
Inviting him out as part of a group is way, way less scary than inviting him out just the two of you.
‘We’re all going to try the new Mexican place, want to come?’ or ‘We’re going to pub after work for drinks, fancy a pint?’
Make it easy for him to ask you out.
Drop hints. ‘I’d love to see X movie’
‘Apparently the festival in X has got the best line-up ever.’
‘Did you hear there’s a new restaurant opened in X? It’s meant to be awesome.’
It’s innocent but match it with a sexy smile and it can be incredibly bonding: it’s secret and implies the two of you are closer than others present.
12. Touch him (carefully)
Study after study shows even a small touch can be extremely powerful but you do need to be extra careful with how and where you do it.
They’re standing in the way? Touch the small of his back gently with your fingertips to signal you need to get through.
He’s handed you something? Lightly touch his forearm and make eye contact to say thanks.
13. Give a compliment behind his back
If you’re too shy to compliment directly, tell someone you know knows him something nice (‘John is always so helpful. He’s such a nice guy’ or – braver – ‘God, your friend John is hot’) and let them repeat it.
It’s less embarrassing, makes you seem less sycophantic and is a surprisingly effective way of letting someone know they’re admired and appreciated.
Visit traceycox.com for lots more practical advice on flirting, sex and love. You’ll also find Tracey’s product ranges and books.
HOW TO BE PC WHEN FLIRTING IN THE OFFICE
Most of these moves are subtle and non-threatening but you still need to be careful when making a move on a colleague.
Netflix issued a rule last week that staff can’t stare at each other for more than five seconds, to stamp out workplace harassment.
If you’ve ever been sexually harassed at work, this comes as very welcome news. If you haven’t and (literally) have your eye on a colleague you’re desperate to date, it’s scary.
Stay PC by observing the following:
Gaze don’t stare. A gaze lasts two to three seconds – max. You’re day-dreaming about the person you’re looking at, so your face is soft with dreamy eyes. A stare is unnerving. If you look at someone for too long with unwavering eye contact, you’ll make them feel nervous and under scrutiny, not admired.
Keep your eyes at face level. Men might be guiltier of allowing their eyes to travel up and down the body but women do it too. Keep your eyes on their face until it’s blatantly obvious they fancy you back.
Only touch people who touch you. Some people are naturally ‘touchy feely’ and won’t be offended if you touch them in a safe area (the forearm, elbow); other people don’t like being touched at all.
Test if you aren’t sure. Touch lightly on the forearm and see what happens. If it’s OK, the person will generally touch you back within a minute or two.
Know when to admit defeat. If you’ve hinted (strongly), flirted and generally tried every trick in the book and they still haven’t asked you out, they’re not interested.
Do both of you a favour and give up.
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