It’s easy to mistake someone’s kindness for something else. Being attracted to them can cloud your judgment even further. It can be very embarrassing to accidentally punch someone who is just trying to be nice. According to experts, determining whether someone is flirting or just being friendly is a challenge. But there are a few clues you can look for.
It is often difficult to tell if someone is flirting or just being nice because the nature of flirting is very subtle and gradual. Flirting is how people progressively determine if someone is a worthy partner. The key is that you open up slowly and test the person’s reaction to make sure they are the right person for you. Because it’s so subtle, it’s very easy to mistake it for something else.
The truth is that some people are naturally friendly. So they might say “hi” or give you a smile when they see you. But they might think nothing of it because that’s how they are. Unless you’re a telepath, you can’t really know what people’s true intentions are. The good thing is that there are notable differences between someone who flirts and someone who is just nice. Here are some signs the experts say you should watch out for.
1. They go ahead and greet you or talk to you
You can run into someone all the time and say hello, but if you keep running into them and they start talking to you beyond just saying hello, they may very well be trying to flirt. It’s easy to quickly say “hello” to someone when you pass them. But most people won’t deliberately go out of their way to be with someone or chat just to be friendly. So if someone is making an effort to be with you, they’re probably interested in you.
2. They started asking you more thoughtful questions.
If someone’s just being nice, it’s probably just casual conversation. But once someone starts flirting with you, they will find ways to get to know you better. They will try to dig deeper into your likes and dislikes, your hobbies, and your point of view. Most of the time, it won’t be obvious that they’re stirring up the conversation to let you talk about what you love. But know that they have all their ears on you and are listening carefully to every word you say.
3. Their body language gives it away
You can tell from your body language if someone is flirting or just being nice. For example, if someone likes you, they may come closer when you talk. They can mirror your actions, which naturally happens when trying to bond with another. But if you really want to know if someone is trying to flirt, you can check their feet. If their body and feet are tilted towards you, they definitely convey an initial attraction to you. Body language makes all the difference.
4. There’s a noticeable change in their behavior when you’re around
If you think someone might be flirting with you but you’re not sure, it’s always worth observing how they interact with others. For example, do they give you special treatment? Do they smile more when you’re around? Do they compliment you and others don’t? If so, they’re probably flirting with you.
Everyone flirts differently, and to make it even harder to decipher, there are also “polite flirters” who are more discreet and flirt by sitting down and creating space. In these cases, looking at their general behavior can be a telltale sign. So if they only show this kind of behavior around you, it could be their way of flirting.
5. They are super attentive and engaged during conversations
Someone is definitely flirting if they show a lot of interest in what you say or do, even if it’s insignificant. They will ask lots of follow-up questions to keep the conversation going. They cling to your every word and can laugh at every joke you make like you’re the funniest person alive.
6. They often ask for your help.
Often when we love someone, we look for ways to make them feel needed, as well as show how we’re “saving the day” and how “kind” we are. So if someone is always coming to you asking for advice on the smallest things, like good restaurants or bars to try, they may be trying to flirt with you. Watch what they say next. If they casually mention that you should go someday, they may ask you out on a date.
7. They announce they are single
One way to really tell if someone is really trying to flirt rather than just being friendly is to know how often they keep saying they’re single when you’re around. Some can be subtle and shrewd while others are unashamed of their statements. Try to notice how often they casually say or drop the nugget “I’m single” to you. They can send you a message. If they’re trying to find out your relationship status, that’s another big clue that they’re probably interested in you.
People are not always easy to read and it is not always easy to understand their intentions. But paying attention to these things can help you determine if someone really likes you or is just being friendly.