Sometimes it’s obvious to tell when you’re just not gelling with someone, be it a colleague, friend, or a potential romantic partner. However, other times you might think things are going well, only to find out later that the other person just isn’t feeling you. There are subtle clues in our body language when we’re uncomfortable, unamused, or totally put off, but if you struggle to recognize them, experts say to look out for these signs.
As former FBI agent and author of The Dictionary of Body Language Joe Navarro told The Independent, “Our pupils constrict when we see things we don’t like and they dilate when we see someone that is beautiful. We have no control over that, even babies do that.” Makes sense if you think about it, though it can be hard to spot without looking deeply into someone’s eyes, which might be a little creepy…
Looking at their feet
Not only is it a bad sign when someone is shifting their feet or torso away from you, but if they keep glancing down to their shoes, chances are there’s an issue there. As Navarro explained, “Our feet we rarely control, when we see someone we have had issues with, we may look at them politely, but our feet will orient away from them instinctively.” Huh.
Touching their neck
Someone who keeps putting their hand to their neck, especially if it’s at the front or base of the neck, generally isn’t happy with their present company (that or they have thyroid issues and need to see a doctor). It’s a weird sign, but if anyone knows how to read body language, it’s a former FBI agent.
Literally being tongue-in-cheek
You’ve seen people probe their tongue into their cheek when admittedly annoyed—you’ve probably even done it yourself every once in a while—but someone who does this during otherwise normal conversation when things are seemingly going well would probably rather be anywhere else.
Sure, some people just have resting bitch face, but pursing your lips is for Instagram selfies, not polite conversation with someone you supposedly like. If the person you’re chatting with is taking duck lips to the next level, it’s probably better to bail.
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