It’s no easy feat to get your crush to like you back. While it’s not always possible to turn unrequited love into a mutual connection, there’s no harm in trying! You can’t force someone to develop feelings for you, but you can take several actions to improve your chances, from avoiding mind games to igniting their hero instincts by asking them for a favor. Check out these steps to get your crush to like you back!

Ultimately, you can’t control whether they like you back. Let’s get the tragic news out of the way first. Unfortunately, you don’t have control over whether someone likes you or not. Of course, you can do things to improve your chances, which is what this article is about. But sometimes, you can do everything right and your crush still won’t feel the same way as you. It’s just one of those unfair facts of life! And in that case, you should know that there will always be someone who likes you for you.

Be yourself. The best thing you can do to improve your chances of your crush liking you back is be yourself. Boring advice, but it’s really important. When you pretend to be someone else, you destroy the possibility of your crush liking you for you. And sooner or later, the charade that you put up will come crashing down.

Work on your self-esteem. Liking yourself is a crucial step in getting others to like you. If you don’t feel good about who you are, you won’t attract that kind of feeling from anyone else. When you improve your self-esteem, you tend to carry yourself differently and appear in a more flattering light overall. Without even realizing, you’ll stand taller, smile more, and be more fun to be around.

Put in effort. If you’re going to get your crush to like you back, a little effort is required. As scary as it seems, you’ll have to put yourself out there. If you know they’re going to attend a party, make an effort to be at that party too. And if they’re talking to a group of people at that party, try to join the conversation. To make someone like you, you have to appear on their radar.

But don’t act desperate. It’s important to put yourself on your crush’s radar. But that doesn’t mean you have to chase them. Acting desperate can be a real turn-off and ruin your chances of getting your crush to like you. Don’t send them endless messages if they left you on read. Don’t comment on their posts multiple times. And don’t beg them to give you a chance. Try to be cool about it—appear on their radar but be subtle, not overwhelming.

Avoid the mind games. The movie Ashanti John Tucker Must Die gives some pretty good advice about mind games: Don’t play hard to get with a man who’s hard to get. If you like them, don’t play games in the hopes of getting them to chase you. You don’t have to reveal your deepest feelings for them. But also don’t turn them down if they ask you out. Don’t ignore their messages. Act interested without seeming desperate.

Really listen to them. The love gurus at Seventeen recommend really listening to your crush to get them to like you. We all like to be heard and respected, so show your crush that courtesy. When they’re talking to you, actually pay attention. Ask questions. And be present rather than scrolling through your phone, half-listening. It’s hard to ignore manners like that in a world where most people have their eyes glued to their phone screens.

Laugh at their jokes. Laughing at someone’s jokes can make you appear more attractive to them. Cosmopolitan explains that this is an effective strategy to use when trying to get your crush to like you. They’ll associate you with those positive feelings of approval and validation that they get when you laugh at their jokes. It could really help with getting them to like you!

Ask them for a small favor. Research recorded by Cosmopolitan shows that asking someone for a favor can improve your chances of getting them to like you. Again, people like to feel needed and validated. If you ask for a favor and show your appreciation, your crush may associate you with those positive emotions, the first step in liking you back.

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