All of us have had passing suspicions now and again that someone might not like us.
Sometimes this is due to social anxiety or awkwardness, and the suspicions are completely unfounded.
In other cases, however, we’re spot on. For one reason or another, this person just doesn’t like us. Their actions may be subtle or overt, but everything about our interactions with them paints a clear picture that we’re unliked.
Or maybe we miss glaringly obvious social cues that they can’t stand us. And that can be awkward—even humiliating—depending on how social situations unfold.
Below are 40 different ways that people might tell you they don’t like you very much. Everyone will display behaviors in their own way, and there can be any mix-and-match combination of these depending on the individual(s).
And it’s worth mentioning that some of these behaviors are downright abusive. The person may strongly dislike you and want to actively harm you in some way.
Either way, your best bet is to put some distance between you and them and fill your social circle with people who like you and treat you well.
1. They stop talking when you’re around.
You hear people chatting or laughing in another room, but they all fall silent when you enter. Whatever it was they were talking about was most certainly not for you to hear.
This can happen with roommates, family members, peers, or colleagues, depending on the social dynamics you’re involved in.
You’re made to feel like an outsider, and they’ll stay silent until you leave. Then they can get back to what they were discussing. Unless of course you decide to make yourself comfortable, at which point they will be the ones to get up and leave.
More on that later.
2. They don’t make eye contact.
Making eye contact is an intimate form of connection. The eyes really are the windows to the soul, and you can show a person that you care about them and what they’re saying when you make (and maintain) eye contact with them.
If they don’t look you in the eye when they’re talking to you, they’re letting you know in no uncertain terms that you’re not worth that kind of energy or effort.
Note: some people struggle to make eye contact with others for all sorts of reasons, so this sign needs to be accompanied by others to be sure someone doesn’t like you.
3. They avoid conversation with you.
This relates back to those who leave a space when you enter it so as not to be forced to interact with you. Quite simply, the person—or people—do everything possible to avoid a chat.
If you run into someone you know, they might flash a brief smile and then take off. If you find this happening a lot, consider asking people you’re actually friends with whether you’re doing anything that may be off-putting.
They may respond with, “Dude, your breath could knock out a mule,” or “Nobody wants to hear you yammer on about dinosaurs for hours, so they run off before you can start.”
Their responses might be hurtful, but if they encourage you to nip alienating behaviors in the bud, you may spare yourself a lot of discomfort and loneliness in the future.
4. If you do have a conversation with them, they’re not engaged.
Instead of asking questions about whatever it is you’re talking about, they’ll offer glib, empty responses like, “Cool,” or “Yeah, man.” They’ll look checked out, with their eyes unfocused and their attention quite obviously elsewhere.
They might also take the opportunity to change the subject as quickly as possible.
5. They don’t smile (or their smile seems fake).
When people smile sincerely, you can see it in their eyes too. In contrast, when someone who doesn’t like you very much smiles at you, their eyes remain deadpan. Even hostile looking.
Pay attention to the body language shown by a customer service rep who’s dealing with a belligerent client. Their voices might be friendly and they may smile brightly, but their eyes will be dull and flat.
6. They keep their arms crossed when talking to you.
This is a classic defensive gesture that screams, “I don’t want to be here, and especially not with you.”
Any teenager who’s receiving a talking to will adopt this attitude. If the person is seated, crossing their arms and their legs, everything about them is screaming that they don’t want to be there.
Additionally, people who are feeling defensive and are holding back from physical violence may have their fists clenched as well.
7. They put distance between themselves and you.
When we get along well with someone, we’re comfortable in their company. This is why you’ll often see friends or partners talking closely, or sitting with their legs folded over one another’s.
In contrast, if someone doesn’t like you, they put as much distance between the two of you as possible. This may include getting up and moving further away to another seat if you sit down near them, or backing away during a conversation.
8. Their feet are turned away from you.
This goes along with the previous signs. A person might not be putting actual physical distance between the two of you (yet), but the way they arrange their feet will speak volumes.
In fact, in both boxing and martial arts, one can often tell what their opponent’s next move will be by watching their feet.
If a person is standing with one foot facing you and the other one facing another direction entirely, then they’re already planning their escape. Furthermore, if both of their feet are turned away from you, then you have about five seconds before they take off running.
9. They have a wealth of excuses for avoiding you.
If someone doesn’t like you, they’ll try to avoid talking to you or spending time with you by any means necessary.
Acquaintances and family members who don’t like you might always have something else planned for the day/time that you want to get together. Or, if they do agree to plans ahead of time, something important will inevitably come up that prevents them from showing.
10. They’ll give you wrong directions or instructions.
If the person is really passive-aggressive and can’t tell you straight out that they don’t want to spend time together, they might give you incorrect information.
Like saying that you’re going to meet at the Pizza World restaurant on 1st street, and after you’ve been waiting for a couple of hours, they text and say that they’d meant 10th street.
11. They make a point of excluding you.
You aren’t invited to parties or after-work drinks. In fact, they might slip out together while you’re in the restroom so there’s no chance of you tagging along. If you do show up, they’ll make it known that you’re unwanted there by ignoring you or moving away.
Or you might see photos from an acquaintance’s birthday party/group vacation on social media, and feel left out because you never received an invitation.
12. They don’t text or message you back.
Rather like a potential crush who leaves you on “Read” without a reply, a person who dislikes you doesn’t make getting back to you a priority.
This is quite different from when an overwhelmed and busy friend doesn’t get back to you. In those cases, you’ll likely hear from the person eventually, along with an apology or explanation for their silence.
If they don’t like you, then they just won’t bother.
13. They belittle or make fun of you in front of others.
A classic behavior from someone who doesn’t like you is to put you down when you’re in a group of other people. For example, if you’re in school and a teacher doesn’t like you, they might make you feel like an idiot in class for not knowing the answer to a question.
Similarly, parents might announce one of your recent failures or humiliations to extended family members at Sunday dinner with the grandparents, or co-workers might make fun of your fashion sense.
14. They drop the ball and make no effort to pick it up again.
You’ll often see this behavior in parents who aren’t fond of their children, or spouses who checked out of their relationship a long time ago. They don’t bother to put any effort into spending time with you, celebrating achievements, nothing.
Did you spend months rehearsing for a play that you’re performing in? Don’t expect them to show up. Is your birthday coming up soon? It’s just another day; get over it.
15. If they have to get you a gift, it’ll be a crap one.
If they’ve actually remembered your birthday, then you’ll likely just get something they picked up at the last minute. “Happy birthday, here’s a vanilla-pine car air freshener” kind of thing.
Or, if there’s a workplace Secret Santa exchange for the holidays, they’ll just do the minimum of what’s necessary to fulfill the hideous obligation of doing something nice for you.
16. They deny you things unfairly.
If there’s a shared coffee or tea station at work, they might tell you to keep it to one a week so you’re not greedy. Meanwhile they have five cups of coffee every day without a whisper of guilt.
Grandparents might give you the smallest portion of dessert compared to your siblings, or give you ¼ the amount of money they offer everyone else during the holidays.
You might also be told that you can’t have something because of your tendency to break things (when you don’t), or that you can’t be responsible for it (even though you are).
17. They set you up to fail (and get even more irate if you succeed despite their best efforts).
Let’s say you have a job interview coming up and you let your family know about it. Out of nowhere, there might be an emergency that day, which requires your help to sort out. You miss the interview, and then your family members berate you for being irresponsible and unemployed. Gaslighting much?
Alternatively, if someone knows that you’re romantically interested in a person, they might tell said person that you have a serious STD or a violent temper to sabotage the possibility of you getting together.
If their behaviors don’t work, and you end up in a good place despite their efforts, they’ll often be irate about it.
18. They offer you backhanded compliments.
This is more of a female behavior than a male one. For a woman working in an office environment, a female coworker may say something like: “You’re so brave to wear that with your figure—I wish I had your confidence.”
In essence, they think you look terrible, but they choose to pay you a false, mocking compliment instead of making themselves look bad by insulting you outright.
19. They insult you outright.
In contrast to the passive-aggressive comments mentioned above, some people will just straight out insult you. These can range across the board, depending on who it is you’re offending by merely existing.
For example, if your mother-in-law doesn’t like you, she might make disparaging comments about your appearance or your cooking. If she really hates you, she might dump out the food you’ve made after a single bite and then offer to make something that isn’t disgusting.
20. They downplay your achievements.
You could graduate magna cum laude and you’ll be told the dean probably made a mistake. Are you in a relationship with a brilliant, gorgeous partner? There must be something wrong with them to want you.
You could win a silver medal at the Olympics and they’d criticize you for not winning gold. And how did they let you in to begin with? The standards must have dropped significantly…
21. Schadenfreude is their middle name.
This person will take great joy in your missteps or injuries. If you make a mistake or something happens that embarrasses you, they’ll absolutely delight in it. They’ll keep bringing it up forever, maybe make a little nickname for you about it.
So help you if they managed to catch anything on camera, because that’ll be plastered online for everyone to mock forever.
22. They try to cause issues for you.
Siblings might lie about you to get you in trouble with your parents. Peers might make up stories about you to alienate you from other friends, or tell teachers that you’re cheating so you fail a test or get kicked out of class. In a work environment, they might tell your boss that you’re slacking on the job and not pulling your weight, or that you said or did something inappropriate.
Basically, they try muckraking by whatever means possible to either make your life uncomfortable, or get you out of the picture.
23. They intentionally overstep your boundaries.
Since they neither respect nor like you, they have absolutely no incentive to respect your personal boundaries.
For instance, you might make it perfectly clear that since you work from home, you’re not to be interrupted between the hours of 9am and 5pm. So they’ll show up at your place on the regular, expecting coffee and conversation.
If you’ve changed your name for any number of personal reasons, they’ll keep calling you by the previous one because “they know you by that title.” Little disrespectful oversteps are their way of testing you to see how much you’ll tolerate before you go incendiary.
24. They say or do things that they know make you uncomfortable or upset.
You don’t like a particular type of music because of sensory processing issues, or because you have a negative association with it. Well, too bad. They’ll blast it in the car every time they have to give you a ride somewhere.
Are there topics that you’re sensitive to, that you’ve asked not to be brought up in your presence? Then you can be certain that they’ll keep mentioning them, even if they claim that they “forgot.” Afterward, they’ll offer you a false apology only to do it again the next time they see you.
25. They’ll argue with you constantly (even if you’re obviously in the right).
Basically, this is just arguing for its own sake. They might be perfectly aware that you’re right about a particular subject, but they just like to wind you up.
You could bring up all manner of proof and evidence that you’re right, and they’ll still play devil’s advocate. Ultimately, they’re feeding off your fury and taking great delight in upsetting you. If you’re faced with situations like this, just go gray rock and they’ll get bored and move on.
26. They are overly nice.
That person who’s always being super nice to you might not actually be a nice person at all. They may be overcompensating because they actually dislike you but feel bad because they don’t have a valid reason for their dislike.
Or they’re doing nice things in order to distract you and get you out of the way as soon as possible.
27. They avoid physical contact with you as much as possible.
You might go in for a hug only for them to offer a handshake from a couple of feet away. Or, you may lean in to kiss them and they dodge it deftly and offer a little shoulder pat instead.
If you lean in close to tell them something, they’ll move away in order to maintain a solid distance between you.
This is a natural response when someone dislikes another person or feels uncomfortable around them. You may have been closer with this person in the past, but if they’re putting real effort into keeping you at bay now, you can rest assured they’re not fond of you at all.
28. They constantly interrupt you.
They’ll often feel like you don’t have anything of worth to say, so they’ll cut you off whenever you try to speak. Or they’re not interested in the topic you’re discussing, so they’ll talk over you and change the subject.
They don’t respect you at all, so they certainly aren’t going to give you the space and time to express yourself.
29. They break or throw away your belongings.
This often happens in toxic family environments, but can also happen at school, work, etc. For example, your parents or partner might throw out or give away items of yours that they don’t like when you go away for a couple of days.
Colleagues might “accidentally” throw your lunch away, or break your favorite coffee mug. Similarly, peers may wreck your homework or your laptop so you get in trouble/fail at school.
30. They steal or try to get with your romantic partners.
There are few ways to damage someone as badly as trying to seduce their partner/spouse. If someone doesn’t like you, they may think that you don’t deserve your partner and will consider them fair game.
Furthermore, they may justify their behavior by telling themselves that they’re doing your partner a favor by “saving” them from you.
31. They don’t approve requests or add you back on any social media.
This one is more common with the younger crowd, but it can apply to just about anyone. You might request to follow them on various social media channels, only to be restricted or blocked. Or, if they do deign to give you permission to follow them, they certainly won’t follow you back.
Any and all of your attempts to connect with them further online will be met with rejection, or outright hostility.
32. They steal from you.
In addition to not respecting you, they might not feel that you deserve various things. As a result, they might take your stuff with the justification that you were “asking to be stolen from” because of your own behaviors. This expands upon the earlier sign about trying to seduce your partner or spouse.
A roommate who doesn’t like you much might raid your food cupboards, despite the fact that you’re low on cash. Money might go missing from your wallet or purse, and books and clothes might disappear when they’re around.
They might even steal opportunities from you, telling others that you’re not available but you’ll be happy to step in instead.
33. They hurt you for fun.
This could be emotionally or physically, but inevitably results in you feeling pain and them laughing about it. You might get slapped or pinched as you walk by, then told that you’re being dramatic or making a big deal out of nothing if you complain about it.
Maybe they’ll claim that they’re playfighting and hurt you quite severely. Or tell you something they know will traumatize you and then laugh when you start to cry or get seriously upset. Either way, their intention is to cause you pain.
34. They spread gossip and lies about you.
When people don’t like you, they’ll often spread gossip about you. Rather than lying about you outright, this is more a situation of telling others details about your life that you’d rather keep to yourself. Or at least, only among a close circle of those you trust.
Then of course those details will spread further and further in expanding social circles, doing hideous things for your reputation.
35. They take you for granted.
You might go above and beyond for this person, but they never reciprocate. Or they might simply expect that you do various things for them and never feel a need to thank you, nor show appreciation for it.
Partners in toxic relationships and children of narcissistic parents experience this one quite a bit. You being awesome is simply an expectation, rather than something to be grateful for.
36. They use you.
This often goes along with taking you for granted. You won’t hear from this person at all until they’re looking for volunteers to help them move. Or until they need a drive to the airport at 2am and hey, you have a car.
If you’re fairly well off financially, they’ll come to you when they need a loan but will never pay you back. Oh, and if you ever need help from them in turn, they won’t be available.
37. They feed you things you don’t consume for ethical reasons, or that make you ill.
This might sound a bit extreme, but it’s a surefire sign that someone doesn’t like you and happens more often than you might expect.
A person who dislikes you might intentionally tamper with your food to mess with you, whether adding ingredients that they know you’re allergic to or tossing in bits that you intentionally avoid due to ethics or religion.
For example, if you have a gluten allergy, a coworker who doesn’t like you might sprinkle breadcrumbs into food you’ve stored in the shared fridge. Alternatively, if you have different religious dietary restrictions from your roommate, they might slip some bacon into your salad when you’re not looking.
Note that in many places, if someone adds ingredients to your food that they know you’re allergic to, you can charge them with criminal offenses such as reckless endangerment, assault, malicious wounding, manslaughter, murder, or the attempted versions of these, depending on the outcome.
Don’t be afraid to take drastic action if someone messes with your health in a serious way.
38. They try to control or dominate you.
Someone who doesn’t like you doesn’t give a damn about your own wants, preferences, and aversions. You’re merely a tool to use for their convenience and a nuisance to be dealt with.
As such, they may try to control aspects of your life so that your existence is more tolerable to them. You won’t have much personal autonomy, because then you might do or say things they don’t want to deal with. They just want you to do as you’re told, and then fade into the wallpaper so as not to annoy them.
39. You might as well not exist.
There are few signs of dislike as intense as outright ignoring someone. When a person doesn’t feel seen, when it’s made clear that they might as well not even exist, it does terrible things to their overall sense of self-worth.
People who are the “black sheep” of the family often find themselves ignored and ostracized. Similarly, those who don’t quite fit in with peer dynamics are treated like social pariahs. They’re not merely excluded; they’re banished from even being acknowledged.
40. They simply tell you that they don’t like you.
This doesn’t happen too often, but can be either a blessing or an immense disappointment, depending on circumstances.
If you’ve been trying to hang out (or hook up) with someone for a while and they finally say “Look, I’m really not into spending time with you,” at least you have a clear answer. You’re not going to waste any more time throwing energy into a black hole.
Yeah it might sting briefly, but you’ll be able to direct your energies toward those who actually enjoy your company.
Being told straight out can be more difficult to deal with if it comes from a family member. The people who were supposed to love and accept you unconditionally are telling you that you’re a disappointment simply by being who you are. You might get the “we love you, but we don’t like you” comment. They accept your existence because they’re obligated to, but they’d rather not have you around.
If you’ve gone through this list and realized that people are showing you that they don’t like you very much, that may be a lot to process. Especially if you really like them and were hoping to cultivate more of a relationship with them.
In fact, you might find yourself wondering whether there’s something wrong with you.
There isn’t. You’re just you.
The truth is that we’re not going to like everyone we meet, nor will everyone like us either.
Signs like those mentioned here are great indicators of where not to put your energy. There are quite literally billions of other people out there, and you can shift your focus toward cultivating your own tribe with amazing people who grok you properly, rather than wasting time on those who don’t appreciate you.
You might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you’re definitely someone’s whiskey-spiked root beer float.
You may also like:
- 20 Reasons Why You Don’t Like People (+ What To Do About It)
- How To Deal With People Who Don’t Like You: 6 No Nonsense Tips!
- 22 Clear Signs Someone Is Using You: How To Tell For Sure
- 6 Personal Signs You Are The Victim Of Bullying
- 12 Clear Signs Your Friend Doesn’t Respect You Very Much
- 13 Reasons Why People Put Others Down (+ How To Deal With Them)
- What To Do If People Talk About You Behind Your Back