It’s a dilemma that many people may encounter during their lives — a man finally took a leap of faith and told his sposed “significant other” that he had feelings for her, but to his disappointment, she didn’t reciprocate his feelings.
Perhaps there was some kind of miscommunication between the two of them, or a misinterpretation of the other’s intentions. Whatever it was, they just weren’t interested.
“The Flirting Report,” written by Kate Fox, a social anthropologist, for Social Issues Research Centre, refers to the verbal and non-verbal messages or hints that men and women use when they are interested in someone.
According to the verbal messages can include opening lines, talking, listening and humor; whereas non-verbal messages consist of eye contact, posture, tone, gestures and facial expressions.
“I can tell when someone doesn’t like me. I know right away from being around them. It’s one of those things you can pick on or you can’t. If a girl looks at you and smiles while looking away, that’s a big indicator [that she’s interested],” said Jason Forbush, a freshman studying psychology.
BYU-Idaho students also mentioned verbal messages such as laughing and giving compliments, and non-verbal messages including smiling, texting and physical gestures to all be signs of interest.
“Something I do or observe in other people is that when I’m talking to a guy, I’ll really smile a lot and laugh. You can tell when I’m faking a laugh and when it’s genuine,” said Toa Taumoefolau, a sophomore studying health science. “If they actually make me laugh because something was funny, then that’s something I’m interested in.”
According to Jen Kim, writer for Psychology Today magazine, a person may not be interested in someone else if they frequently talk about their ex, if they’re not ready for a relationship, or they instantly want to get into a relationship.
Marcia Reynolds, author of “Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction,” said the first step in responding to this type of situation is for someone to recognize their reaction.
“It takes practice to discern your feelings, but the first step is to identify what emotion has shown in your body, so you can choose what to do next,” Reynolds said in her article “What To Do When Someone Doesn’t Like You.”
The next step is for individuals to analyze the situation. Reynolds stresses that it’s important to think logically when considering the other person’s intentions. For example, it is important to ask questions like ‘“Did they truly mean to insult me, betray me, disrespect me or make fun of me?’”
Reynolds says how people tend to take things too personally by nature when they feel like they’re being threatened. When this happens, they can immediately become defensive. Reynolds says that is why logical thinking is so important.
Finally, if a person knows that someone is not interested in them, Reynolds suggests that they ask themselves, ‘does it really matter?’ She encourages others to learn how to forgive and move on, instead of obsessing over someone else and their opinions.
“If you are doing the best you can with what you have, worrying if people like you or not is a waste of your most precious resource: your energy,” Reynolds said.