27 Signs to Tell If a Shy Guy Likes You & the Best Ways to Encourage Him

It’s hard to tell if a guy likes you, especially if he’s shy. Look for these signs to discover if that shy guy really likes you.

how to tell if a shy guy likes you

Guys can be hard to decode. He may hover around and stare at you, but there are a lot of potential reasons for that behavior. While it can seem like men are a mystery, the fact of the matter is that they are often just shy. Read up on these signs to tell if a shy guy likes you, and tips on how to coax him out of his shell. 

Men and women often feel like they don’t understand each other. Dating is hard, and the looming threat of rejection can make even confident men wary of making the first move. But there are other ways to tell that a shy guy may be into you. 

He might act so strange that you have no idea if he likes you or hates you. He could even rub you the wrong way at first, as most women dislike being gaped at by anyone.

Unless you have figured out the signs that a guy likes you, you could be annoyed by a shy guy and his perceived social ineptitude. 

He’ll try to hide it from you, while it can be so obvious to other people. That leaves you to try to determine the signs that a shy guy likes you.

So if you dig him too, a good approach is to simply confront him and ask him if he likes you. In fact, that may just be exactly what he needs. Just make sure that it’s not always you who ends up making the first move, though. It gets old fast.

[Read: 23 secrets to flirt with your crush playfully & tease them into liking you]

How to talk to shy guys

Shy guys are hard to read since they usually conceal their true emotions. The best way to learn more about them is to talk to them directly. But how?

If you rush up to a shy guy and start asking questions, you’ll probably receive a blank stare and an awkward smile. The key is to match their energy. You need to ease into a conversation and let them warm up to you by saying “hello” on a regular basis like when you walk past them.

[Read: 35 best text conversation starters for the shy & socially awkward]

The next thing you’ll want to do is to use open body language to make them comfortable in your presence. Don’t just go on and on about yourself, because shy people rarely do that unless asked. So, ask about his interests and convince him that you are interested in who he is as a person.

You must be a good listener, and try to keep the conversations going with something you both have in common. The most important thing is that you have to be yourself. Shy guys can tell when someone is trying to be somebody they’re not.

[Read: 41 casual conversation starters to use with a guy to get him talking]

How to tell if a shy guy likes you

If this guy is really shy and introverted, he will not have his heart on his sleeve around you. At the very least, he wouldn’t have you, of all people, finding out how he feels. 

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be signs. Keep your eyes out for these signs that a shy guy likes you. It can help you decide if and when you want to make the first move. [Read: Shy extrovert: What it means, 16 signs & how they’re not like others]

1. He stares when you’re not looking

He’s too shy to let you know what he feels, so he’ll be utterly content admiring you from afar. 

Well, at least until he has gathered enough courage to finally let you know how he feels. However, considering that he’s so shy, that’ll probably take a while.

So, he’ll be staring at you. Except you’ll be totally oblivious because when you look his way, he’ll quickly look away. He may act like he got caught doing something he didn’t mean to.

Everyone gets caught looking at someone once in a while, and it’s usually innocuous. But if you repeatedly catch them looking at you, it may be a sign that that shy guy likes you. [Read: Does he have a crush on me? 20 signs he just can’t hide]

2. He struggles to make eye contact with you

A way to tell that a shy guy likes you is that they can’t look you in the eye. They’re staring at you all day, but when you look at them they look away. 

If you finally get to talk to him, he’ll look anywhere but at you. His answers are likely short and filled with awkward, nervous chuckling. While it’s not a great conversation, but it is a sign that a shy guy likes you.

Maybe he’s afraid you’re going to hypnotize him into finally admitting his feelings for you. It’s more likely he’s just afraid you’ll see in his eyes the real truth. That he’s truly, madly, deeply into you.

Whatever the reason, someone not looking you in the eyes when talking to you is remarkably off-putting. If you want to get to the bottom of it you should ask why he can’t look at you. That’ll shake any shy guy out of their trance. This is a good way to get a shy guy to finally ask you out. [Read: How to ask someone out over text and get that satisfying “yes” ]

3. He’s nervous around you

While any normal guy would be fine talking to you, Mr. Shy Guy isn’t. He’ll be too self-conscious and, therefore, awkward, which quickly snowballs into more awkwardness and nervousness. This is a clear tell that a shy guy likes you.

It’s like he’s scared around you and he’s trying to talk to you, but his shyness gets ahead of himself. So he ends up just being a big bag of jitters in front of you. 

Again, it’s easy to read this as general social awkwardness, but it is likely a result of him being into you, and too nervous to do anything about it. [Read: How to never run out of things to say & banish the awkward silence]

4. He becomes such a klutz when you are around

This goes hand-in-hand with nervousness. Even just having you in the same room as him has him spilling coffee on his shirt or knocking things off his desk, as if you were an earthquake instead of a person. Being too self-conscious and aware of your presence makes him all awkward and jumpy.

[Read: Does he like me? 18 signs to decode his body language]

Many people find this endearing. If you want to encourage this shy guy to ask you out, don’t point out his sudden clumsiness— as anyone who gets nervous jitters will tell you, having them highlighted *especially by someone you like* is mortifying. 

Instead, consider offering them a stain pen for their coffee-covered shirt, and mention that you keep them on you because you are clumsy too. Being friendly and showing the shy guy that you are just a person can lay the groundwork for getting them to ask you out

5. Your presence silences him

Ever see him talking animatedly with his friends, but as soon as he sees you come into the room, he suddenly clams up? It’s not that he has, coincidentally, finished his story every time you walk in. 

It’s just he either loses his train of thought or wouldn’t want to continue with what he thinks is a lame story in front of you. To put it simply, he just thinks too much when you’re around that he forgets to talk.

If you want to know how to get a shy guy to ask you out, consider talking to them first. You don’t have to ask them on a date or anything, just ask them how their day is going or about something you have in common. Hopefully, by showing him that you want to talk to him, the shy guy will relax enough to have a conversation with you

6. He struggles to make conversation with you

A good sign that a shy guy likes you is that, when you finally do get him talking, he seems to have a really hard time. He may be able to hold conversations with other people just fine. But with you, he can’t seem to get it right. Sometimes he even starts stuttering.

It still boils down to him being too nervous and anxious around you. If you ask him a question, he may answer with short quips that you would think are just rude or arrogant of him, but he’s just actually on edge and tongue-tied. [Read: How to get him to ask you out: Make him think it’s his idea]

7. He got your number from a friend

While this shy guy probably wants to talk to you, he could only do so by phone, through chat, or social media. This is because he struggles looking at your beautiful face. He can only communicate through a medium that puts distance between the two of you. 

But he also didn’t have enough guts to ask for your number, so he summoned up just enough to ask your friend for your digits.[Read: 30 facts about guys that can help you read his mind]

This modern dating technique is a silly and somewhat cowardly one, but it can be effective. If nothing else, the shy guy getting your number from a friend is a sure sign that the shy guy likes you. After all, why else would he go out of his way to get your phone number? 

8. He’s only good at texting or messaging

So now that he has your number, he’d be all up on you asking how you are. He’ll be so witty and funny as you exchange messages, but when you see him in person he clams up again. You ask, “Where’s that smart, charming guy I was chatting with?!?”

The smart, charming guy is still the shy guy. As soon as you two are comfortable with each other in person, he will come out of his shell.

Now that the line of communication is open, even via text, you may wonder– how to get the shy guy to ask you out? [Read: When a guy stops texting you every day: why & what you NEED to do]

You could start dropping hints via text that you want to meet up in person for a date. If he has any courage, he will take it as a sign to ask you out. If he doesn’t, you might want to reconsider pursuing this shy guy. After all, dating requires bravery!

9. He hovers

A sign this shy guy likes you is when he just seems to be wherever you are. The bar you hang out in on weekends, the coffee shop you pass by to get your caffeine fix in the morning, the copy room, etc.

The thing is, he just wants to be close to you for the chance you may finally notice him. He’s also into you so much that a whiff of your shampoo is enough to make his day.

This behavior is either charming or creepy, depending on how much you like this guy. [Read: 28 awkward questions to ask a guy & weird, embarrassing ones not to]

10. He’s asking around about you

While the shy guy is talking to all your friends except you, what you don’t know is he may be asking around about you. What you like, your favorite food, if you’re single, what your favorite band is, where you got those nice eyes, and all that. 

All of this interrogation is a sign that he likes you. He wants to know every single detail about you until he finally sums up the courage to ask you out and give you the best date ever. [Read: How to talk to your crush and make them fall for you]

11. He gets teased when you’re there

So you’re in the room together and your office mates are giving him “the eye,” which makes him so much more uneasy. His friends, with good intentions for their guy, also tease him around you. Even urging him with cryptic comments that actually mean he should finally ask you out. All of this goes to show that not only have you noticed that the shy guy likes you, but other people have noticed too. 

If you are interested in moving along the process of getting a shy guy to ask you out, you can tell one of his friends to encourage him to make a move. It’ll mean a lot more coming from you instead of just them. [Read: Can a girl ask a guy out before he asks her out?]

12. He likes the things that you like

And he makes sure you know it. Normally, any guy wouldn’t step outside his comfort zone for anything. However, when it comes to the girl he likes, he’d always be up for doing new things, especially if that thing is something that you like.

This is in the hopes you will not only notice him—you two might finally make a date out of pottery-making or henna tattooing. [Read: 30 peculiar signs to look for when a guy likes you]

13. He talks to other women, but not you

If the shy guy can’t talk to any women, he may just be a weirdo with bad social skills.

But a sign that a shy guy likes you is when he has no problem talking with other women, but when it comes to you, he just can’t do it. Your presence makes him tongue-tied. You see, you have an effect on him that no other woman has, and, duh—he’s just so into you.

14. He always wants to be a part of the conversation you are in

Is the shy guy always on the periphery of your conversations with friends and coworkers? Maybe they laugh at your jokes, or quip a few of their own when in a group setting— but once you are one on one, they shut up. [Read: How to tell if a woman likes you: 33 subtle signs most men ignore]

This is a sign a shy guy likes you. They want to get your attention and engage, but only in the protection and comfort of a group setting. When you are one on one, the pressure is too much and they shut down.

15. He listens intently

When a guy likes you, you always have his attention. So if you’re hanging out in a group and everyone is talking at the same time, but the shy guy only focuses on you and responds to you, he definitely likes you. Or he can secretly pay attention to the things you say and remember them. Like your go-to order at Starbucks or the name of your first pet.

When it comes to shy men, it’s always the little things that matter. [Read: 19 ways on how to be a better listener in a relationship]

16. He touches you lightly

This may be out of his character and surprise you quite a bit, but that’s his way of giving you a hint that he’s into you. It can be a purposeful touch like tucking your hair behind your ear, or an accidental touch like brushing his hand against yours when you both reach for something. He’s craving for your touch, but he’s still trying to be respectful.

[Read: 20 loving & romantic touches in a relationship to make you feel closer]

17. He likes all of your posts on social media

You two barely talk in real life, but he’s always the first to watch your story and like your latest post. There are two possibilities: One, he’s chronically online, and two, he has the notifications on for you or always checks to see if you have posted. If he’s one of those people who barely use social media, he’s definitely only using it for you.

18. He seems to copy your movements

When you two are hanging out in a group, pay attention to see if he seems to copy your movements. If you watch someone for a long time, you’ll start copying their movements without realizing you’re doing it. So pretend to yawn or stretch and see how he reacts. Body language never lies.

[Read: Male body language: 48 subtle signs to instantly read a man’s thoughts]

19. He’s extra friendly to you

Does he seem a lot happier and more comfortable around you? Do you have a feeling that he’s being more friendly to you than the others? Gut feelings are true most of the time, so if that’s what he’s doing, he probably hopes to be more than friends.

20. He’s protective of you

Another sign to tell if a shy guy likes you is that he’s protective of you.

We’re not talking about getting into a fight for you or something so serious. But if someone says anything rude to you, he will react even though it’s not his nature to speak up about things like that. He’ll be worried if you have to go home alone late at night and ask to walk with you. A shy guy who likes you is always concerned about your well-being.

[Read: Key differences: Protective boyfriend or a controlling boyfriend?]

21. He agrees with you on everything

Do you two share the same brain or is he just into you? You think going to the club is fun? He agrees even though he’s never been there in his life. You’re obsessed with a new TV show, and he suddenly likes it, too. A shy guy who likes you will try his best to make sure you like him, so he will agree with you on everything.

22. He confides in you

Shy guys don’t just open up to anyone, so it takes a lot of trust for him to come to you and confide in you. He probably thinks you’re the only one who understands him and feels comfortable around you. There’s no need to spell it out. This shy guy really likes you! [Read: How to trust again & give someone your heart when you’re scared]

23. He asks a lot of questions

Does he ask a lot of questions? Some are way too obvious that you’re surprised he doesn’t already know the answers. Well, these questions are just an excuse to keep the conversation going, or if they’re questions about you, he’s curious to know about you on a more personal level. [Read: 72 first date questions, conversation starters & things you must never ask]

24. He sometimes tries too hard

Do you feel like he sometimes tries too hard? He probably tries to things that he doesn’t normally do, like going to parties or getting involved in conversations and acting like he’s outgoing when you know it’s stressing him out. This is one of the clear signs that a shy guy likes you.

He wants to impress you, but he thinks being himself isn’t enough. If you feel like he’s changing too much for you, maybe give him a hint that you like him for who he is, even when he’s awkward and timid.

[Read: How to flirt when you’re shy without trying too hard to be smooth]

25. He switches up his looks to impress you

To tell if a shy guy likes you, just pay attention to the way he dresses. When he likes you, he will care more about his look, and you’ll notice a slight change in his style. Usually, shy guys don’t care about their appearance since they don’t want to draw attention towards themselves. It’s obvious that he’s only doing this to get your attention.

26. He’s chivalrous

When a shy guy likes you, he’ll become more chivalrous, like holding the door for you, calling when he says he will, expressing an interest in meeting your friends and family, offering you his jacket when it gets cold, etc. There’s no playing games. He makes sure you know how much you mean to him without actually saying it.

27. He hasn’t asked you out

So in case you’re wondering, while all the signs point to him digging you, he hasn’t asked you out. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Any other guy would have already gotten a reservation at that cool new restaurant he’s going to take you Saturday night. However, Mr. Shy Guy is different.

First, he doesn’t really know how to ask you out *he’s just too nervous just thinking about it*. Second, if you two indeed went out together, he’d be nervous and worried that he’d make a bad impression. It all leads to making him even more nervous.

[Read: 75 HUGE signs to tell if a guy likes you & ways to make him like you more]

How to get a shy guy to ask you out

There is no way to make someone ask you out. You can drop hints, suggest that their friends encourage them, or out and out tell them you want them to ask you out. But ultimately, the choice is theirs. 

This leaves you with two options– either ask him out yourself, or you can wait and see if he can pluck up the courage. Both are fine routes to take, but keep in mind that if you ask them out first, they might take it as a sign that you are willing to take the lead in the relationship.

[Read: 47 sexy secrets to be seductive & make anyone feel horny around you]

This can be problematic down the road, when you begin to feel that the relationship is one-sided with you doing all of the hard and scary emotional work, while they coast along with no real responsibility other than “doing what you want.” 

Rejection is scary. It is also a perfectly normal part of dating that happens to everyone from supermodels to everyday people.  You can try to figure out how to get a shy guy to ask you out, but ultimately you have to ask yourself: if this person is not willing to face possible, minor rejection, are they really someone you want to be in a relationship with? 

[Read: When will I find love? 25 secrets that WILL help you find the one]

So there you have it, a guide to tell if a shy guy likes you, or if a guy likes you but he’s just too shy to tell you. Once you see these signs, fret no more—you’re not repulsive; your next-door neighbor or that guy in your office is just too shy to tell you he likes you A LOT.

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Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...
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