16 surprising signs he likes you but is nervous

There’s a guy you like, but he’s shy.

When he’s around you, he barely even notices you. He’s too busy nervously trying to avoid eye contact.

You try and read him, but it’s hard. You can’t go by the normal signs that a guy likes you.

He acts differently.

Finding out whether or not someone likes you isn’t easy. Especially when that guy is particularly shy or nervous.

But it’s not impossible!

In fact, often the signs a shy guy gives off are much easier to read than the guy with more confidence.

In this article I’m going to reveal the 16 signs he likes you but is nervous.

But first…

How do you tell if someone is nervous around you?

Are you wondering whether or not he is actually nervous around you? There are some tell-tale signs that give this one away.

Have a think if he has shown any of these signs while you were around:

  1. He is constantly fidgeting around you.
  2. He avoids eye contact and may even blush when he sees you.
  3. He laughs at everything you say: while you might like to think you are just that funny, for some people nervousness can trigger them to laugh.
  4. He agrees with everything you say. He is trying to suppress his own needs in order to impress you. It’s a nervous habit people can get.

The best thing you can do if you notice someone is nervous around you – male or female – is simply be kind to them. This can help to put them at ease so they feel much more comfortable being around you.

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Why is he nervous around me?

There are many different reasons a guy might act nervously around you. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

You see him out with his friends, having a great time laughing and joking around with them, but every time you try and talk to him he freezes up.

For some guys, this is simply their personality. Women have this effect on them, whether he is attracted to you or not.

Watch how he acts around other women – is he just as nervous? If the answer is yes, then it’s likely just his personality.

Of course, another reason he might be shy around you is because he actually likes you. He wants to make a move but is trying to work up the courage.

Once again, look at how he acts around other women. If he is fine with them and just nervous around you, then this might be the reason.

There is one other possibility: he might be worried about accidentally leading you on. He may have the vibe that you like him, but he isn’t interested.

Instead of telling you, he starts acting nervous around you in the hopes he doesn’t give you the wrong impression.

Maybe he is your boss (or work-colleague) and he knows he likes you, but also realizes that nothing could happen.

So how do we work this nervous guy out and determine whether or not he does like you – or is nervous for one of these other reasons mentioned?

Here are 16 signs he likes you, but is nervous

1) He protects you

Whether he is nervous or not, if a guy tries to protect you from both the big and little things in life, it’s because he cares about you deeply.

He may stutter in your presence, but he will also hold you back if he sees a car coming as you step into the street. Or pull you away if another guy is hassling you in a bar.

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If this nervous guy makes you feel safe – the chances are he likes you a fair bit.

This is something that is referred to as the hero instinct. This is something that all guys possess. A biological drive, just like thirst and hunger.

It’s his desire to feel both important and needed and to protect. If you bring out his hero instinct, it’s because he sees you as worthy of protecting.

He likes you – a lot.

The best part is that you can actually trigger the hero instinct in your guy.

There are words you can say, texts you can send, and little requests you can make to trigger this very natural instinct in him.

To learn exactly what they are, watch this excellent free video about the hero instinct.

I don’t often buy into popular new concepts in psychology or recommend videos. But if you want your guy to commit to a relationship with you, I think learning about the hero instinct can make all the difference.

Here’s a link to his video again.

2) Your gut is telling you so

There’s nothing more important than trusting your gut. Especially in times like this.

Sometimes, when it comes to a shy, nervous guy, the only way you can tell if he likes you is by listening to what your gut says on the matter.

Your gut will tell you whether you think he is into you, whether he is simply just a nervous guy or whether he is trying to avoid you so he doesn’t give off the wrong impression.

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If you aren’t sure what your gut is telling you, then read through the rest of the signs first and come back to it. You might have a better feeling then.

3) He stares when you aren’t looking

Have you ever turned around to catch a glimpse of him staring at you?

When you catch him, does he quickly turn away and avoid eye contact?

Looking away doesn’t mean he isn’t interested. It’s likely the opposite.

He likes you and is embarrassed that he got caught out watching you from across the room.

If you’re looking to encourage a relationship, then next time you catch him out, offer up a smile, or even walk over to him and strike up a conversation. Sometimes a nervous guy just needs a prod in the right direction to show his true feelings.

4) What would Sigmund Freud say?

Let’s be real: sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a guy likes you or is playing games. 

So why not enlist the help of the most famous psychologist of all, Sigmund Freud?

Yes, the grandmaster at understanding sex and attraction can give you a personal love diagnosis. 

I recently came across this extraordinarily fun “does he like me” quiz based on Freud’s most famous theories. 

Simply answer a few personal questions and let Freud himself dig deep down into your man’s subconscious to reveal what’s really motivating him in your relationship. 

I know that might sound a bit…clinical, and you’re not here to get a psychology lesson. But before you get spooked let me be clear:

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Taking this quiz was the most fun I’ve had on the internet in years!

Check out the quiz here.

5) He smiles when you walk in the room

It’s like every fairy tale you’ve ever heard.

The princess walks into the ball, Prince Charming looks over and smiles, mesmerized by her beauty.

OK, so maybe it doesn’t happen like that in real life, but the same signs are still there.

When you head out with friends, does he look up and smile when you walk in the room? Sure, he may look away as soon as you make eye contact, but if you’re lucky you might catch that glimpse.

He likes you a lot and is actually struggling to hide it.

6) He’s a good listener

It almost goes without saying that a shy, nervous guy makes for a good listener. After all, they are much more comfortable listening to you talk rather than being put on the spot themselves.

It’s important to consider how they are listening to you.

Does he:

  • Take in every word you say and respond at the right points in the conversation.
  • Stare into the distance as you talk, not taking much of anything in.

As you might’ve guessed, if it’s the former, he’s likely into you. If it’s the latter, then he is probably thankful you’re doing all the talking, but not exactly interested in you or what you have to say.

7) He treats you differently from other women

Regardless of how shy a guy is, the way he treats you compared to other women.

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When a guy is into you, he can’t help but act differently around you and treat you differently.

Many women mistakenly think that if a guy flirts with you – he must be into you. But the fact is, he could just be a flirter by nature.

This is why it is so important to watch how he is and acts around other women. This will give you a good base to start with.

Now compare this to how he is with you.

Notice any differences? If so, you might be onto something.

Relationship psychologists would argue that there’s something deeper at play here – that you’ve triggered a natural biological instinct in him.

What do you think drives him as a man? What does he actually want from you?

You may think that men are all about money, sex, food, and power.

Sure, those things all come into play at times. But I think there is a deeper truth that few women are aware of. That men are driven less by external things are more by how you make them feel about themselves when they’re around you.

Above all else men want to feel essential to the woman in his life.

That’s why he treats you differently to other women. Why he goes out of his way to help you. Because he wants to feel like your ‘hero’.

I mentioned the hero instinct above. It’s a fascinating new concept in relationship psychology that’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment.

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Men don’t necessarily want to be Bruce Willis but they do want to protect the woman they care about, treat her right and earn her love in return.

And if you want him to commit to a relationship with you, you’ll let him be one.

The best thing to do now is to watch this excellent free video by relationship psychologist James Bauer.

James outlines the simple things you can do to  trigger the hero instinct in your man.

Here’s a link to the excellent free video again.

8) His body language tells you so

Even though a guy may be nervous, his body language can do all the talking for him.

There are many different ways to read his body language. Here are some clues to look out for:

  • Posture: does he lean towards you when he talks to you? It’s because he is into you! If he leans away and seems distracted it’s never a good sign.
  • Touch: while it’s true that a nervous guy isn’t going to be quick to touch you, take a look at his gestures. Does he reach out for you before pulling back? Does he simply touch your hand when talking? These subtle signs are a good indication he likes you.
  • Smile: as we mentioned above, the smile says it all. But it doesn’t have to be just when you walk in a room. He may break out into a smile every time you speak or look at him. If you’re having this kind of effect on him, it’s because he likes you.

9) He pays attention to the little things

Even though he might be nervous and not willing to share a lot with you, it’s about noticing the little things he does.

For example, does he reach across and hand you a napkin while you are eating?

Does he always make sure to take your drink order when going for another round?

Does he ask you how you are when you’re alone?

Think back to any past interactions you might’ve had together and how they went. Was he considerate of your feelings and looking out for you?

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It’s these little things that matter. They show just how much he cares, even if he’s too nervous to say it.

10) He’s clumsy around you

The nervous guy also tends to be the clumsy guy.

His nerves get the better of him, causing him to fall or spill his drink. He could simply be feeling nervous because he likes you so much. Which, of course, causes his clumsy side to surface.

Help him out. Chuck him a reassuring smile, or go up and talk to him. This will ease his nerves and hopefully that clumsiness as well.

It can be quite an endearing quality in a guy. To know he gets nervous being around you. You just don’t want him feeling too out of his depth or he may think he doesn’t have a chance.

11) Your friends become his friends

When a guy is too nervous to be around you, he tends to put his focus on your friends instead.

After all, it’s much easier to talk to people who are important to you, rather than actually talk to you himself.

He will get close to them mainly because he wants to be close to you.

He’s hoping they might put in a good word for him. Or alternatively, you may see him in a different light with your group of friends.

If this guy is getting chummy with your mates, there may be a different motive at hand. He is simply into you and just trying to get your attention.

12) He asks questions

Even the shy and nervous guys eventually muster up the confidence to ask you questions.

Pay attention to the type of questions he asks.

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  • Does he try and keep it very casual and ask very open-ended questions?
  • Does he ask more intimate questions trying to get to know you better, such as asking about your siblings or your upbringing?

The more personal he gets, the more interested he is. He wants to know everything there is to know about you and get to know you as well as possible.

It’s because he is into you.

13) He chats on social media

For some guys who are too nervous to speak to you in person, social media is the perfect alternative.

He can feel safer to be himself behind a screen, which encourages him to reach out and open up.

The internet provides that perfect feeling of safety to help get rid of the nerves.

Does he like to message you or engage on social media?

What sort of questions does he ask you?

If you find that he doesn’t speak to you much in person, but is the first one to strike up a conversation online, then it’s because he likes you. He’s just too nervous to make a move in person.

What about lifting your own flirting game with him over social media?

Hollywood screenwriters are famous for using “attention hooks” to draw audiences into their TV shows and movies.

We’ve all been so hooked on a show that we couldn’t stop watching it.

Something at the end of each episode made you click “Watch Next Episode”. Almost as if you couldn’t help yourself.

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Relationship expert Amy North has adapted the same Hollywood techniques for texting men.

Watch her excellent video about it here.

As you’ll see in this video, text messages with “attention hooks” tap directly into the focus system of a man’s brain.

When you send these texts to a guy, you’ll pop into his head again and again throughout his day. He won’t be able to shake you from his mind.

No matter how far away he is or how long since you’ve seen each other.

If you want to completely transform your texting game, check out this free video by Amy North.

14) He ‘likes’ a lot

Perhaps this guy is even too nervous to hold a virtual conversation?

Don’t worry, it happens. He can’t help it if his nerves get the better of him.

Instead of reaching out and talking to you, he may share his feelings by liking all your posts.

He wants you to know that he sees you and sees what you do – even if he is too nervous to interact.

Welcome to dating in the modern age. With screens to hide behind, there are plenty more ways for guys to reach out and show their interest.

Gone are the days where they would have to phone up your landline and ask your dad for permission to talk to you! Thank goodness, because if this guy is already nervous around you, I don’t think you’d be getting the phone call…

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15) His friends tease him

Just because he’s too shy to open up and share how he feels about you, doesn’t mean his friends are.

What are friends for, if not to call you out in front of your crushes. Guys are pretty perceptive and know when their mate likes someone. They can pick up on his body language much faster than you can.

His friends might decide to give your relationship a helping hand by purposely teasing him so you can hear.

Sure, it might make you a little uncomfortable at first (and him too), but it can be the perfect ice breaker needed.

Have you already noticed this type of teasing from his friends? Next time, take the bait!

16) He follows you everywhere

Not in a stalker way – it’s more he seems to turn up to all the events you are at.

This could just be a coincidence, especially if you share the same group of friends.

Or it could mean something a little bit more. He’s trying to find excuses to be around you as much as possible.

Are his friends also coming to the same events? Or is it just him and perhaps a mate or two? This is a good indication that he is trying to be around you – rather than being a mere coincidence.

It’s because he likes you and wants to get close.

5 ways to help him

If you have read through the tips and discovered that he does in fact like you, then you might be wondering how you can help him and encourage this relationship.

A shy, nervous guy isn’t likely to get over his shyness and start flirting with your overnight.

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It’s something both of you need to work on together.

You can start by giving him a helping hand and letting him know that you like him back.

Here are 5 things you can do to encourage the relationship:

1) Trigger his hero instinct

Nothing gives a man more confidence than having his hero instinct triggered.

I mentioned the hero instinct above.

It’s a new concept in relationship psychology that goes to the heart of why some men commit to a relationship, while others hold back and keep their options open.

To learn about the words you can use, phrases you can say, and little requests you can make to trigger this very natural male instinct, watch this free video here.

2) Go out of your way to talk to him

He may not feel confident enough to approach you when you’re out and about, so approach him instead.

Strike up a conversation and keep it friendly. It’ll help him feel at ease and keep the conversation flowing.

3) Smile at him

A simple smile can be all it takes. Next time you catch him glancing over at you, look back with a smile.

He is after any sign that you might be into him as well, and a smile can mean just that.

The next time he is clumsy around you, once again offer a smile. The last thing he wants is for you to be laughing behind his back.

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It’s all about providing him with support and letting him know you’re ready when he wants to make his move.

4) Don’t try to change him

It’s important that you go into the relationship understand exactly who he is and what his personality is like.

This isn’t an opportunity for you to change him and bring him out of your shell down the track. That’s not fair on either of you.

Attempting to change him will make him feel insecure and change your relationship.

If you’re not into shy, nervous guys, then it’s best to avoid the relationship altogether.

5) Be patient

When it comes to nervous guys, it can take time.

Even when you’re giving out all the right signs and letting him know you’re interested, he may not be ready to make his move.

It can feel frustrating – we get it!

But you have to be patient. Shy guys can take a while to fight their nerves.

You may be tempted to jump the gun and ask him out yourself – while this could work, it could also scare off a shy guy and make him feel intimidated. Often it’s just best to wait.


Now is a good time to go back to that first sign and ask yourself what your gut is telling you now? Do you think he likes you? If so, do you like him back?

Once you have those questions answered then it’s time to make your move and let him know how you feel either way. Sometimes it’s the shy ones who need a little helping hand in the romance department. Remember, if you’re not interested then be gentle when you let him down. You don’t want him to become even more shy as a result!

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Hang in there, he’ll eventually muster up the courage to ask you out. After all, how could he not!

The real reason why men pull away

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