It’s difficult to know if a woman you work with is into you or just being friendly. It’s important to find out though because if you make a move and you’re mistaken, it could end up costing you your job and your reputation.
Check out these 15 surprising signs a female coworker likes you romantically, so you’ll know whether to go for it or just keep things strictly professional…
1) She is simply around you
The average person has a 40-hour workweek. That’s 2,080 hours a year of seeing, speaking, and getting to know the same people, your coworkers.
We tend to spend more active time with our colleagues than we do with our own family so it is to be expected that friendships and some level of platonic intimacy will happen.
In psychology, there is a phenomenon called “the Familiarity Effect” or “Mere Exposure Effect” which basically suggests that the more you are familiar or around something or someone, the more attractive it becomes to you.
Yep, that’s right.
You may not even truly like someone but if they’re around you often enough, your brain may actually convince you of the opposite. You will subconsciously notice more similarities with them and well, like them.
I know… this is really weird but it’s actually one of the first principles of attraction. The more we see someone and they haven’t yet harmed us, our brain says they are safe and we can be nice to them.
So really, she may have grown attracted to you simply because she sees you every day.
2) She stares (at you!)
Have you ever caught your female coworker staring at you?
Not just a quick eye glance but instead a deep and direct gaze?
Notice how she is looking. Is she looking at you almost as if she is in a daydream?
“Eye contact is way more intimate than words will ever be.”
– Faraaz Kazi
Eye contact is a dead giveaway that someone is attracted to you. But being aware of how they are looking at you is the only way to differentiate between an accidental glance or real lust.
“Holding someone’s gaze tells them, ‘I’m interested in you, and I’m worthy of you,’” says Barrett.
“It also makes a person feel ‘seen.’
“As the saying goes, the eyes are the windows to the soul, and part of the attraction is feeling that the other person sees the real you.”
If you often catch her eye but she quickly turns away and carries on with whatever she was doing, it was likely an accidental look and you shouldn’t think more about this.
But if she is constantly looking in your direction in an almost hypnotic and intentional stare, she’s got it bad. In other words, yes, she likes you.
3) She asks about your personal life
If a female coworker suddenly starts really asking you about your personal life, she’s showing real interest in you outside of the office.
She wants to get to know you beyond spreadsheets and Zoom calls.
If her questions seem detail-driven like she wants to know your dog’s name or what restaurants you went to over the weekend or where you were born, she is compiling data about you in her mind.
Sometimes this may come off as her probing or being nosy, but it’s likely not. Women love details. It helps them see the broader picture and she’s including you in hers. Author Rebecca Shambaugh states:
“Women tend to absorb more information through their senses and store more of it in the brain for other uses than men do. Therefore, women generally have more interest in details and pay more attention to them than men do.”
4) She ‘accidentally’ touches you, a lot
Does she seem to “bump” into you often? Does she touch your shoulder and give it a strong squeeze when you say something funny?
If these types of things happen just one time, it was probably an actual accident. Or, if you notice she does the same type of thing with other people, it may just be her personality and she communicates through touch.
Touching in the workplace is definitely a taboo topic but if you stick to the rules of office etiquette, it can actually enhance the way you communicate.
“…other appropriate workplace touches include a pat on the back or a hand on the shoulder. Both can communicate important messages of praise and encouragement.
“However, remember that all people do not share the same comfort levels with touching. An innocent touch for one person can make another feel uncomfortable, so it is always best to take note of body language and respond accordingly.”
If she is constantly singling you out and giving you hugs, pokes, squeezes, or often brushing or bumping against you, she’s touching you on purpose and letting you know that she is definitely attracted to you.
(Note: It’s up to you to decide how comfortable you are with her actions).
5) She uses “we” and “if” sentences
Does your female coworker often use “we” and “if” sentences like “Well, if we were a couple, I would never treat you that way…” or “We have so much in common!”?
When a woman becomes more comfortable around a man she is attracted to, the language and choice of words she uses may change. She may start using “we” and “if” sentences as a subtle (and maybe even subconscious) way of telling you that she wants there to be a “we”.
If your coworker is always making you and her a “we”, this is a hint that she wants to be more than “just friends”.
6) She brings you little gifts or goes out of her way for you
A subtle way to tell that a female coworker likes you is if she is constantly going out of her way for you and bringing you little things.
Does she often bring you coffee in the morning? Does she offer to drop off your dry cleaning on the way home? Does she leave snacks or lunch at your desk?
If this isn’t part of her job description and she is seemingly going out of her way to cater to your comfort, this is a subtle way of making you feel important.
She is showing you that you are a priority and she wants you to be taken care of.
7) Asks you for help (when she doesn’t really need it)
Are men really that different from women? Psychologist James Bauer seems to think so.
Bauer coined the term, “hero instinct” to describe the biological drive inside of men to protect their loved ones and live a life of useful purpose. He concludes that in order to gain or “win” the love and affection of a man, this hero instinct must be triggered.
When a woman asks a man for help, even with small and silly tasks, she can trigger this instinct making him feel appreciated and needed.
If you notice that your coworker is asking for your assistance with projects or tasks like moving her desk around, and you feel good about it, she is triggering your hero instinct.
Check out this really interesting article and video that goes into full detail of this new psychological concept.
8) She finds reasons to reach out after hours
I once worked with a man who was texting and emailing me all the time after hours. We got along great but I used to think he was just super diligent and a borderline workaholic.
It wasn’t until months later when a female coworker friend had hinted that this man never reached out to anyone else and it was obvious he had a crush on me.
By the time I had realized this, the guy had already left his job to pursue something else. (Insert disappointed ‘sigh’).
If your female coworker is sending you texts at night or emails on weekends, and nothing is urgent, she’s simply trying to talk with you.
She wants to be involved in your life (out of the workspace) and connecting with you after hours when you’re spending time privately, is a way for new topics and conversations to come up.
She wants a deeper bond and is definitely into you.
9) She compliments you (in front of others)
“A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.”
– Victor Hugo
Compliments are a genuine sign that someone likes and appreciates you.
But in the workplace, they could just be standard forms of praise.
If you’re trying to figure out whether a woman you work with romantically likes you, pay attention to the types of compliments she is giving and who is hearing them.
Is she telling the team what a great job you did on last week’s presentation? If so, she may just be a supportive coworker.
But, if she compliments your appearance or something you said, over and over, and she does this in front of others, she is publicly sharing her affection for you.
10) She shares personal information with you
An obvious sign that a female coworker likes you, is if she begins sharing personal information with you.
If she has started telling you about her dating life, or what her parents were like growing up, she is showing you that she feels safe with you.
Most people don’t like to share too much about their personal life. When you open up to someone, you run the risk of being rejected or judged. Nobody wants that!
So if your coworker has started telling you stories (and not just facts), that carry emotional importance, she is showing you that she wants to trust you. This is a big deal and it is a definite sign that she wants you to get to know her better.
11) She asks about your family
An interesting study came out of Japan that highlighted “family structure” as a possible consideration when choosing a partner to mate with.
If your coworker asks you a ton of questions about the kind of family you grew up in, she is likely trying to better understand your values and commitments and whether or not you are family-oriented. She is thinking about her future and she is including you in it.
“…young women prefer and seek communal and family-oriented men. In addition, young women find family-oriented men more attractive precisely because they think they are more communal and better parents.
“Women who are already in a heterosexual relationship with a more family-oriented man experience less work-family conflict and are more satisfied with their lives.”
12) She notices small changes
Did you just get a haircut and nobody, but her, said a thing?
Does she seem to notice every time you wear a new shirt or have a new cologne on?
If she is hyper-aware of every time you buy a new outfit or trim your beard, she is paying attention. That’s a good sign because she is paying attention to you!
So unless her focus starts to become creepy (like she starts mentioning every new follower you have on Instagram), take this attention as a compliment and recognize that she’s knees deep into one of the stages of attraction, so yes, she absolutely likes you.
13) Her body language is different
Next time you’re in a group meeting, pay attention to her body language.
When she’s talking to you, are her feet pointing towards you? Do her arms uncross when she’s near you? When she makes a comment to the team, is she looking at you for signs of approval?
Understanding body language is a wonderful way to sort out how someone feels about you.
If she tilts her head to the side a bit when you two are engaged in conversation, this is a non-verbal social cue that indicates she wants to absorb what you have to say.
If she steps closer into your personal space or puts down items she’s holding (keeping her arms and hands open) when she is near you, this shows that she is welcoming you into her space and wants you to be near.
14) She smiles at you (all the time)
This seems like an obvious one but there’s something to be said about genuine and intentional smiling.
Smiles give off a natural sense of warmth and affection.
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
– Mother Teresa
If your coworker is constantly smiling at you, more than others, her face is telling you what you want to know. She likes you!
Smiling has been scientifically proven to make us more “dateable”. A study out of Switzerland found that the more people smiled, the more attractive their faces appeared.
But there is a difference between a fake smile and a real one. A passive or forced grin won’t get very far up on your face, whereas a real, authentic smile, coming from a place of joy or attraction, tends to reach all the way to the eyes.
You’ve heard the term “smile eyes” right? That is used to describe massive, full-face grins that make even your eyes look like they’re smiling.
The coolest part is that these types of smiles are often contagious. Meaning people tend to smile back when met with a genuine grin.
If you notice that you can’t help but smile in return when you see her smile, she is flashing you the real deal and she definitely digs you.
15) She makes you feel special
When you are around someone who genuinely has a desire to get to know you better, you can absolutely feel it. When they are attracted to you, in a romantic and sincere way, you sense that you are wanted, needed, and special.
Be mindful of how you feel around this person. Pay attention to your own body language; take accountability for your thoughts and internal hints and listen to your intuition.
If your gut is telling you that she only wants to be work buddies with you, don’t risk your professional reputation (or hers) by making any advances.
But, if after reading these 15 signs a female coworker is into you, and your instinct is telling you it’s okay to return her affection, give yourself permission to politely engage with her.
Should you or shouldn’t you?
It shouldn’t be a shocker that 30% of all relationships start at work. After all, you’re spending so much time with your colleagues!
An office romance could lead to a wonderful and lasting connection.
But, once you are able to recognize that a female coworker likes you, if you are looking to get involved with her, just make sure you take all the necessary steps to avoid any professional conflict.
To dive deeper into discovering how to listen to your intuition and develop meaningful relationships and intimacy, in or out of the office, check out this brilliant masterclass led by a world-renowned shaman, Rude Iande.
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