Men have around ten very strong signs that they display when they’re feeling uncomfortable, worried, anxious, or even romantically interested in someone. These cues are easy to identify once you know what you’re looking for and the common places they tend to arise.
- Fidgeting, light sweating, leaning on one leg, or taking deep breaths would be more unique signs that a guy isn’t feeling completely comfortable around you.
- The top signs that a guy isn’t feeling comfortable around you are blushing and bobbing their legs or keeping their hands in their pockets (body language cues).
A study by Fatemeh Bahrami, PhD and Naser Yousefi, PhD looked at 50 men and 50 women (of high school age) and actually found out that women are more likely to be anxious (or nervous) than men. But it doesn’t mean it’s not prevalent. In fact, the study goes on to mention some of the “uncontrollability” factors that come into play when a male is feeling anxious or nervous. Body language cues as well as physical cues (like raising blood pressure or sweating) play a strong role in displaying “worry.”
Top ways to tell that a guy might be nervous
You’re probably aware of some of the top body language signs. That would include someone avoiding being in close proximity with you. Or simply avoiding any type of conversation with you. Here are some more unique signs that might give you some indicators. And what you can do about it.
Fidgeting, like playing with their hands or playing with something in their hands is a top sign that they’re feeling nervous. In fact, fidget spinners are some of the most popular toys for this type of person. It makes them feel calm and soothed by taking out their anxious behavior on the toy in front of them.
If you see someone doing this, try to remain calm with your body language and presence. Stand next to them instead of in front of them. Or simply ask them if they’re okay.
2. Avoiding eye contact
Someone who lightly avoids eye contact may be making you feel secure. It’s important that you notice when a guy is doing this for prolonged periods of time. If they’re avoiding eye contact too much, that would mean they’re feeling slightly intimidated by you.
If a guy is exhibiting this behavior, try to connect with them on their level. Maybe ask them questions about themselves. And then see what they respond to the most. Based on that, lean into the conversation in ways that make sure they’re discussing something they are passionate about.
3. Light sweating
Light sweating on the forehead, hands, or even upper lip (if they don’t have facial hair) is a great way to tell that someone is feeling nervous around you. A strong queue would be sweating happening when the two of you are standing and having a discussion. Or even sitting and having a discussion.
You can’t generalize someone being nervous if they just came in from a long walk. If they’re sweating, it might mean that they’re not comfortable sharing what you’re speaking about. Potentially change topics until they feel more comfortable. And circle back to what you need to talk about.
4. Leaning to one side of their body
A hard lean on one leg would be a strong sign that someone isn’t feeling comfortable. Especially a man. A strong and proper posture would indicate signs of confidence. If they’re leaning, it’s almost like they’re feeling like they need to escape from you.
If this is happening—understand that you simply have some work to do when it comes to building a connection with them. There’s nothing more that you can do than simply being friendly and hoping they adjust and become more comfortable.
Blushing is still a very strong sign that a guy is nervous. The top of their cheeks might become more rosy than the bottoms. Or they might start to smile and become slightly red. The combination of blushing along with other body language signs really puts a hard emphasis on how they’re feeling.
A blush alone might not be a strong indicator.
6. Taking deep breaths
A prolonged and deep breath from a guy might indicate that they’re having a hard time keeping their heart rate down. Or feeling that “lack of oxygen” sensor from their brain that you’re sending out. You’ll notice their chest begin to expand as they take a larger breath.
This, in combination with leaning or blushing, can definitely signal that they’re nervous or anxious around you.
7. Moving his legs too much
A single leg that’s bobbing or moving to a rhythm in their mind might indicate that they’re feeling restless. In addition, it indicates that the person isn’t truly listening to you. Their “active mind” is more focused on that rhythm playing rather than what you’re saying.
If this is happening to you in a conversation—it means you’re losing their attention span. Try to adjust your delivery with that person to see if you can get their active attention.
8. Adjusting his clothes
A gentleman who is moving his shirt, pants, or other clothing (even a hat) would indicate that they’re feeling restless. It’s very similar to a bobbing leg. In that he’s more focused on moving a part of his body rather than listening to you.
When this occurs in an active discussion—there’s a good chance you’ve lost his attention span. You’ll need to think through another way of keeping the conversation unique (like using visuals or better storytelling methods) to garnish the attention span with that person.
9. Putting his hands in his pockets
A man with his hands in his pockets signals that he wants to “hide.” It’s a very subtle and small sign. This is more often seen on first dates. Where a guy might not be totally comfortable being himself. Yet, he doesn’t want you to see the subtle insecurities.
If you’re experiencing this, it’s best to try and soften the way you’re approaching that person. Potentially speak quieter, ask more sincere questions, or simply treat that person with a little extra “kindness” than you would typically treat someone.
10. Sits on his hands
If you’re having a conversation in an office and a gentleman begins to sit on his hands, this would indicate that he’s feeling extremely cautious around you. Sitting on his hands is his way of making sure he’s absolutely still.
Think of this like when a person might “play dead” to a grizzly bear. The active mind wants to stop any type of action that would indicate weakness toward you. As a result, it still sends signals to you that they’re not in a comfortable position.
As a contrast, someone with their legs crossed and body pointed toward you (with very active eye contact) would be indicating much stronger and confident body language.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.