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Are You Getting Mixed Signals From Him? Is It An Ego Boost or A Game?

Man Woman Working Together Interest Signals


I was wondering if you could help me.

Have a confusing situation with a male coworker.

I am very attracted to him, and he has shown a few signs that he might like me but then he ignores me.

We have smiled at each other across the room, he always smiles a toothy smile and holds eye contact, speaks to me softly, uses my name all the time, tries to be extra helpful, always lingering around my desk but mainly just talks about work, he does mirror my actions and gestures a lot.

Sometimes seems shy and can’t make eye contact.

Then all of a sudden he will just ignore me not even say hi, but still linger around me.

I’m getting tired of the mixed signals. Is he playing a game with me and am I just an ego boost (again!) 

I don't see any mixed signals here from your co-worker and ALL women that men find attractive can be an Ego boost to a guy if they know without a doubt they're attracted to him. Just like you walk a little taller when some handsome guy is checking you out - so do guys.

What you have here is a type two guy who likes you and is waiting around for YOU to make it okay or easy on him to take things further with you.

I'll explain.

First reason why he's waiting for YOU to make it okay for him because you work with him.

The "rules" are different at work and guys just don't know when it's okay to get closer to a woman in those situations for obvious reasons:

  • He could lose his job.
  • He could be accused of sexual harassment.
  • He could be publicly rejected by someone he has to see everyday.
  • He could get involved with you, date you, or whatever and (when or if) it all goes wrong you still have to work with each other.

Second reason: He's "trying" not to scare you away or look overly needy and desperate for your attention.

ALL men are known for doing this. You're not being ignored - He's giving you space. He's determined to show you his life at work doesn't revolve around you AND he's avoiding the monotony of lame unmeant "hellos" everyday.

Some guys (and people) are like that. They don't feel they should have to say hi every time they see you and at some point it begins to feel fake and so nonchalant it doesn't even mean anything any more.

Third reason: He's engaging and disengaging you to note your reaction because he doesn't have a clue if you "like" him or are interested in HIM.

Call it a game if you want but if you're doing nothing to show him you're interested in him and he's a type two guy who doesn't get women, he will rarely assume a woman like him or is even interested in talking to him.

You wrote that he's made it clear he's interested in you when you mentioned how he's shown a few signs that he likes you:

  • He's doing all the mirroring junk (which honestly is a load of nothing anyways - people mirror all the time and it's never a conclusive sign or signal of interest, like, or attraction) but if that's what you believe as a sign he does like you then it's all good.
  • You smile at each other from across the room and you get a big toothy one from him too which probably means it's genuine.
  • He makes eye contact and holds - that's a sign of confidence and rare for a type two but not unheard of.
  • He uses your name all the time - he's showing you he remembers you and he's probably using some out-dated attraction thing where if you say someone's name it makes them feel special and they'll remember you more.
  • He's trying to be helpful which is HIS way or excuse to get close to you AND prove his manly masculinity by being your hero when you can. This hero concept is taught and used by "attraction experts" to show women HOW to attract a guy.

You can read about the Hero Instinct here if you like:

They were all written by James Bauer and come from video : WATCH: His Secret Obsession - The video explains the hero instinct concept more in depth.


He's doing the classic "lingering around your desk" - and that's the typical type two guy's way of getting close to you JUST in case something happens AND he's once again waiting for YOU to proceed forward.

He feels like he's made it abundantly clear he's NOT going to ask you out or take things further until YOU give him a CLEAR SIGNAL to go ahead - he's waiting for the proverbial "green light".

Generally speaking - a man who lingers lacks the confidence and know-how to move forward.

They don't get or know the mating sequence.

They believe if they get close enough to the woman SHE will make the first move thus relieving him of being rejected (publicly and at work I might add) and also taking the risk out of any further interactions.

EVERYTHING listed above are CLEAR SIGNS he's interested in you AND covers the supposed ignoring you too.

He's NOT ignoring or blowing you off - he's NOT sending mixed signals - he's not USING you for an Ego boost - Attractive women ARE every man's Ego boost IF and ONLY IF you act accordingly to boost their Ego... otherwise you're actually deflating his manhood or masculinity and not building it up.

Which it appears is what you're "unknowingly" doing to him and I'm coming to that conclusion for a few reasons which I'll elaborate on now to help you out.

Your last statement says so much in so few words:

"I’m getting tired of the mixed signals. Is he playing a game with me and am I just an ego boost (again!) "

What you have perceived from this guy - the mixed signals - has apparently frustrated you AND if that comes across to him (which it probably is because guys will sense that before they sense you're attracted to them) THEN he's being a little stand-offish because he's mistaking that frustration as how YOU feel when he's around you.

Sure - you could argue what came first as in the chicken or the egg here - you feel like you only became frustrated and upset AFTER he started ignoring you but it doesn't work that way.

HE started SOMETHING and what he started was talking to you, lingering around you, smiling at you - ALL clear signs and then - when you didn't get the same amount of attentive attention you were getting before - the anger came out and WHY...?

Because in the past you were used or played by another man you found attractive who did something to you (hurt you - emotionally upset you - used you for sex - whatever  the case or I imagine "cases" may be in your past relationships with men.

That's where and when the "again!" came out.

You found him attractive - he gave you some attention and when he took it away you immediately went to the "bad" place - "Just another guy going to play me - use me - send me mixed signals - WHY can't guys just be honest and upfront?"

Well that honest and upfront answer is right here:  Why Men Can’t Be Upfront & Honest While They’re Dating You.

...Because sure, something you should be honest and upfront but other things - it's not advisable because it destroys attraction. Which is why you and others look for signals or signs and RUN from guys who make it blatantly known in your first interactions how you could be the ONE!

What's the solution to your mixed signals - ignoring you - is he playing you - using you problem?

Number one - are you being played?

Figure out quickly if he's a type one or type two guy because a type two guy has little or absolutely NO chance at playing any woman.

This information goes beyond figuring out a player or not and will help you understand men in so many great ways - so get on my list - read the book I wrote for you. In it you'll be given a ton of questions to help you determine his type - and you'll know if you're being played or used or not.

Read this too: Defining A Player, The Games He Uses, & Why Most Men Are Not Players.

Lastly - NEVER forget this: You can not be played by a guy unless you give him what he wants or what he's saying he does not want from you. (Because that's part of the game too.)

Most men play women for power and sex and to use it to play another woman so the cycle continues. So... Don't sleep with him until he's proven himself otherwise and eventually he'll give up IF he's not looking for something more.

Number two - HOW to solve this mixed signal problem you think you're getting or hoping you're not.

I believe I've proven to you that you're not getting mixed signals from him - ALL the signs are clearly there.

You must meet him half way.

You must make it clear to him it's OKAY to proceed further despite work AND he must be at least confidently assured you're not going to publicly reject him.

Flirt with him and see where it goes. The direction he goes after will tell you all you need to know about his intentions AND where he stands on the dating a co-worker thing.

All in all - you MUST SHOW SOME INTEREST in him otherwise he'll probably never get it.

I'm not saying to chase him - just put yourself in a position to escalate your conversations so they go a little deeper and don't be afraid to ask the tough (sure sometimes naughty) questions from him.

Number three - Is  he using you for an Ego boost problem?

Seriously - I'm NOT holding back on this one so I hope you're prepared for it...

This attitude (tired of guys using me for to boost their Ego) makes you look arrogant and a little high maintenance AND if this guy is getting that from you - THAT is one reason why you're being ignored from time to time. (Along with the reasons I mentioned above about trying to show you he's not some needy desperate co-worker who is going to be all up in your ass all the time.)

I'm telling you MAN to woman here - guys get absolutely turned off by women who think just because they're attractive EVERY guy wants them and how they feel life is tough being good-looking and how THEY don't understand what it's like to be this way.

Not only does it push good guys away it actually draws the bad men in because when they find you physically challenging in this way - they see it as a game and feel little or no remorse playing or using a woman who acts like that.

NOW I understand where you're coming from - I hear you - things have happened in the past which has made you a little weary, hesitant and distrustful of guys you find attractive.

If I was exempt from all this and was perfect in my own right then I wouldn't be able to see these things so clearly AND I'd be the last person giving advice on change and attitude because I'd come off as some arrogant prick who thinks he's better than every one else.

Loosen up a little - TRUST you're strong and smart enough to know if you're being used or not and you won't have to go looking for it AND you'll find the better men will feel more comfortable opening up to you PLUS you'll find it so much easier to give some signs of interest back a little minus the fear of being used.

That's all good stuff right there PLEASE use it and take it in the best way possible.


I feel like I've opened up men to you today so use it to your advantage. This kind of information about how the other side (men) work can be used to help you trust men and their intentions better without opening you to getting hurt.

Men will often put themselves out a little and WAIT for approval from you to proceed forward. You must not take it as a mixed signal or a game - they're just doing what feels like the right thing to do.

You'll also find it's highly more likely to happen in a work environment because of all the added pressure and severe consequences if their actions are taken as something other than a kind gesture of dating interest.

AND PLEASE don't be afraid to take my full advice today knowing full-well if you do and it works out better for you - you'll be boosting my Ego... just a bit.

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About the author: Understanding men does not have to be complicated anymore and I can show yow how… There are only two types of guys and if you don’t know which one he is, you could misinterpret everything he says or does as it relates to you. Your new guy friend, Peter White – Understanding Men Made Simple.

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This article was posted in Games Guys Play – Is He Playing You? Is He A Player? Don’t Get Fooled, Why Do Guys – Understanding Men and The Things They Do To Confuse You

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35 comments… add one
  • Ashley

    Hi Peter

    Ok, so there is this guy at work. Almost a year ago, I let him know that I had a small crush on him. He responded with her would like to hang out, admitted he has social issues (aspergers). We text a lot, I find him at my desk and lot for small things, he stares at me a lot.my issue is, It’s been almost a year, and still we have not hung out. He hasn’t asked (I have). Am I friend zoned? I’m so confused. I seem ty of be the only one that he confides in right now.

    • Peter White

      Hi Ashley,

      I’m going to assume here you will have to be the one asking him out probably more than once BUT that doesn’t guarantee he will accept or even show up based on the severity of his social issues.

      I Highly doubt you’re friend zoned.


  • Neri

    Hi Pete, I read your post and that’s how I’ve been trying to work things to me he’s very Into me and I’m very unto him. I’m always assuming he’s into me but now I think I might be falling for him and that’s not so good.

    First of all he’s my boss. When he started his position I was working another position helping in his area but I had other direct bosses. And at first he was shy but always sweet and friendly then BOOM he got super friendly (he’s going through a divorce and this happened like 3 weeks after he took his wedding band before he was just friendly) and once that happened all the things started happening one time I was doing data entry he hugged me from the back (mind u I was sitting) and said HEY GOODMORNING giving me a kiss on the cheek. Then we had a free week and we came back and he gave me A BIG hug and said hey did you miss me? And he’s always asking if I’m behaving… Once I was talking with a coworker and he was walking toward us so I assumed he was gonna talk with us but no HE BRUSHED past me and kept walking. When we look at each other we always or mostly lock eyes. Now I work in his office and I mientras be getting an office soon but I’m moved to an area that’s near him. They set a phone for me and they were gonna a move it to another area and he was like No she goes besides me. Another time I was writing something and he said why you’re so far away come sit here with me (I had to cos I had to use his phone – didn’t have my own then-) so when I did I said ok done are you happy? And he’s like YES! *BIG SMILE* and once I was talking w a coworker and there was a lot of ppl and he said hi from away so later I’m near our area (I wasn’t working that day) and he’s like come here! (signaling with his hands and mouthing it) and I’m like what? And he’s like COME HERE and I go and he says why are you looking at me like you’re angry? So I was like no reason? So he says are u mad because I didn’t proper said hi? And I said maybe? (but jokingly because we have this back and forth thing of bickering but it’s not a real bicker…) and he’s like come here and he gives me a hug and then he’s like I didn’t said proper hi because there was a lot of ppl on that office and ppl talk I’m watching over ur back.. Plus he has Zero personal space with me I would say we’re in intimate space 85% of the time he wants me close and to make him company and such but we just talk works tuff and rarely personal stuff..

    And like that I’ve got LOADS of things and little tidbits that have happened meanwhile we work together.

    Also I on the other side have flirted as well, I brush past him, I get close if he gets close, he never backs away either. He likes my company he’s said so to myself as well… Plus I’m sure of that…

    BUT once I said let’s go out and have some beers and he didn’t even think about it he said yes! but we never set a date. I tried texting once and he answered but the convo didn’t flow.

    So… My former boss (she’s a female) I’ve seen them get somewhat close (because they’re working a project together now) but he’s never as close to her as he’s with me they have personal space but he never gets into her intimate space as he does with me… Plus idk if she’s noticed because she’s been somewhat mean to me lately and she was saying a comment the other day about why I was doing x thing and I said well he insisted so much! And he doesn’t want to let me go I’m doing it (he was in front of us and I was tired of her bs comments to me) and he took my side 300% he was like “she’s the one we need! She needs to do that.” and at that moment he got a call and she left.

    To be quite honest I believe 200% he’s into me… But he’s not taking that step (which I can understand since he’s going through the whole divorce process and that’s a tedious thing) but idk what else to do. I’m sorry I’m dumping this on you maybe you won’t even read it but your post made me think of many things and to be positive and always assume they like you of they don’t back up… But I also don’t want to be an ego boost I’m really into him and I just want to have something serious if possible with him.

    Should I keep flirting back or I should just back up and forget about it all?

    Ps. Sorry if this is all over the place English it’s not my main language.

    I seriously hope you read this and can give me your pov on it because I think I’m going crazy.

  • Jenny jenkins

    So I (F,24) just started a new job about 2 months ago. I started to notice this attractive guy (25+? Not sure of his age) who’s just my type, we work on the same floor but different departments so we’ve never interacted except running into each other in the hallway, printer e.t.c.

    (Side note – I’m black and he’s white and where we live that pairing’s not common which is why i’m skeptical of things + He could be intimidated cause of that.)

    Anyways we started making eye contact it was casual i thought nothing of it until it started happening more frequently. He’d start opening the door for me, and I overheard him complementing me to his friends. (I had my earpods in and they were walking behind me.)

    The attraction got stronger mainly cause he’s the only guy i’m attracted to on my floor, and being single for 2 years a girl has needs. LOL
    Anyways i’d find myself daydreaming about us talking, getting to know each other and whatnot. What attracted me to him was how he seemed so confident at the start and had a friendly aura about him yet still maintaining a bit of mystery.
    [I have been told My whole life I have very intense eyes, sometimes not realizing it, I could make eye contact with a guy and they’ll come over and talk to me. Which is strange cause i don’t smile while doing it.]

    So Last Friday we ran into eachother on my way to the toilet and he was going to the printer, we had the longest eye contact ever, he gave me a slight smile and i said Hi (not sure he heard, it was quiet but he should’ve seen my mouth move) After that I come out of the toilet and he’s still at the printer.
    I noticed him checking me out twice ( he didn’t even try to hide it) After that day he just seems the opposite now, he avoids making eye contact now, avoids coming through my entrance and I feel embarrassed cause maybe he thinks I’m creepy or weird. I know i definitely got signals from him which is why i said hi but i’m starting to have doubts and I feel so stupid now. I don’t want things to be awkward. He doesn’t seem his usual self anymore he just seems quiet and like he doesn’t want to be at work. What did I do wrong? Have I ruined the slightest chance of us at least getting to know each other? How can I make things normal again!

    • Sorry, you can’t turn back the clock. This new normal is now normal if you know what I mean.

      STOP worrying so much about it. You’re driving yourself crazy and if your first thoughts are negative about yourself, you’ll only make things tougher on yourself.

      Chances are – it’s WORK. The “rules” change at work. Good guys are so extremely worried about overstepping the boundaries, and getting fired nowadays which has them acting like little wimps in the office.

      What “probably” happened is that he’s a type two guy, he just doesn’t get it and internalizing everything a woman does as if it it’s against him. Meaning, when you didn’t reciprocate his hello in a way which was obvious, he mistook as you being “not available” as a work associate. I highly doubt he thinks you’re creepy. HE is more likely believing HE creeped you out with his stares and his “not-so-forwardness” with you.

      My advice – stand tall – SAY HELLO plainly and clearly the next time you see him. Big smile. If you have to, catch up with him at the printer and start a fun, slightly flirty conversation.

      It won’t turn back the time but it will reset the clock for something “else” to happen.

      STOP blaming yourself. You’re not stupid. The beginnings of ALL great interactions are quite often awkward. Don’t take it personal.

      You have lots of opportunities to get to know each other BUT you might have to open the door because of the work angle which is scaring lots of men from doing anything forward unless there’s a clear, “Hey punk, you like me. I’ll give you the chance. Do something and take a chance, I won’t hold it against you.” Make it clear. Open the door.


      Step back and see what he’s made of.

      Thanks for asking and all the best of luck to you.

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