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

I’m getting tired of the mixed signals. Is he playing a game with me and am I just an ego boost? post image

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!)

If you want to understand a man's actions then you must also take notice to how he acts with other men and women.

Guys have a tendency to act a little different around women they are attracted to. Sure some are better at hiding it, and some are "just that good" BUT I have yet to meet many men who don't act sort of primal (especially if you're attractive enough to give him an ego boost) while around certain women.

Okay so men don't typically ignore a woman unless they have nothing to say, don't know what to say, or are just focused in their own little world. Most men also have no propensity, know-how, or a clue about what "playing a game" would even involve.

The fact is I'd assume NO man is playing a game because:

  1. If he's bad at it you'll know it, trust me on that. You'll see right through it and
  2. if he's that good at it, no amount of thinking about your interaction with him will probably help you figure it out. You'll only confuse yourself even more.

Which is another good reason to see how he is based on his social personality. That means how he "interacts" with any other living creature. Yes, even animals.

Forget about a man mirroring your actions, forget he seems shy and distant sometimes and other times is so outgoing and into you, forget anything and everything he is talking about, for now at least.

Pay careful attention to who he is as a complete person in his world. He may be distant and shy sometimes because he's engrossed in thought. Maybe he didn't get enough sleep.

Maybe one day he woke up after a great night sleep. He feels energized, happy, outgoing, and will definitely smile more.

I've found all these signals you (and yes lots of other women too) are looking for are really about you, not him. "Does he like ME?" is about you. "Why does he smile at ME and talk a lot, while other times he ignores ME like he feels nothing?"

Something I teach my guys, I'm sorry a concept I try to drive in their heads over and over and over again because they too get caught up in trying to figure out YOUR signals or games (when so many of you wouldn't play a man even if your life depended on it) is:

Assume she is into you - unless she gives a definitive action proving otherwise.

Me, right now Cynthia, I actually believe you want me. Not because of what you asked, or how you can give guys Ego boosts 😉 but because the confidence I feel inside won't let me believe it any other way.

Now you may call me a cocky bastard for it but the truth is I'm not bragging or making a far-fetched claim about my ability to attract. I'm merely living by the frame in my mind which assumes you're into me unless otherwise you have rejected any form of advancement on my part.

This means if I never advance with you, or give you any reason to reject an offering or invitation from me I will forever consider your attraction to me.

In your situation, or all your interactions with men, I'd suggest you do the same.

Think about this - remember when you were having a bad day and someone tried to talk to you, maybe some guy that came on a little strong so you got abrupt with him, well I bet you were not very receptive to him because you were not in the mood. Not because you hated him. You've handled things like this before.

If you were abrupt with me and I did nothing too stupid I would assume you're having a personal problem which has little to do with me.

If a guy's not smiling at you one day but on another is - you can assume it probably has little to do with you unless you've given him that smile. But then - you would know that wouldn't you. If you touched his arm and he pulled away shyly then you'd know. If you smiled and he pleasantly smiles back, well then you know you caused it.

Alright - here's my quick take on your situation and I'm only giving it to you if you consider my advice above from now on! I'll assume you'll follow it the best you can, okay? 😀

A part of you believes this man is giving you mixed signals - I see a guy who is uncertain about what to do in a work environment.

Notice or ask him about his relationship with work. ( Does he believe in dating a co-worker or something along those lines? )

Does he linger around other women? Men will often put themselves close to women they are attracted to (kind of hoping) it will lead somewhere. However if he doesn't know how to lead the interaction further, like taking you out or meeting up after work, then he will probably go very quiet at times and just linger about.

If he's only doing it with you - then you have the answer you were looking for.

Men (the ones who are unsure about women) will avoid saying "Hi" or talk to you but leave themselves close enough to a woman because they feel - if she starts a conversation with me, that's the signal I can move on.

You see men are doing the same thing. Looking for YOUR approval. They're looking for any signal from you that you're "into" them.

Neither one of you are taking the lead as far as I can see. You're both looking for a "definitive" answer that you will only get if one of you steps up and progress through to a different social environment.

You may believe it's his responsibility.

He may be questioning the work situation or if it's appropriate to ask.

You may be looking for his approval first, before you're willing to step out and make that social progression happen.

He may be so unsure of himself or your approval that he's constantly looking for validation in any form whatsoever. ( Being extra helpful, lingering about, waiting for you to talk to him, using your name, holding the eye contact, etc...)

The pattern continues endlessly and is unfortunately unnecessary Cynthia.

Where does all this leave you? Do you make that first move and ask for a meet up? Do you expect if a man can not progress with you properly he's probably not going to be much of a leader in a relationship anyways? Do you find a way to make it so easy on him he can not resist asking you out?

Do you risk giving him an "ego boost" only to find out he was using you for it?

Again - assume he's into you. You can always take the ego boost away at a later date if he deserves it. 🙂

My advice - If you're tired of the mixed signals, if you sick of waiting around for him to make his intentions clear, if he's that unsure of himself and what he has to offer, then I'm going to assume you have every available skill to attract another man who knows your desires and can make them a reality.

(You can read my email policies here. No spam ever! Your information is always private. )
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.
33 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.

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