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How do you know if someone is looking at you?

Whether you’re sitting in a crowded room or walking down a busy street, you may sometimes get the sense that someone is watching you. But how can you really tell if someone is looking at you or if it’s just your imagination? Here are some signs to help you figure out if someone’s eyes are on you.

They Make Brief Eye Contact

One of the most obvious signs someone is looking at you is if they make eye contact. Now, making eye contact with someone doesn’t necessarily mean they were staring at you. When you look around a room or down a street, your eyes will naturally land on various people. Brief eye contact can just mean your eyes happened to meet for a second.

However, if you notice someone looking at you, your eyes meet, and then they quickly look away, there’s a good chance they were actually staring at you. The quick break in eye contact indicates they didn’t want to get caught looking. So if you catch someone’s gaze and they immediately avert their eyes, it’s likely they were watching you.

Their Body is Facing You

Pay attention to people’s body language around you. If someone has their chest, shoulders, knees or feet pointed in your direction, it shows their focus is on you. Even if they aren’t looking directly at you in that moment, a stance facing you is a clue they have been watching you or are intrigued by you.

On the other hand, if someone’s body is turned away, they probably aren’t paying attention to you. So the position of someone’s body compared to yours can give you insight into whether or not their eyes are on you.

They Seem Zoned Out

Have you ever spaced out while looking at something or someone? You may not even realize you’ve been staring because your mind is completely zoned out. If you notice someone has a blank, far-off look while facing your direction, chances are their eyes are on you, even if they aren’t consciously focused on you.

Some signs of zoning out while staring at you include:
– A blank facial expression
– Looking in your direction without moving their eyes
– Not reacting to things happening around them
– Not noticing if you return their stare

So if someone seems totally spaced out yet their stare doesn’t waver from you, their eyes are most likely locked onto you.

They Keep Glancing Your Way

When someone is trying to subtly look at you, they may repeatedly glance in your direction. You may notice the person quickly looking your way several times. Whenever you look over at them they avert their eyes, but it keeps happening.

Frequent glances from someone typically mean they have an interest or concern with you for some reason. It could be they find you attractive or threatening, are curious about you, feel competitive toward you or want to catch your attention. Whatever the reason, repeated glances usually equate to repeated looks when you aren’t watching them.

Their Eyes Follow You

This sign is harder to pick up on, but if you intentionally move around and someone’s eyes follow you, they are definitely watching you. For example, if you change seats in a waiting room and notice someone’s gaze shifts along with you, it’s clear they have their eyes locked onto you.

You can also test this by turning your head in different directions. If someone’s eyes stay glued on you, even as you look to the left, right and behind you, they have you in their sights.

You Can Feel Their Stare

Have you ever gotten the uncomfortable, skin-crawling sensation of being watched, even when you aren’t looking at the person? This innate feeling of having someone’s eyes on you tends to be accurate.

We can’t always explain how we intuitively know when someone is staring at us. There doesn’t need to be any obvious sign. You simply feel their gaze on you. So if you have the distinct gut sense that someone is boring holes in the back of your head with their stare, there’s a high chance you’re right.

Their Pupils Are Dilated

Dilated pupils can subtly indicate that someone is looking at you. When we see something that stimulates us, our pupils naturally enlarge due to arousal and interest. If someone has wide pupils while looking at you, it’s often a giveaway that you have their full attention.

Studies show that our pupils dilate when looking at people we find attractive. Pupil dilation also occurs when looking at something exciting, interesting or surprising. So if someone’s pupils are large when facing you, it means you are stimulating them in some way and have their complete focus.

They Seem Distracted When You Look

When someone stares at you for a while and then you suddenly turn to look at them, they will often show signs of distraction. They want to pretend they weren’t just ogling you. The person may suddenly look away, become very interested in something else or act startled.

Watch people’s reactions when you attempt to catch them staring. If they fumble or quickly avert their eyes, chances are good that your eyes met because they were already glued to you.

You Can See it in Their Eyes

Have you ever noticed the intent, fixed gaze of someone who is paying close attention? There is a noticeable intensity and focus in someone’s eyes when they are concentrating on something specific.

When you look directly at someone and can detect intensity or interest in their eyes, it usually means their visual focus is on you. Unlike brief glances or eye drifts, this kind of eye contact has purpose and attention behind it.

Their Head Tilts Toward You

Subtle head positioning can also indicate that someone is looking at you or closely observing you. If someone tilts their head slightly upward or to the side while facing you, they are likely studying you and giving you their attention.

Tilted heads show that someone is contemplating or intrigued by whatever their eyes are on. The tilted head position helps activate more neurons and sensory receptors toward the object of attention. So if someone’s head is craned your way, chances are you are under their microscope.

They Seem Hyperaware of Your Actions

People who are secretly watching you tend to show extra awareness of your smallest actions. If you lightly tap your fingers, flip your hair or adjust your clothes and someone’s eyes flick to follow, they are tuned in to everything you do.

Hyperawareness of your movements gives away that someone has been closely observing you. People don’t notice subtle fidgets and gestures from someone they haven’t been paying close attention to. But your mannerisms tend to stand out to someone who has been staring.

They Mimic Your Posture or Gestures

Someone intently watching you may start to unconsciously mimic your body language. If you cross your arms and notice someone else does the same shortly after, it can indicate they were very focused on your stance.

Posture and gesture mirroring happens naturally when we pay close visual attention to someone. Intently watching another person’s body language causes our brain to activate similar neurological pathways. So someone who mimics you may be revealing their eyes have been glued to you.

You Catch Them Off Guard

When someone is secretly watching you, they are usually careful to avoid getting caught. But occasionally you might catch them off guard. If you suddenly whip your head around and witness someone turning away or freezing up, there’s a good chance you busted them staring red-handed.

Catching someone in the act of looking at you isn’t always obvious. It may simply be that glimpse of unnatural body language when they don’t have time to pretend to look away. Surprising someone who is watching you can reveal their eyes have been on you the whole time.


Figuring out if someone is watching you isn’t always straightforward. While giving their full attention, starers are usually sneaky enough not to get caught. However, your instinct combined with recognizing patterns of eye contact, body language, and movement offers clues someone has their eyes on you. So if you have the hair-raising suspicion of being watched, you’re probably right.