If you have recently had a guy rub your shoulders you’re probably wondering why he did it and what it might mean.
This post will try to help you figure out why he might have rubbed your shoulders and to understand what it means as it happens in the future.
So, why do guys rub your shoulders? Possible causes of a guy rubbing your shoulders are that he is attracted to you, trying to reassure you, being dominant, mirroring you or it could be normal in his culture.
Since there are a number of reasons why a guy might rub your shoulders it is important to consider the other body language signals that he shows when he is around you.
By doing so you’ll be able to get a better understanding of the motives that he had behind rubbing your shoulders.
Why a guy might rub your shoulders
Each of the different reasons why a guy will rub your shoulders will likely come with a number of different clues in his body language.
Below, I will mention a number of different reasons why a guy might rub your shoulders along with the body language signals to look for.
He is attracted to you
If he only seems to rub your shoulders and you notice that his behavior and body language changes when he notices you then it would be likely that he does it because he finds you attractive.
If he does find you attractive then it would be likely that he would show it in multiple different ways in his behavior and body language.
These ways can include:
- Standing near you when talking to you
- Touching you, in general, more than others
- Talking to you more than others
- Holding eye contact with you for longer than normal
- Speaking more deeply than normal
- Having dilated pupils when talking to you
- Pointing his feet in your direction even when he’s not directly in front of you
- Adjusting himself as soon as he notices you
- Adjusting his crotch area when he’s around you
- Showing signs of nervousness when around you
- Showing signs of anxiety when you’re with other men
- Staring at you and quickly looking away when you notice
- Mirroring your body language
- Laughing and looking at you to see if you are as well
- Positioning himself to be near you
He wants more than just a friendship
It could be the case that he’s been your friend for a while and that he wants to be more than just friends.
If that is the case then he likely wouldn’t have rubbed your shoulders before.
He also would be more likely to glance at you often, get anxious when you’re with other men and to show signs of nervousness when talking to you.
He wants to see how you’ll react
It might be the case that he finds you attractive but he’s unsure of what you think of him so he rubbed your shoulders to see if you would react positively.
Again if that is why he did it then it would be likely that he would show signs of attraction in his body language. He would be especially likely to glance at you often.
He’s being dominant
If a guy wants to get the people around him to submit to him then he will often touch the people around him.
It could be the case that he rubbed your shoulders as a dominating gesture. If that is the case it would be likely that he was telling you to do something or that he was making a statement. It would also likely have been a firmer rub.
It is possible that he was being dominant and that he finds you attractive. If that was the case then he would likely show signs of attraction in his body language.
If he was being dominant he would likely show other dominating signals in his body language.
They can include:
- Putting his hands and feet on things that aren’t his
- Telling people to do things
- Standing and sitting in a way that makes him appear to be larger
- Standing in peoples personal space
- Talking over people
- Interrupting people
- Tight lips
- Tensing the jaw
He’s trying to make you feel better
Sometimes a guy will rub a woman’s shoulders when he is trying to reassure her.
If you were showing signs of feeling sad or you were talking to him about something that you were sad or unsure about then it could be that he was trying to reassure you.
If he was then it would be likely that he only did it at that moment and that he doesn’t do it in other scenarios.
He’s mirroring you
When a guy is trying to fit in with a certain group of people he will begin to mirror their behaviors.
If you have rubbed his shoulders in the past and you both hang out with the same group of people then it could be the case that he was mirroring your behavior.
Mirroring can also be a sign that he is attracted to you. If he is then he would likely show it in other ways as well.
If he was mirroring you then it would be likely that he would mirror other aspects of your body language as well.
These can include:
- How you walk
- Your hand gestures
- Your smile
- The pitch and speed that you speak at
- Your facial gestures
- The way you stand and sit
It’s normal where he’s from
It might be the case that it’s normal to touch people while talking to them where he is from.
Even if it is it could still be the case that he rubbed your shoulders for one of the reasons mentioned above. If he did then he likely would have changed his behavior and body language when doing it.
Consider your relationship with him
When trying to make sense of why he rubbed your shoulders it would be helpful to consider what your relationship with him is like.
If you have been dating him for a while and he hasn’t done it before then it could be the case that he was trying to make the relationship more intimate.
If he has been your friend for a while and he hasn’t done it before then it would be more likely that he wants to be more than just friends.
If it was a guy that you had met for the first time then it could be the case that he has a more dominating personality or that he was attracted to you.
Think about when and where it happened
It would also be helpful to consider the timing and location that he rubbed your shoulders in.
If he did it when you were both alone together and he changed his body language slightly when he did it then it could be the case that he was trying to be more intimate with you.
If he did it when you were both in a group of people then it could be that he was showing dominant behavior.
Consider the normal body language that he shows
When trying to figure out why a guy might have rubbed your shoulders it would be helpful to think about what his normal behavior and body language is like around other girls.
If he tends to rub other women’s shoulders and his body language doesn’t change much when he does it to you then it would be more likely that he has a more dominating personality depending on the other body language signals that he normally shows.
If he doesn’t tend to do it to other women and he seems to change his body language when you are around then it would be likely that he finds you attractive.
Think about more than just one body language signal
It would be helpful to think about more than just what the rubbing of your shoulders might have meant.
As mentioned above there are a number of possible reasons that a guy might rub your shoulders which is why it is important to think about body language in terms of multiple signals that all point towards the same thing.
By thinking about it in terms of groups of signals it would be more reliable since single body language signals can have multiple meanings.
If you want to learn more about body language, a book I would recommend would be The Definitive Book of Body Language (on Amazon). It shows you how to interpret body language and understand people's true intentions.