How to Respond When a Guy Winks at You?

Learn how to respond to such non-verbal signs of attention, and whether a winking guy is a flirting guy!

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on How to Respond When a Guy Winks at You

People are social beings and verbal communication is what makes us like that. We communicate through words with the help of our speech mostly.

However, you might also be aware that the non-verbal ways of communication, for example, such as smiles and winks, as well as gestures, also play a very important role!

However, some non-verbal ways of communication can be pretty hard to interpret sometimes. Let’s say, if you see someone winking at you, it might be a bit difficult sometimes to figure out how to interpret a wink.

Especially if it is a handsome guy who is winking at you! So in this case, is winking flirting? And what does a wink mean from a guy?

In this article, you will find the answers to all of your questions regarding this subject. We will tell you how it would be correct to respond when a guy or a man winks at you, and also, you will learn whether such winking could be considered flirting.

Also, we will tell you why people wink at all and you will learn a bit of scientific data on this subject. So stay tuned, it’s going to be interesting!

How to Respond Correctly If a Guy Is Winking At You?

Imagine you are sitting at the cafe table and a man who is sitting next to you suddenly winks at you! We bet you will feel puzzled and flattered at the same time! Or maybe worried a bit?

How to Respond Correctly If a Guy Is Winking At You
sisterspro via VistaCreate

Winking is quite an unexpected gesture, that’s true, and it can be hard sometimes to figure out how to react correctly when a guy suddenly sends you one. Especially if this is a guy whom you don’t know in person.

Your reaction will depend on several factors in this case:

  • how well you know him
  • where you are

Depending on these factors, the wink can have a lot of different meanings behind it and even more ways to respond to it!

3 Playful Flirting Secrets Men Can’t Resist (+FREE Gift) (Matthew Hussey, Get The Guy)3 Playful Flirting Secrets Men Can’t Resist (+FREE Gift) (Matthew Hussey, Get The Guy)

Sometimes, it can be just a playful gesture or part of a joke. But other times, a wink from a man can be a sign that he is flirting or even being a little mischievous.

This is why we recommend you keep reading and check out a list of go-to responses for winks of all scenarios.

Smile At Him In Response

If you are open to continuing the conversation or flirtation, sending him a smile would be a good way to reply. A warm smile is a great way to acknowledge a wink and show a guy that you don’t mind his attention.

It is a simple, natural response. Even if you are not 100% receptive, a small smile is a polite way to acknowledge the guy without directly shutting him down or leading him on.

Wink Back At Him

If you feel flirty or playful, returning his wink is a great way to show that you are in! Like this, you will let him know that you saw his wink, you liked it, and you want to know more about him.

Wink Back At Him
VitalikRadko via VistaCreate

By the way, such a playful reaction of yours can easily break the ice and make things less awkward if you don’t know each other very well yet.

However, before you wink back at a man, note the following. Mirroring someone’s movements is a great way to show you are into this person, of course.

However, you should also be careful! If you do it too often, the person might read your behavior as insincere or mocking! In addition, some men tend to read a responsive wink from a woman as an invitation to a much closer acquaintance…So think twice before doing this!

Flirt With Him If You Are Interested

A flirty wink means he wants you to interact with him. If you feel that you are intrigued, go for it! Why not? Walk over and engage him to let him know you saw his wink and want to get to know him.

Anyway, no one winks accidentally, so he will feel validated when he knows he has flattered you.

Laugh If It Was a Part Of a Joke

Winking is not always about flirting or romance. Quite often, if a man winks at you, this gesture means that it is just a part of a joke.

It will be pretty easy for you to tell if the wink is meant to be goofy! Just see if the winking man wants to get a positive reaction from you.

Laugh If It Was a Part Of a Joke
CamomileLeyla via VistaCreate

Because he most likely does and this is why he is doing it (meaning winking). So the best reply would be to humor him and laugh as well.

Make Playful Eye Contact If He Is Fibbing

This is a less common reason for a wink, but we think you should take it into consideration as well.

See, a guy might wink at you to let you know he is telling a white lie (for example, if he wants other people around him to believe in what he is saying).

If this is the case, just look him in the eyes to say, “I see what you are doing here.” You can even send him a wry smile or a small wink back!

Raise an Eyebrow at Him If He’s Being Mischievous!

Sometimes, such an innocent and playful behavior as winking at someone might show that a person who is winking is about to do something mischievous. If you think a man is indeed up to something playful and mischievous, you can raise an eyebrow at him to show you have caught on.

If you can, lean in and ask him about it.

Texting Signs He's Flirting With YouTexting Signs He’s Flirting With You

Give Him a Nod to Show You Are OK

Winking can also be used as a way to make sure that another person is doing fine and that everything is ok with him or her. For example, a guy friend might wink at you at a party to make sure you are safe.

This is a discreet way to check in with you without drawing attention to you in the crowd.

Give him a nod or a thumbs up to let him know if you are alright. But if you are in a trouble, a subtle head shake or eye-roll will show that you need to get out of an awkward situation.

Continue As Normal If the Wink Is Just Friendly

Sometimes, a wink is just a wink, and nothing more. For example, if a guy has just said something sarcastic or made a funny joke, he probably just wants to let you know he wasn’t being serious.

Other times it is truly just a friendly gesture. If you know that he winks frequently and there is no flirty subtext in it, it will be probably reasonable to assume that his winking doesn’t have a deeper meaning.


First of all, you need to keep in mind that there is no rule saying a wink has to be acknowledged. Besides, in certain situations, ignoring a wink from an unknown man can be the only correct way of response.

So if you are unsure what a man is going for and you don’t want to send any messages to him that might be taken wrong, just ignore it.

Anyway, if he is trying to flirt with you through winks, chances are that, after you ignore his wink, he will try to show it in other ways.

For example, using his body language, eye contact, or some pick-up lines.

Keep a Straight Face If You Are at Work

It is best not to draw unwanted attention to yourself at work. So we would recommend you avoid replying to winks from your colleagues, especially if you are not alone (e.g. during the meeting, etc.).

Keep a Straight Face If You Are at Work
HayDmitriy via VistaCreate

What does it mean when a coworker winks at you? A wink from a coworker could be flirty indeed, but it is probably just a way of saying “I’ve got you covered” or “don’t worry, I’ll handle this problem”.

It might even just be a playful way of showing you he’s bored during a meeting too!

Ask Him Directly What His Wink Means

There’s nothing wrong with clarifying what his actions mean. Anyway, as you already know, winks from a man can have multiple meanings!

And if you misinterpret a wink as flirtatious or mischievous, it can lead to some awkward situations! This is why it is always better to clarify things at once. Just ask away! Clear communication will never let you down.

Ask Him to Stop If You Feel Uncomfortable

Winks might not always be pleasant for the one who is receiving them. And anyway, you don’t have to keep receiving winks if you don’t want them. For example, if a guy is being way too annoying, winking at you each time he sees you!Of course, you might feel uncomfortable when in need to stop that.

But after you set this boundary, you will feel much better in the long term. In addition, clarifying the situation at once will help define your relationship with this guy. This is especially helpful if you are at work or in another setting where you want to avoid any mixed signals.

So, as you can see now, there are plenty of ways you can use to reply to a wink from a man be it your colleague or a stranger. However, you should always remember about your personal safety! So follow your gut in any uncertain or potentially threatening situation.

If you see that the wink from a man is accompanied by aggressive behavior or coming from a stranger you don’t trust, get out of the space immediately. This is especially important if you are by yourself or in a secluded area.

How to Tell If His Wink Is Flirty Or Not?

Most women and younger girls often find it puzzling to figure out whether or not a wink from a man has a flirty meaning. Are there any ways to discover that you are dealing with the flirting winking?

Here we have prepared some most common signs that will show his wink is flirty:

  • His feet are pointing towards you
  • He is close to you physically, meaning he is attracted to you
  • He winks at you and then looks away, suggesting he’s thinking of leaving and wants you to come with
  • He uses an open and inviting posture when he is interacting with you
How to Tell If His Wink Is Flirty Or Not
simbiothy via VistaCreate

And here are some signs that can help you understand a man is just joking around:

  • Multiple winks in a row
  • Big, exaggerated winks
  • A big, open-mouthed smile or laughter while he winks
  • Big gestures with his head, arms, or hands

What Does Winking Symbolize?

People wink almost every day! We do it for different reasons, and quite often, we stop even noticing this small but at the same time so important gesture. But such a little gesture as a single wink often has so much more behind it!

Depending on the context of its use and the relationship of the two people involved in a conversation, a wink can have multiple meanings:

  1. It can be flirtatious
  2. It can be playful
  3. It can be used in a reassuring manner
  4. It can be downright creepy!

In fact, winking is just another way of communication we use with the help of our body language. This is what we call non-verbal communication. And according to what experts say, anywhere between 70% to 93% of the messages we send to each other are non-verbal, which makes sense.

Well, now you know a bit more about such a common way of non-verbal communication as winking.

You have learned how to respond to a wink from a guy and you also found out what meanings such a wink might have. So now you will hopefully find it easier to figure out what a man meant when he was winking at you, and you will be able to avoid any awkward situations about winking in the future!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Does winking always mean flirt?

No, winks can show that a person is joking or that he or she is checking how you are doing.

⭐Do people use winks as a non-verbal way of communication in all countries?

Western world (USA, Europe) use winks this way, but there might be nations where winking may have another meaning.

⭐How to tell if a guy’s flirting with me if he’s winking?

Usually, flirting winking goes with other signs of a romantic interest (e.g. smiles, gestures, open posture, etc.).

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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