This can mean so many things, so it is hard to say exactly what it means in every situation. “Hmm” is like words like “umm.” In a number of cases, it is just a placeholder. The individual cannot always think about what to say, so they use placeholders like this to give them an extra moment to think. If you think that he is doing it to annoy you though, there might be a number of other meanings attached to it.
This response could be during an argument, or it could be a response to a text that you sent. Either way, it carries a number of different meanings. Before you assume that he is trying to irritate you though, relax. People often use “hmm” to mean “I don’t know” or “I’m thinking about it.” It does not mean that he is disagreeing with you. He might just need more time to think about things before he really decides what to do or say. Other than this obvious reason, we will cover a few more reasons why guys might say “hmm” to irritate you.
1. He Is Being Passive Aggressive
When you are in an argument, it can be intimidating. This is especially true if you know that you are wrong or you don’t really understand why the other person is angry. You are upset, but you don’t know what to say to stop the angry tirade from cascading down on your head. If this is what your guy is going through, he might be exhibiting a bit of passive aggressiveness. He wants to tell you that you are wrong or that he does not understand, but he just says “hmm” instead. He knows that you would not accept his actual answer, and he doesn’t want to prolong the confrontation by actually arguing back. Instead, he chose the easy way out.
2. He Doesn’t Know What to Say
Give the guy some credit. He might not be trying to irritate you. He might just have no clue what to say. When you are around a beautiful woman and have a crush on her, finding a topic to talk about is hard. He wants to show that he likes you, so he is trying to keep the conversation going. Unfortunately, he has nothing to contribute and does not have an opinion on the topic. Because of this, he went for the simplest, non-committal response that he could handle.
3. He Wasn’t Listening
He might not be deliberately trying to annoy you, but he also might not be listening. Maybe he had a long day at work or maybe something else is on his mind. For whatever reason, he zoned out when you were talking. Then, he noticed that you stopped talking. In horror, he realized that he asked you a question and he has no clue what you said. “Hmm” was the only response he could give that would be anywhere close to accurate.
If this is the case, be gentle with him. If you confront him about not listening, he will become defensive and upset. Everyone has a long day or a lot on their mind at some point. Obviously, you don’t want this to happen a lot, but once or twice is understandable. If you notice that he has a hard time listening in the morning or late at night, then you also might rearrange when you have serious conversations with him.
4. He Wants to Irritate You
When you are in an argument, you don’t want to call your partner names or do anything that you can’t take back. At the same time, you want them to hurt as much as you are hurting. A small, terrible part of yourself wants to annoy them and make your partner as agitated as you are. He might be saying “hmm” because he realizes just how much it annoys you and he wants you to be irritated.
5. He Is Shy
When someone is shy, it is hard for them to think of anything to say. If he has a crush on you, then talking is even harder. He wants to wow you with his brilliant conversations and intellect, but he can’t think of anything to say as soon as he sees your face. While he knows that he sounds boring and unexciting, he can’t come up with anything to say other than “hmm.” Even if he is not normally shy, he could also be just shy around beautiful ladies like yourself. If this is the case, be kind and open-minded. It might take a while, but he will eventually open up.
6. He Doesn’t Want to Get in Trouble
If he says “hmm” in response to questions like “Do you know who ate the last ___?”, then he might be trying to avoid getting in trouble. He knows that he would get in greater trouble for lying. At the same time, he is also hoping you won’t notice the “hmm” and life can go on like normal.