Etiquette School is in session! > Complete Silence

When they just won't go away...

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What does one do when silence simply seems to instigate a person to work harder at making you pay attention to them?  Is there an e-hell approved way of saying "I don't want to talk to you?"  I'm not really thinking of people you know, more random strangers in public places who seem to consider themselves entitled to your time and attention.  But many of them even have the temerity to imply that you are being rude for not engaging them or don't appreciate their commentary.

Clarification edit:  I don't own a car, so I walk or take the bus.  The offenders are almost always young men making rather crude attempts at flirting - not uncommonly accompanied with unwelcome "compliments".  Unfortunately I've had some of them do things like get in my face, try to walk alongside me or sit next to me on the bus, or block my path if I try to leave.  Again, usually with the implication that I'm being rude for not talking.

I think if they are random strangers then "I'm not interested in having a conversation" or "Leave me alone" are both absolutely fine. You don't owe a random stranger  your time.

someone deliberately blocking your path? A loud "Stop Harassing me" "leave me alone" "Stopping blocking my exit" are all totally appropriate.

Someone who speaks to you when you don't want a conversation maybe gets one, polite "I'm not interested in talking"

Someone who is harassing you does not get a 'polite' response.

I have gotten my best results with a friendly, "Thank you, but I'm busy" along with quickening my pace.  I think a quick acknowledgment works better than a cold or harsh accusation of "you are creepy and a jerk" because sometimes all the people are looking for a is a brief acknowledgment, and being called out makes them defensive. This way, they can save face.  If they continue after the initial "thanks but no thanks" then it may make sense to escalate.  But in my experience, coming out in attack mode backfires if you truly want to be left alone.

"I don't know you. Please leave me alone."

If they don't seem to understand and back off after that, maybe you can find a nice police officer to explain it to them.

Auntie Mame:
If some random knuckle dragger thinks "compliments" like hey baby girl, a wolf whistle, bellowing at me like I'm a stray dog or "complimenting" a feature on my body, I flat out ignore them.  If they persist I say loudly and firmly "Go away!". 


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