Author Topic: When they just won't go away...  (Read 14416 times)

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JeseC

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When they just won't go away...
« on: January 10, 2013, 03:47:00 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 04:08:54 PM by JeseC »

Margo

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 04:16:20 PM »
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.

TurtleDove

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 04:57:04 PM »
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.

SamiHami

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 05:13:04 PM »
"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.

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Auntie Mame

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 06:07:36 PM »
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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lady_disdain

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 07:29:19 PM »
Someone who speaks to you when you don't want a conversation maybe gets one, polite "I'm not interested in talking"

I disagree. If the person approached you politely in a safe situation (in a busy street during the day and kept their distance, as opposed to crowding in on you late at night), then they deserve a polite answer, in the line of "Excuse me but I am busy/thinking/not interested in talking." There is no need to be gratuitously rude by ignoring them or answering curtly. A little common courtesy goes a long way in improving day to day interactions.

However, once they start insisting, crowding in on you or harassing in any form, then curter answers and, if necessary, escalating from there is fine.

TurtleDove

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 07:45:31 PM »
Exactly what lady_disdain said.  I think so often the responses on this board jump to being rude to strangers when often I think simle courtesy/we are all on this earth together attitude would diffuse the situation.

RooRoo

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 08:18:41 PM »
Unfortunately, when I was younger and pretty, saying "Excuse me but I am busy/thinking/not interested in talking" to the knuckledraggers was frequently taken as an invitation. Apparently, the fact that I was polite to them meant I must be interested. Go figure.

I've always been happy to chat with nice people. I'm talking only about the ones who were trying to pick me up; those who couldn't look me in the eye because their eyes were glued a little lower, or who were giving other signs of only being interested in me from the nose down.

And if Tony Testosterony & Co. can't hear a polite brush-off, then they get something more direct. It took me a long time to learn that.
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

TurtleDove

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 08:34:28 PM »
I've had the opposite experience.  I generally say, "Thank you!" with a bright smile and move away and almost always the person who was hollering at me smiles and wishes me a good day (or something like that).

Auntie Mame

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 01:26:32 PM »
Exactly what lady_disdain said.  I think so often the responses on this board jump to being rude to strangers when often I think simle courtesy/we are all on this earth together attitude would diffuse the situation.

If they approach me politely, I respond politely. I don't scream at people who just want to know the time, or directions to a landmark, or if they want to tell me I have a pretty smile.  If they approach with a smile and an "excuse me" I will happily smile back. 

If they're opening line includes 1) bellowing something demeaning (baby girl for example, I'm in my late thirties, not a baby girl, certainly not your baby girl), a wolf whistle, or a "compliment (read: rude comment about a part of my body), then they get ignored.  If they get in my space they get a death glare and a "Back Off!".
Auntie needs fuel, black coffee and a side car.

Margo

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2013, 01:54:14 PM »
Exactly what lady_disdain said.  I think so often the responses on this board jump to being rude to strangers when often I think simle courtesy/we are all on this earth together attitude would diffuse the situation.

If they approach me politely, I respond politely. I don't scream at people who just want to know the time, or directions to a landmark, or if they want to tell me I have a pretty smile.  If they approach with a smile and an "excuse me" I will happily smile back. 

If they're opening line includes 1) bellowing something demeaning (baby girl for example, I'm in my late thirties, not a baby girl, certainly not your baby girl), a wolf whistle, or a "compliment (read: rude comment about a part of my body), then they get ignored.  If they get in my space they get a death glare and a "Back Off!".
Yup. This is where I was coming from with the 'maybe' in my original response, but you put it better.
OP's post implied to be that she had already tried various polite responses.

BeagleMommy

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 02:49:47 PM »
Ah, the joys of the Clueless Cretin!  I usually give them a polite "No thanks" or "Sorry, I'm busy" at first.  If they get persistent I get more specific with either "I've said no once and the answer is still no" or "I'm married".

When I was in high school I was once at a bus stop waiting for my bus home when I man came up to me and started chatting.  I tried telliing him I was reading (which I was; the open book should have been a clue) but he kept asking me to "Just go for one drink with me".

I closed the book and said "That would get you in a lot of trouble since I'm only 15".  That he understood.

Yvaine

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2013, 03:42:41 PM »
I've had the opposite experience.  I generally say, "Thank you!" with a bright smile and move away and almost always the person who was hollering at me smiles and wishes me a good day (or something like that).

Really? I've quite often gotten "Female Dog!" even if I was being polite.

TurtleDove

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2013, 03:48:54 PM »
I've had the opposite experience.  I generally say, "Thank you!" with a bright smile and move away and almost always the person who was hollering at me smiles and wishes me a good day (or something like that).

Really? I've quite often gotten "Female Dog!" even if I was being polite.

Maybe it's location and time of day.  This mostly happens to me downtown in the Midwest during or just after business hours, and generally the first comment ranges from, "Wow, your smile made my day!" to "Mmmmm, mmmm, looking good girl...whhooooowhheeeee."  I don't find either threatening in any way, and while the second might be offensive to some, in my experience just saying "Thank you!" with a smile give the person who said it a little ego boost and the interaction is over and not altogether unpleasant.  Reacting with "get away from me" tends to put people on the defensive and prone to trying to defend their actions.  Because in reality, most men who yell stuff at me (and it happens a lot) don't actually think or even want me to go on a date with them or even have a conversation.  I am unlikely to ever see these people again, and I certainly don't think this is the time to go off on them and think I can change them.

Yvaine

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Re: When they just won't go away...
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2013, 03:55:01 PM »
I've had the opposite experience.  I generally say, "Thank you!" with a bright smile and move away and almost always the person who was hollering at me smiles and wishes me a good day (or something like that).

Really? I've quite often gotten "Female Dog!" even if I was being polite.

Maybe it's location and time of day.  This mostly happens to me downtown in the Midwest during or just after business hours, and generally the first comment ranges from, "Wow, your smile made my day!" to "Mmmmm, mmmm, looking good girl...whhooooowhheeeee."  I don't find either threatening in any way, and while the second might be offensive to some, in my experience just saying "Thank you!" with a smile give the person who said it a little ego boost and the interaction is over and not altogether unpleasant.  Reacting with "get away from me" tends to put people on the defensive and prone to trying to defend their actions.  Because in reality, most men who yell stuff at me (and it happens a lot) don't actually think or even want me to go on a date with them or even have a conversation.  I am unlikely to ever see these people again, and I certainly don't think this is the time to go off on them and think I can change them.

This is in the Midwest too, but I think a lot of the guys who do this in my area have Major Issues, and talking to them ends up engaging the crazy.