Author Topic: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor, Update #54  (Read 11491 times)

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I'mnotinsane

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2013, 04:20:35 PM »
I'm curious. Would people who think he's a bully or creepy or hitting on the OP feel the same way if her neighbor were female?

OP, I would just be honest with him. You're busy, you're tired, you just want to come home and crash. If he keeps bugging you, then I would consider the creepy or hitting on you angles. But with just one interaction? He may just be trying to meet his neighbors.

Since I'm one who said he was hitting on her, I'll answer the bolded above. And my answer is that I simply cannot imagine a female using that approach.

<snip>
he knocked on my door and wants to know if he has offended me in some way because I never want to "really talk." I was surprised and said no he hadn't offended me, I was just a quiet person. He said great, we should get to know each other sometime so I wouldn't be so shy around him, maybe have a beer sometime.
<snip>

It's not very likely a female would say something like "have I offended you?" or suggest getting to know each other so that "you wouldn't be so shy around [her]".

So, if a female actually did approach me with that line, I wouldn't necessarily think she was hitting on me, but I'd wonder what she was about and probably would not be all that interested in pursuing a friendship with her. It's just not a natural opening for someone to use if they just want to be casual friends.

An insecure female might. 

Moray

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2013, 04:41:47 PM »
I'm curious. Would people who think he's a bully or creepy or hitting on the OP feel the same way if her neighbor were female?

OP, I would just be honest with him. You're busy, you're tired, you just want to come home and crash. If he keeps bugging you, then I would consider the creepy or hitting on you angles. But with just one interaction? He may just be trying to meet his neighbors.

Since I'm one who said he was hitting on her, I'll answer the bolded above. And my answer is that I simply cannot imagine a female using that approach.

<snip>
he knocked on my door and wants to know if he has offended me in some way because I never want to "really talk." I was surprised and said no he hadn't offended me, I was just a quiet person. He said great, we should get to know each other sometime so I wouldn't be so shy around him, maybe have a beer sometime.
<snip>

It's not very likely a female would say something like "have I offended you?" or suggest getting to know each other so that "you wouldn't be so shy around [her]".

So, if a female actually did approach me with that line, I wouldn't necessarily think she was hitting on me, but I'd wonder what she was about and probably would not be all that interested in pursuing a friendship with her. It's just not a natural opening for someone to use if they just want to be casual friends.

An insecure female might.

I've actually had a few female coworkers or casual aquaintences use phrasing like that because they feel they need to be BFFs! with everyone and if you're just "polite", it's totally, definitely, because something has gone wrong. It was definitely an insecurity thing in those cases, and I've run into the same with men, too.

Respect your gut, obviously, but remember that sometimes there aren't ulterior motives on the other person's part, just weird quirks, poor communication, and a startling lack of self-awareness :)
Utah

Calistoga

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2013, 04:44:30 PM »
I actually had a girl I work with come up to me the first day I met her and ask "DID I DO SOMETHING TO OFFEND YOU?!" while I was washing dishes. I was just shy and didn't know her well enough to talk o.O We're good friends now.

I honestly don't see neighbor boy as creepy. He seems more friendly than I personally like. I assume he's a perfectly normal person and that knowing someone works a lot isn't going to make him...I dunno, sneak in and start wearing her clothes. If he's creepy like that, he's going to notice that her car is gone a lot and that she's the only one who ever goes inside. Seems more likely that he's just being more forward than usual. Definitely the kind of thing that requires personal observation.

lowspark

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2013, 04:54:39 PM »
OK. I give. I've never experienced anything like that from a female so I am basing my reply on my own experience. And I did say "not very likely" which might be wrong but also that if a female approached me with that, I "probably would not be all that interested in pursuing a friendship with her". I guess of course, it would depend on the circumstances and my general impression of her.

So to conclude, the whole approach seemed off to me, whether coming from a man or a woman. It seems awkward and, yeah, lacking in self-confidence. I'm a pretty straightforward say-what-you-mean kind of person so if I want to be friends with someone, I usually invite them to something social - lunch together or maybe invite them to something I'm doing with other friends. If they accept, great! If they decline after a couple of times or indicate in some way that they aren't interested, oh well.

The sideways "have I offended you" or especially the indication that I'm shy and need help overcoming it would really just rub me the wrong way.

Hawkwatcher

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2013, 08:45:52 PM »
I think that the "Have I offended you" might bother me because my first thought might be to wonder if I was unintentionally rude. I might start reviewing my own actions toward this person. Did this person yell "hi" at me and did I not respond because I didn't hear him?  But if I had not done anything to this person, I would not appreciate hearing "Have I offended you" because I feel a little scolded. 

As for whether or not the neighbor was hitting on the OP, I can see both sides of this issue.  There are some people (both men and women) who do not directly say what they want because they are afraid of being rejected.  It is possible that this gentleman is one of these individuals.  It is also possible that he simply wants to be friends with his neighbors and is awkward in approaching them. 

I think that OP should just him that she is simply overwhelmed by her work schedule and current obligations right now and does not have a lot of free time.

katycoo

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2013, 09:02:48 PM »
I agree with the person who said he is probably trying to re-create a little bit of the dorm life. Which I can understand.

Honestly - when I am approached by a man and he asks to hang out/get a drink/buy me a drink/dinner, etc. Basically anything like what the OP described I have found the following ALWAYS works.

Guy: Hey would you like to go out and grab a drink?
Me: (big smile) Awwww NO THANK YOU! (Big smile)
::Awkward silence::
Guy: Okay thanks. ::Leaves::


The "Awwwww" for some reason gets the point across. I don't know why but it always, always works. I use it all the time and the reaction is always the same. The guy never gets mad, and just sort of smiles and walks away quietly.  :P  My friends use it too and it always gets the job done.

Maybe try something like this. You are nice but still saying No.

Actually, this works because its incrediably condescending.  What the "Awwwww" says is "That's so cute that you thought I might have a drink with you! As if!"

Its not nice at all, and I really feel for any perfectly nice people who have asked you out who you've essentially laughed in the face of (whether that was your intent or not).

What's wrong with "That's nice of you to ask, but no thank you."  Big smile.

dharmaexpress

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2013, 11:14:39 PM »
Though the did-I-offend-you question is mildly irritating, the comment about being shy is moreso. 

Nothing the OP has said about their interaction indicated shyness, and that's a kind of disconcertingly confident way to read being brushed off.

It would depend on a variety of other things (body language, any other boundary issues), but you could read his behavior a couple different ways.  My hackles would be right at the gate, ready to come running.   :D


Danika

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2013, 02:53:55 AM »
Though the did-I-offend-you question is mildly irritating, the comment about being shy is moreso. 

I agree. My take on reading this is that the neighbor is (possibly consciously, or possibly because it's worked for him in the past) using a tactic to put OP on the defensive.

I feel like he's trying to put her in a position where she'll overcompensate and then he'll get the response that he wants which is more of her attention and her time.

If OP is the type to be meek and a people-pleaser (which I don't believe by this post, but maybe what he looks for in a friend and/or girlfriend) she would react by:

-going out of her way to be overly nice to prove to him that she was not offended and
-going out of her way to talk more to prove that she's not shy

It's kind of like he's prodding her to disprove his statements or justify her behavior somehow.

That's my take on it. I feel that it's manipulative. If he were less pushy about things, I might have a better feeling about him. Knocking on her door, initiating an action in order to "accuse" (perhaps "intimate" is the verb I'm looking for, "accuse" sounds harsher than I intend) her of being too shy just seems pushier than necessary.

laud_shy_girl

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2013, 11:32:07 AM »
I think what bugs me about the "Have I offended you?" is 'as another poster said' you instantly think "Have I been rude?" and most people will instantly go out of there way to be extra nice just to make the other person feel better.

Unless you think that you actuality did do something it's very manipulative and thats why it sets my "danger will Robinson" alarm off.
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joraemi

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2013, 11:39:47 AM »
I have to say I've found the point of view that this guy is creepy because of his approach to the OP interesting. It didn't come across that way to me at all - I just figured he was used to a more friendly or forthcoming type of neighbor relationship and was just being upfront and honest with the OP and wanted to know if he had done something to offend her.

Maybe I'm naive?




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Calistoga

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2013, 11:43:26 AM »
I saw it the same way. He read a lot more like an overly friendly golden retriever.

reflection5

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2013, 11:55:47 AM »
I can also see where the question “Have I offended you?” can be manipulative.  A part of me knew that but maybe I wasn’t applying it to that situation.

You aren’t as receptive to my overtures as I want you to be, so if I can get you to think about being nicer, we can begin to build a friendship.

He’s going to have to learn that neighbor does not necessarily mean close friend.  In fact, many people want nothing beyond a “Hello” from a neighbor, and some don’t even want that.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 01:22:53 PM by reflection5 »

lowspark

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2013, 12:10:37 PM »
I have to say I've found the point of view that this guy is creepy because of his approach to the OP interesting. It didn't come across that way to me at all - I just figured he was used to a more friendly or forthcoming type of neighbor relationship and was just being upfront and honest with the OP and wanted to know if he had done something to offend her.

Maybe I'm naive?

So do you think he approached all his new neighbors that way? Because I'm betting very few of them took the time to say more than a quick "hello" to him in passing. He knocked on her door, in other words, went out of his way to initiate this conversation. To me that indicates a specific goal toward the OP. He wants to get to know her, specifically. Unless you think he actually knocked on all the neighbors' doors, introduced himself, and asked if he'd offended those with whom hadn't exchanged more than pleasantries, and indicated that they all needed to overcome their shyness around him.

Which brings me back to his approach. If he wants to initiate a friendship with the OP, I see nothing at all wrong with that as long as he is willing to take "no" for an answer. But why do it in this roundabout way? Why not just invite her out for a beer and indicate he'd like to get to know her better without all the "have I offended you" and "don't be shy with me" silliness?

If there were any chance at all that I might be interested in getting to know this guy better, his approach would have turned me off immediately. If he'd been direct, I'd have at least been open to the idea.

Calistoga

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2013, 12:43:13 PM »
Lowspark brings up an interesting point.

OP, do you know if he's done this to his other neighbors?

Twik

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Re: How to be a Polite but Distant Neighbor
« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2013, 12:59:37 PM »
Regarding females who are too friendly - I met one once. She was rather overwhelming in the first few days, wanting to be BFF with *everyone*.

B the time t was over, she was making veiled death threats against people. Learned my lesson well.
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