Author Topic: Accosted on the street and did not engage  (Read 7061 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2013, 04:16:13 PM »
I just happen to think it is liberating to not interpret everything in the worst possible light.  We are the ones who are enslaved when we react defensively to benign intent as though it were something else.  It's fine to set limits and boundaries but we don't need to react as though everyone is always trying to violate them with every interaction.

I completely agree.  I also don't follow the reasoning that if someone compliments a physical characteristic it means that person only sees the physical and is devaluing the person.  I get and give compliments to men and women all the time (yes, even strangers) - Great shoes!  I love the tie! That haircut looks great!  That doesn't mean I suddenly value that person only for the fact that their shoes, tie or haircut allowed me to visually consume them and then throw their value as a person away.  It means I complimented them.

Wordgeek

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2013, 04:22:16 PM »
I deleted several posts that were veering off-topic in a non-constructive manner.  This is a forum on etiquette: nitpicking on minor points, blowing them out of proportion and then posting a diatribe about logical fallacies is inappropriate.  Knock it off.

Everyone else, carry on.

It's good to be Queen

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2013, 04:40:18 PM »
When the nice stranger I pass almost everyday as I go to lunch says "hello" I respond.  When a random man on the street says "hello" I  ignore him, because I think it's safer to ignore him.  If the next thing he says is "hello beautiful" or "hey, I was talking to you" or something similar, he gets the icy stare of death.  I think the OP handled the situation perfectly.  I also think this is a situational thing, if a stranger said hello in my small town I would be more likely to reply (it's a place I feel safe and comfortable) but that same guy in the major metropolitan area where I work would get ignored.

Golden Phoenix

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2013, 09:19:35 PM »
I think OP did brilliantly.

If i was walking down the street and some random person matched my pace etc and then started trying to talk to me I'd probably ignore them too. I'm going somewhere, this is not the time for a social interaction whether they're nice about it or not.

The fact that he was matching her pace would also be a huge flag on my hinky meter, that's creepy, some random person basically following me? Regardless of gender I wouldn't like it.

The fact that his second comment was "hello beautiful" is worse to me.

Also, exactly how do people (not just men in fact) get it into their heads that doing this sort of thing is a good way to...how can i phrase this, "meet" someone? (not quite what i mean to say but as close as i can get)

Twik

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2013, 11:33:21 PM »
I'd like to see the male members of this forum tell us just how often they tell complete strangers "hello, beautiful," for no ulterior motive. I'm sure it happens, but not very often, in fact, I'd suspect most men would immediately peg that opening as a pickup line, not a spontaneous outpouring of delight.

I really want to throw my hands up in despair sometimes when  a woman shows us how to stand upd to a presumptuous stranger, only to be told "ooh, you were so mean to him, you should have given him a chance."
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Raintree

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2013, 02:52:49 AM »
Wow, I'm surprised that some people here seem to think the OP overreacted or was rude to some nice guy who was only trying to say hello.

From the OP:

Quote
a guy suddenly started walking a few feet from me, clearly following my path. First he tried the usual "hello", then he moved to "hello, beautiful" - I ignored him and didn't make eye contact.
After another couple of attempts to engage, I decided to shut him down

After her first non-response to "hello" he should have given up; since he didn't, he deserved whatever frosty response he got. I've encountered a few of these in my life, and although I didn't feel threatened or frightened, it's ANNOYING (when I've already indicated I'm uninterested in a conversation). Also, there's a difference between a friendly "hello" from some nice stranger, and an annoying/creepy "hello" and it's very difficult to describe the difference here, but you know it when you see it. I've replied to strangers' hellos before, and accepted compliments with a gracious "thank you" but there is also the obnoxous/intrusive kind, which, again, I can't even attempt to describe here, and it's met with frostiness.

Matching her pace (it sounds like), following her path, adding "hello beautiful" to the initial "hello" which had already been ignored, tells me it was the second kind. Women needn't feel obligated to smile and be nice to every strange man that displays aggressive "friendliness" towards her. In fact, in life I've learned that even a faint smile towards a strange man behaving in this manner is construed as interest and it then becomes very difficult to shake the person off.

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2013, 05:25:07 AM »
^^^ Agreed!

Failure to shut down this sort of approach (because I "didn't want to be rude") right at the start has gotten me groped in the past, so although I'm not nasty about it I'm also very definite that no, this is not going to get Random Strange Guy anywhere with me.
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Last_Dance

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2013, 12:16:06 PM »
From the information given, I'm assuming this was daytime in a populated area. (...) At night with no one else around? Then it might seem scarier. But that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Daytime, yes. Populated area, no: it's August, which means that most people are on vacation, city streets are empty and all shops are closed - bars, cafes, pharmacies, everything. I couldn't see anybody else on the street but me and Annoying Guy.
Women are usually advised to walk in a café or shop if they are being followed, but I wouldn't have been able to since there were none open in the immediate vicinity.

Also, PP who thought I was overrreacting to a simple "hello" - please keep in mind I'm not American. Over here we don't greet random people on the street. It's just not part of the culture.

The funny thing is, I was greeted on the street the very same morning this happened - but the man who did it probably knows me by sight (I'm both short-sighted and horrible at face recognition so I can't quite say the same) and though I didn't recognize him, I was not scared because he just said hello and kept going on his way, without slowing down or changing direction.

I didn't feel scared by Mr. Green T-shirt either, perhaps because I istinctively knew he might be worth watching out for before he even opened his mouth - which is why I managed not to answer his bait-greeting.
Also, he didn't just greet me: he deliberately changed direction in order to follow me. I'd say that's telling.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 02:28:40 PM by Last_Dance »
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artk2002

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2013, 02:23:58 PM »
I'd like to see the male members of this forum tell us just how often they tell complete strangers "hello, beautiful," for no ulterior motive. I'm sure it happens, but not very often, in fact, I'd suspect most men would immediately peg that opening as a pickup line, not a spontaneous outpouring of delight.

How about "never"? I wouldn't do that even if I were attempting a pickup. I'm of the "What's your sign?" generation. (Well, maybe not!  >:D ). "Hello" and a (hopefully non-predatory) smile is about it. But that's what I use for just about anyone. If I want to strike up a conversation with a stranger (and I often do), it'll be with a remark or question about wherever we are or whatever we're doing.
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dirtyweasel

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2013, 04:14:56 PM »
I think it was appropriate to shut down his comments especially after he didn't take the hint that you didn't want to talk to him, but I would have probably said something a little bit more direct like, "You need to stop following me." 



MariaE

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2013, 06:03:59 PM »
Also, PP who thought I was overrreacting to a simple "hello" - please keep in mind I'm not American. Over here we don't greet random people on the street. It's just not part of the culture.
...
Also, he didn't just greet me: he deliberately changed direction in order to follow me. I'd say that's telling.

I'm not American either, and the Danish culture is definitely not to randomly greet people either (not in Copenhagen anyway). Had it just been the "Hello" I would have thought you overreacted too. I would have expected it to be a prelude to "I'm sorry, do you know where X Street is?" or something similar.

The text in purple completely changes things though. Because of this background I don't think you overreacted.
 
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Psychopoesie

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2013, 09:48:07 PM »
OP did the right thing.

As far as I know, there's no requirement to return greetings of random strangers in the street. If I don't know them, I'd assume they weren't talking to me (tho when i've been a bit daydreamy, i have been caught in a reflexive hello or wave to someone who was actually targeting a person behind me - awkward).

If someone wants help, they'll usually say something like "hi, can you help me" or "excuse me..."

Having said that, I'm more likely to say hi back if I'm walking round my neighbourhood. For example, out for a weekend walk on the tracks near my house, fellow walkers will often smile or say g'day & I'll smile and return the greeting. Or I might comment on a cute puppy someone is out walking.

Even there, someone i didn't know trying to engage with me while following me or keeping pace with me while I was out walking - creepy plus.


Yvaine

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #42 on: August 24, 2013, 10:01:22 PM »
In fact, I think the Miss Manners official ruling on this is to ignore the guy.
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #43 on: August 25, 2013, 07:13:16 AM »
Posted without comment apart from this emoticon! >:D

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Re: Accosted on the street and did not engage
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2013, 11:21:54 AM »
  I don't jump to the worse possible scenario if someone says "hello" but I also don't think I'm obligated to return the greeting and I especially don't think im obligated to play along to because saying "hello" would be less likely to cause drama.  IF some person gets dramatic because a stranger doesn't return a greeting that is a big red flag that would make me start thinking the worse.