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[–]jmn242 8740 points8741 points 63 (121 children)

Hearing women complain and thinking 'oh shit, I've done that'

Seriously has helped me improve a lot of things

[–]Asteroth555 3331 points3332 points  (45 children)

Reading threads on the internet did the same for me. Reading complaints was like staring into a mirror and being horrified

[–]tc1991 269 points270 points  (0 children)

yep for me it was when the neckbeard/niceguy memes and stuff started and it was too close for comfort

[–]TheQueenIsDamned 1176 points1177 points  (4 children)

That's epic self reflection

[–]Pablo_Piqueso 857 points858 points  (28 children)

I get the feeling the internet has allowed for way more self-awareness, since now a creepy guy would see women complaining about other creepy guys (women who likely wouldn't explain it directly to the guy's face, resulting in him never learning)

The flip side is that when these guys are unwilling to be honest with themselves, can find confirmation bias support communities of other creepy dudes (incels, etc) who will validate them

[–]Ghetto_Pinocchio 3006 points3007 points 25 (34 children)

Ooooo. Man I it took me recognizing I was addicted to alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and sex. I had been aggressive toward women and objectifying them since I was a child. I think this happened because I was exposed to sex at such a young age. I thought all relationships were supposed to be how movies and shows were so I just emulated what I saw.

Once I got sober I realized how much of a monster I was and took the necessary steps to really implement change in my life. Lots of therapy. Lots of crying. Self reflection as to why i was emulating that specific behavior, and quitting my addictions. It’s been a journey, but I’m happy to say I’ve been in a loving committed relationship with proper boundaries for a year now.

[–]makiko4 654 points655 points  (2 children)

Just stoping to say, you should be very proud. It takes a lot to not only see that but actively change. Virtual high five

[–]qjz399 200 points201 points  (4 children)

Hey man, being ashamed means that’s not who you are anymore, and that’s something to be proud of. Remember that we aren’t born with any social skills- none, zero. We’re completely reliant on our guardians and surroundings to teach us the ‘proper’ way to act (and that’s just for our community, we have to learn all over again if we enter into other cultures). If you were given skewed and bad examples of what’s acceptable, you can’t put all the blame on yourself for doing exactly as you were told, like anyone who wanted to fit in would. What matters is that you overcame your faulty social education, not that you made mistakes because of it.

Congratulations on becoming sober. You sound like a great partner, because identifying you have a problem and getting help for it is way more than some people will do- even ones who had a ‘correct’ social upbringing.

[–]_The_Cracken_ 839 points840 points 2 (4 children)

I had what I can only call a grand moment of realization. There was a girl who I was acquainted with, and she was obviously, obsessively, and weirdly into me. Being at the state of peak neckbeard that I was, I was desperate for a girlfriend. But for whatever reason I was not into the idea. I knew her too well, and although she was interested in me, I was NOT interested in her.

I spent a long time thinking about wether I should start seeing this girl I wasn’t attracted to... then it clicked for me: Sometimes people just aren’t into you. That’s okay, and it’s actually a good thing not to have to say yes to a relationship just because someone thinks they’re qualified to date you.

That moment back in 2009 changed my perspective so much, and I was able to realize that other people have and deserve their own autonomy.

[–]MuskyMuskets 63 points64 points  (0 children)

I offered my ex-creepy friend this jolly thought: how'd you like if you have a 6ft built-like-a-truck gay guy coming onto you for even 10 minutes non-stop, much less a whole fucking night, and refusing to believe you can't "be persuaded" to try his magical conversion dick out.

[–]TheDevilsAdvokaat 1802 points1803 points  (137 children)

I know a guy who is creepy towards women.

I shared a flat with him and another guy. The other guy used to bring his girlfriend over sometimes and we became friendly. One night she confessed to me the other guy "creeps her out" and she's "A little scared of him". I had no idea he had that affect. I was surprised.

But the other day I was at the park with him. A young blond girl, looked in her 20's, wearing black shorts and a tshirt, came and started walking her dog in the park while we were talking. She's a nice looking girl.

My friend turned like a lighthouse to face her...and just stared. And stared. In fact wherever she moved, he turned to face her.

After about 60 seconds of this (I was still talking to him) I got annoyed.

"Dude will you STOP staring at her? You're going to make her feel uncomfortable"


"You've been staring at her non stop since she got to the park. You had a look now look away and stop bothering her"

"I think you're being paranoid".

She left then. And a few days later I caught him doing it again with another girl.

Now, I like pretty girls myself, but you don't STARE at them.

And you don't stand up, stare in their direction, then turn to face them everywhere they go...like a radar or something.

I tried to tell him he's being creepy, but he won;t listen.

Creepy guys don't always realise they ARE creepy. And don;t listen either!

[–]oprah9000 733 points734 points  (53 children)

It he won’t listen to you... It’s gonna take an outspoken girl embarrassing the fuck out of him to make it stop.

If staring isn’t creepy, it’s just... embarrassing. For him, I mean. As a girl, staring says to me, “I have no game and am an incredibly uninviting, unfuckable guy.”.

Edit: to my fellow ladies, please use discretion when calling out creepy men. I support standing up for yourself to the utmost degree, but PLEASE make sure that you have a safe escape first. You never know if these dudes will attack you, and though I value your outspokenness, I value your safety more. Be safe out there! And Men: STAND THE FUCK UP FOR US LIKE THE ABOVE COMMENTER. WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.

[–]svenson_26 2169 points2170 points 2 (52 children)

I didn’t have any sisters, and no female friends growing up. Girls were always this magic unknown entity, who were capable of sex. So I was always awkward around them, because I didn’t know what to do or say. I didn’t want to accidentally offend anyone or say something stupid. So I pretty much said nothing.

Ib my last year of high school, I spent more time around girls and realized that they really aren’t that different than my male friends. They make the same dick jokes and stuff. They have the same goals in life. So slowly, I learned to relax a bit and treat women like normal human beings, just like everyone else.

[–]Shitty-Coriolis 1371 points1372 points  (31 children)

Thiiiissss. I'm so tired of women being this like mythical monolithic entity. Just the sentence "how to talk to women" drives me up the wall. As if you need some special code language.

Bug mouth is an excellent show, and one of the things I like about it is it demystifies women, teenage girl puberty, and shows the girls as being pretty much just like the boys.

Honestly, at the heart of all creepiness, is just a failure to recognize women as humans just like you. Every man in this thread changed once they understood women were just people.

Edit: Bigmouth lol

[–]user1one- 12.3k points12.3k points 2 (494 children)

In middle school, I was a mid-puberty, horniness-stricken, little perv. I didn’t do a good job of concealing it either, I would always get really close to my one friend because I liked her at the time and looking back it was so wrong to do

It took me looking at what they were thinking and how my behavior affected them to really stop being creepy. Hindsight helps a lot as well.

[–]idk-hereiam 5925 points5926 points  (258 children)

I remember the hugs that lingered a little too long, the hands that went a little too low, the "where's my hugs, lack of personal space, etc that I got from boys in middle school. I'm honestly glad to hear reflection happens on yalls side.

[–]stonxdown 4274 points4275 points 2 (46 children)

“Where’s my hugs?”

“Back home in your mother’s arms”

[–]char92474 984 points985 points  (35 children)

Trust me it does.

I was the same way as that guy. I did lots of things I look back on with embarrassment and regret. Nothing “too bad” (I know, easy for me to say when I wasn’t the person it happened to). I never crossed the line like it was the finish line of the 40 yard dash but I definitely took a step or two past it

I regret all of it. If I could apologize to everyone I did it to I would. But I can’t so I focus on being a better person (not that this is an issue now)

[–]Jellopuppy 444 points445 points  (25 children)

I’ve never gotten that from boys my own age. It’s always the men 20-40 years older.

[–]haqikah 1352 points1353 points  (167 children)

I have a male coworker who will stand really close behind me or my other female coworkers. Sometimes it scares the shit out of me because I'll turn around and he's there right behind me. Guys, what is this? Is it a power move? I'm so tempted to say back the fuck up when he does this.

He's also helpful in a way that implies he thinks me or my other female coworkers aren't capable. Women, you know exactly what I'm talking about. There's a difference between offering to help and then completely taking over a task from someone without asking.

[–]chicagorpgnorth 594 points595 points  (42 children)

It sounds creepy, whatever it is! Next time I’d either say “Can you back up?” or “Can you not stand so close behind me?” and see how he reacts.

[–]EthelMaePotterMertz 517 points518 points  (21 children)

I'd pretend they weren't there and do one of those back stretches where you lean back and then point your bent elbows behind you and twist your back. They'd only get elbowed if they were inappropriately close.

[–]feidle 174 points175 points  (14 children)

I've had lots of male coworkers touch me unnecessarily, box me into a corner, even massage my shoulders, etc. It's so uncomfortable and surprisingly difficult to confront them about it, which feels terrible because I know a man would just say "what the fuck, dude?" and that would be the end of it. I usually just awkwardly laugh and say "whoa, personal space!".

[–]Sawses 91 points92 points  (0 children)

One of the PIs I worked under in my undergrad talked about this. She basically said, "You kind of have to accept they're going to think you're a bitch for telling them to back off. As long as you aren't a bitch to people for silly reasons, everybody else will understand."

[–]No-Bewt 384 points385 points  (1 child)

they do it because in their mind, it's as far as they can go while still rationalizing "it's okay, I'm doing nothing wrong, I can defend this if others call me out." that level is different for different guys.

[–]Wishmaster1997 658 points659 points  (0 children)

Can relate very much

[–]ilovthebooty 16.9k points16.9k points  (602 children)

Saw this answer some time ago It was this dude that tried to confess to the girl he liked by going to her apartment and make her dinner with candles,flowers and all that shit But then the girl came home and the first thing she said was " are you going to kill me"

[–]Narcosia 6201 points6202 points  (362 children)

But... I don't understand, how did he get in? Did he steal her key? Did he break in? Did he have the key to begin with? Did he ask her roommate for help? Because all of those are creepy, just varying levels of creepiness.

[–]ilovthebooty 3867 points3868 points  (190 children)

i don't really remember actually

but i do remember that she did not have roommates if i'm not wrong

i dont even know if he talked about the key thing in his post

but also it's been years so...

[–]iph0ne 2856 points2857 points  (173 children)

I remember this. I think they were friends but not like, close enough for him to do something like that. IIRC he had a key he didn't break in.

Anyone remember the dude who showed up to his significantly younger "girlfriend's" super professional finance job on Wall St. dressed entirely in orange with orange balloons and an orange bouquet with orange chocolates etc, singing or something, because it was her birthday and orange was her favorite color? And then got angry at her when she asked him to leave? And then posted on AITA about it?

edit - I can't find it, help

also this


[–]MagicSPA 1060 points1061 points  (53 children)

I remember the story, and I don't think it was their closeness that was the problem, it was the big montage he'd prepared of numerous different photographs of her.

[–]iph0ne 759 points760 points  (49 children)

oh fuuuccccckkkkkkkkkkk! The fucking memory wall thing!

We gotta find this. Now I have no idea if I remember this correctly at all or not.

[–]Zealousideal_Ad3824 125 points126 points  (4 children)

When I first started dating my current girlfriend about two years ago, I got her orange flowers for her birthday because I thought she had said orange was her favorite color. She loved the flowers but asked “why orange?” And I said “because that’s your favorite color, right?” She just laughed and wondered why in the world I thought that (her favorite color is green). But now for any romantic occasion where I get flowers for her, she basically demands that they be orange just so we can have a laugh.

[–]-recovering-asshole- 1020 points1021 points  (82 children)

At the risk of sounding like a creep, it's trivially easy to get into most homes. If he justified it as "being romantic" breaking in probably wouldn't have taken much effort.

[–]sgp1986 1343 points1344 points  (22 children)

Reminds me of Always Sunny when Mac is trying to get with Dennis & Dee's aunt.

"I made you breakfast!" "How did you get in?" "The door is solid, but the window is not. But don't worry you're always safe when you're with me"

[–]tylercreatesworlds 385 points386 points  (0 children)

I hope you like breakfast crispy, because it is burned.

[–]indiblue825 190 points191 points  (3 children)

"I'm sexually active Mom, get over it!"

[–]jigsawsmurf 140 points141 points  (2 children)

You're 33 years old, you're supposed to be sexually active!

[–]twotall88 456 points457 points  (79 children)

[–]Tundur 988 points989 points  (69 children)

My flatmate goes out and leaves the door open, or comes home and smokes a joint and goes to sleep without locking it.

Like... dude, we don't live in the Shire, there's wee bams with chibs out there.

[–]sadwer 1057 points1058 points 32 (13 children)

Even if you did live in the shire, if you give them half a chance the Sackville Bagginses will rob you blind.

[–]inoneear_outtheother 178 points179 points  (17 children)

There's what with what out there?

Sorry, not familiar with 'wee bams' and 'chibs' but definitely interested to know.

[–]CodyDogg 227 points228 points  (14 children)

Wee bams are the Scottish version of the Children of the Corn.

[–]Hira_Said 574 points575 points  (88 children)

How did that guy not understand in anywhere in that plan that he was breaking into her home?

[–]inflatablefish 571 points572 points  (77 children)

I would be astonished if this hasn't happened in a rom-com and been successful.

[–]givebusterahand 209 points210 points  (19 children)

Reminds me of in twilight when Edward was breaking into Bella’s house to watch her sleep at night, if IIRC it was before they had even spoken to one another.

[–]Vandergrif 462 points463 points  (48 children)

Rom-coms have really made a mess of quite a lot of peoples expectations of what reality would or 'should' be.

[–]Dystopian_Dreamer 400 points401 points  (23 children)

Not just rom-coms. Have you ever gone back and watched comedies from the late 70s and early 80s? Like every 4th joke is straight up rape.

[–]WiseAvocado 766 points767 points  (61 children)

How much pasta do you have to cook for 2 people and 2 cops?

[–]optcynsejo 471 points472 points  (43 children)

Somehow I’d still end up with too little or too much. Pasta portions are impossible to guess.

[–]stickyWithWhiskey 391 points392 points  (12 children)

I once made pasta for 3 and perfectly portioned it out without generating an unexpected mountain of leftovers.

Then I woke up.

[–]sexmagikarp 393 points394 points  (0 children)

I feel so bad for that poor woman. She must’ve been terrified.

[–]the_original_Retro 11.1k points11.1k points 2 (343 children)

Growing self-awareness that I wasn't the centre of the goddamn universe.

Went through a chasing-potential-girlfriends-too-hard phase in my earlier adult years, including mistaking simple offers of friendship and work colleague status for actual interest. It wasn't "stalking" level and it never reached the point of discipline (or even commenting), but it was probably to the point of being a little unprofessional and uncomfortable for the girl involved.

That was decades ago and I'm now with a company that doesn't tolerate that sort of thing.

[–]LadyMassacre 4829 points4830 points  (282 children)

I went on a date with a guy who had stalked a coworker and been fired for it. He mentioned that he had been fired from a job and I asked what happened. He explained that he had used his security clearance as part of the IT department to find this woman's phone number and proceeded to text her explaining who he was and how he got her number. I told him it was kinda creepy, and that he should have expressed his interest to her rather than sneaking around to find her number. After the date he ghosted me, then texted me months later saying he was "desperate" for a "cuddle buddy." Yeah, no thanks.

[–]Lyn1987 2890 points2891 points  (109 children)

something similar happened to a woman on r/twoxchromosomes. The guy went through her medical records to get her phone number and sent her a bunch of texts. Then after she posted her story, a bunch of nice guys flooded her pms telling her not to report him as that would ruin his career.

The man flagrantly violated hipaa in hopes of getting laid. He deserves to have his career ruined

[–]Threspian 794 points795 points  (19 children)

There was an AITA post a couple days ago, same thing. Guy starts getting messages from his ex (who he had changed his number to get away from), turns out she had gotten it from his medical records. Absolutely disgusting

Edit: may have been legaladvice, not AITA

[–]WhimsicalCalamari 955 points956 points  (5 children)

ruin his career

When you get down to it, he ruined his career the moment he went through those records. It's just a "matter of time" thing after that, and reporting is her responsibility.

[–]Jellopuppy 1177 points1178 points  (142 children)

What the hell is with the “cuddle buddy” thing? I don’t know why it irritates me so much, but it just seems like FWB...but less fun.

[–]PickSomethingBetter 1534 points1535 points  (94 children)

I think it's because 'cuddle buddy' feels dishonest. It doesn't seem like they actually want someone to sit on the couch with, or something innocent like that. It feels like a tactic to get you to come over, and then pressure you into more.

I love cuddling with my friends, and sharing physical contact. I would never agree to to be someone's "cuddle buddy".

[–]Jellopuppy 712 points713 points  (43 children)

You’re right. First it’s a movie, then a hand hold, then a hand going up your leg.

You ain’t slick! My mom told me all about this move! XD

[–]blasto_nut 276 points277 points  (4 children)

Was target of this at an independent game dev in the mid 2000s. Comforting to know that at least some people gain the self awareness to figure it out.

[–]hideaway_land 222 points223 points  (14 children)

How did the self-awareness grow, if I might ask?

[–]the_original_Retro 786 points787 points  (12 children)

Good managers and good friends that, in the first case, had the integrity to give me an honest review, and in the second case, called me out on my selfish bullshit.

They did not comment on my 'creepy' dysfunction specifically. But they DID call me out on my mild narcissism and self-centredness, using plain and unmistakeable language. And that made me think about myself a lot more in the context of how others actually saw me.

[–]toxic_pantaloons 227 points228 points  (2 children)

Good for you for using it as an opportunity to grow and improve!

[–]ruberusmaximus 7974 points7975 points 2 (99 children)

Talking to women, becoming friends with women, changing my circle of friends, growing up, learning empathy, and the final nail in the coffin was sobriety.

[–]plexnewbie 1124 points1125 points  (65 children)

What age did you go sober? I'm reaching that point in my life where drinking is no longer fun (assuming you're talking about drinking). I do it out of habit more than anything, however I've been good about not senselessly drinking lately and I feel so much better in the mornings. I'm thinking of riding this out into the spring and summer and trying to leverage the extra motivation to be more physically active.

[–]ruberusmaximus 814 points815 points  (38 children)

Mid twenties... I'm in my early 30s now. Best decision you will ever make, trust me! Combining it with caring for your body and mind in other ways makes staying sober easier and also enhances those feelings of well being.

[–]virgilreality 13.3k points13.3k points 22 (317 children)

I'm guilty of this, though naively and innocently so.

This sounds weird to me now, but I actually grew up in a household that valued back, neck. and shoulder rubs.

I did this for a long, long time to people I was friends with, men and women. In my head, it was just a way of saying I cared.

In retrospect, it undoubtedly gave of a super-creepy vibe.

I stopped once I saw it in context of someone else doing it to a woman, and her facial reaction to it. Then it just clicked. "Oh...OHHHHHhhh...wow, that's inappropriate..."

[–]Potter_Moron 347 points348 points  (7 children)

This made me chuckle. I grew up in a family who gave each other back rubs all the time, but it was always when someone asked for a back rub. I also have a friend that likes to exchange foot rubs, but again, she'll ask. It's not creepy if you just talk about it first, in my opinion.

[–]DopeTrack_Pirate 1225 points1226 points  (15 children)

Lol I can imagine someone thinking “oh shit it’s u/virgilreality, I hope I don’t get a neck molest”

And then you go innocently “oh hey you look tense, let me massage that out”

[–]Boyz4Jesus1076 973 points974 points 2 (14 children)

Guess you could say it came off as MASSAGE-inistic

[–]MiserableBranch9 409 points410 points  (61 children)

On my dads side of the family massages were normal too. I would rub my dads back, my bro would do his feet sometimes. I even use to shave my dads back. Looking back it seems really gross, but I actually use to think it was fun. Go figure

[–]chickn00dlesoup 231 points232 points  (34 children)

Same with my dad. It was pretty normal (18 years later, still is) for all of us children to scratch my father’s back. Like, literally just scratch his back, usually with a shirt on. I remember once in elementary the topic came up somehow, and I remember saying out loud “yeah I scratch my dad’s back”—and something in my head clicked like, “oh... maybe I shouldn’t have said that, will people think Dad is a creep?”. It totally wasn’t, but saying it out loud internally twisted my guts.

Edit: y’all I don’t worry about it now, 8 year old me did—I’m glad lots of you have a similar experience. I guess it really is something totally normal, huh?

[–]pwa09 16.1k points16.1k points  (498 children)

I used to have this older man always flirt & be unprofessional towards me at work when I first started, I was around 24 years old. After i had enough of his weird comments & flirting, I told him that he has a daughter the same age as me (which was true because he'd talk about his family at times) and that how would he like it if some older man was talking to his daughter like that and making sexual comments to her. He became less weird and flirtatious and more "regular" holding normal conversations. He moved shifts so I don't even see him anymore.

[–]xtheghostofyou138 8385 points8386 points  (161 children)

I had a man at work who was beyond inappropriate, always, all the time, and the daughter comment was what finally did it for him too. We were sitting in a room, I was quietly working on computer/paperwork stuff with a headphone in, and from the silence behind me he asks “do you like getting your hair pulled when you get fucked?” I spun around in my chair and said “can you even IMAGINE someone talking to your daughter like that????” like holy shit.

[–]pwa09 4205 points4206 points  (87 children)

Wow that's extremely inappropriate. I probably would've reported that to HR

[–]xtheghostofyou138 3319 points3320 points  (69 children)

It was the Navy, HR didn’t really exist there unfortunately. But I did learn what I did/did not want to put up with in a work environment lol

[–]PinkStardom 609 points610 points  (5 children)

i read your post and immediately thought, "this person must have been in the military". Its so sad the way things are swept under the rug in the military and that they aren't held to a high standard. i am sorry this happened to you but i like how you handled it and snapped back at the person.

[–]xtheghostofyou138 249 points250 points  (2 children)

I appreciate you. I was a little scared to at first because I was very young and new to the ship, but it got to a point where I sat down with myself and thought “if I don’t do something/say something, this can only get worse and I don’t want to know what worse looks like”

[–]barjam 705 points706 points  (36 children)

Jeesh, that goes a few steps beyond “beyond inappropriate” to me. That is shockingly inappropriate.

[–]xtheghostofyou138 416 points417 points  (23 children)

There are many things that happen in the navy that are shockingly inappropriate that end up just becoming normal.

[–]GummyKibble 2705 points2706 points  (188 children)

I’ve seen a lot of variations of this, followed by “he should see women as people without having to view the situation in the context of someone he loves”. Which is absolutely true, of course, but I think it misses the point: some people just don’t make that leap until you demonstrate it for them.

Kudos to you for getting through to him.

Kudos to him for taking the specific example you gave him (“I don’t want someone to be a creep to my daughter”) and being able to generalize it (“I shouldn’t be a creep”).

Ideally that wouldn’t have been needed, but obviously it was, and this time it did the trick.

[–]kirixen 23.3k points23.3k points 32 (517 children)

They aren't laughing because I'm funny, they're laughing because they're scared.

Edit: thanks for the votes and awards everyone. I was sure that this would get me nothing but criticism for being a creeper in my youth.

[–]human_stuff 2091 points2092 points  (103 children)

I had a roommate who did not understand this. We couldn't bring girls over like ever because he was constantly creeping them out, but in his head he thought he was flirting.

Edit: For those who want to know some of the things he'd say or do... we'd have friends over, girls usually, and he'd make weird jokes that wouldn't land. He'd fidget with a pocket knife, opening and closing it constantly in a fast motion. One friend said it freaked her out and he just stares into her eyes, not blinking and keeps doing it. We all had to tell him to stop and he would't stop until the unbearable cringe of the moment got to him and he was almost in tears. It was some real Michael Scott/Charles the new boss bull shit.

I mentioned his behavior at a party below. I could get in more details but there's more of him just being extremely obnoxious and needy around women.

[–]ffs_not_this_again 1550 points1551 points  (79 children)

This reminds me of a post I wish I'd saved which was either on or about the people on r/BlackPill and related subs. The topic of the post was the observation that a lot of those people (mostly men) really believed that they'd "proven" that personality can't overcome bad looks because they, an ugly person according to themselves, had gone to parties and been confident, interesting and flirtatious with no success, thus proving it's all about looks. But in reality of course these people are so socially incompetent that they are just completely wrong in thinking they had been acting smoothly and were actually creepy and alienating, but were so bad socially they had no idea that the other person is creeped out by their actions.

[–]human_stuff 835 points836 points  (54 children)

Yep. We had a party once and he just latched on to this one poor girl the entire night. She was literally walking all over the room to get away from him and he was puppy dogging her the whole time. We had to intervene.

[–]TrinSims 642 points643 points  (37 children)

I’ve had too many awful experiences with guys doing that. One clear ‘no not interested’ should be enough to get them to leave you alone but for some reason some dudes think it’s okay to follow you around all night like they can win you over. It’s scary and has completely ruined nights for me and my friends.

One time at a bar a guy kept staring at me all night and talking to me anytime I slightly ventured away from my friends even after I told him I wasn’t interested. It got to the point where my friend had her bf pretend to be mine for the night (he just held onto my arm, sat next to me all night) and the creeper eventually fucked off.

I hate that they only take no for an answer when I’m already “taken” by another guy.

[–]FunkisHen 116 points117 points  (12 children)

Yes, some people just take "no" as "try harder" which it absolutely is not. So many times when I was a teenager one of my male friends had to tell some creeper to fuck off, because when I said it, they just kept on creeping. Why can't they just listen to the person they're supposedly trying to get to like them??

[–]MelbaTotes 159 points160 points  (1 child)

I was once on a three hour train ride when I noticed this young woman sitting alone at a table had been joined by total scal. He sat across from her but kept popping up in his seat to lean toward her and playing with a pocket knife. He kept asking where she was going. She said she had a boyfriend and he kept questioning if that was true. She had to just smile and be polite because this train was in the middle of fucking nowhere and there were very few people around.

The guy went off to buy beer from the drinks carriage so I asked her if she was ok and offered to sit with her or flag train security. She said she was ok and the guy had said he was getting off at a stop before hers, but I let her know I was you know, paying attention.

Anyway he comes back and starts showing off some cards in his wallet. She acts impressed and he's now drunk and insists she keeps one of the cards.

Eventually his stop comes and he leaves, and she comes over to my table. The card was his inmate ID card. He had several prison ID cards from various places.

And like this was a teenage or very early twenties girl, traveling alone and obviously not used to it, at night in a virtually empty train she couldn't leave. The dumbest thing she could have done would be to tell him "Sorry, I'm not interested, please leave."

[–]Equine-Porcine 54 points55 points  (0 children)

I was riding on a train late at night with some guy who lived in my neighborhood. He had been making advances toward at me all evening but I had made it pretty clear that I wasn’t interested. He kept being creepy on the train ride home so finally I just closed my eyes and pretended to go to sleep so he would stop bothering me. However, he what he did instead was lunge over and start kissing me. I couldn’t believe it. Of course, I immediately told him to stop and then I really let him have it. Yelling at him, telling him he’s a creep, and telling him to leave me alone. Unfortunately, since we lived in the same neighborhood we had to walk back in the same direction after getting off the train. The funny part is, some young tough kids in the neighborhood confronted him on our walk back and he said something totally inappropriate to them and so one of them punched him in the face.

[–]UmbrellaUser69 416 points417 points  (1 child)

Great job intervening! Bystander intervention is one of the things they harp on a lot in sexual assault prevention training in the military. Everyone should be taught to look out for stuff like that at parties.

[–]MercutiaShiva 9672 points9673 points  (85 children)

Oh man... Thank you for realizing the difference. It is really hard to supress the nervous how-can-I-get-out-of-this-situation-safely giggles.

[–]grenudist 5309 points5310 points  (64 children)

Or the what-the-fuck-that's-so-weird giggles.

[–]quietfangirl[🍰] 4104 points4105 points  (60 children)

Or the I-don't-know-how-else-to-react-but-it's-definitely-not-good giggles

[–]Chaos-Buster 4676 points4677 points  (30 children)

Im in danger chuckles

[–]Sedu 872 points873 points  (17 children)

The worst thing is that there are guys out there who know exactly what those danger-chuckles look for and get off to it. You can tell from their reactions because they get cockier and more aggressive and start saying meaner things to you the minute they see it. They're the ones that you need to go no-contact with immediately.

[–]mr_trick 133 points134 points  (3 children)

Indeed, I had a really scary experience with a dude like this on the train. He trapped me in my seat by standing in the exit, and kept saying weird shit and asking me inappropriate questions. I was nervously laughing and the gleam of excitement in his eyes made me want to puke.

I vowed never to give anyone that satisfaction again and even if I’m scared, I refuse to let myself do that out of spite. I’ll stonewall (keep my face completely blank, no reaction to anything) and say nothing. Most weirdos who want a reaction will grow bored and wander off after a minute or two.

[–]HintOfAreola 116 points117 points  (0 children)

Because of the implication.

But in a dead-serious not-ironically-charming-IASIP way. These women are in real danger.

[–]slimshady_42 1573 points1574 points  (3 children)

nervous laughter I m in danger

[–]DillPixels 994 points995 points  (61 children)

I’ve discovered when a man is making sexual and creepy jokes, instead of laughing because I’m uncomfortable, it’s very effective to stare at them with a blank expression, or a slight frown of anger. They get really uncomfortable and leave me alone. Have had many run ins and doing that or calling them out for being creepy has worked 100% of the time.

[–]FlightOfFoxes 632 points633 points  (25 children)

I do this too, but I also sometimes ask them to explain the joke and pretend that I don’t understand the point they’re trying to make or what they’re doing. Just making a confused face and going “I don’t get it, what do you mean?” And watching them try to come up with some sort of explanation that doesn’t sound awful even if it comes from their own mouth.

[–]kelsybobelsy 375 points376 points  (16 children)

THIS! Works with racist remarks as well. I act innocent and ask them to explain what they mean. Makes it pretty akward, which is the minimum they deserve.

[–]pancakebirdpowder74 742 points743 points  (83 children)

This is so true...I hate that I have to do this around guys because in my mind there is a possibility they could hurt me in some way if I don't play nice. Thank you for realizing this.

[–]SummerOfMayhem 575 points576 points  (69 children)

I don't think most guys realize just how much we have to say or do to keep ourselves safe. It is a delicate art and fine line to have to walk. Guys say "why do girls say/do this?" Well, it's to avoid you feeling rejected, getting angry, and keep you from hurting us, starting rumors, destroying relationships, stalking us, even getting us fired. It's so messed up and scary

[–]DancinginAshes 3703 points3704 points 2 (89 children)

I realized that I wasn't a knight in shining armor, and they weren't princesses to be adored and saved.

Rather than trying to ingratiate myself with them, I stopped giving a fuck and just started casual conversations. If they gave curt responses and standoffish body language, I politely exited the conversation and moved on.

By caring less, I succeeded more.

[–]Muchado_aboutnothing 1529 points1530 points  (52 children)

Yeah, I think this is something that it takes most young guys a long time to understand. Most women don’t want to be showered in endless compliments or treated like “princesses...” they want someone to talk to them like a person. So many guys will begin conversations with just a series of random compliments that feel super over the top and disingenuous....like, you just met me, y’know? You can’t really think I’m THAT great. Compliments are nice, but you should try to actually have a conversation with someone...

[–]VivaLaSea 446 points447 points  (11 children)

Most women don’t want to be showered in endless compliments or treated like “princesses...” they want someone to talk to them like a person. So many guys will begin conversations with just a series of random compliments that feel super over the top and disingenuous....

YESSSS!!!! This is very true. Excessive compliments are such a turn-off.
I recently went to the bank and as soon as I walked in some man started bombarding me with so many compliments, telling me I’m so gorgeous. Meanwhile I was wearing a mask, so it was just extra ridiculous.
Men give out compliments like Halloween candy so at this point I don’t even value compliments from stranger men. It just feels like they’re trying to flatter me into sleeping with them.

[–]WYMYZR 5845 points5846 points  (263 children)

When I was in my late teens and early 20s I was constantly “chasing girls” as the expression goes. Nobody ever seemed to take offence to it,that kind of behaviour seemed expected. Plus, I always seemed to be able to find someone who was interested in hooking up.

Then I got married so obviously I stopped. I found myself single again 10years later and quickly reverted to my old ways. It wasn’t long before I realized that things that I could get away with at 21 no longer worked at 32. In fact, based on the reactions of a couple of women, I realized I was being creepy. Of course the women I was perusing where also older too.

I realized I had to take a more mature approach. Things went much better after that, but I still cringe to think of some of my early attempts to get back in the game.

[–]Rangerman007 1450 points1451 points  (139 children)

I’m 32 as well. What did you do that you see now as creepy? It’s hard at this age

[–]kmo9e 2935 points2936 points 2 (119 children)

Not OP but I re entered the dating world at age 37 after 10 years of marriage, hookup apps and the like were not even a thing that existed when I got married the first time so I was walking in to a whole new world. Assuming you are dating in your age group women are looking for different things over 30, I found that showing how responsible, stable, and together I had my life was the new currency. Which worked out great for me since I never excelled at dating as a younger person when sweet dance moves at a club were the more important thing. As far as avoiding being creepy goes, take no for an answer the first time, look people in the eye, and only suggest activities that are obviously in a well lit public place in the early stages of meeting someone.

[–]AineDez 2245 points2246 points  (59 children)

"Take no for an answer the first time"


[–]sgt_faff 392 points393 points  (0 children)

God I cringe at the fact I used to ask this girl on a date multiple times after she had said no. Like what the fuck obviously it’s gonna be another no in fact this is making it so much worse for everyone.

[–]InsaneAss 301 points302 points  (25 children)

But what about all those romcoms where the pursuit leads to love?!


[–]see-bees 277 points278 points  (18 children)

Thankfully I came across the Brad Pitt rule on the internet early enough and it stuck.

A lady is on the way to her grandma's funeral and Brad Pitt, not watching where he's going, runs into her and knocks her over. He says "hey look, let me make it up to you and take you to dinner." But obviously she can't, she's got grandma's funeral. If shes interested, she'll try to reschedule, "I really can't, dead grandma, but how about lunch at XYZ tomorrow?". If she's not interested, she just flat out says "sorry Brad, no can do" and that's that. If someone is interested but genuinely can't make it to a specific date, they'll try to make it happen.

[–]kamomil 191 points192 points  (3 children)

Well they're written by people in Hollywood. Hollywood is I'm sure a place where NO ONE is predatory. /s

[–]Rangerman007 156 points157 points  (5 children)

Yeah I like everything you said. Where to meet people I guess is my struggle but hey that’s everyone these days. 8 hrs working a day and then wearing a mask and social distancing, great.

[–]Away_Shoe_7140 558 points559 points  (29 children)

Divorced woman here, returned to dating in my mid-30s. You are spot on with meeting in a public place; it shows respect to not push for a private location or car. Along those lines I’d add openly discussing consent. Not having dated since my early 20s, I was pleasantly surprised when a man casually discussed consent on our first date and thereafter always displayed respect for my boundaries. That really helped me to relax and enjoy being with him.

UPDATE - multiple commenters have asked how that conversation went:

He tied consent to good communication.

We had good chemistry and conversation was flowing. He said how refreshing that was and that it made him want to see me again because open communication and clear consent are must-haves in order to have fun together. Just introducing the topic of consent opened the door to more flirtatious conversation and helped to build trust.

That, coupled with the fact that as the relationship progressed, whenever I asserted a boundary there were no questions asked – he didn’t try to convince me otherwise. Even little things like, “I’d rather not park in that lot; it’s not well lit.” No machismo “I’ll protect you” or annoyance about circling the block. That let me know that when I was ready to express consent and boundaries about more personal matters, he wouldn’t fight me on it – wouldn’t be a creep.

[–]K1ng_N0thing 57 points58 points  (4 children)

casually discussed consent on our first date

Can you share how he started this conversation? It went well for both of you but I worry I would sound presumptuous.

[–]Minaowl 4443 points4444 points  (39 children)

My best friend was actually the creepy guy. We were both freshmen in college and virgins, and I was an attractive woman who spoke to him. It took me leaving a party because he wouldn't stop putting his hands on my shoulders and a guy friend of mine walking up to him a few days later (not at my bidding, he just decided to do it on my own) and telling him "you make Minaowl really uncomfortable, stay away for her." He apologized to me and gave me space, but we were still in the same social circles, so we saw each other around and gradually became really good friends. He has apologized for making me uncomfortable multiple times, and once over a year after that party, he turned to me and just said "I'm so sorry for that night."

[–]Kittii_Kat 1332 points1333 points  (10 children)

Sounds like something I did when I was younger. Except nobody told me that I was being creepy (and you really can't tell when you're doing it.. the brain is weird). Eventually, years later, I realized.

And now it's just a "I wish I could apologize and have them know I mean it" situation. Oh well, life goes on.

[–]CatsDogsWitchesBarns 648 points649 points  (5 children)

it was at this fork in the road he chose not to go down the angry incel path

[–]Fire_The_Torpedo2011 31.7k points31.7k points 2211111416& 43 more (686 children)

When I broke up with my first serious girlfriend, I was totally heartbroken.

I called her all the time, cried on the phone. I even threatened to kill myself and told her so. This went on for some time.

Eventually I threatened again to kill myself and went to bed drunk. I woke up to a voicemail from her crying her eyes out begging me not to do it.

I was so ashamed about my behaviour. I realised in that message what I had become. It was absolutely her right, as it was mine, to end a relationship at any time for any reason, without being hounded and traumatised by the ex. I was evil and toxic.

I apologised and promised never to do it again. After that I left her alone. I was still heartbroken, but i found comfort in my friends, and in activities and hobbies instead. I had several failed relationships after her, but i never again treated a woman this way. This was over fifteen years ago and now I am married. I have been tempted many times to contact her and apologise some more for my behaviour, but the truth is, she is better off without me in her life. I hope she is well.

Addition : a lot of people replied to this and I tried to answer every single comment, but there was just too many. I never expected this to blow up like it did. Every single message I received was honest and lovely. I appreciate them all. To love, and to happiness forever.

[–]kevelynviolin 10.3k points10.3k points  (195 children)

My friend broke up with her first boyfriend because he cheated on her and he started sending her pictures of him cutting himself. She eventually came to realize that she couldn’t stop him and told him to seek help then blocked him. I really hate it when people try and guilt trip people into liking them again, it just hurts both people.

[–]spaceyfacer 3611 points3612 points  (126 children)

My ex threatened to hurt himself the night I left, so I called the non-emergency line to get the cops to do a wellness check on him. Turned out he was just trying to get a reaction out of me. He did a lot of other dramatic shit after that, and it drove him nuts that I was always calm and collected when dealing with him.

[–]XanderSnave 1699 points1700 points  (103 children)

Calling the police if an ex is threatening to kill themselves is always the right thing to do. If they don't mean it, then they'll be less likely to try something like that again. If they do, then you can say you did what you could to prevent it.

Edit: Actually, check your local department's record on that first. Thank you to everyone who corrected me.

Edit 2: /u/anfionnuisce posted this link as a response to this comment, I hope they don't mind me putting it higher up. It's a directory to find your local mobile crisis unit: https://www.beam.community/mobilecrisis

[–]spaceyfacer 353 points354 points  (0 children)

That's what my mom told me, which is why I did it.

[–]lazyycalm 428 points429 points 2 (6 children)

Kudos to you also for realizing that sometimes the best apology is just letting someone move on w/ their life. I think way too many ppl reach out to apologize, or worse get “closure”, only to either retraumatize someone or fall back into the same patterns.

[–]Bubbajimmy8 1163 points1164 points  (21 children)

This one hits home. I'm honestly ashamed that I behaved similarly. Sure, I was upset. But there wasn't an excuse to behave that way and put someone through the same emotional rollercoaster ride, it's what pushed them away to begin with.

[–]Fire_The_Torpedo2011 902 points903 points  (15 children)

Yes! This exactly. I thought I could beg and guilt-trip her to take me back. But who in reality wants a relationship based on that? She would have absolutely no respect for me and I would have no security. Being with someone just because it stops them from crying and killing themselves is a ridiculous basis for a relationship. The truth is, when someone makes the decision to end it, you have to respect it. And you have to respect yourself at the same time and keep your dignity. I hate how I behaved, but I hate more how I made her feel.

[–]teenteen11 231 points232 points  (1 child)

I love how much self reflection you’ve done. You’ve seem to have come a long way. Proud of you.

[–]InuitOverIt 1052 points1053 points  (48 children)

I had a friend in high school who had moved from another state. She had a boyfriend there who said if she left, he would kill himself. She didn't have a choice, her family was moving and she was a minor. He ended up doing it. Fucked her up real bad.

[–]Fire_The_Torpedo2011 648 points649 points  (36 children)

Horrible thing to put on someone.

A friend of mine had a sixteen year old daughter who tried and nearly succeed in killing herself after her girlfriend broke up with her. I totally understood her heartbreak and how she honestly believed she would never love again, but we also know that she will have many more relationships in her life, and that sixteen is not the age you find the love of your life.

[–]hessmad 382 points383 points  (8 children)

You sound just like my high school ex! Except unfortunately he’s not as mature as you and 4 years post breakup he’s still doing all those things

[–]Fire_The_Torpedo2011 190 points191 points  (0 children)

I hope that he eventually comes to his senses and leaves you alone. He's gone from being an ex to being a stalker, there is nothing romantic about that. It is creepy and wrong.

[–]Barfignugen 154 points155 points  (1 child)

My brother used to catcall women ALL THE TIME until once when I was with him. He was driving, I was the passenger, and he yelled out to a woman in another car about how hot she looked. I turned to him and said very casually yet matter-of-factly, “You know, women hate it when men talk to us like that. It’s not flattering, it’s objectifying and disrespectful.” He got quiet, his eyes glazed over, and I saw him taking in what I’d just said. It had simply never occurred to him that what he was doing could be seen as anything other than flattering. He never, ever did it again, and I saw him grow into an extremely respectful person over the next couple of years.

Sometimes all it takes is someone to make them aware. This is why women call on men to call out their guy friends for this type of behavior. Some men look at women as objects, and they don’t take us seriously. But, the same thing coming from your sister or one of their guy friends? Completely different reaction.

[–]pseudocultist 1498 points1499 points  (13 children)

When I was younger, I would sometimes realize, someone was trying to get me fucked up or otherwise defenses down, so they could fuck me. I was always really devastated and felt dirty, like I was being preyed on. But I kind of did the same thing to other people, which was justifiable because I was crushing on them or whatever. It took me a while to realize, the behavior you don't like is what you're doing to others. After that I became a lot more transparent and stopped doing the whole "creepy friend with ulterior motives" and just started doing the "I am interested in you and would enjoy a date" from the getgo, and it made things a lot better for everyone. If there was rejection I dealt with it and moved on, like a healthy person.

[–]fallingleaf271 232 points233 points  (0 children)

Congratulations for turning things around!

[–]Rosenhansthud 3188 points3189 points  (59 children)

I’m a lady (26F) who has been creeped upon and one of my old bosses (70M) would grope and kiss me during meetings and in front of other people and employees. He didn’t stop until a CEO friend of his got “MeToo”-ed and their company went under. I guess he finally realized that could happen to him too. Even now he’ll say things that are on the fence of inappropriate and complain about how people “can’t take a joke anymore.” 🙄

[–]grenudist 889 points890 points  (26 children)

Can you safely say similarly rude things to him?

[–]Rosenhansthud 1082 points1083 points  (24 children)

Unfortunately, not really. I’m in the entertainment industry, so I’m hired on a project-by-project basis. If I, or the many people who witnessed it, spoke up, he just wouldn’t hire us on projects anymore, and poof, there goes your income.

[–]spiderwoman65 3458 points3459 points  (79 children)

I’m a woman but I have a story about being creepy towards men.

In college me and my long term boyfriend had just broken up because he wanted to date my friend instead. This left me desperate to date or sleep with new people so I would feel desirable again. My good friend Paul was in college as well and had a cute roommate who was NOT into me. I asked for his number and Paul straight up told me no because his roomie wasn’t into me. Well I went through Paul’s phone for the guys number anyway. It only took me a couple days to realize how genuinely creepy and desperate I was being, and every time I look back at this I cringe.

[–]Normal_Ad2456 790 points791 points  (35 children)

I am now curious. What did you expect would happen by getting his number. Did you believe that he had lied about not liking you, or that you would change his mind?

[–]SpaceObama 1484 points1485 points  (32 children)

Bad gender stereotypes for both genders are used...by both genders.

There is the stereotype that all men are horn dogs. Men are always down for sex, always. Someone in my friend group in University got dumped, and was feeling low self-esteem. They turned their sexy attention to me. It was...uncomfortable. She was gorgeous, and they also showed absolutely zero interest in me prior. She invited me over for an obvious "sleepover" but I turned her down. She had a huge breakdown from this. And she got very offensive towards me. Gist of it was, if someone like me would turn her down, then no one else would want her. SUPER offensive really, but coming from a place of complete lack of self-esteem from being dumped. She was also a few years older than most of us, so that played a factor. She felt she was too old to date even a schlub like me. This isn't speculation on my part, this was a tight friend circle. Our mutual friends were trying to help her, and prevent me from "helping" by dating her.

It's not talked about enough, but there are bad stereotypes about men that indirectly also harm woman. A weird double standard where men are expected to be gentlemen (rightly so)...but also the expectation is that most are not gentlemen. Polite words and actions get misinterpreted as rude insults. Getting self-esteem and pride from your "sex appeal" was never a solid idea, for anyone. In 2021 its a downright horrible idea. Solving the creepy people problem is going to take fixing ourselves. As hippy dippy as that sounds, it's true. If people could confidently ask people out, and confidently reject someone, without fear of reprisal or revenge...things would go so much better.

[–]RaidRover 94 points95 points  (4 children)

That pretty much encapsulates why I was date-raped. Girl on my dorm floor wanted me. Told me so multiple times. Asked me to sleep with her a few times. I told her no, I have just gotten out of a 3 years relationship, I was still a virgin, etc. She decided that the best way to get what she wanted was to roofie me because then I would be "uninhibited and give into my real manly desires." That had me pretty fucked up for a while.

[–]the_electric_company 225 points226 points  (4 children)

That's funny, reminds me of when I was a freshman in college and I picked up a girl at a dorm party and brought her back to my bunk bed for some (terrible) lovin. She was 'older' (probably only like 22 or 23, but that seems pretty mature to a college freshman) and I wanted to get to know her even though it was kind of obvious that she didn't want to hang the next morning when she was sobered up. I got our mutual friend to give me her number (probably reluctantly) and I kept trying to hit her up that poor girl with zero response. It's been 15 years but I still think from time to time how clueless that was lol. And that's the story of my first.

[–]Miraclefish 832 points833 points  (33 children)

It was never that I was creepy, but I hadn't really considered how I as an unknown male have the potential to be creepy from a female perspective.

I was on a date with an ex and she said, in passing, that she'd looked me up online (I was a journalist) and that people had had nice things to say about working with or meeting me, and that was made her feel it was safe to meet up with me for a date.

And I was immediately internally quite offended. I thought, wait a minute, what are you accusing me of? What did I do that made you feel you had to do a background check on me? At a later date I asked her if she minded talking about that and I was curious as to what behaviour I had done which made her think 'I should check out and see if he's legit who he says he is' online, because maybe I could improve it or be more mindful.

She said that it wasn't about me or anything I'd done specifically, it was just that as a woman you want to know the person you're meeting from online isn't a nutter or criminal, for your own safety.

Until that point I'd never considered dating as anything but safe and wholesome. Because I'm a guy, if I'm meeting a girl, even if she is crazy (and boy do I have at least one story about that for another time) I can just walk or run away.

So it was at that moment I realised that even I though I try to be a decent and upfront guy who tries to understand and respect women, can be a potential threat just by acting normally because, well, that's what creeps and predators can often do too.

It was then that I realised I had to understand what it was like for women dating, and to be more considerate of that, and to not be offended by someone else doing the perfectly sensible and rational thing to try and ensure their safety.

It meant that in future I always make sure my suggestions for first meets or first dates are at public, safe places, and that nobody has to travel or be reliant on anyone for transport, and a few other things like not innocently asking things like 'do you live with anyone' when they've no reason to trust you and it can also seem like 'I'm trying to find out if you live alone' etc.

It's small little things that don't matter to me but are the difference between feeling safe and confident for a woman. But that was very much my realisation moment.

[–]theorigamiwaffle 438 points439 points  (5 children)

One time a guy wanted to do something 'fun' and 'exciting' on our first date and suggested a night picnic overlooking the ocean. He was tired of the whole bar and restaurant slick.

Very romantic if I already knew him, but being told to meet up with him alone in a secluded area was giving off rapist vibes.

I told him that I rather we meet in public and he asked why and I said for a first date it's a bit creepy. I got ghosted haha.

[–]Transformwthekitchen 183 points184 points  (1 child)

Makes you wonder how innocent his intentions were

[–]Granxious 2278 points2279 points  (102 children)

Maturity finally caught up with me.

I had one particularly bad experience with a girl "A" who I think was genuinely interested in me at one point, but I was super awkward and didn't have a clue how to act right, so I never really made a move beyond sad attempts at flirting, and so I think she eventually just thought I was a weirdo who wouldn't leave her alone.

Then one day we were both in a big group of people just talking and a mutual friend completely out of the blue suggested that A should ask me out, and what followed was possibly the single most uncomfortable moment of my entire life to date. "A" pretty much turned white and she was out of there. I'm sure she believed that I had put our mutual friend up to it. I had not. If anything I was just as horrified.

That single event shattered my self-confidence so completely that I spent the next year and a half actively avoiding any kind of conversation or interaction with girls, because I had concluded that I must be a Creep and therefore the right thing to do was to protect girls from my Creepiness by isolating myself.

Eventually I kind of figured myself out and by my early 20s I was still awkward as hell but I managed to have a couple of relationships and plenty of platonic female friendships.

[–]craft6886 510 points511 points  (15 children)

I spent the next year and a half actively avoiding any conversation or interaction with girls, because I had concluded that I must be a creep and therefore the right thing to do was to protect girls from my creepiness by isolating myself.

Fffffuuuuck, that hit home. I never did that previous stuff but I still did this shit out of self dislike and self confidence issues. I still tend to keep my distance even though I'm trying to work on it, it's hard to get out of the mindset that you're just a monster or something.

[–]Asteroth555 624 points625 points  (57 children)

That single event shattered my self-confidence so completely that I spent the next year and a half actively avoiding any kind of conversation or interaction with girls, because I had concluded that I must be a Creep and therefore the right thing to do was to protect girls from my Creepiness by isolating myself.

I was at work in college and someone jokingly said something similar and the girl literally went "EEEEW", but with a tone of contempt unlike anything I heard before. That and another incident when a girl said I was creepy basically destroyed my confidence to the point where I didn't speak to women for 2 years (other than for work)

[–]DopeTrack_Pirate 204 points205 points  (7 children)

I once saw a girl I knew from middle school working at a Target and I gave her a “hi” by raising my eyebrows (maybe even opening my eyes wider). She gave me the worst “icky wtf” look and just left the space. I was like wtf? Went home and practiced that same face and yah I looked like a crazy person.

This other time a coworker and I were in the freezer of the ice cream place we worked at (during high school) and she definitely was being flirty and grabbing the supplies I needed so I would like play run/catch/grab her. She was always super nice and smiley around me. Yah I definitely missed those signals.

In college, this girl I started talking to at a party was really interested in me explaining I play guitar and wanted to see me play. I told her “well it’s in my dorm”, she said fine. We went there, no one else there, we sat and played for a while late into early morning. She was tired and asked if she could sleep in my bed. I said sure and we literally just slept. She gave me a few more chances. Yah missed that signal too.

Anyways, I think the initial disgust reaction stuck with me so long that I convinced myself girls just wanted to be friends with me if anything. If I hadn’t gone to target that day things might have been different for my adolescent self-esteem (though I bet I would have found another reason to be shy). Life is great right now though :)

[–]Winniemoshi 778 points779 points  (75 children)

I had to explain to my 50 year old husband that young women do NOT find his interest a compliment

[–]pm_me_ur_fit 331 points332 points  (12 children)

this i genuinely do not understand. i work in a restaurant, and even though i’m a guy so i’ve never directly dealt with it, i know of so many instances of male guests being creepy towards their female servers in front of their wives or families. boggles me, how anyone could think that was ok or tolerate that behavior in someone their partner. is flirting with other women in a creepy way in front of you not a red flag?

[–]Grassfed_rhubarbpie 117 points118 points  (2 children)

My sister, her daughter and I had to tell this to our dad/grandpa ánd our mother when my dad thought it was funny, lighthearted banter to point out how attractive he found one of our waitresses of idk, 16-20? To her face whilst she was working.

Like no dad your 70. You're not being funny or cute towards her. She's just here to do her job and this isn't the type of interaction she was hoping for tonight.

[–]MormonMacDaddy 1240 points1241 points  (21 children)

I have five sisters, and hearing them talk about something creepy a guy did really made me check my own actions.

Also, I think a lot of us were just hormonal teenagers with a typical, insane libido. Getting called out normally works

[–]one_dimensional 210 points211 points  (13 children)

I think this is a key part of the understanding.

It's more than just "self awareness" about what's creepy, but it's the fact that "creepy" is an amorphous poorly defined term that describes the subjective discomfort of the other party.

The bottom line is that we're talking in this thread about some form of "learned empathy". It's a waste of time to pretend like there's a rule book for how to put others at ease, since any rigid guidelines are going to be covered in caveats, exceptions, and a limited context for which they'll work at all! Instead RULES, the guide is a PROCESS.

Learning how to read and understand the human standing in front of you is the real skill. What makes them uncomfortable or feel creeped out is going to be a complicated blend of factors far outside your control or awareness, so the best thing you can do is:

Be gentle; listen with loving kindness; seek the path of less harm.

Sometimes that means a polite wave of the hand in silent acknowledgement; others it might mean a lewd but carefully selected jape to lift the spirits of one who's humor you're intimately familiar with!

You do your best, and be ready to adjust, and don't take it personally! <3

[–]Luckboy28 805 points806 points  (24 children)

I wasn't being actively creepy, but:

I used to think cat-calling was just flirtatious compliments, and who doesn't like those, right? >.> I never cat-called anybody, largely because that's not my personality type.

But now I live by the motto: "Never say something to a stranger that you wouldn't want a big guy saying to you in prison."

[–]commoncents45 325 points326 points  (6 children)

idk if I was ever creepy. I'm sure I was but I was told I was too intense. Too forward. Which made girls uncomfortable. I figured that everyone was having sex so why not just start the conversation there and see where it goes. Yeah no one wants to talk to relative strangers about your dick going inside their bodies. When someone you think about constantly looks at you with disgust. It's pretty painful.

When I went to college I realized how many girls were actually sexually assaulted. It seemed like all of them. Seriously every single girl had a story about being accosted, or groped, or held down, or raped. When I was saying sexual things I think they thought I was the kind of guy to do that. The disgust turned to fear in the post MeToo era. Honestly I think it's for the better. Talking about sex with a female stranger can be a can of worms of shit that I had no idea was even happening. Coming from a place of privilege to try and get some sex is cringey af. Sex isn't the answer to your problems. And women aren't objects to help make you happy.

Basically, just have a modicum of respect for the human being in front of you.

[–]Hannnaaj 167 points168 points  (5 children)

Yeah I feel like guys who aren’t rapist don’t realize just how incredibly common sexual harassment/ assault rape is for women. I genuinely don’t know a single woman (on a personal level) who hasn’t experienced it.

[–]onlyfemalesrwomen 139 points140 points  (0 children)

Also many men dont realize that rape isnt all back ally or drugged at a party rape.

It can be asking until a no turns into " i guess so"

It can be inserting a finger into your sleeping girlfriend. "Byt the way waking up to that is not fun."

It can be not giving the option of a no because you jump from 1 to 10 and shes too scared/ shocked to say anything.

Men are bigger and after years of catcalls, being followed, groped, pressured... sometimes you just learn to shut down and take things you dont want out of pure fear or fight fatigue.

[–]turncloaks 1386 points1387 points  (69 children)

My creepiness came from not knowing how to talk to girls, not anything predatory. I think a lot of guys are like that. I wasn’t particularly creepy but I look back on some stuff I did or said that I thought was smooth or flirty but looking back at it now I’m like wow I was actually being creepy lmao.

[–]ellefordestiny[🍰] 311 points312 points  (33 children)

Any examples? Im curious.

[–]turncloaks 683 points684 points  (16 children)

Mostly little stuff but one pops out on my mind. I dated this girl for like a few weeks to a month, she kinda used me as a rebound in high school. After she broke up with me I kinda started being weird. I really liked her an had this weird notion in my head that if I could just say the right thing to her I could get her to realize she wanted to be with me. I joined a club she was into but was always too nervous to actually say how I felt. On like the third club meeting she caught me staring at her and left lol. I felt so dumb and never went back to that club again. I thought it was embarrassing but only after I matured did I realize that what I did was probably pretty creepy. The rest of the stuff is minor things and comments that I can’t remember off the top of my head, but yeah I’m a lot more self aware these days.

[–]Additional_Cry_1904 1425 points1426 points  (75 children)

I was what I would describe as an incel in training, I basically ticked all the boxes except I had no idea that something like this was even a thing and I was still kinda reserved about it, I'm glad I changed before I found those echo chamber forums, I don't even wanna think what I would have become if I had all my views being reinforced.

I'm really into psychedelics although I tend to stick with weed now LSD was a big part of my later high school years. One day I dropped acid with the boys like I usually did, we got to talking about relationships and that's when the bad trip started.

Once I realized that the trip was gonna be bad I excused myself to a storage room in my house that we basically just put a bunch of shit in, unluckily for me what I didn't realize was that in this room was also a large mirror, so big that I could see myself entirely.

Now if you know anything about LSD you know what happens when you look in a mirror especially during a bad trip.

I basically went on a spirit journey where I could see what I was becoming, and it scared the absolute shit out of me. That's it, I did LSD took a good look at myself, and was so extremely terrified of what I saw that I basically had no choice but to change.

[–]jake101103 409 points410 points  (60 children)

I never understood the mirror thing. As far as I know it never changed the course of the trip. I remember looking and thinking “well shit it’s just a mirror, nothing cool” just everything wiggling like it usually does for me.

[–]neildegrasstokem 554 points555 points  (17 children)

You gotta look deep into your own eyes. I did and saw some evil dude staring back at me. Freaked me out but I kept looking. I was like "who the fuck are you and why do you hate me so much" got me on my journey to mental health improvements

[–]sugershit 174 points175 points  (5 children)

Ditto! The “why do you hate me so much” struck home.

[–]neildegrasstokem 48 points49 points  (4 children)

Self loathing is a real sunovabitch. Shit ruined me the last four years. Rebuilding now

[–]fivefivesixfmj 830 points831 points  (55 children)

Looking back I was like most other males born in the 70’s and did not know better. I then became friends with women and learn what women want in a person. The coup de grace was when I was hanging out with some gay men who flipped the creepy vibe on me. The result was a bumble date voted me the most charming man she dated.

[–]thescrounger 728 points729 points  (46 children)

gay men who flipped the creepy vibe on me

I find it crazy that some men justify their behavior saying they would be flattered if a woman complimented them the same way. Yeah, how you you feel about that same compliment coming from a large, muscular man?

[–]Tyrion_toadstool 490 points491 points  (12 children)

I also had a few gay men get a little creepy with me when I was younger. The thing is, it was uncomfortable, but I never felt physically threatened or intimidated b/c I've always been a big, tall, athletic guy. It was really enlightening one day when I was thinking about it and thought "Oh, what if I had felt physically vulnerable? What if I didn't think I could fight them off if I needed to? That must be how women feel all the time".