I tend to get comfortable with people pretty quickly and act accordingly—I’m laid-back, relaxed, and have no problem getting cozy with my friends. It can be a good thing but it can also be misconstrued by the guys in my circle. Here’s why I have to be careful when it comes to my male friends and how I interact with them.
1. I’m very affectionate. I consider myself a very loving and open human being, but not everyone is like that so they don’t always understand me. It’s not appropriate for me to behave the way I do sometimes and it can make people uncomfortable without me realizing it. I can’t help it—I’m just a hugger.
2. I’m used to relaxed work environments. I’ve never worked in a super professional setting so I don’t have good boundaries with my co-workers. I joke around and flirt with them all the time. We both know it doesn’t mean anything, but if I was ever at a more strict job, I would have to make some serious changes.
3. I call everyone by pet names. I suppose it could seem pretty intimate, but that’s just what I do. I guess it could give a guy friend the wrong impression of how I feel about him—it could certainly cause problems with his significant other too! I have to make sure the nicknames aren’t too lovey-dovey.
4. I tend to flirt with people I’m comfortable around. I know this is counter-intuitive, but I’m actually more flirtatious with those people I feel no romantic feelings toward. In my head, it doesn’t mean anything, so it’s easy and there’s nothing at stake. Unfortunately, the other person involved doesn’t know that, and it sometimes gets taken the wrong way.
5. I’m physically demonstrative. By that, I mean that I’m touchy-feely. I hug my guy friends. I lean on them. I come up behind them and rest my head on their backs. I give them shoulder rubs. That’s who I am, but I can definitely see how it would cause confusion if someone doesn’t understand me.
6. Sometimes I forget that my friends have girlfriends. I don’t do it on purpose! It’s just that a lot of my guy friends are at work—I’ve never even met some of their girlfriends. Others I see very rarely and a large number of my male buddies don’t talk much about their partners. I have to remember to respect boundaries—and those women.
7. I like to talk shit. I’m very sarcastic and I get along very well with dudes. I’m comfortable in a large group of men and I can hold my own. Sometimes I get carried away with what I say, though, and forget that I’m making an impression on other people. I need to be careful not to create an awkward situation.
8. I’m a big communicator. I know that most guys aren’t, so when I have a guy friend I converse with a lot through text, I should probably be more careful about it. I don’t think anything of it – yay, I have someone to talk to! – but chances are, he thinks there’s more going on than there actually is.
9. I lead people on without meaning to sometimes. Like I said, I’m more comfortable when I have no attraction to a guy – but that’s a problem because then I’m very friendly and genuine and those guys end up liking me! It’s a recurring issue and it creates uncomfortable situations.
10. I never think any of my friends will ever like me. My male friends are great and I adore them – but I don’t want to date them. I guess I assume they will simply feel the same way about me, but that’s not always the case. I am totally ignorant when one of them starts to develop a crush and don’t notice until too late.
11. Sometimes I act without thinking. I can get on a roll and say things I don’t really mean. I know I’m joking, but I can’t assume that everyone else involved does. I’m also really bad at digging myself out of a hole, so I should think before I interact with my male friends. I don’t want to unintentionally hurt them – or their girlfriends.
12. I can be flippant and sarcastic. Sometimes when I’m really comfortable with a person, I end up teasing them mercilessly. I think it’s funny but I’ve definitely been known to cross the line. I end up saying things that are pretty hurtful – and it’s even worse with my guy friends because I assume that dudes can take more crap. I need to watch myself.
13. I like to joke around a lot. I’m a silly, sarcastic person. I assume my guy friends get this about me, but there’s a fine line between serious and joking flirtation. If a dude is taken, I figure he knows it’s all in good fun … but then they break up and things get weird. On the other hand, if the guy is single, I definitely end up giving a confusing impression sometimes.
14. Ironically, I tend to be less flirty if I actually like someone. Just to add to all the general confusion, I’m most flirtatious with the men I’m least interested in romantically. It’s easy to be silly with someone when my heart isn’t on the line. If I’m into a guy, I get really shy and awkward. Obviously this reversal of how I should be acting never works out well.