12 Women Give Men (And Boys) Tips On How To Be Less Creepy


Found on r/AskReddit.

1. Treat them like normal people

Treat them as normal people instead of trying to be extra nice (to the point where it’s weird. Being nice is fine). Most of the time, the same guys who are creepy also put women on pedestals and idolize them the most.

2. Know the context

Try to understand why we find things creepy. The source of finding something creepy is generally that we are scared.

A lot of the times I see quite a bit of backlash about women finding it creepy when a man (who she doesn’t know) says “Hi” to her on the street. I can see how that might seem ridiculous, but there are a lot of reasons why that might scare a person.

For one, if you’re walking alone and a man who you don’t know comes up to you, I (personally) automatically react with at least apprehension if not a little bit of fear. I don’t know what they want from me, and I’ve been told all my life not to approach strangers and that I should be careful when I go out alone because I could be attacked/assaulted/raped etc.

It’s not that I think all men are evil or some bullshit like that, it’s simply the fact that men are (in general) physically stronger or bigger than me, and I don’t know what your intentions are.

So yeah… basically try to think about the fact that there are other factors at play here and that maybe she’s not just a bitch.

3. No means no

Understand personal space and the meaning of “No.” If a girl doesn’t want to talk to you, let her be. Don’t pester or try to convince her to give you attention.

4. Again with the pedestal thing

Don’t be too eager to please her. Treat her like a normal human being, don’t put her on a pedestal. That’s one of the biggest turn-offs for me and it makes me feel really uncomfortable.

5. Stop it with the hungry eyes

Don’t look at us like the lions watching the prey on discovery channel.

That’s really frightening.

6. Can you stop touching strangers?

Don’t try to force women into a flirtatious conversation when you’re in a small enclosed space without an immediate way to leave, such as an elevator or public transportation. It’s one thing to ask for the time or comment on the weather, no one’s asking you not to ever talk to women in a public place again, but repeatedly trying to have a conversation with someone who is essentially trapped and not responding is a one-way ticket to creep city.

Also, don’t just reach out and touch us if you don’t know us. I’ve been grabbed by so many strange men over the course of my life and it’s scary and annoying every single time.

7. Enough with the dick pics

Here’s a simple, to the point list.

If she says “No, thanks,” don’t get angry, stalk, harass, assault or kill her. Instead, move on and find someone that will actually interested in you. If rejection makes you inordinately angry, get some therapy and deal with your issues.

Do not blame how you’re acting on her. “It’s not my fault you’re pretty.” Really? Why did you just advertise that you have the self-control of a toddler? And do you really think that will help your case? Because I see a whiny toddler, I put him in time out.

Recognize that no one owes you anything. A subset of this truth is that no woman owes you sex of any kind because you are nice to her, because you find her attractive, because you paid for dinner or because you helped her move furniture. Know when you get sex? When all parties involved want it.

If you see a woman reading or looking at her phone in a coffee shop, don’t bother her. Or, if you say hi, and her body language indicates that she’s not into a conversation right now, leave her alone.

Don’t send her pictures of your dick if she doesn’t ask for one, even if she is your girlfriend. A text message that reads, “That movie sounds great! See you at 7!” is not code for, “Send me a dick picture!” An email from a classmate asking about the assignment is not code for, “Send me a dick picture!”

8. Just don’t

Don’t stare.

9. Don’t compliment her on something she has no control over

If you’re going to compliment a woman you don’t know at all or very well, compliment her on something she chose (her hairstyle, her clothes, etc) rather than something beyond her control (her eyes, her body, etc). Try to notice something actually interesting about how she looks. Don’t say “I like your pants,” if she’s just wearing tight jeans and what you mean is that you like how her ass looks. Look for details: does she have on interesting jewelry? Does her shirt have a cool picture on it? Remark on that, then.

That being said, a compliment is actually not the best way to start a conversation. If you just see a woman on the street and want to be like, “Hi, that’s a great dress, have a good day!” and move on, great, that’s nice. If you want to start talking to her, try opening with remarks not centered on her appearance. A compliment on how she looks puts all the focus on how you have noticed her and her appearance, which can make her uncomfortable, and also doesn’t really lead to much other than, “Thanks.” A remark on something around you– her book, the interesting guy across the street, the weather, whatever– can lead to actual conversation.

Learn to read non-verbal cues. If you say something to a woman and she smiles and responds and then goes back to her book, or takes out her phone, or looks/walks away, then she’s probably not interested in chatting. Ditto if she only gives a very brief response. Let it go. Being overly persistent is, in my book, one of the top ways to seem creepy. It says to me that the person approaching me either lacks the social awareness to tell that I don’t feel like engaging, or can tell this and is choosing to disregard it. Either way, it means that any further conversation will mostly be uncomfortable for me.

If talking to women (or any stranger) makes you nervous, try to get practice doing so in very neutral settings. Try to strike up a conversation with the older lady at your bus stop rather than the hot girl (you know who would love a compliment? older ladies!). Make small talk with your cashiers, your bank tellers, your bus drivers, etc. Start conversations with men around you, as well; note their body language and responses and how they seem to encourage or discourage further interaction. If you practice this, you will figure out how to talk to people just as people. That’s the same way you should be talking to women and girls you find attractive.

In my experience, the number one reason men can seem creepy when they talk to me is that they are fixated on the outcome of our interaction being some kind of date or sex. The advice I gave above is intended to help you not seem like that is your fixation. Even better than not seeming fixated on it, don’t BE fixated on it.

10. Accept her rejection

If I reject you, please accept that. Going on and on about how awesome you are and if I’ll just give you a chance will not change my mind. And don’t follow me. I have mace.

11. Don’t be one of those guys

Don’t hit on girls who are at work and are forced to be nice to you.

The cashier behind the counter is probably not hitting on you, she’s smiling because she has to. She can’t tell you to fuck off because she will be fired. Leave her the fuck alone.

12. This comprehensive explanation

It depends on what your intentions are, for one. If you’re just being friendly, don’t linger. Say “hey, this might sound silly, but you have an amazing smile. Your face lights up the room, just wanted to let you know that. Well, I have to get back to shopping for dinner! Bye!” Then leave. And try not to show up in the next 4 aisles or it looks like you’re following us, which is threatening. If you make small talk in the checkout aisle and we’re actively turning our backs to you and kind of talking out-loud instead of to you, back off.

SMILE. Normally. Don’t try to look ‘sexy’, it shows when it’s not natural. Smile like you would if you were laughing and puppies were licking your face. You know what a creepy smile looks like dammit.

If you’re actually trying to hit on us or something of that nature, again, be brief. Nothing is creepier than someone who won’t just let you go and is pressuring and forceful with their approach. That creepy guy in my apartment parking lot? Starts with condescending words. “Hey beautiful/sexy/mami. What’s your name?” Nothing. I repeat. Nothing makes me want to run away from you more than these words. Then they sit there and say “hey, you want to grab drinks or something? Give me your number.”

Don’t ever ask for OUR number unless we offer it. You are MORE than welcome to give a woman your number. It’s less threatening. Don’t, and I’m fucking serious, people do this shit… DON’T grab our phones from the bar top and put your number in it and call with it and say “there, now I have your number!” If we DO give you our number, it might be fake, but it’s for our own reasoning. Don’t call me out if I do give you a number. “OK, let me call it real fast to make sure it’s real HAR HAR HAR”. Please, just stop.

Learn to read cues. Some people (like myself) have a really hard time saying no to someone in person, and don’t want to bluntly say, “hey, you’re fucking creepy, please don’t ever ever talk to me again”. If someone repeatedly says “Oooh, sorry, I can’t! I’m busy!” they’re not interested. If someone says “I can’t this weekend, sorry! But I’m free on wednesday night!” possibly interested. If someone used to have coffee in the break room every day at 9:45, then one day you asked to get coffee outside of work sometime, and she stops getting coffee at 945, leave her alone. If someone DOES give you their number (I’ve done this out of a mix of fear/pity/whatever I was feeling that day–that was my dumb young self, I know I shouldn’t have done that), and you text and call them 10 times with no answer, and she says “sorry, I’ve been so busy with [whatever]”, leave her alone.

As far as appearances go, stop staring. Good god. I don’t mean normal glances. Every human being makes normal glances at the person walking past them at a table, or in the hallway or whatever. I mean the “I’m trying to catch eye contact with her so she thinks I can’t stop looking at her beautiful face” glaring. it’s SUPER creepy. If I look up 10 times, and 9/10 you’re staring at me, you’re a creep. Luckily, most guys don’t do this too often. It’s always the person that even other guys label “oh, that creepy guy with the blonde hair and glasses?” Also, for some reason, immigrant men have this unfathomable ability to creep-stare. Like I said, normal people might see someone walking up to them in the hallway. They don’t make eye contact until the last second to kind of nod, then continue walking. But men from 18-70 just have this weird habit of fucking STARING at you from the second they see you, until you’re out of view. They don’t say hi, hey, or nod. They don’t wave, smile, or talk to you. They just stare. It’s creepy.

Also, appearance-wise, I won’t lie. Top comment right now says be attractive. It’s mostly true. But in case you aren’t blessed with romance novel cover looks, just be clean for god’s sake. Greasy, long, slicked back hair? Creepy. Yellow, visible-spots-on-them teeth? Creepy. If you can’t grow facial hair, don’t try. It’s creepy looking. If you wear glasses, just pick a normal pair that fits your face. 70s style Dad glasses look creepy on a 30 year old man. Basically, there’s a reason people say “that guy looks like a child-molester”. it’s some combination of certain looks. Don’t look like those things.

Also, I’ve been married for years, so I’m absolutely positive I’m not actively leading people on, or trying to flirt with them. If someone asks me out, I tell them I’m married in a kind way, and it’s over. But I have had plenty of creepy people involved in my life when I was younger. I had a guy stand outside of my apartment window on the 1st floor once knocking at weird times of the night until I had a friend threaten him (he didn’t even speak english!). I’ve had people snatch phones out of my hands to get my number. I’ve had a guy leave flowers on my car for weeks, although I tried VERY hard to nicely explain I wasn’t interested. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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