How to Keep a Stranger from Hitting On You
I'm not particularly good looking, but I LOVE to wear short skirts and smile at practically everyone I pass on the streets (little known fact: I smile when I'm terrified), so I end up getting hit on a lot - and usually not by the guys I'd like to see hitting on me. Obviously wanting to avoid unwanted attention, I asked my friends on Facebook for advice, and got 62 responses.
Below you will find a list of the major tactics you can employ to keep strangers from hitting on you. Some of them are funny, but others are REALLY practical! I hope you find this advice as amusing and useful as I did.
One of the top tips offered by my friends was to emit an unpleasant odor. You may wish to utilize the following scents to throw off unwanted advances:
- Unwashed socks
- Unwashed hair
- Farts (It became apparent that the ability to fart on demand would be exceedingly useful in this case)
- Garlic breath (Bonus: You get to eat delicious garlic-laced foods!! Mmmm!!! The only downside here is that you may deter those who you actually WANT to see hitting on you.)
The Jejune Institute
Some of my favorite pieces of advice involved exhibiting odd or dubious behavior. Tips and suggestions included:
- Hacking up phlegm and projecting it toward oncoming offenders
- Inviting them to join a cult (I always recommend the Jejune Institute - it is, without a doubt, the coolest cult out there)
- Explaining that you are a polygamist or reverse-polygamist
- Toss boots at them
- Reveal that you are a serial killer
A small caveat to the cult invitation tactic: One contributor to the discussion pointed out that, from previous personal experiences with Christian youth groups, the found that the cult defense may not work at all. Now that I think about it, the cult tactic could even backfire.
If one does not want to utilize these more radical tactics, one can also pretend to not speak the language. The major risks there are that (1) the offender realizes your ruse, (2) the offender speaks multiple languages, and (3) the offender does not see language as a barrier and forges ahead anyway. One may also feign blindness.
Be Particularly Annoying
One helpful contributor to the dialogue recommended a tactic which I find to be very great for those who are skilled with words and have high levels of emotional intelligence.
The examples he provides are excellent:
Ex - In NYC? You're now an extreme Bill O'riely fan. "Yea, I can't believe all these liberal nut jobs want to kill America."
Your stranger mentions something about working in the music industry - "The Stereo in my Car is broken, but I think I really relate to Lady Gaga's Struggle."
He points out that you must deliver these comments (which are in direct opposition to the offender's values) without a flinch - obviously delivery is key.
As this smart contributor points out, and what I love most about this tactic, is that you reject the individual who is hitting on them, but you also make them feel pretty good about not wanting to be anywhere near you. Brilliant!
Note: ahostagesituation adds that you can just take the b!#ch approach, which is an easy way to make oneself disagreeable should one not be able to acertain enough information about one's opponent's likes or dislikes. Convenient!
Nobody will want to hit on you if you look terrible, diseased, or both, hence many of my friends suggested taking measures to make one's appearance as unpleasant as possible. Suggestions included:
- Applying fake cold sores to ones face
- Walking around with a smelly trash bag
- Dress like someone who is living on the streets
- Wear a pink fluffy bathrobe with ominous looking holes and stains - extra points if it smells of rancid fish
If one does not want to adopt these more radical approaches, one can also follow the advice of some of my friends who simply suggested the avoidance of smiling, looking interesting, adorable, or otherwise approachable.
Though sometimes such action is impossible, a very sound nugget of advice that recurred several times in the comment thread was to run away. The most effective running away, of course, is that which takes place before the offender has even made his or her initial approach.
Evasive action can actually be quite the enjoyable activity - one could develop ninja-like reflexes, learn how to lose someone trailing oneself, and develop fast reflexes.
Build a Wall!
If you can't run, perhaps you can hide.
Several of my friends pointed out that large sunglasses and headphones make for great deterrents when it comes to avoiding public discourse with strangers. While some very aggressive individuals may attempt to break through these barriers, dark glasses and headphones (be they blasting music or not) make for a great first line of defense.
Adopt a Systems Approach
The same witty contributor who pointed out the oppose-the-offenders'-values approach also posed the challenge from a Systems perspective - that one simply must "decrease the reward or increase the effort required, or both."
If none of the suggestions provided in this guide are suitable for a certain scenario in which you have found yourself, all you need to do is consider that basic principle and do whatever you must to make yourself less desirable and/or to make it more difficult to reach you.
The final piece of advice offered was to simply give up and accept the reality that, like it or not, strangers will hit on you from time to time.
Some suggested that it's best to take it as a compliment and move on. Others recommended eye contact and courage, and respect for those who are hitting on oneself ("Being a guy is complicated too. Women don't own the corner when it come [sic] to complexity and issues").
I suppose in the long run, this might be the most low maintenance way to go, though only if one is good at tolerating unwanted attention.
Thanks, Facebook buddies!
Obviously, these aren't my own tips, so I owe a big thank you to everyone who responded to my query on Facebook.
Some of those helpful people are even writers on HubPages! Specifically, I want to thank Patty Inglish, MS, akirchner, Cagsil, LiamBean, and Pretty Darkhorse.
You are all awesome. 'Nuff said.