What are strategies women can use to tell men their advances are making them uncomfortable?
Recently AGAIN in the news are sexual harassment issues that all women understand. One of the women coming forward regarding the San Diego mayor's "outed" behavior talks about not wanting to be alone in a room with him. Many of us have experienced men waiting until no one can see to make advances. No matter how small, it creates a very uncomfortable environment. It's difficult to tell someone in power, or an otherwise beloved family member that his actions are making you uncomfortable and you want him to stop. How do we muster up the courage to do that? What has been successful for you?
Direct answer is the best policy. Just tell the man direct that his making her uncomfortable and to stop up. If that doesn't work, take the initiative, kick him in the nuts! before he takes the upper hand.
Marwan Asmar, Easier said than done, I think. I DO think ur right that a direct response is best. It gets tricky for women of my generation who were raised to be non-assertive. We don't want to risk insulting the person, so we suffer in silence.
I've been in that situation many times, so I understand the feeling. First of all, the best way to work up your courage is to know that he KNOWS what he is doing is wrong. If he is your boss, or supervisor, he is is fully aware of sexual harassment laws. So, just that simple knowing can give a woman courage. The second strategy is to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are (more than) well within your right to say something to him, and he is NOT within his right to be treating you (or whomever) this way, and making an idiot of himself.
This is one of those cases where you don't have to beat around the bush or be "nice." I say this with full conviction, because I finally asked a professional man about this matter and he told me that not only could I be direct, but that I had to be direct.
Just say something like: "This is a professional environment and I don't appreciate your flirting with me."(or whatever he did that was offensive and against the law) "We have a professional relationship, and that is all."
You have to say it like you mean business. I once said this to a man and it scared the heck out of him. Another man told me that he would never be so indecent as to cheat on his wife. He denied his flirting, but he never approached me again. Don't worry about your job suffering, because the offender knows full well you can file a complaint, and he is not stupid enough to take the chance of that happening, especially once he has heard the conviction in your voice.
I realize it's sort of hard, but any man who is decent, like marwan, would tell you to do the same thing... without even thinking twice about it. Good luck.
SD, excellent advise. I think this will be helpful to those experiencing this situation. Any advise when subtleties occur within the family network? Not overt actions-just those make one uncomfortable. I know this happens as well.
Billie, I don't have a good answer for the family question. The thing is, family members will lie and deny everything, so it's frustrating. I had this happen & I confided in my mom, who confronted the person's wife. It was rough going, but it hel
I cannot answer this question directly being that I am a man and not a woman, but I have something related I would like to note. On many occasions, I have experienced situations where women - think - I am coming on to them when I am not. Being married for some years now with children, I try to interact with women as friends, but many women are not comfortable with that approach. It seems women like to group with other women and many women appear uncomfortable when I try to interact with the group. Why is that? I think many times women believe it impossible for a man to not have a sexual interest in them. I am not Brad Pitt, but I am fairly good looking for my age and I think looks make the difference as well. From my experience, women are uncomfortable around good looking men, just as men are uncomfortable around good looking women. I think the problem tends to be that too many people - think - someone is coming on to them, when in truth they are not.
ah, RT, this is totally different. The kind of situation I'm talking about is when a woman is in a room alone w/ a man and he (let's say) starts holding hands or puts his arm around her waist. He does this when he's sure no one else is in the room
So ... you're talking about a blatant outright pass. Men are direct. If I was the woman, I would not be coy about it, so he has to explain or stop. Otherwise, he will see it as acceptable. But, I touch people on arm & shoulder - friendly gestur
RT, the whole indication of inappropriateness for me is this: Anything done CONSISTENTLY and ONLY OUT OF SIGHT OF OTHERS, no matter how delicate (hand holding, a hand around the waist) is uncomfortable and inappropriate.
Some touches & if done on the sly are seen as universally inappropriate. But there are some touches that are not. In those cases, if they bother you, be upfront & most men will not do it again. Some people touch with no ill intent.
Rt, thanks much again.In response to ur very 1st ques. as to why women appear uncomfortable w/ a really nice looking man.I think it's b/c they don't want to be obviously fawning. It's over-compensation.
Re:intent -Women just KNOW which is which.
I believe (most) guys hit on or flirt with women without being "invited". Women still prefer men to make the "first move". Once she lets him know she's not interested that should be the end of it. If she (likes him) she doesn't call it harassment.
Friend, neighbor, co-worker, pastor, cop, boss or stranger. I don't give a damn, WHO it is, nor am I intimidated by Titles or men who "believe" they have power or authority. NO ONE has power over me but ME.
I also do not need any "planned strategy," to inform a man, in clear, plain ENGLISH, that I am aware he is making unwelcome advances, using inappropriate verbiage, getting much too close to my space...and/or flirting in an obvious manner. I am not flattered....not impressed.....not interested. However, I AM capable of documenting activity in the workplace that I may unfortunately find necessary to report at a later date, should any further issues arise. Additionally, if at all possible, I would state this loudly enough to be heard by any one who may be nearby.
Nothing disgusts and irritates me more, than a man who simply takes for granted that his advances might possibly be welcomed or accepted.......as though he's some god's gift to females. TONE DOWN the ego, big boy!
This is so close to what I'd answer, I needn't do so! Good work. If a man is imposing himself on a woman, diplomacy is not needed to let him know it's unwelcome.
I'm good with the co-worker, stranger thing, but would you have the same approach with say, an uncle or your father? Billie and I are both wondering how to handle relatives.
Fpherj48. Love it! I like your pluck. Can you pass it through the fiber optics over this way? Nellieanna, here's to the sisterhood. THANKS!
"Nothing disgusts and irritates me more, than a man who simply takes for granted that his advances might possibly be welcomed" Keep in mind men can't read minds! Men are still (expected) to make the first move and risk rejection. It's not about ego.
It depends. If the man is using words in an inappropriate way, you simply state that his choice of words and conversation topic is not appropriate. You have to be direct and firm.
If, on the other hand, the man is engaging in inappropriate body language or making obscene gestures or direct overtures, you need to do two things and the first is make a direct request for him to stop, and the second is to report it to the proper authorities.
I would like to know that there are women who harass men or other women and that this is not a male gender specific problem.
When someone uses his or her power or status to gain favors of others, he or she is abusing the privilege given to them.
Some people are not certain that they are giving the vibe that is being received, but I do find this hard to believe given today's standards of communication and education. We should all be a bit more aware of the people we are interacting with and the appropriateness of the conversation flow.
Sometimes I wish I could be brave enough, when this is done in a room no one can witness, to put my other arm around HIS waist and walk out into the open saying something overtly funny. Calling him at his own game.But Direct n firm is the way to go
First of all, regardless of the situation, environment or who is doing it, if YOU feel uncomfortable, that's all that matters and they need to be told how you feel because unless they are Cleo the Psychic, they won't have a clue what you're thinking. They may even think you like it.
Also, some people are touchy-feely by nature (me) and have no sexual intent but get misunderstood all the time. I've never had anyone tell me this was a problem but if they ever did, I'd respect that.
That's an example of a physical touch. If someone makes inappropriate comments, whether it's at work or anywhere else, then again, you have to say something or it will most likely continue. And you don't want them to think you're condoning it. Being passive about it comes out as being agreeable. There's nothing wrong with speaking your mind. It's your mind.
I believe honesty is the best way to solve many issues. But I'm also aware that not everyone is as extroverted as me and some people may shut down, not be able to defend themselves and if that's the case, they should confide in someone they trust. If it's at work, they should follow the chain of command and do it as soon as it begins.
Bottom line: You should never have to put up with anything that makes YOU uncomfortable, especially if it's sexual or inappropriate in nature.
Rosana, I took my daughter years ago to a workshop on "touch" and they stated the important fact that you stated. If it doesn't feel right to you, that's all that matters. I think non-assertive women need practice in being assertive. It's a skill!
A swift knee in the groin, followed by an elbow drop to the ribs!
Society tends to tell women it's okay to hit men if they don't like what he "says". However a man is (never) suppose to hit a woman. Truth is no one should hit or knee anyone! Tell them off and walk away. Some men will hit back! I know I would.
Dashing, I took this as a "tongue in cheek" comment. I might be wrong, but with the "swift knee to the groin" phrase and "elbrow drop" plus somethingblue's hubs, I thought this was an exaggeration to get the point across: "be assertive".
Simple ! Avoid the man, don't attend to his calls and send him a polite note "go to Hell". If he still persists, report to the police. There are stringent laws for this.
MG Singh, ah, the direct approach. Sounds useful. more difficult if this is a family member. That gets very touchy. Some times older men do little things that others might think are cute, yet it makes all the women want to avoid the unavoidable
I believe that being straightforward is the answer. Don't play games, simply say, what you are doing is making me very uncomfortable, stop. If it does not stop then report it to the HR person and make sure you always have a witness if you have to be around that person
Be firm and direct with your rejection! (No smiles) That's the only way to go.
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