What Defines a "Creepy" Interaction?

Dan Bolton


Last week I argued that just because a woman has a negative feeling about a man it can be one of the reasons women give for rejecting men is that they are 'creepy.' Just because I stand on my soap box and say it's not right to make a character judgement like that doesn't mean it's going to stop happening. The onus is still on us to change how we behave. This is a good thing, since it is empowering men to influence how other people see them rather than waiting around for someone else to change their mind. My main hope was that men would stop beating themselves up and discern between making a mistake and thinking there is something wrong with them. The former is important because it can be changed simply by engaging in different behavior. So, to start let's identify what it is that qualifies as a 'creepy' interaction to a woman:

(1) If you have the feeling you are owed something or hold some expectation of her to react a certain way

(2) If you are uncomfortable with your sexual feelings and think that something is wrong in being attracted to a woman

Since I went into #2 last week, I'm going to focus on this feeling men are owed something. A great interview I listened to recently involved a female therapist named Christiane Pelmas, MSW answering a question about men's fears that they will be seen checking out a woman. This was brought up in the context of men muting their real feelings which then create a feeling of disconnectedness with the world. She stated that the what it is that distinguishes between when it feels good or creepy when being checked out by a man is when the man seems to have some expectation of her. I get this because by exerting that expectation into an interaction, or even a situation where there is no interaction and a man expects that the woman should interact, this is taking away the woman's free choice. Once a man does this, then he's lost trust, and that is the most basic foundation that must be present in any interaction or relationship or else it completely falls apart.

A statement I hear from men a lot is:

"She should just give me a chance."

Well, no, she absolutely does not have to do anything. It is not her responsibility to give you a chance to sound appealing, or to get it right, or to spend time with you until she gets to know you and then she'll see how great a guy you really are.

Think of this situation like a sales call. If you met a salesman at a store who tried to sell you a product, but you said you weren't interested, how would you feel if he tried to stop you from leaving the store? Or became hostile and said something nasty to you as you were walking out? Would you be more prone to buy what he was trying to sell? Or less? I can't imagine anyone answering more. Now, let's pretend the interaction went somewhat well, you were kind of interested in the product, but not totally sold yet, and you left your contact information with the salesman. Then the salesman calls and calls and calls, and won't stop calling, pushing you to buy (because he had the expectation that you giving him your contact information meant you were definitely going to buy, though you only gave him your contact information as a way to think about it more). Would you be more likely to buy? Or less? Would you think that the product has a high value? Or would you begin to question the value of the product he was trying to sell? Get what I'm saying here?

It's ok to approach, you just have to be willing to accept no for an answer and be willing to walk away without holding it against her if she does not want to talk or is not interested. You've got to let her choose. If you don't give her at least that much, you're toast. Plain and simple.

Yet, many men act as if they expect her to say something back even if they were just checking her out; they want her to acknowledge it, come talk to them, give them her phone number...then if she doesn't they openly express their frustration or even anger. So, let me recommend a slight tweak of your mindset: She owes you NOTHING! And she is especially not responsible for any past difficulties you have had in relating to women. They are not all "bitches" or "selfish" or whatever other thing you want to call them if they don't react the way you want or expect them to. Blaming this on them is an excuse to try to explain something you do not understand yet. It is a reaction to a feeling of helplessness. Something being wrong with her does not make up for the fact that you, yourself, are not where you would like to be in your relationship with women. Accept this shitty feeling of helplessness and empower yourself to learn how to deal with these situations.

To end I will elaborate on what Christiane said feels like a nourishing way a man checks her out: "I'm appreciating you as your whole self, as a woman, you inspire me, and nothing is attached to this." What may help is to know she is inspiring feelings that live inside of you, she is not the source of those feelings. The source of those feelings resides within you, and something about her is inspiring those feelings to come out. You can cultivate these feelings again without her as well.

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