Am I unreasonable?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Am I unreasonable?
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 3:51am
So this kind of scenario happens often where I live. I will be out somewhere in public and some random stranger, nearly always male, will say hello or otherwise attempt to engage me in conversation. I will respond minimally, if at all, and nine times out of ten the person who spoke to me berates me for being rude.

I think they are the one who was being rude by trying to engage me in conversation when it was completely uninvited and unprovoked. I think it's rude to do so with the expectation of full reciprocation. I think if you are going to randomly try to chat up strangers you should be able to accept that they may not always WANT to talk to you, and may not appreciate feeling forced to. I am not an outgoing person. I especially do not feel comfortable around men having been a victim of rape and sexual assault several times. It takes a lot for me to trust people, and being addressed by a stranger feels like an invasion of my personal space and is frankly kind of scary. I once had a guy follow me off a bus and for several blocks, yelling at me for not responding to him. (I had headphones on, but I didn't want to talk to him anyway.)

One might say, well how hard is it to just say hi back? Well, sometimes when you do they take it as an invitation to engage you further, and I have no desire to encourage that. To turn it around, how hard is it to leave someone alone if they obviously don't want to talk to you? It really makes me not want to ever leave the house.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 6:58am

I've lurk there once in awhile .... just haven't posted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 7:17am

>>I think it is reasonable in any debate on iVillage to expect not to be accused of needing therapy, or being autistic, narcissistic, or any other mental illness. I am a little surprised that it is not against the TOS.<,

For one thing, you quoted Nis here, not me. And yes, I do believe one should make suggestions to IVillage if they feel there is a need. And yes, I do believe, even after explanation, people still kept probing Age. It was unwarranted. It was pretty much the same complaint you had about the BF-ing board .... that was you, right?

Suggesting therapy is not necessarily an insult but can be delivered in that manner.

Yes, and some feel the way it has been delivered here is wrong. This isn't a relationship board. There was a topic to e debated and Age's mental health wasn't the topic. And even after she addressed everyone's concerns about her mental health, people still kept insisting this was the problem.

 If someone cannot get over their relationship which ended 4 years ago, what other option is there to suggest?

To be honest, I am not a fan of internet support or relationship boards for many reasons. However, suggesting someone speak with a professional is one thing .... offering internet diagnosis without provocation is another. 

Again, if we see suggesting a possible mental illness as a TOS, what does this say about our attitudes to mental illness?

And again, this isn't the forum for support or suggestions ... it's to debate the topic at hand. Is Age's mental health the topic at hand?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 7:19am

This particularly holds true if the person explicitly says, "I do not have X diagnosis" and random posters say, "Yes, you do have X diagnosis",


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 7:31am

the autism does cause the rudeness.  

I think that explains the disconnect. You and I use the word "rude" differently than I do.

I would never say that autism causes rudeness and if we hadn't had the discussion prior to your use of the word rudeness, I would have been appalled. Similarly, I do not think it is possible to tell someone they are rude without insult. I could probably go as far as to say that calling someone rude is the only thing that I consistently think is rude.

I might even call someone rude for being rude. Then they'd have to call me rude and my only response is: touche.

In the future, especially on iVillage, I will try to rememember that some people do not use the word rude the same way that I do. That it isn't necessarily a character attack or insult.

But acceptance doesn't mean that he can't improve on his social skills.

I agree. FTW, it is so obvious to me that acceptance does NOT mean unwillingness or inability to change, for that reason I have less patience than you do trying to explain the idea. I would go so far as to say that adults are less likely to change if they can not "accept" their current behavior. By "accept" I mean acknowledge and be aware not judging as good or bad.

[Autism is] just another variance on human behaviour.  It presents challenges for sure, but to me, the label of autism isn't an insult and it's not something to be ashamed of.

I agree. Accurate labels are often helpful, IMO.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 7:34am

When I speak of responding to rude people, I'm specifically speaking about those same people who were verbally rude to me or mine, completely unprovoked

Yes, I know, you've already explained this.

But she has also tried to persuade me that "how are you?" has more significance than a meaningless greeting and because of this, is rude when said to a stranger. On this, I disagree.

How do you know though? You keep mentioning body language and so forth. Without actually being there, how do you know? I mean, I will admit, in general, there is no need for concern, but, there have been times, a man approached with me, "how are you" and I just immediately felt uncomfortable.

As a matter of fact, about 10 years ago, a van pulled up to a girl walking out of a convenience store. A man opened the door and said, "Hi, how are ya doing?" The girl paused thinking maybe she knew the guy and this gave him time to grab her. Now, I am not suggesting this happens often, my point is we determine what is appropriate generally by being there.

Personally, I would not ignore the person greeting me nor would I react in reponse to a lack of greeting.

In most cases, neither would I. Again, this has been covered. But, neither would I consider someone debating the rudeness of these intrusions to be mentally ill.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 10:40am

I perused the web to find other discussions on this topic. It is controversial. Two replies that I found interesting are:

How are you? I am blessed.

How are you? I think it is unusual that you care as we've never met before.

Either of those two replies would make me want to walk away from you without comment and I suspect hink they both meet the not being rude criteria. 0.02

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 10:42am
jamblessedthree wrote:

 Edited, Nevermind.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2001
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 11:34am
Lol! I think I'd crack up if someone answered the latter. Where I live, frequently, ”how ya doin? Is answered ”what''s up?” Or ”good, you?” Or simply,”Hi””. I guess it's more about personal comfort preference within a local culture.

There's been alot said about not knowing what a person is going through, but that works both ways. For all wd know the person striking up a conversation has just left home after mourning the loss of someone dear and is trying to connect to others.

The lesson from this is that we should each be as considerate as we can of others within our own safety and comfort zone
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 5:38pm

>>Similarly, I do not think it is possible to tell someone they are rude without insult. I could probably go as far as to say that calling someone rude is the only thing that I consistently think is rude.<<

Edited because I'm repeating myself.

Was citing the story about my son's special ed friends and how I think they managed to discuss my son's rudeness without offence.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 5:43pm

>>How are you? I think it is unusual that you care as we've never met before<<

hahaha very good.     Do you watch Big Bang Theory?   DD thinks that Sheldon said this.    At least, it sounds like something he's say.