Am I unreasonable?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Am I unreasonable?
140
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.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Wed, 08-22-2012 - 11:12pm
Where did I say that I thought it had anything to do with me specifically? If someone is truly genuinely just trying to be nice then why would they call me a rude bitch for not responding with whatever they consider to be the appropriate amount of enthusiasm? That is not how a nice person behaves. That is the behavior of someone with a chip on their shoulder because they don't like the social norms and they feel they have something to prove. Did you read the comments after that article I posted? I'm not making this up.

Have you ever heard of "nice guy syndrome"? I think it's pretty similar.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 08-22-2012 - 11:27pm
Well, it's happening to everyone in Seattle with the same frequency, then it's not you. If it's happening to you more than statistically likely, is you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 1:13am
I have heard of it happening to other people, and occasionally witnessed it, but it's not exactly something I grill everyone I know on. I think I might be nicer about it than a lot of people. My ex BF said that when he smiled at people on the street they would almost always either flat out ignore him or give him a dirty look. He never considered calling them names over it though.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 1:14am

>If someone is truly genuinely just trying to be nice then why would they call me a rude bitch for not responding with whatever they consider to be the appropriate amount of enthusiasm?<<

They are simply saying what they think because you have just behaved rudely.   Even the nicest of people can be put off by being rudely rejected.   And yes, ignoring pleasantries is rude.

I recall trying to exchange pleasantries with someone on a ski lift when skiing recently.  She just grunted at me.   While I didn't express the sentiment, I certainly thought "rude bitch".    Even more so when we got to the top and needed to discuss who was taking the T bar on dismount and she didn't even respond to that.  

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 11:10am
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 12:15pm
You really don't think there's a difference between thinking something and saying it out loud? Is it acceptable for you to tell your aunt that the sweater she gave you for your birthday is hideous and you would never wear it, just because you are thinking that? Maybe the woman on the ski lift *was* being rude. Or maybe she didn't speak or understand English. Or maybe she was deaf. You can't really know based only on the amount of interaction you had.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 12:35pm

Maybe the woman on the ski lift *was* being rude. Or maybe she didn't speak or understand English. Or maybe she was deaf. You can't really know based only on the amount of interaction you had.

ITA

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 5:43pm

If she had impared hearing she would have likely signed to indicate that her hearing wasn't good.  Someone with a hearing impairment can indicate they can't hear to a hearing person with a touch on the ears and a shake of the head...and yes, I've spent time learning about the deaf community.

And *young* travellers have enough English to roughly express "no English".   Heck, even my old parents can do this when in France, or Spain or whatever.

Nah, she was just a rude bitch.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 5:49pm

You're comparing apples to oranges with the sweater analogy.   No, I wouldn't say anything to my Grandmother about the sweater because she was being nice to me.    While her gift may be unwanted, it was given with love.

But I have been known to tear strips off people who were being rude.   Even nice people have limits as to what rudeness they will tolerate.   

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 8:17pm
I'm sure that the people who call me names never consider that I'm anything besides a rude bitch either. I'm sure it never occurs to them that I might be working through trauma and that their body language and tone has just scared the crap out of me. Maybe if you are willing to berate a total stranger whom you have had less than ten seconds of interaction with then you are not as nice of a person as you think you are.

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