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
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: 04-16-2009
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 11:10am
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: 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: 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
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 - 9:56pm
Aquarius, you make it sound like all these other people exist just to screw up your day by being nice to you or or ending to be nice to you so that they can then get offended when you are not nice back. Here's the thing about other people: 99% of the time, they ate not thinking about you at all. They're thinking about themstlves, just like you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 08-22-2012 - 9:38pm

>> I have often gotten the very strong feeling that their "just trying to be nice" was passive aggressive in nature. They know exactly what they are doing<<

So, people with bad intent pretend to be nice to you so frequently that it has become a problem for you.    Do you realise how implausible this sounds?   

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2001
Wed, 08-22-2012 - 9:34pm

Sounds like you already know the answer to your question.  If you don't want to respond to people in public, you don't have to.  And they don't have to like it.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Wed, 08-22-2012 - 7:40pm
Make fun if you want, but I have often gotten the very strong feeling that their "just trying to be nice" was passive aggressive in nature. They know exactly what they are doing.

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