I have a bubble. It’s a nice bubble! I live in it and everything is pretty hunky dorey. But once in a while someone bursts it – like my occasional problem of kindness mistaken for flirting. I didn’t realise that men thought I was flirting with them for a few years because I grew up in a town where (nearly) everyone was really friendly. But when I met my partner and he realised I was a (bit) naive, he let me know.
I just thought, “What the hell is wrong with them? I just talked about the weather?” and I don’t know if it was my tone or my job but there was awkwardness.
So what do you do when you’re in the situation where your Kindness is Mistaken For Flirting?
Don’t Let Other’s Perceptions Define You
You define you. There is no where near enough kindness in this world and if you are a kind woman than you stand proud of that! I really REALLY LOATHE the attitude that sprouts the whole “Women in short skirts deserve to be raped” which is the same as “Well if you were friendly to him you deserved to get hit on” (much more watered down but it’s fruit from the same tree if you know what I mean).
Whilst it is good practice to always be working on your communication, presentation and how others perceive you – it’s not your responsibility to make sure everyone gets it 100% correct. We all have our own stories and self talk, and that’s going to dictate how we each interpret the world.
I don’t know why this is such a big problem with men (accusing women of keeping them in the friend zone… why can’t we be friends?) but it just seems to be and until they get a bit more education or something, we just have to learn how to respond.
Have Clear Boundaries And Be Distant
So I grew up in a church and while the men and women were friendly with everyone, there was still a distinct distance between them. It’s hard to define but it was there and you could see it. Kindness but at arms length.
In my job (which is pretty much the only place I meet men I don’t know because I like to go home and hibernate haha) I’m very professional with men. I try to be quite clinical, and that’s also because I don’t want my clients to feel uncomfortable – like this sleazy lady is hitting on them because I said “Isn’t it cloudy today?”. Shame on me!
Dealing With Stubborn Men
So you’ve been distant and distinct but they aren’t getting the hint. You sexy lady you haha! Very flattering, but awkward and not cool when they are being persistent and you really don’t want that kind of relationship with them.
So I recommend matching their directness. What I mean by that is if they are full on in your face tell them a blunt “Sorry I’m not interested”.
But men can be annoying in that they aren’t always blunt. In which case I am more subdued. A lot of women will talk about their “boyfriends” and how much they love them (which is what I had men doing to me years ago) but that seems to be quite effective.
Sometimes though you have to be blunt and tell them to back off because they just don’t want to hear it any other way.
Don’t let them manipulate you or make you feel like it’s your fault at all. You should be kind and don’t let these things stop you. Just nip it in the butt as soon as you can so you can get on with your life. You don’t need this hanging over your head (and yeah I get it because I suck at confrontation – but staying up all night worrying sucks bad).
Do you have any advice or methods you use to deal with men who have mistaken your kindness for flirting? I’d love to know! Share your experiences and advice in the comments at the bottom!
Take Care Always,