I am having an issue with a guy following me around. (I’m somewhat recognizable, as I’ve been in a few photo shoots, but not particularly famous or anything like that.) This guy is around my age. I’m not sure if he’s stalking me or if he’s just a guy who likes me and is following me around. Maybe both. The thing is, it’s been happening a bunch and I’m getting annoyed.
I don’t want to be mean, and I don’t want to hurt his feelings. So is there a nice, simple solution that will stop him from following me?
Actually, no, there really isn’t a simple solution, but we’ll do our best to give you some suggestions.
The stalking aspect of your question concerns us a bit. The sort of behavior he’s exhibiting, at the very least, is called harassment. Maybe you don’t feel it’s that big of a deal right now, but if you begin to feel nervous or scared, or uncomfortable, more than you do now, you might need to take more serious action. (Restraining order, police, etc.) Since we don’t know exactly what’s going on, and who this guy is, whether you kind of know him or not, whether he’s somewhat harmless or not, it’s hard for us to tell you the best course of action. But we can say, trust your gut. If you start feeling nervous, then you need to take this more seriously.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Sometimes the best deterrent for a man is another man, especially if you’re trying to be nice about this. (The nice part may or may not be possible.) We’re not saying you need to run out and find a boyfriend, but do you have a guy friend that could accompany you around, as if he were your boyfriend? This guy might get the hint and stop bugging you.
Another possible strategy, in that same vein, is to have a guy friend, brother, or some male co-worker talk to this guy and tell him that you’re feeling a bit uncomfortable with him following you around. And ask him nicely to stop. (Or not nicely if need be.)
A third possibility is for you to talk to him when you’re with a bunch of your girlfriends. Ask him to stop. Or have your girlfriends ask him while you’re there saying something like, “You’re making our friend uncomfortable, etc.” This could also embolden him if not done right. Be brief, direct, and then leave.
If we knew who the guy was, we might suggest you talk to him yourself, but since we don’t, we’ll assume the worst. Which means, we would NOT confront him by yourself, unless you have no choice. A direct confrontation might only encourage him, like a telemarketer, or a door-to-door solicitor. As soon as they get you to converse with them, they think they have you, and try to close the deal. (That said: If you know him, and are comfortable with his state of mind, then a direct confrontation might be okay. But once again be direct, and very brief. Then leave. Do this in a very public place.)
We’re sorry this has become an issue. Some guys are clueless. We’re hoping he fits into this category and has no idea that his actions are making you uncomfortable, or that you’re even aware of his actions. But if he doesn’t fit into this category, and he’s actually very aware of what he’s doing, then you should take this seriously and address it in one way or another. Get others involved if need be. (Friends, family, or professionals. Police. Etc.) Stop worrying about his feelings and look out for yourself.
Hope this helps. (We’ll ask our readers to comment on this as soon as we open comments back up. We’ll let you know via email.)
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