So I had this situation today that I think highlights something many women face at some point in their lives. Men face it too.

I was in store today when a man approached me and began a conversation. Thinking he was one of the store’s workers, I engaged with him in polite conversation. He started asking me personal questions about where I was from, how old I was, and what I was interested in. I dodged the more personal questions and realized he was not a worker. I also realized that I did not know how to politely end the conversation. I wanted to return to looking at the books, but could not seem to just ask him to leave me alone. For some reason I felt a twinge of fear. He asked me to call his phone so he would have my number, and I did, because of this fear. I felt for some reason like I had to continue the interaction to be polite.

He tried to invite me out and I said I couldn’t. I had mentioned early on that I was close to publishing my own book, and now he was telling me he could make it amazing. That if I showed it to him he could help me make it amazing. I told him it was personal and I had help already and he still tried to tell me I should let him help. When he finally left the store he texted me that he thought I was the one and wanted to go out and help me with the book. I texted him that I wasn’t interested and he kept texting wanting to be friends. I stopped responding.

Guys and girls, when someone is obviously sidestepping, avoiding eye contact, looking at the products on the shelves, and texts you they aren’t interested, just leave them alone. It is uncomfortable, awkward, and scary. Yes, scary. I know I should have been direct, but I have heard the horror stories from girls who have been direct and I honestly did not feel like being called a bitch today.

Pushiness is not attractive. Determination to the point of ignoring a text of Im not interested is not charming. Nobody owes anyone their attention. Please be respectful of this.

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