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Do you ever worry people will think you're hitting on them when you're not?

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by scarletnymph, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. scarletnymph

    scarletnymph Active Member

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    I had a situation today where I was talking to a friend who has been helping me look for a new job and I really appreciated his help ... most people I know over the past year haven't been helpful at all ... particularly since I've spent the past few weeks fighting with my existing co-workers and employer ... so what this guy is doing for me feels really special to me. It makes me feel like there are nice people in the world and that people might actually care about me. I wanted him to know how much i appreciate it ... so I told him ... and I kind of went on and on ... so now I'm thinking to myself ... "oh no ... is he going to think I was hitting on him? did I seem like I was gushing?"

    Has anyone else dealt with that? This feeling that when we express our feelings ... we do so in weird ways that give people the wrong impression?
     
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  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    When l was younger, yes, it felt that way. If you smile and have casual conversation, some males think this signals interest. So then you are stuck with being afraid to talk to guys. I have dealt with three very pushy males in three years. I didn't encourage conversation, talked about the guy l see, left the xmas party he showed up at, and he still was pushy despite being an employee. And he was pushy in front of my co-worker. It was a case where he thought no meant yes.
     
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  3. PastelPetals

    PastelPetals Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I do worry but that is due to people actually thinking I flirt with them. I am naturally quite bubbly and kind and I think that I seem flirty to people. I have no idea how to stop it as it's just my personality.
     
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  4. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    Yes
     
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  5. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    True, you laugh and smile and seem upbeat, that is seen as a come on, even though thats just your personality.
    I let way less of me out. Unless l am with someone l like.

    My public face (or mask), is reserved.
     
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  6. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member V.I.P Member

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    No. That being said, as a guy (or at least someone who presents as a guy) it's not something I have to worry about. I guess that's gendered privilege. I understand for women on the spectrum being misunderstood can be a challenge.

    That being said, I do have a story:

    I'm in the front with another staff member when a customer comes in. I serve her as usual and I noticed that her jacket is emblazoned with the name of a local scientific lab. I always wondered what they did there and how someone might get a job there so when we're done I asked some questions about her work and the company, she answers them, then she goes on her way.

    My colleague turns to me, smiles, and says "you were totally macking on her." (at this point I've never heard of the term)

    I ask her "Sorry, I'm not sure I understand what you mean?"

    Colleague: "Oh come on, don't be coy now, you like her."

    Me: "What?! No! I was interested in her work!"

    Colleague: (laughs) "You were totally hitting on her!"
     
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  7. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    I recognized that I can't help what people think, so I do not try to overthink situations, which was an issue with my social anxiety, so anymore I just figure that if I commit a faux pas, I'll not feel embarrased and just roll with it.

    Social Overthinking was a (not so) early success when I beat it to death and defenestrated it from my brain.
     
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  8. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    As soon as I let go of the overthinking, & just be the natural “me” & interact, then people take advantage in various ways.
    This seems to happen even more now that I’m alone.
    Certain types assume that I must be showing personal interest in them when I’m just being myself. And then, when I decline an invitation they take it as a put-down, & some become rude/scary/aggressive.
    It’s exhausting to be the supposed cause for stuff you had no idea was even happening.
     
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  9. Varzar

    Varzar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, despite the fact I'm quite happily married.

    Most of my friends tend to be female and they seem to invariably at some point think I have more "intentions" than I actually do. Despite the fact I'm usually blunt right up front that "that is not possible for me".
    It's kind of irritating actually. Just cause I try to treat people I like well, doesn't mean I am "falling in love".
    I have lost at least a couple friends on account of this misunderstanding, so it's a bit of a bitter point for me.
     
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  10. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    I saw a girl today who I thought was beautiful. I wanted to say it but, held my tongue. It's a social boundary crossing word. I can't just say to the girl I think your beautiful because of the intent it might give off to others. Not to mention I have no idea how she would take it. Would it be an oh. Way thank you moment. Or a I have a boyfriend back off. Or even something worse. Then there's the after social norms. Where she tells others what happened. Can't guess the outcome of those conversations. Or what she might think or post online about it. It truly gets to be a maze effect. So rather then say she was beautiful which might have made her day. I kept my mouth shut because of the social nightmare that might arise after.
     
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  11. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    So l met a coworker at a store l couldn't find because he went there alot. He went back to work and said why did you keeping walking away from me, because it was a date. I explained that l truly didn't know where it was and l do see somebody else because l didn't want to come across as mean (but it wasn't a date). He is challenged in the girlfriend dept. Then at work he tells me, he can't live with me because he can't live with woman. Me, l just bought a place and had never said anything to him about that. He was clearly heading to delusional land. But it made me realize that people are human and they make mistakes.
     
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  12. BoltzmannBrain17

    BoltzmannBrain17 Member

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    I don't because I'm fairly curt when addressing people so as to discourage further conversation. If I was more polite I probably would be scared of people misreading my intentions.
     
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  13. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    No. I like to flirt.
    I deliberately say or do things that I know are a come on because it means absolutely nothing
    to me except a bit of fun. An ego stroke, I guess.
    Until it comes to actually being attracted to someone, then I am quiet and don't know what to say.

    I worry they may not feel the same and I don't want to run them off.
    Better to keep it formal and friendly and just hope it will develop.
    It's up to them to make the first move or say how they feel.
     
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  14. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think the inability to stop talking or making the same point a lot of times definitely resonates. Occasionally in the past it led to a date or even a relationship. But probably only because the person had an interest in making that happen. I'm better at stopping talking nowadays.

    I certainly always naively assumed if I was in a relationship my chatting aka burbling on would be taken as friendly not as flirty. And a few times looking back I think that took a while to be understood. I was oblivious at the time, well done you for spotting it.
     
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  15. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have problems with this stuff, keep forgetting to be curt/stonyfaced/greyrock.
     
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  16. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If you're female and the other is male,...it is mostly an issue with being male, I suspect. Perhaps blame it on the testosterone and it's effects upon sexual drive. Speaking for myself, especially when I was younger, I would often misinterpret female language and behavior. To me, I am attracted to a large percentage of women,...for the most part, women are simply beautiful to me,...so if I am attracted to the other person, any friendly interaction is going to be potentially going to go through a "sexual filter" in my brain.

    Something to consider from a male perspective: I suspect that if a heterosexual male with any significant sexual drive is interacting with a female, there is going to be some opportunity for misinterpretation of the interaction. The female may be simply being polite and nice to the guy,...but given that most guys are sexually rejected by 99% of women, and are so culturally programmed to deal with these odds,...the fact that if you are part of that 1% that isn't rejecting him,...may lead this misinterpretation. Back in the my day,...before computers, personal phones, and dating apps,...you had to simply walk up to the other person and take your chances. Like I said earlier, 99% of the time, the guy would be rudely rejected by the woman, often in front of his friends,...and that was normal. Guys in my generation,...just laugh it off and move on to the next woman within minutes,...there was no lasting emotional sting to it, as at some level, we just expect it. But,...there is that one woman who takes an interest.
     
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  17. zozie

    zozie Well-Known Member

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    All. The. Time.

    Back when I used to make Eye Contact™ it was the kind that was extended and intense. "Staring," they call it. I thought I was just showing that I was an interested listener. Everyone else thought I wanted to ...let's say "take it a lot further." Being misunderstood in this way still gives me flashbacks of humiliation and panic. I hated that people accused me of being sexually interested when it was my mind that was engaged. Hated it.

    Someone told me once that my eyes shine when I'm really interested in a topic (ahh, the infodump), but I'd get really frustrated with a compliment like that, because what is this lukewarm experience many NTs have? Why are shining eyes exceptional? Is no one else interested in a subject? CAN PEOPLE JUST BE INTERESTED IN A SUBJECT WITHOUT NEEDING TO CONSUMMATE THE EXCHANGE???

    Needless to say, this frustration was also interpreted as "needing to get laid," which only amped up the anger and despair. Before autism became a part of my vocabulary, I oscillated between cries of "The World Is Crazy" and "I Must Truly Be Insane."

    These days, it's hard to say. I don't see a lot of people in person anymore, not after covid. When I do, I'm careful to only have minimal eye contact. It's a relief not to be misunderstood as being all "come hither," but I can't help thinking that it's only temporary, unless I stay away from people indefinitely.
     
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  18. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Nope I know the I'm losing the will to live oh my god this boring now
     
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  19. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    My default for unexpected friendliness is that it is innocent. When I was inexperienced with women it was my overthinking that led to misinterpretation, but I never thought to act in any but a respectful manner. If anybody had other intentions I probably missed them, but it was more important to me to be respectful.

    But then, is that behavior also negative? Growing up I deferred to so many people's expectations for me that I entered adulthood without any strong sense of my agency. It took me a while and lots of trial and error to become my own person.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  20. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    @Gerald Wilgus
    The social interactions that turned bad were definitely ones that I was ill-equipped to handle, verbally I mean. For ex., a stranger who I asked a question of then came close to me circled around my person within a few inches and declared loudly that I should not be alone with a body like that. This scared me, & I was frozen for a few seconds in shock. I left the area quickly after that.
     
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