The AskWomen subreddit saw a really interesting question a few days ago from u/Mikisking01.
The Redditor asked:
“What’s something men do that unintentionally scare you?”
The responses were pretty illuminating. Sometimes, even the smallest thing can be frightening to a woman; we know it’s likely unintentional, but in the world we live in, isn’t it better to take notes & try to avoid these 20 behaviors?
1. Raise their voice
When my husband raises his voice even a little, my whole mood starts to change. Fear isn’t the right word but I get… Wary?
When older men think they can stare at you and you won’t notice but I guess all old people do that regardless of gender. Either way it’s a little more unnerving when an old guy is staring a hole into you
3. Shouting at games
My brother gets unbelievably emotional over video games. Literally tears streaming down his face. Whenever he would yell, I’d feel a huge pit in my stomach because it was so intense. You can’t talk to him when he plays, or else you’ll feel the heat.
4. Walking behind me
Walking behind me in other than the broadest of public daylights, which 99% is by chance, but mostly scares me anyways.
5. Not reading signals
When they are super flirtatious/they come onto me without reading my signals or being socially aware.
I’ve been asked out twice before whilst in a bathroom (in the foyer entrance – not the actual ladies). I have no idea why they think this is a good place to pick up women but there you go. On one of these occasions, the man deliberately followed me in there to get me alone. Both times, however, they stood between me and the doorway. It was quite intimidating for me to have my exit blocked.
They didn’t intend to intimidate me. They just lacked the awareness of where we were and what I was thinking.
6. Flirting at work
Any kind of flirting where I’m in a customer service position and I have to be nice about it to pay my rent. Feels very trapped.
Lots of forms of “chivalry” like insisting on picking me up for a date, paying for dates, holding doors etc. seem to just remind me that I’m weaker and poorer than them. It’s fine to offer but if I politely decline please drop it.
8. Block the exit
Maybe the intent is to be flirtatious like they see in movies and they don’t realize it’s scary.
Telling me to smile. It’s not just creepy but I watch a lot of true crime so I kind of figure dudes a serial killer. Masks have helped a lot. 😵💫
10. Take the no
Not taking “no” for an answer. Insisting that they “deserve a chance”. Making hints & comments about my dating/marital status. Make comments about how small/short/young I am. Using phrases like “feminine touch” or “lady’s touch”. Making comments about how I’ll “make some man very happy one day”.
When a strange man tells me to relax, my body does the opposite, like he wants me to let my guard down.
12. Personal space
Not respecting my personal space, aggressiveness
13. Call it out
Not call out other men who say or do f-cked up things.
14. Touch me
Touch me in various places to “move” me. E.g placing their hands on my shoulders/hips
15. Men together
I feel so bad but a group of 3+ men of honestly any age, but personally a group of college-aged men, just standing together chatting/loitering scares me.
When a stranger approaches with anything but extreme politeness and formality. Also approaching and not stating what he wants right away. A polite “Excuse me miss” followed by a specific question is fine. Saying, “Yo girl!” causes me to automatically get suspicious and sometimes a bit scared.
17. Stop texting
When someone keeps texting even after multiple no responses. I wouldn’t say it’s scary but it puts me on high alert. Like, do I have to worry about this guy going next level cray or will he get the message?
Usually they do. Never had anything go dark. But still makes for a sobering experience.
joking while you’re trying to have a serious talk about something in sense of them making fun of you for it.
Staying silent and not saying how they feel. Like, stop being the immovable rock of stoicism and ask for help. Emotions do NOT equal failure.
The annoying thing is lacking communication and intimacy. The scary thing is not knowing about their mental health.
20. Following me
I usually get my keys out of my pocket (to use as a weapon just in case) if a man walks behind me for more than 5 minutes.