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  1. #11
    Glycerine
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    Yes, the hair tugging seems inappropriate but being called "beautiful", not so much.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Blown Ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    What do you think the best social response would be to a man who flirts with me in front of his wife?
    You should ignore him and put the spotlight on his wife by showing interest in her. This communicates to her that you are considerate of her and communicates to him an example that he should be picking up without making things awkward. Some people suggest responding to his behavior directly but I believe this is a bad idea because my sense of people like that is that any attention will bolster their behavior. If you completely (and I do mean completely) ignore them, they may escalate the behavior in a desperate attempt, and as you firmly ignore them it will become overtly clear that you will not dignify them with a response. It also builds your relationship with the person you like (her) and allows things with the one you don't (him) expire gracefully.

  3. #13
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Summon all your tact and graciously deflect. If you confront him or her, its likely you will be the villain.
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  4. #14
    RDF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    [...]What can I do to act cool socially, but still show the wife I'm on her team and not looking to take the attention away from her?
    Turn the compliment around onto the wife. If the guy compliments you on your hair, then compliment the wife on her hair. Say something like your own hair requires too much care and you would love to have the wife's hair instead. Pull the wife into the discussion and make the discussion between you and her--that will politely edge the guy out of the conversation while reinforcing the bond between you and the wife.

    In social chatter, a lot of awkward things get said. People have different boundaries and difference tolerance levels for awkwardness. And then you add in the effects of booze... In the end, I've found that the best strategy is to step forward and take command of the conversation. For example, boors and bores can be handled by interrupting with a question (to break their flow and momentum) and then steering the conversation to other subjects or to other people (i.e., turn to someone else and say, "So what's your opinion on that?")

    In general, a proactive, interventionist approach is preferable to shutting down the conversation or cold-shouldering people. When in a social situation, think in terms of being the host rather than a guest--grab the reins when things are starting to go awry or people are getting pushed aside or trampled or ignored. People will respect you for that, and it really doesn't take much effort.

    (I think Vasilisa and the dancing teddy bear were saying much the same thing; I just wanted to expand and give examples. )

    Here's a fun book on the subject of handling any weird social situation, if you want to research further: The Art of Mingling: Proven Techniques for Mastering any Room, by Jeanne Martinet.

    It's got material on: entering a room, spotting the right clique to join, approaching the clique, joining the ongoing conversation, etc.; politely ending a conversation and escaping from bores; changing subjects in a conversation; socializing with a spouse at your side; handling faux pas (yours and others'); handling celebrities; handling political discussions that risk getting too heated; and so on. It's a great resource for questions like the one posed in this thread.
    Last edited by RDF; 11-05-2010 at 03:48 AM. Reason: Added the book reference.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitseleh View Post
    Yes, the hair tugging seems inappropriate but being called "beautiful", not so much.
    It's interesting. When I lived way up North, no one would call another person beautiful, or anything like that, but now that I live in the deep South, people say that to each other all the time. They even say "Hey baby" or "Hi sexy" to children, as if it is a normal greeting. It's very strange to me, but seems to be normal in this culture.

  6. #16
    ThatGirl
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    I'd address the wife directly, saying something along the lines of, "Wow, you sure do know how to pick them,".or "you must be very happily married," then excuse myself. The message, if your man cannot handle himself I suggest you help him to.

    If this guy has a history of pathological flirting behavior, chances are the wife is aware of it. Seeing her as a victim is useless if she condones her husband making others feel uncomfortable.

    Just make sure the guy is ACTUALLY flirting with you. If he is just playful or calls everyone beautiful, just excuse yourself for more comfortable company. Maybe ask a neutral third party if they thought he was being flirtatious.


    Anyway, bottom line, if it makes you uncomfortable just don't participate.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl View Post
    I'd address the wife directly, saying something along the lines of, "Wow, you sure do know how to pick them,".or "you must be very happily married," then excuse myself. The message, if your man cannot handle himself I suggest you help him to.
    Totally rude and unnecessary, only making matters worse.

  8. #18
    ThatGirl
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    I disagree, sheltering the wife and playing a game is totally unnecessary.

    That means there is still a dynamic going on between you and the husband and the wife is just a pawn. Unacceptable.

  9. #19
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    Yeah but making condecending comments toward the wife is just hurtful and could make you look crazy if he's just a mildly flirtatious person and actually meant no harm.

    If you feel such a sense of "responsibility" to the wife (sounds more like confrontational control-freakiness to me) then pull her aside and talk with her privately.

  10. #20
    ThatGirl
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    I addressed only using this method if it is obvious to more than just yourself that he is flirting.


    And the quickest way to end a game is to put the wife back in the equation as a present participant in the relationship.


    Anyway, that's how I would handle the situation. Chose your own method.

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