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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    Default Proper way to respond to inappropriate flirting?

    What do you think the best social response would be to a man who flirts with me in front of his wife?

    I always feel at a loss in this kind of situation, because flirting often appears to be only "over friendly." It is never blatantly clear enough to say something like "I can't believe you are acting this way in front of your wife," or "shove off jerk."

    Plus, I have trouble not being friendly with people in general, so it's hard for me to give a cold shoulder to someone as a general principle. I feel this pressure when someone is acting friendly to act friendly back.

    But I don't want to be a jerk to the woman by responding to the guy.

    So do I ignore it? Turn and focus/talk to the wife? Make an excuse and walk away?

    Some examples of this behavior: I have had guys call me "beautiful" in front of their wives, tug on my hair, throw something at me playfully, and just in general act like they are all moony.

    ( I actually think this is kind of funny, because I am not really physically that attractive. I think I just get the attention because of that weird INFJ seductive thing).

    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?

  2. #2
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    Politely ignore him. If he persists, more pointedly ignore him. If it's not bad enough to say anything, then don't, but let him know subtley that his attentions are unwelcome.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    Why are they touching your hair at all? Whoa, boundaries.

  4. #4
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Run. Run FAR away, and never return.

    Last edited by Amethyst; 11-05-2010 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Scar was out to lunch...unfortunately Zazu made him lose it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Onceajoan'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?
    Depends on what you mean by flirting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    I always feel at a loss in this kind of situation, because flirting often appears to be only "over friendly."
    "Overfriendly" is crossing boundaries whether it seems only an apparation or not, and, is by definition inappropriate. It is true that some people are just natural flirts who enjoy the social exchange and having fun. But it's usually easy to identify those types. They flirt and act charming with everyone. They don't target a specific individual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    It is never blatantly clear enough to say something like "I can't believe you are acting this way in front of your wife," or "shove off jerk."
    You intuitively know when their behavior is inappropriate. By staying under the radar they can continue playing their manipulative game and not be called on it. It actually is blatantly clear if they touch you, make crude or suggestive remarks, if they're leering at you or trying to get you to go somewhere with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    Plus, I have trouble not being friendly with people in general, so it's hard for me to give a cold shoulder to someone as a general principle. I feel this pressure when someone is acting friendly to act friendly back.
    Anyone who violates your boundaries should be given a cold shoulder and preferably told on no uncertain terms that their behavior will not be tolerated. No need to be "nice" to people who violate your boundaries. You are under no obligation to act friendly to someone who "acts" friendly to you. The operative word is "act'. They might not be so nice after all. The game of manipulation involves forcing others to feel the obligation to be "nice."

    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    But I don't want to be a jerk to the woman by responding to the guy.
    Of course you want to try to be tactful and diplomatic to the woman but ultimately it's not your responsibility. He is the one acting inappropriately. I had an incident a few years ago with a couple who were friends with my ex and I. The husband got drunk and started coming on to me. He insisted we slow dance and started rubbing my legs. All of this in very close proximity to his wife. I told my girlfriend (his wife) in a joking manner, "Could you get your husband away from me?" I was trying to make light of an embarrassing situation when in truth there wasn't much I could do. It wasn't my fault. She never spoke to me again even though we had been friends for many years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    So do I ignore it? Turn and focus/talk to the wife? Make an excuse and walk away?

    Some examples of this behavior: I have had guys call me "beautiful" in front of their wives, tug on my hair, throw something at me playfully, and just in general act like they are all moony.
    If he says you're beautiful, don't acknowledge it or be dismissive. Simply say, "Well, I think your wife is very beautiful! You're a lucky man." Focus your attention on her. Chances are he's just trying to make his wife jealous and insecure.

    Tugging at your hair - Inappropriate. Don't let anyone touch you. Say, "Don't touch me!" firmly. Don't worry about not being nice.

    Throwing something at you - They're just testing you literally to see if you're going to play - that is, are you going to respond to them? Don't. Don't throw it back. Place the item on a table or leave it on the floor.

  6. #6
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Respond in the same way you would when people invade your personal space. He is testing the waters and watching to see your reaction for receptivity or is trying to make his wife feel jealous because he is insecure. By acting like things are normal, you are tacitly implying that his behaviour is fine wit you and that it is appropriate.

    It may feel somewhat rude and unnatural to not make a person feel welcomed and comfortable, but when people ignore appropriate social boundaries it is important to do the opposite of what you would normally do. When I was busking, I learned that you can be pleasant but very clear using body language and speech to draw the line of what is okay with you. By acting in a predictable and consistent way and changing your own responses when the person is crossing the line, you send messages that are not confusing and you keep yourself out of bad situations where you will be endangered or disrespected.

    Do not feed his behaviour by giving him attention. By changing the way that you normally act, you are saying that his actions are not okay with you. Focus on the wife. If he addresses you as "Beautiful", do not respond as if it is your name. A look or a quick correction of what your name is, or an "Oh, I thought you were speaking to so and so" isn't out of line if done in such a way that you are not putting the wife in an even more uncomfortable position.

    Mostly that sort of behaviour is done publicly because the person is reasonably sure that you won't call them on it there. They will say or do stuff that sends a very clear message, but if you were to make a big deal of it, it would sound like you were blowing it out of proportion. The way to stop it is to make him aware that you know what he is doing and that you will not tolerate it because it is disrespectful to BOTH you and his wife. That can be done subtley at first and with increasing bluntness if he persists.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    Why are they touching your hair at all? Whoa, boundaries.
    My thoughts exactly.

    My advice, don't try to solve a Fi matter with Fe. Just voice it. "Why are you touching my hair? Please don't." Be direct. Be blunt if need be. You have every right and so does the wife.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moiety View Post
    My thoughts exactly.

    My advice, don't try to solve a Fi matter with Fe. Just voice it. "Why are you touching my hair? Please don't." Be direct. Be blunt if need be. You have every right and so does the wife.
    I third. You need to shut that down quick. Overall your Fe should want to speak I would think. In order to try to keep the peace for everyone.

  9. #9
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    I'm sorry, but I don't think voicing things and being blunt is appropriate in this case. It could upset the wife needlessly. Only voice your annoyance if it's truly out of control.

  10. #10
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    I'm sorry, but I don't think voicing things and being blunt is appropriate in this case. It could upset the wife needlessly. Only voice your annoyance if it's truly out of control.
    I agree. How do you know they're flirting anyway? Are you sure it's just not friendly banter? When does something like this cross the line and become something that's uncomfortable? One of the things I have observed in life is that people often seem to misinterpret others motivations. It can be quite damaging in relationships because it ruins trust.

    If somebody does or says something that makes me uncomfortable, I might give subtle or direct signals that I am not interested in what they have to say or are doing. I may change the subject, walk away, openly disagree or suggest they consider a different perspective. In either case, I generally don't allow them to do things that make me or others uncomfortable. This it seems can be done relatively tactfully though. If a women flirts with me in the type of example you provide, i generally tend to be rather amused and don't take it very seriously. I might also be oblivious

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