1. Have you ever gotten the impression from another member that they don’t want you to engage them? [/quote]
No. Not that I noticed.
2. Have there ever been any members you avoid engaging/interacting with yourself?
2a. Did it dissuade you from posting in threads they'd become involved in?
Not really. I can usually compartmentalise.
2b. How did you maneuver around them while trying to avoid them? [Did you directly ask them not to engage you as soon as you felt an aversion? Did you avoid quoting them and give short answers when they quoted you? Did you wait until the aversion was really strong (i.e. did you try ignoring/avoiding your own aversion before trying to avoid the person)? Etc.]
I argued with them initially and when I thought things were getting out of control and the hits were becoming below the belt, I just stopped responding to their posts. The other poster continued to go after me, and after a while, when it was clear they weren't going to give up, I wrote a brief post stating that I no longer wished to engage them. They continued to go after me and I then reported them.
2c. Do you think it draws much attention when you try to steer clear of someone, or does it seem to pass without incident? Does it occur to you to consider about how much other people notice when we personally steer clear of someone (and the effect that might have)?
In above case the avoidance was clear - usually it's more subtle. I'm more concerned about avoiding being drawn into a needless argument, rather than making sure people know when they irritate me.
3. Do you feel like you generally pick up on someone else trying to avoid you, or would you prefer to be directly asked not to engage someone and to not have to rely at all on body language/cues of disinterest/aversion? [In thinking of this thread.]
I haven't noticed it. If someone was bothered by me and it was a problem for them, I would rather they told me directly.
3a. If you personally prefer the person contact you with a direct request to avoid interacting with you- when? As soon as they feel any aversion? or would you prefer the ‘soft no’ tactics first, then a direct request if that doesn't take?
A soft no is fine. There's no need for harshness as a primary tactic.
3b. Suppose someone noticed you were backing away enough to actually state something like “Wow, I’m getting the cold shoulder from you”- and yet they didn’t take this as an indication they should give you some space, and kept persisting to interact regardless. (As happened in the article in that thread.) Would you know how to handle that?
4. How do you handle such situations (of feeling an aversion so some individual in the group) in real life- such as work environment (e.g. I don’t know, break room maybe), regular places you hang out, school, etc?
Just avoid dealing with that person.
4a. In your opinion, how is this situation different in an online forum than in real life venues? Do you think that generally people should feel more or less obligated to ignore any aversion they feel towards another person because of the way this forum works?
It's tough. Everything gets hashed out so much more on a forum than IRL. People feel the need to keep debating and are more inclined keep going over and over the details. I do think it can be harder to ignore and I think there are less social pressures that keep people basically agreeable. But that's the nature of forums, I guess. You've just got to find a way to be a grown up and ignore people that bug you.