I have weekly interactions with customs and border patrol agents. Last week, there was one from my home county. Tall, handsome, oh. I got that he was flirting with me b/c he asked me normal questions. I flirted right back. But damn. Didn't give him my number. (My inability to think to do that is another NB post).
But yesterday, the agent pissed me off. Leaned into my car. Demanded to know where I was going, asked me what my job was, if I owned my car (a sports car marketed to 25 year old men). And I got pissed b/c I thought he was being rude & inappropriate. And so I was sharp and rude to him. I learned how to be a complete shut you down make you shrivel inside gremlin from my father (b/c that's how he treated me as a kid). Seriously, you need someone shut down, just ask me. It's my forte.
So I was telling someone about it and they said, cayc, he was *flirting* with you. Wtf?! Apparently leaning into the car was the signal. How was I supposed to know?
Dammit. Poor guy. I'll say sorry into the ether and hope the words find him.
I'm never going to get this right, am I? Lol.
[This message edited by cayc at 12:05 PM, May 12th (Sunday)]
I'm interested in this thread too. I have no idea how to flirt, never have. I don't know how to flirt and am clueless if someone is flirting with me.
I guess I'm too serious most of the time. If a man flirts with me (and I only know this by my friends telling me), I think he's just being nice and is like that with everyone.
- Mahatma Gandi
But the point I'm posting about it isn't that I owe someone an apology, it's that I don't recognize flirting. I thought the guy #2 was being an asshole and was mocking me. And apparently others have a different take.
[This message edited by cayc at 2:51 PM, May 12th (Sunday)]
It's a defense mechanism to not let your guard down - very similar to my own woes.
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”
― Pema Chödrön
You know what they say, cayc... Practice makes perfect.
Of course none of us were there except for you, but trust your gut. (Do I need to put in another plug for the Gavin deBecker book?)
Was he smiling and being friendly? Or was he, as you said, demanding and acting inappropriate and rude? I'm not so sure that he was flirting. You recognized it when someone actually was. It's entirely possible this second guy was just a nosy control freak. (Leaning into your car could just as well be a signal of control or being a creep and trying to get a glimpse down your shirt.)
Don't be too hard on yourself. You did recognize flirting when it really was flirting, and you flirted back and had fun.
You'll get there! But don't stifle your gut feelings as that can lead you to trouble.
Married: 11 years, no kids
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
Yea, leaning into your car is a *signal* alright....a signal that he needs to get slapped in the face.
Apparently *I* don't know how to flirt either.
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
I remember many years ago traveling from Canada to home and being asked a bunch of questions before I was allowed to go. I had to pop the trunk, tell the guy my license plate number (luckily I had it memorized), open my glove compartment (they inspected my gold fish cracker bag that I had for emergency food), and I don't remember if anything else. I was driving a car that my grandpa gave me, but why would I steal an old man type of car?? I just answered the questions and went on my way. Now that I think of it... this guy leaned in my car too... He definitely wasn't flirting with me though!!
It was the abnormal questions that caused my friend to squint at me and say, "I think he was flirting with you".
But regardless, I don't like it about myself that I get my back up so easily though. Let's say he was being rude? Why is my reaction to be 0 to 60 put you in your place back instead of deescalate via flirting? NIK you said it perfectly, my shields are apparently set to exterminate! I just want to be more relaxed and open & can't seem to figure it out.
[This message edited by cayc at 10:13 PM, May 12th (Sunday)]
I even had a nice guy ask me out for a drink and my reply was "oh I don't drink"
Why is my reaction to be 0 to 60 put you in your place back instead of deescalate via flirting? NIK you said it perfectly, my shields are apparently set to exterminate!
Yes, this sounds like the better place to start, IMO, rather than be worried about not recognizing flirting. I'd even say deescalate with a smile, being friendly, etc.; not just flirting. As the old cliche goes, you do catch more flies with honey. What would your reaction have been had it been a female who treated you this way?
If that was flirting, he was one of the creepiest flirters I have ever heard about!
(Reminds me of a scene in Arrested Development when Tobias sends out letters to casting directors that are supposed to get them to want to cast him: "I know where you live. Ha ha ha.") The questions he was asking were (if not needed for his job) intrusive, like he was getting ready to stalk you. NOT fun, harmless flirting.