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116

In this specific situation I think you did the right thing. Well, in most situations like these, the chances of a totally peaceable resolution are slim. People who go out looking for trouble are sure to find it, particularly if they're of that age group, have those racial/political leanings, and feel they have the reassurance of their group. The only thing ...


83

I haven't had occasion to use this technique since seeing it described, but this graphical guide to bystander intervention describes a non-confrontational way to help the victim. That guide was created for a specific type of case but would apply to any sort of harassment or bullying. This site provides a transcription of the steps: Engage ...


30

I knew a guy who put both of his palms together in front of his chest - like praying - and then bowed in front of the other person. He did get strange looks, but the other person usually responded with a bow and shaking hands was never considered. By folding hands, he signaled on an implicit level he didn‘t have a hand free for shaking.


18

What kind of person do you want to be? If you don't want to interact with him, don't. No one is forcing you to. But if you want to be a decent human being, I say treat him as you would want to be treated if you were in his shoes. I can say a lot of self-righteous stuff, but the bottom line is that no one over a certain age is innocent, and all - or almost ...


15

I'm going to answer this from an aspie perspective, because that's my experience and it kinda sounds like that may be relevant here. I didn't know I was autistic till I was 29. I was raised with a typical western, working class "you know a man by his handshake" model. Being aspie this always seemed odd to me, but I've learned that it does tell you certain ...


15

It doesn't matter how tall you are or what your physique is. You are describing creepy behaviour and then asking how you can ensure people are not put off by it. Staring at people because you enjoy looking at an attractive person (and don't care whether they want to be looked at right now) or you are interested in a conversation (someone else's conversation ...


12

There are a lot of little cues that people give, consciously or unconsciously, when talking one on one. Without knowing you personally, it's hard to guess what you might be doing "wrong." But I can give some general suggestions: Maintain eye contact. Don't look at your phone, keep focused on them. Ask questions, react, and comment when you can. But don't ...


10

This will be a tough sell on your parents to recognize and support you over - Misophonia is not currently a recognized condition or disorder, it has only been proposed in 2000. It's very possible that your parents don't think of it as "real" at all and think you are making excuses. I don't think it'll be easily possible for you to convince them otherwise. ...


9

Be the person who steers the introduction My background and situation in western Canada are similar to yours. The method that causes me the least stress, by far, is to place my right hand over my heart and nod once while smiling. This gesture is simple and friendly, and it allows me to take charge of my side of the introduction by showing the other person ...


8

If the problem is arising after your mother gives ambiguous commands, it may help to articulate more clearly what you are confused about. "What the hell do you want me to do?" is not an informative response (and it is argumentative besides), especially if your mother doesn't realize that she is being unclear. Instead specifically state what additional ...


6

He had served 12 years in jail for sexual misconduct with a family member under age 14. First let's not be silly : this is a serious crime and you should prioritize your family's safety, not his feelings. That 12 years is a long sentence and implies a very serious offense. From a practical point of view about 45% of all offenders re-offend. So the naive ...


5

The speaker can feel like the listener is not engaged when there is little interaction or feedback. It could be caused by subtle factors such as body language - i.e. lack of eye contact, body facing another direction, etc. When I am the listener, I find it helpful to ask clarifying and related questions/statements to show my interest and eagerness to talk ...


5

In my opinion you only get to change such people truly if you can make them see/understand the injustice they thrive on, e.g. by (virtually) turning the tables on them - not to harass but to indicate by example how flawed their reasoning is and how mistreated one can feel by such teasing or generalizations. For example, a couple of acquaintances play ...


4

The reason why ‘I don't shake hands’ by itself does not work is that it is not clear why you don't. Is it because touching makes you anxious... or is it that you feel that shaking hands is for equals, and you are these people's superior... Avoid this. Make it clear that it's just a quirk of yours, rather than a disdain for them. Say, ‘Sorry, I have a ...


4

I've had similar issues in the past, and I've known a few people who have a similar issue. What I've done, and what I've seen other people do, is offer a fist-bump instead. It signals "I'd like to do something like a handshake, I recognize it's important, but I can't do a handshake - I'd like to offer this alternative." Usually gets accepted without it ...


4

Follow these steps: 1) When your mother treats you poorly (yells or otherwise treats you with disrespect) ask her to lower her voice and use kinder words. Please note if she lowers her voice or uses nice words but with a sarcastic tone you should probably consider this a success, thank her with a smile, if you can, and continue with your dinner/activity. ...


4

I am French, living in France. The country of the morning handshakes, where everyone spends an hour wandering from office to office to shake hands or have the bise (one, two, three or four air kisses between men and women). I positively hate both of these. There are no particular reasons for that (no religious, germ related or anything else). So I decided ...


3

I've had similar issues with a different kind of condition, both with parents and with a neighbour whose answer was to shout and rave if something wasn't as they wanted. What I've found in both cases, was that the wording I used to explain it, was critical, and they won't want to move, but will in fact move. Probably quite quickly. Power dynamics ...


3

As I mentioned in the comments, I've seen a case where this sort of situation turned into a witch hunt. If you see that happening in your community, you may want to discourage it, but not for the sake of the offender. It's worth explaining to people that the registry is a good thing, you want people to be aware and be safe, but starting a witch hunt may ...


3

There's some subtle differences that are worth noting here... It's one thing to glance, it's another to look, and something else entirely to stare. Most people don't notice or care if you just glance at them. Some people may think it's a little odd if you're looking at them for an extended period. Most people will be a little uncomfortable if you're ...


2

There used to be a girl in college (now a senior doctor somewhere) who would unintentionally maintain eye contact much longer than normal, which sent a lot of unintended mixed signals till I understood she was simply myopic (short-sighted) but too vain to wear her glasses, which she kept in her pocket. So she was often unaware -- she literally couldn't see ...


2

I'm not going to comment on the ethics of listening in on the conversation of others, but to be less creepy while doing so: Don't stare at them. Gaze into space or at a tree or car or something. Trees and cars don't find it creepy to be stared at.


2

This is usually related to one of two things: Eye contact. Eye contact is essential. It is the way to signal to another that your interest is in him and what he is saying. That said, don't overdo it. Response. Not infrequently, socially insecure people will often spend mental effort during a conversation thinking about what they want to say next. ...


2

You probably won't encounter the same situation again, but if you do, act like you know the women, sit down by her and start talking to her, if you both engage in conversation, and ignore them, and treat them as if they are nuts (which they are), they will get bored and move along to harass a new victim. Most (packs) groups don't like to deal with another ...


2

Although you have done a good deed and protected a vulnerable person from possible further harm there is a downside to your approach. By using a non-confrontational approach the "abusers" will likely go and repeat their anti-social behaviour next time they meet a suitable "victim". I wouldn't be surprised if they treated being escorted off the premises by ...


2

I find shaking hands displeasing too, but not for the reasons indicated. I do because I think it's misleading. In interviews, it seems to imply mutual confidence, support or agreement, the willingness to strike a deal, when in fact all of those can be absent, and the act of shaking hands be just a mannerism, part of the mise en scène (like things people wear)...


2

If you were speaking about someone else who assumed this posture in direct response to a social interaction, I would infer that the person was uncomfortable and non-verbally expressing a need or desire to be left alone or for more personal space. Hunching, closed hands, leaning one limb on another are examples of closed body language, which can indicate the ...


1

I like many of the answers offered here, especially the ones where you do a different respectful gesture of greeting. However, here are a few strategies for deterring handshakes, though they require some planning. If you are going to an event (especially a professional one), can you enlist an ally to stay with you at the beginning, when introductions are ...


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