Don't Have a Man, Don't Need One, Thanks.....
June 4, 2012 12:36 PM Subscribe
I get hit on a lot at work. It's not flattering at all. I find it very embarrassing and demoralizing. I don't know how to cope.
posted by chara to Human Relations (62 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I am a female in my mid-20s. I work with an organization that helps low-income adults pursue post-secondary education. I meet one-on-one with new students every day, literally hundreds of people a year. A small but significant amount of men from this particular population often hit on me. They make comments about my appearance, ask about my relationship status, or straight-up ask me out. I guess these guys think "Hey! There's this cute young girl who is being nice to me, is helping me, and seems to give a shit about me! I'm going to try to hit that!" They are usually not lewd or threatening, but it makes me uncomfortable and I deal with it constantly, at least several times a week.
I try to stay polite and professional, and that tends to diffuse the situation in the moment. I can laugh it off afterwards, but in the long-run, this has all taken a toll on me. I no longer wear make-up to work. I wear dowdy ugly shapeless clothes. I don't engage my male students in polite conversation when I'm working with them, lest they mistake my polite banter for flirting. My demeanor becomes cold and distant, which is the exact opposite of my normal personality. I get a weird panicky feeling any time a man asks me a personal question, even if he's just trying to be nice. I just try to get them in and out of my office as fast as I can. I want to be warm and engaging, I want to help them. I don't want to have to put my 'bitch face' on every time I meet with a man. I know that the majority of men I meet with are kind and polite and professional and will keep their opinions of me to themselves. It's just a few bad apples that spoil the bunch.
My office is small (only 5 employees total) and my other co-workers are male and/or older than I am, so they don't have to deal with this issue. I just don't want to keep feeling a sense of dread and loathing every time I look at my calendar and see a male name on my schedule. I've talked to a therapist about this before, but he wasn't very helpful. Whenever I talk to people about this, I always feel like I'm just coming across like "Waaahhh! It's so hard to be thin and beautiful and popular! Everyone wants to have sex with me!" I hope this makes sense and I hope someone can give me some advice.