Flirting vs. Being Creepy: Where’s The Line?

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Sarah sat on her couch, reading the latest edition of the “Bridal Guide,” when she noticed someone walking up and down in front of her house. Taking a closer look, she realized it was Ken, the hot lifeguard. Running out to say hello, she was surprised he seemed nervous and quickly ran off.  She told Rachel the next day, who thought it was “totally cute” Ken had been nervous. Just then, Nate, the class nerd, said “hi” as he walked by. As he walked away, Rachel remarked, “What a creep!”

While this is just an example from a comic strip, it is representative of the feeling many students on campus have. There is often a fine line between flirting and being creepy.

More often than not, it seems some people just cannot take the hint.

[media-credit name=”Chris Bunker” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Sometimes a person's interest in someone of the opposite sex may be a bit inappropriate.
Michael Barnes, a senior from Eugene, Ore., majoring in economics, said it gets creepy when a guy cannot read the negative signals a girl sends.

“It gets creepy once the girl thinks it should be obvious to the guy that she’s not interested.”

When asked why guys can’t take the hint, Barnes said it’s because they choose not to.

“If they really like a girl, they get blinded by it,” he said. “They’re unrealistic and pragmatic about it,” he said.

Barnes told a story about some of his own friends. Jeff and Jessica were friends. Jessica was flirty with everyone, but Jeff thought she was interested. He lived in Southern California, while she lived in Utah. Blinded by love, he drove out for a week to hang out with her to see if anything would happen. Needless to say, Jessica was not interested and got creeped out.

Sunny Cho, a junior from South Korea majoring in psychology, said the creepiness depends on the level of interest you have in the person.

[pullquote]”If someone you like finds something out about you, you’d find it flattering. But if it’s someone you’re not interested in, you’d think of it more as creepy.”[/pullquote]

“If someone you like finds something out about you, you’d find it flattering,” she said. “But if it’s someone you’re not interested in, you’d think of it more as creepy.”

Garrett Barfoot, a junior from Hemet, Calif., majoring in exercise science, said it is mostly a lack of communication that leads to someone feeling uncomfortable.

“Part of the responsibility of someone being creepy is shared by the person being creeped out for not communicating their lack of interest, and being too afraid to hurt someone’s feelings,” he said.

Chelsea Hilton, a senior from Portland, Ore., majoring in history, said it is all about boundaries.

“I think creepy is all about perspective, ” she said. “When people are too much into your bubble, that’s when it gets creepy.”

McKenna Talley, a senior from Greensboro, N.C., majoring in psychology, elaborated on the difference between annoying and creepy.

“When you reject them but they continue to pursue you, it’s annoying, but not creepy,” she said. “I think creepy is more like getting information about that person from outside sources and not from that person.”

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