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have you ever followed someone?

 
 
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 07:04 am
Yesterday I was followed by a young man who looked like a teenager on my walk. I suspected he was following me a few minutes after I'd left my home but I wasn't sure until I stopped in a public area and he followed me as soon as I got up and carried on. I had hoped that maybe he had just planned to go on the same path as me But when I turned around to go back so did he. I called my mom and she met me to ensure the man wouldn't follow me all the way to our apartment.

It was light out when this happened. My mom thinks he might have been foreign and didn't know respectable ways to approach girls. Then I got to

Thinking that maybe he didn't intend me physical abuse, and I wondered if people have ever followed someone that intrigued them without realizing how creepy it is? He must have been following me for an hour.

For example, a girl runner following the path of a runner who she liked the look of.

I don't think I overreacted but I also don't want to become paranoid about these things. I also wonder whether I would've noticed at all had he been white. It's not the first time something like this has happened to me but I've always thought intent was malicious except in this case.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 900 • Replies: 13
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centrox
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 07:10 am
It is creepy. An hour is creepy. Keep your mother informed and if you see him again call her. If she is not available call the police.
perennialloner
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 07:17 am
@centrox,
I know it's creepy. I was very scared. My question is whether the people who do this, assuming they intend no abuse to the person they're following, always realize what they're doing is creepy. That's why I wondered if anyone on here has followed someone.
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 07:37 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:
My question is whether the people who do this, assuming they intend no abuse to the person they're following, always realize what they're doing is creepy. That's why I wondered if anyone on here has followed someone.

You aren't listening. You don't know if he intended no harm. Nobody knows what he intended. To suppose that maybe he intended no abuse is very silly. Thinking like that could be dangerous for you. Following someone is abuse in itself. To put it plainly, normal guys who mean no harm do not follow women or young girls for an hour (or even five minutes). As to your question about whether they realise it's creepy, who knows what crazy people know or think? This is foolish and pointless speculation. If they don't know it's creepy, what else do they not know about? You don't want to find out!!! Or they know it's creepy but don't care because they like scaring girls. Following might lead to worse things. If you see him again and he follows you, try hard to make sure he does not find out where you live (do not lead him back to your house).
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 07:47 am
@centrox,
I believe you mistake curiosity for sympathy. Clearly you have never followed someone. I know it's not normal behavior but I do think it's possible for a person to do if they didn't know how to approach the person. Whether that's right or not is not something im trying to discern. I believe it's wrong. I always carry pepper spray.


centrox
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 07:58 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:
Clearly you have never followed someone.

I have never followed someone. If I am walking late at night behind a lone woman I often cross the street or slow down so she does not worry that I am following her.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 08:24 am
@perennialloner,
What you are describing is creepy. There is no acceptable reason for a man to follow you that way. That is not normal and I would be worried if someone did that to me.

You are correct to seek balance. It is statistically rare for women to face violence from strangers in most cities in the United States (we hear the headlines, but when you look at the data it is significantly more likely for men to face violence than women). That doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful, but you shouldn't be paranoid.

My son was pepper sprayed once by a woman who saw him as a threat. He was 13 at the time... the problem likely was his skin color. It was traumatic for him, and I was pretty upset.

There is a danger in overreacting to fear... it hurts real people. The fact that you are thinking about this, and working to find a balance is a very good thing.

That being said... In the case of someone following you even when you stop and change direction, I don't think you overreacted.
centrox
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 08:32 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
My son was pepper sprayed once by a woman who saw him as a threat. He was 13 at the time... the problem likely was his skin color.

Not her racism?
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 08:46 am
@centrox,
I am not sure if you know what it is like to raise kids of color. There is overt racism... much more common is implicit racism. A boy with dark skin is quite often seen as a threat to White women.

My older son (not the same son) is quite handsome and he lives a fairly normal middle-class lifestyle that comes from having educated parents. When he was 15 or so he was really upset how White women would treat him when he walked from the public transportation to our house. It is a couple of hundred yards along well lit, paved foot path. He was upset enough that he had me come and watch.

Sure enough, as he walked by; White women moved way to the other side of the path and clutched their bags nervously. This was the behavior of many women, it wasn't a one time thing. I am a White man... the fear felt by White women from my son (that they didn't feel from me) was obvious.

And as an adolescent boy, it hurt him. He told me that one time a couple of women yelled at him for making them feel nervous... as if they wanted him to move off the path to let them pass.

This is a difficult thing to deal with as a parent.


centrox
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 08:51 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
I am not sure if you know what it is like to raise kids of color.

My grandchildren are mixed race. Four boys aged 9 to 16.


maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 08:54 am
@centrox,
That's interesting. So, you do understand.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 09:15 am
@perennialloner,
Nothing good can come from this. We do see folks in here who do not know how to approach the opposite sex, but that is nearly always confined to staring (which inevitably creeps out the person they are staring at). They generally do not graduate to following the object of their interest. Even people who are not too terribly socially savvy have figured out not to do that.
0 Replies
 
kk4mds
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 10:08 am
I've followed lots of people, but then I was a cop. Laughing
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2017 10:47 am
@kk4mds,
As the parent of children who aren't White... the cops are at least as scary (and maybe more so). I did not want cops following my children.

0 Replies
 
 

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