We’ve all been there. Getting pursued by a guy you are not interested in is nothing short of uncomfortable. It can be awkward and just flat out annoying. Usually, there are ways to ditch him in a club, like pretending to be lesbian for the night and dancing only with your girlfriends. When you’re traveling and there’s a creepy guy who just won’t take a hint, it’s even worse.
Traveling is stressful enough as it is without having to worry about warding off Mr. No Boundaries in the seat next to you. There comes a time when being polite and laughing him off will no longer do the trick.
Here’s how to get him to leave you alone so you can travel in peace:
1. Come right out and say it. As already mentioned, being polite is not going to cut it in a situation like this because he is not going to get the message. As long as you’re making eye contact, awkwardly laughing and basically just acknowledging his existence, he is going to keep pestering you. All of these things will just encourage him, which is the opposite of what you want.
Now, you don’t have to be mean about it, but you have to be firm and serious about what you’re saying. Don’t act like you’re kidding; just flat out tell him either you’re not interested – if he’s hardcore hitting on you – or you’d really like some quiet time to yourself. That should do the trick.
2. Ignore him. As long as you’re nodding and saying “uh huh,” he’s going to keep on chatting your ear off. So do your best to fight the polite genes inside your body and stop responding. He’s not being polite, so why should you have to be? So yes, give him the silent treatment. Pull out a magazine or scroll through your phone and do whatever it takes to not engage.
3. Pretend to be asleep. If you’re on a long plane or train ride, this one will work magic. When there’s a lull in conversation or he’s simply taking a sip of his scotch, take it as an opportunity to close your eyes and turn the other way. Window seats prove to be very successful in scenarios like this one because you can position yourself as far away as possible from the guy next to you. He can’t expect you to talk to him if you’re asleep, right?
4. Put your headphones in. Nothing says “don’t talk to me” like two plugs in your ears. They’ve become a very socially acceptable way to ward of any kind of social interaction. It doesn’t matter if you’re actually listening to music or not; he doesn’t have to know. As long as those babies are in your ears, he’s going to take it as a firm “leave me alone” sign. It also helps with the whole ignoring him thing when he does try to strike up a conversation.
5. Talk to somebody else. If you happen to be in a three-seater or spot a friendly woman behind you, try engaging with her. It’s possible that her intuition has already kicked in and she can tell that you’re uncomfortable. She might even help with telling this guy to leave you alone. Besides, if the two of you seem so unwelcoming of him in conversation, he’s sure to get the message. There is always power in numbers, so he’ll feel less powerful.
6. Tell someone. If you’ve tried all the tricks in the book and he’s still not getting the hint, it might be time to tell someone in authority. If he’s making you feel uncomfortable, then that’s enough reason to ask for help. Don’t feel like you’re being rude or dramatic; the people in charge will understand and will definitely keep an eye on the situation for you. This can give you a little peace of mind to get you through the trip.
No one should have to put up with some guy annoying her and making her feel uneasy, especially when traveling alone. Remember these tips next time you’re en route, and it’ll make thing a lot easier on you.