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JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
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3/1/13 8:32 P

NONA-UK you don't understand how I am feeling, and how I actually am in public. I am a minister, in fact. There is a certain perimeter of space that everyone is entitled to in public, friendly or not, and I have every right to feel uncomfortable. At the same time, yes, I do feel regret over trying to show him that he upset me by being noisy with the weights and leaving quickly when I should have just talked to him. But today? I was planning on it. So, slow down... I've got it under control... I am not such the type of person to sound so out of control as you described me.

Everyone, thank you so much for your advice. I didn't see him today, I got out of there before 3, which is when I think he usually shows up. I'll let you know if he comes around again and how I handled it. Thank you for helping me find a dignifying way to handle it.

And YES Headphones Do help! It's crazy, but all three times, I actually had either not had my music with me, or took it off for a minute. I gotta keep the headphones on! I actually thought about just wearing them without them plugged in, as sort of an experiment. Haha!

Edited by: JESSAELINN at: 3/1/2013 (20:38)
SNAPDRAGON1231 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 547
3/1/13 6:58 P

I think you should just start with a polite, "I don't like to talk when I am working out" stop expecting him to read your mind. If he talks to you afterwards tell him your married and generally don't strike up conversations with men you don't know because you want to avoid any misunderstanding. It is simple and direct.
I don't think you should automatically assume he is a creep, he might be, or he might just be lonely, or socially awkward, ect. If he keeps bothering you then you should tell someone but start with simple polite and direct.

N16351D Posts: 2,349
3/1/13 6:29 P

One trick to respond to unwanted questions is to respond with a question. For example,
"What is your name?" can be responded with, "What is yours?"

Another technique to get unwanted attention out of the way is to talk about your husband. If this man is trying to pick up on your (which does not sound like the situation in your case- he is just being friendly), then talking about your husband should discourage him.

If he asks questions you to which you don't want to respond, you could say, "I'm concentrating and this is not a good time for me to socialize. I am too busy to take time to chit-chat."

Be direct, respectful, and considerate first. See what happens. After you go to him first and let him know you do not want to continue a friendly relationship, then you can go to the management.

3/1/13 4:57 P

Nona-UK, I couldn't disagree with you more. I have found that women generally KNOW if something isn't quite right with a situation. Also, being overly cautious is completely okay.

The fact of the matter is, the original poster does not want to talk to this guy, because he makes her feel weird. She is entitled to getting her workout done without someone making her feel uncomfortable.

Your issues with your ex have very little to do with this situation.

FORDOS SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 84
3/1/13 4:30 P

tap him in his nose...

NONA-UK Posts: 245
3/1/13 4:28 P

I don't see that he's done anything wrong. He blocked the water for a short time as he didn't realise people were waiting then moved out of the way and made what he thought was a friendly apologetic joke about it ('filthy' language is very subjective, probably inappropriate with a stranger, yes, but it doesn't sound as if he was actually swearing at you)).

He then briefly chatted to you a couple of times and you responded in a friendly way. Most people don't tell random strangers their names - this was an opening to conversations to him.

You do sound like a nice person, but to me, your idea of what is rude or not rude are skewed.

I think it was rude to give him your name and engage him in conversation, letting him think you were happy to chat with him while working out, while secretly fuming about it so much you want to report him! It's not his fault that you did something you didn't really want to do, so don't blame him. Another time, just smile and say 'sorry, but I don't give my name to strangers, I'm sure you understand. I don't like to chat at the gym' and then carry on with your workout. That's 100% polite, clear to the other person, and avoids all this. Of course, if they ignore that and pester you, then their behaviour has crossed the line, but you have no idea if this man would have done that or not.

I also think it was very rude of you to do the whole 'show him I'm cross' slamming stuff around instead of just calmly and politely telling him that you you don't really want to chat to anyone at the gym, you like to just concentrate on your workout, bye. What you did is passive aggression. Reporting him at this point to management is passive aggressive. Giving him a blank face/snubbing him at this point is rude. You have not been polite enough to tell this man quite simply that you do not wish to chat. Passive aggression is ALWAYS rude. Be honest and polite with people, don't play 'they should magically know what I'm thinking' games with them and get in a strop and be rude to them when they can't be psychic.

I know I sound mean here. I'm really not trying to be. But you do seem like a genuinely nice person, whose got a few things maybe you could think about on how you react to other people, and especially on the whole 'rude/not rude' thing, which I think you have terribly wrong and could actually get you into a serious situation in future. It's not rude not to answer questions from strangers, not rude at all. You can respond politely and extract yourself from the situation very politely without giving them personal information about yourself. No stranger has any right at all to know anything about you. So drop this idea of being obliged to give it to them.

Passive aggression, yeah it gets my goat. My ex was like this and it's infuriating and exceedingly rude to the person on the other end of it. So that's why I sound harsh about it here to you.

Put it this way, if you'd politely said hi and had a minute or two chat to a woman at the gym, who responded by chatting back, and the next time you went and said hi she glared at you silently and walked off, what would you think and feel? it's not a nice way to treat someone.

Just tell him, for goodness sake. If he then continues and it's a problem, THEN mention it to management and let them deal with it. At the moment he's not harrassing you, he's just being normally friendly. It's ok for you not to want to be friendly back. But it's ok to want to be friendly, too. Perhaps as he sounds like someone else who is also struggling with weight he's seeing you as a bit of an ally/potential workout partner/mutual support, as gyms can be quite intimidating places if you are a bit on the large side.

IRISHFANUH87 Posts: 1,038
3/1/13 12:55 P

I agree that it is best to make sure you tell him you don't want to be bothered before you talk to management. He might just be a person who is trying to be friendly. If he persists then talk to a gym employee.

CILER11 Posts: 265
3/1/13 11:50 A

Headphones are my life-saver at the gym. I just pretend I can't hear anyone. ;)

SAAR42 Posts: 130
3/1/13 10:48 A

Oh I just saw your latest post. That sounds like a good strategy.

SAAR42 Posts: 130
3/1/13 10:46 A

It sounds to me like this is just one of those annoying guys that likes to talk. He was talking to that other guy as well, so it's not like he's a sexual predator bent on stalking you personally. I don't think you need to report it to the manager unless he keeps bothering you after you ask him to stop. Just say "I'm busy" or "Sorry, I don't want to talk".

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
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3/1/13 10:25 A

I KNOW I shouldn't answer any questions! I'm too nice! I will try the blank stare face. I don't know if it'll work though, I am not the kind of person that can ignore someone. He made me pretty angry yesterday. I slammed down the weights, not hard, but noisy, then I jumped up, walked out quickly, and pushed the door open with gusto. "hints" that women would get, but not men.... ahhh...

My husband and I talked about it last night. We agreed that saying, "I don't want to socialize while I work out" may only mean he will try to talk to me when I am done working out. So, if it happens again and my blank stare face doesn't work, I'll take it by the reins and say, "I'd appreciate it if you left me alone." If he asks why, "I am not interested in socializing." And leave it at that. If he does still bother me, it is harassment, and I will take control by talking to the manager.

The best thing for now would be for me to solve it on my own so that this guy is spared unnecessary embarrassment, after all, it might work and if he's serious about why he is at the gym, he'll leave me alone.

We'll see what happens today!

ANGUSSANDY Posts: 10,516
3/1/13 8:31 A

I agree with the person who suggested that you just suck it up even if it is against your nature and tell him that you are not interested in talking and to please leave you alone. Then tell management if he persists. It is called stalking in some states if they persist after that. I wouldn't be shy about asking management to call the cops. They won't because they want his membership money, but it may light a fire under them and get something done.

DMJAKES Posts: 1,635
3/1/13 8:24 A

I'd say try dealing with it yourself first. Just look him straight in the eye and tell him that you're here to work out and you're not interested in socializing. You might even want to throw in a mention of your hubby in there somewhere, just so your "unavailability" is quite clear. Some guys (and women too) just don't get hints and subtlety. He might think you're just playing hard to get, you know? If you can, try to do this so that a million others don't overhear--no need to embarrass the poor guy any more than you have to.

Practice exactly what you're going to say so that it comes out with authority--I tend to sound kind of mousy and quiet if I'm unsure of what I want to say in confrontational situations. Then walk away and finish your workout.

If that doesn't do it, go to management and don't feel bad about it. You gave him an opportunity to knock it off at that point, and it's out of your hands.

BLONDIE218145 SparkPoints: (24,819)
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Posts: 515
3/1/13 6:54 A

This happened to me but fortunately he only approached me once. I must tell you the next time I went on the same day, I took my Marine(Son) with me just in case. I would go to the employees and inform them of him the next time.i don't want my gym to be a pick-up place. emoticon

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
3/1/13 3:39 A

This happened to me this week too. I just looked right through the guy like he wasn't even there. I was in the middle of my set anyway. He kept it up with the questions for a bit then left when he didn't get any response out of me. He hasn't approached me since. But I'm aware that some guys are more persistent.

It is extremely annoying. You are absolutely right, you pay your membership, you should not feel uncomfortable there!

If someone does this to me in the future, I will probably try the "look through him" method again as it works sometimes; if I have to say something, I will probably say "I'm here to work out, not to chat."

SUSANBEAMON Posts: 11,354
3/1/13 12:39 A

i used to be too nice to not answer a question once upon a time. then i became a mother and had to raise a child. i developed what i call mom-face. after several times asking me to have something and getting the same answer of no, i had a look that tended to stop the incessant asking. i use it now when an adult gets in my space, like this guy is doing. until you develop that look, when this guy invades your space, call the manager.

2/28/13 10:36 P

I would tell him 'I don't mean to be rude, but I am here to workout and not to socialize. I hope you understand.' I don't know if that will help. If he keeps on bugging you, I would DEFINITELY tell the manager that he is bothering you.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
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2/28/13 9:37 P

This is your problem, right here:

"I am too polite not to at least answer a question."

Stop answering those questions. THey are invasive, unwanted, and making you uncomfortable. We women have been trained over the years that "polite" means taking everything from everyone. That's not okay!

Don't be subtle, don't give him "hints" - men don't take them. You don't have to be rude, but you do have to be clear, because honestly, most guys don't get subtle, and since this one has thus far ignored your body language, you can be assured he's not going to suddenly start "getting" it.

"Sorry man, I'm working out right now, and I have to meet my husband after the gym, so I don't have time to talk."

Point delivered. Then *ignore* him.

If he persists, speak to the management.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (194,388)
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2/28/13 9:29 P

Meanwhile, if this guy comes up to me again, how should i respond?

"LEAVE ME ALONE. I do not want to talk to you ever again."

and please please make sure you talk to a manager. As a trainer, I have no authority to kick someone out of the gym, but the managers definitely do.

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 2/28/2013 (21:30)
GZELLEFRO SparkPoints: (88,155)
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Posts: 4,907
2/28/13 9:08 P

Have you told your husband about it? Maybe it'll get him interested in going with you again and at the same time discourage the guy from bothering you.

Try wearing headphones and act like you don't hear him. Or you could sigh real loud and flat out tell him that you'd appreciate it if you could get your workout in.

People are so weird anymore. You didn't have to be rude in the past, but now people just don't get it.

Above all, be safe! Who knows what he's doing. If I felt uncomfortable about him, I'd ask someone to walk me to my car too. emoticon

STDWYNWEN SparkPoints: (11,748)
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Posts: 577
2/28/13 8:40 P


If you want to first try to nip it in the bud yourself just be short and sweet.
Tell him you don't like being bothered at the gym. You don't owe him an explanation why. If he continues, stop your workout and walk over to someone who works there and tell them you're being bothered.

You shouldn't have to change your schedule to avoid anyone.

If you don't want to handle it yourself, stop at the desk and ask what's the policy on how they handle guys like this?

Bottom line, you shouldn't have to deal with this distraction and it needs to be dealt with sooner than later.

MLAN613 Posts: 18,612
2/28/13 8:04 P

Is there any way you can try exercising at a different time until the gym has time to speak with this member?

As a gym employee, I know we appreciate when members bring issues, be they humans or equipments, to our attention. We've had members kicked out for harassing others.

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
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2/28/13 7:36 P

I'm so annoyed. My shoulder is now acting up. I usually stretch before I leave, and I couldn't due to the fact that I was stressed about this guy not leaving me alone. Now my right shoulder hurts. I may explain this to someone at the gym tomorrow and see what they can do to help me.

Meanwhile, if this guy comes up to me again, how should i respond?

Thanks for the advice.

2/28/13 7:20 P

Yep. Just let someone know. That way if it continues, they can pull him aside and deal with it for you.

Some guys can't take subtle hints. They just don't hear them. Be confident, and don't worry about being perceived as "rude." He makes you uncomfortable. You should not have to endure that while you are working out.

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
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Posts: 729
2/28/13 7:15 P

You really think I should? If he doesn't get the hint from my actions today, then yes, I should. I need to take my workouts seriously and I'm paying to be able to work out there.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 46,222
2/28/13 7:13 P


Maybe you should talk with one of the trainers or managers on the floor. The gym should ensure a safe and non-harassing environment for all of its members.

Coach Nancy

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
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2/28/13 6:59 P

Let me just put this out there. I am NOT sociable at the gym, I don't even like to talk too much to people I know who are working out there. I NEED to keep to myself and focus, and I'm trying SO hard to lose weight and keep motivated.

There's this annoying guy that keeps trying to talk to me. It started when I approached the faucet to get a drink two days ago. This guy was in the way, looking at a poster. He is a very large, burly, sweaty guy and not at all attractive, so that is not the issue. He stood for about a minute in front of the faucet as I and another guy waited for him to move. When he realized I was there then he used filthy language as he spoke to me about how sorry he was to be in my way, and the other guy's way and about how horrible it is to try to get something done when someone's in the way. I walked away as he spoke to the other guy. I was glad the other guy was there, so I could walk away. I thought it was over.

THEN next, he comes up to me while I'm actually doing reps on the ab crunch machine. I try not to talk to him, but he asks my name. I am too polite not to at least answer a question. I HATE this, he stops me again today right in the middle of my shoulder workout. He hopped around on different machines as I did, then sat next to me, to purposefully try to talk to me again. My husband use to come to the gym with me, I wear my wedding ring while I work out, I do NOT want this attention. He leaned over today and said "Hey Jessie. How you doing?" I immediately started my exercise again, and I responded while hiding behind the machine, but I don't think he heard me, which is probably good. As soon as I finished, I just had to leave. I can't stand this, it is distracting, annoying, and it makes it VERY difficult for me to work out. I don't know what to do.

Edited by: JESSAELINN at: 2/28/2013 (18:59)
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