Tag Archives: Physical abuse

How great is this tip for dealing with people who invade your personal space? Since there’s no transcript at the link, I’ll tell you:

When someone comes up behind you and is too close, get visibly and audibly startled ( “Aaaah! Yikes!”) and move back. You want people to turn around and look at what’s happening. Then say “Wow, didn’t realize you were so close” or “Whoa, too close!” And let it be super awkward. Don’t apologize or smooth it over. Do it every single time until they get it. I would add: If it’s happening at work, document each time it happens and then report it to HR if they don’t get it. I would also add: Dear Tech Support Guy at My First Job After College, the way you always came up behind us and put your hands on our shoulders for unwanted backrubs when you had to fix our computers made us all hate you and I should have a) screamed and jumped out of my skin and b) reported you to HR for being fucking creepy and awful.

I’m putting today’s question behind a cut because of mentions of past abuse & sexual assault.

Dear Captain Awkward,

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