So, okay. Thanks for chiming in here.
I said, “When a woman is looking directly at you, making eye contact, and smiling, this is generally a social cue that she is open to engage in conversation with you.”
When I’m in a public space populated by other people, a social setting, if you will, I generally make eye contact and smile at anyone around me. I’m open to chatting, to conversations. I like meeting people.
Eye contact, smiling. That’s a social cue.
When I don’t feel like having a conversation with strangers, I avoid or don’t prolong eye contact and don’t send friendly smiles out. Another social cue.
Social cues are part of our social construct. We read them all the time. They’re not difficult.
But over and over I have this experience: I am involved in my own business. I am not looking up and out at people. I am not making eye contact. I am focused, which generally means I’m not smiling. AND YET, here they come, the men — it’s always men — who want to chat. Want to interrupt. Want to “be friendly.” They want me to be part of the social construct we share, but they’re ignoring my social cues which say, ‘I’m not interested in conversation right now.’ That behavior alone is something that I, raised by an ever-polite and always charming Southern lady, would consider rude: deliberately ignoring someone’s social cues to impose your social preferences. That’s not sharing a social construct, but dominating it. When you add to this scenario the very real element of fear that many women experience when they are approached by strange men, it moves from rude to aggressive. And “aggressive friendliness” isn’t really friendly at all.
Also, thanks for trying to insult my psyche (should it be something other than delicate? Rough? Calloused? Hard and brittle? Unclear.) and for calling me a curmudgeon. I hope someday to be one.