View Full Version : How can someone know if they crossed the line from curiosity to creepiosity?


midnightstar
04-27-17, 01:53 PM
Yes I know creepiosity isn't a word :o

When does something cross the line from mere harmless curiosity to being a complete creep?

Little Missy
04-27-17, 01:54 PM
You can feel it in your gut. :eek:

dvdnvwls
04-27-17, 02:37 PM
Missy: Unfortunately, if people with anxiety disorders trusted their gut feelings about everything, they would be stuck in bed for the rest of their lives.

Fuzzy12
04-27-17, 05:30 PM
What do you mean? Dlukd yoi give an example?

In general i think it's almost impossible to say. It not only depends on the situation but also I'm the particular people involved abd their relationship.

Greyhound1
04-27-17, 08:25 PM
Yes I know creepiosity isn't a word :o

When does something cross the line from mere harmless curiosity to being a complete creep?

When they continue and it makes you uncomfortable it crosses over into the creep zone to me. That's when you need to let them know it's getting creepy and set some boundaries.

dvdnvwls
04-28-17, 02:16 AM
I'm not sure if "he doesn't stop when I want him to" is the only sign, but it's definitely an important one.

But communication is an issue too; he can't just know to stop. You have to tell him to stop, or take a definite action like shaking your head or turning away, not just wish he already knew.

Many MANY guys who are very kind and very non-creepy, have terrible social skills, so no, he should not be expected to already know everything.

midnightstar
04-28-17, 11:21 AM
What do you mean? Dlukd yoi give an example?

In general i think it's almost impossible to say. It not only depends on the situation but also I'm the particular people involved abd their relationship.

I mean if I am curious about someone and show an interest wanting to be friends with them, is this being a creep? Or is it something that's okay to do? Am I overthinking this?

dvdnvwls
04-28-17, 12:31 PM
Midnight: You?? You're not creepy!! It's OK, show your interest. For you, here's how to not be creepy: Do your best to not do anything that's very unkind, that's all.

Letching Gray
04-28-17, 12:54 PM
I mean if I am curious about someone and show an interest wanting to be friends with them, is this being a creep? Or is it something that's okay to do? Am I overthinking this?

If your daughter was curious about someone, would she be creepy to show interest in getting to know the person?

Yes. You are overthinking it, but who cares? You are allowed to think about it however much you'd like to.
:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: :grouphug::D:D:D

ToneTone
04-29-17, 05:44 PM
Here is my understanding, and I learned this the hard way ...

Creepiness occurs when someone shows an intense interest in another person beyond what their interactions with the person would justify.

Let's say I see a woman that I find attractive. And let's say I haven't introduced myself to her. But from a distance and in my head, I form this deep connection--not just an appreciation for their attractiveness ... So I don't know that person, and yet I approach them and say I really like them ... The other person is likely to feel that I am being creepy.

Why?

Because my interest is disconnected from any real interaction with them. She and I have NOT sat down and talked ... She hasn't made me laugh. She and I haven't hung out. I have zero knowledge of her interests ... Zero sense that there is any chemistry between us.

And on the other end, she hasn't been given a chance to meet me and see if she likes me! I've acted as if my feelings are the only feelings that matter. I've treated the other person like a passive object. This is why some people draw a connection between creepiness and stalking. The stalker acts on fantasies without regard to the other person.

Contrast creepiness, with gradually meeting and getting to know someone. I share a goofy story. You laugh and you share a goofy story. We both feel the connection and we share more ... I embrace their dreams. They embrace my dreams ... and we keep gradually building affection and trust ... Let's say I eventually touch her hand. Well if she pulls away, that's indication to stop. If she grasps my hand, then she's comfortable. Note: even one-night stands involve a gradual--through rapid--back and forth and mutual sense of trust and connection.

BTW: I have been approached by people I didn't know who assumed they really liked me and let me tell you, it was quite weird. I didn't trust their "liking" me ... I knew the person had some fantasy image of me ... They certainly hadn't seen my messy, cluttered room or dealt with all my ADHD and mood stuff ...:) It actually felt a little scary ... and certainly not at all flattering or comfortable.

Them is my two cents. Painfully acquired through years of social ineptitude and trial and error.

Tone

Fuzzy12
04-29-17, 06:46 PM
I mean if I am curious about someone and show an interest wanting to be friends with them, is this being a creep? Or is it something that's okay to do? Am I overthinking this?

I always get that feeling as well...that people would think I'm creepy if I tried to make friends with them or if not creepy that at least they wouldn't welcome my interest in their friendship.

Fuzzy12
04-29-17, 06:47 PM
Here is my understanding, and I learned this the hard way ...

Creepiness occurs when someone shows an intense interest in another person beyond what their interactions with the person would justify.

Let's say I see a woman that I find attractive. And let's say I haven't introduced myself to her. But from a distance and in my head, I form this deep connection--not just an appreciation for their attractiveness ... So I don't know that person, and yet I approach them and say I really like them ... The other person is likely to feel that I am being creepy.

Why?

Because my interest is disconnected from any real interaction with them. She and I have NOT sat down and talked ... She hasn't made me laugh. She and I haven't hung out. I have zero knowledge of her interests ... Zero sense that there is any chemistry between us.

And on the other end, she hasn't been given a chance to meet me and see if she likes me! I've acted as if my feelings are the only feelings that matter. I've treated the other person like a passive object. This is why some people draw a connection between creepiness and stalking. The stalker acts on fantasies without regard to the other person.

Contrast creepiness, with gradually meeting and getting to know someone. I share a goofy story. You laugh and you share a goofy story. We both feel the connection and we share more ... I embrace their dreams. They embrace my dreams ... and we keep gradually building affection and trust ... Let's say I eventually touch her hand. Well if she pulls away, that's indication to stop. If she grasps my hand, then she's comfortable. Note: even one-night stands involve a gradual--through rapid--back and forth and mutual sense of trust and connection.

BTW: I have been approached by people I didn't know who assumed they really liked me and let me tell you, it was quite weird. I didn't trust their "liking" me ... I knew the person had some fantasy image of me ... They certainly hadn't seen my messy, cluttered room or dealt with all my ADHD and mood stuff ...:) It actually felt a little scary ... and certainly not at all flattering or comfortable.

Them is my two cents. Painfully acquired through years of social ineptitude and trial and error.

Tone

This makes much sense!!! Thanks!!

ToneTone
04-30-17, 03:00 PM
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a friend with someone. Making friends is a great life project.

All kinds of studies on happiness and life satisfaction have found that having meaningful relationships is one of the most fulfilling aspects of life ... and lots of people with money often say relationships are more important than money ... to which those of us without money often say ..."well, but I sure would love to have some more money!"

A good first step in making a friend is to find a way to give them a genuine compliment on something they did ... "I really liked what you said in the meeting." ... "I love your sense of humor." ... or "I like the way you responded to that situation the other day. You were really calm and poised ..." Offer the compliment without too much weight attached ... Then pause ... and notice their reaction. Sometimes a good compliment opens the door ... but stay away from "you are a great person." You don't really know them well enough to say that yet ...

After offering a compliment ... often the next time you see the person, you'll notice a difference in their energy towards you ... Often the opportunity is there to just share a funny story or open up about where you are with your life, etc ...

I notice that people who seem to want to be friends with me will say, "we should grab lunch/dinner/coffee sometime." That's a step. The person is saying, I'd like to spend time with you.

I don't know if this is an ADHD thing or a me thing or a social anxiety thing or an immaturity thing ... but I find that my mind can jump ahead ten steps into fantasy ... and I have to catch myself and go back to the step-by-step-invitation process ... Friendship is really just a process of gradual trust and connection.

We should never apologize or feel inadequate about wanting to make friends. It's just important to be open to the fact that an invitation may not be accepted ... someone might not immediately respond as we want ... so put the energy out there and let go ... and let them respond ... And often the response may come weeks, or months later ... Or you may learn based on the person's response that you actually do NOT want to be friends. In any case, you've offered an honest compliment which takes courage ... and that step is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Tone

Postulate
04-30-17, 03:50 PM
Here is my understanding, and I learned this the hard way ...

Creepiness occurs when someone shows an intense interest in another person beyond what their interactions with the person would justify.

Let's say I see a woman that I find attractive. And let's say I haven't introduced myself to her. But from a distance and in my head, I form this deep connection--not just an appreciation for their attractiveness ... So I don't know that person, and yet I approach them and say I really like them ... The other person is likely to feel that I am being creepy.

Why?

Because my interest is disconnected from any real interaction with them. She and I have NOT sat down and talked ... She hasn't made me laugh. She and I haven't hung out. I have zero knowledge of her interests ... Zero sense that there is any chemistry between us.

I don't agree with that. Body language in itself tells us most about the person, about 90%. So if you watch a woman walk in mini-skirt and high heels, the way she moves, the way her skirt undulates around her waist, the way she looks forward, a bit indifferent, with a superior air, bourgeoise, sophisticated, an ankle bracelet so provocateur...a sophisticated vulgarity, stepping lightly but firmly, her Extensor Digitorum Longus Tendons tightening as she takes a new step, eyes looking around with an impenetrable shine, inviting ways...

See, that's not you being a creep, that's a man interpreting reality. When she looks at you she sees something and when you look at her she sees something else. No one, man or woman, should feel sorry for his or her interpretation of reality. And there's also the part where, if she's not wearing UGGs it's obviously because she wants men to notice her Extensor Digitorum Longus Tendons, so where is the question of you being a creep if you gain exposure to something she wants you to be exposed to in the first place?

dvdnvwls
04-30-17, 08:28 PM
Tone: Thank you SO much for your post outlining one of the primary sources of creepiness.

I once created exactly the problem you described, and I can see now (with the benefit of 15 years distance from the event) that you are right.

(I hope the remainder of my post hasn't veered too far off topic.)

And yet, at the same time, I feel... something. That person - who I think temporarily found me quite disturbing but who quite soon understood me - really has had an intense and lasting effect on me. She's a classical-music singer. I suspect that my own emotional dysregulation is in some way (a good, healthy way, I think) "fed" by the care and intensity she brings to performing. During those times, I am completely myself in a way that doesn't happen often.

When we meet in ordinary social settings outside of music, it sometimes strikes me how little we really have in common - I'm not even sure I could get to like the real person I meet at those times. Nice, friendly, ... and as some may say here "very NT" :) .

Does this kind of larger-than-life experience happen to people with intact emotional regulation too? Is this a common thing and I just never knew it?

(In a way it feels as though I have some small kind of kinship with that group of guys who were and are deeply affected by someone like Judy Garland ;) )

ToneTone
04-30-17, 11:59 PM
DVD,

I don't want to label the kind of interest you mention as disregulation ... Because I think there is something innocent and tender and vulnerable about approaching someone whose talent or beauty moves us, even if from a distance. Sometimes the really well adjusted folks are so cautious that they won't dare experience strong feelings about others. And if they experience these feelings, they won't acknowledge them.

Your story sounds quite interesting, DVD. I once wrote a gushing and self-deprecatingly honest fan letter to one of my favorite writers at a national sports magazine. I told him how much I admired his writing, how miserable I was at my job. Basically I was saying, "I want to be like you."

I send off the letter and don't think about it, feel good for just having sent it. About three weeks later, the phone rings at my job, and the receptionist calls out this guy's name--that he is asking for me.

This phone call lasted 45 minutes to an hour as I recall. And the writer was absolutely wonderful and encouraging. He me a lot about his own life and his career. And he asked about my life.

What the famous writer did all through the conversation, now that I think about it, is how to gently ease himself off the pedestal I had erected for him. He told me a real story about his life and journey and struggles and success. So by the time I got off the phone, I had heard all the little steps and missteps that led to his success. He was still an idol to me, but somehow a much more real person.

So sometimes these "out-of-nowhere" attempts at connection can really work. The problem is admiration seems to scary to people if we approach them based on admiration. It's like everyone is secretly afraid that they will only disappoint us if we approach them with such admiration. And that can prove quite true!

Anyway, I think the impulse to reach out is a good one ... sure, we can be more skilled at it. Sure, some of us can fall too much "in love" with others from a distance. But there's something kinda nice about this whole experience, if the rest of the world thinks it's "creepy."

Love to hear more about your story with the person you approached and how they reacted ... how you approached them.

Tone

sarahsweets
05-01-17, 06:03 AM
I don't agree with that. Body language in itself tells us most about the person, about 90%. So if you watch a woman walk in mini-skirt and high heels, the way she moves, the way her skirt undulates around her waist, the way she looks forward, a bit indifferent, with a superior air, bourgeoise, sophisticated, an ankle bracelet so provocateur...a sophisticated vulgarity, stepping lightly but firmly, her Extensor Digitorum Longus Tendons tightening as she takes a new step, eyes looking around with an impenetrable shine, inviting ways...
So wearing something she feels comfortable with, but you deem sexy and provocative, means she is trying to gain your attention to her body and that she is superior or has an air of superiority?
I think to wear shortish shorts and skirts in the summer, along with anklets and toerings and nice sandals. I like looking nice for me, and it is in no way to gain attention of men.
I have tons of ugg style boots too.
My skirts do not undulate.


See, that's not you being a creep, that's a man interpreting reality. When she looks at you she sees something and when you look at her she sees something else. No one, man or woman, should feel sorry for his or her interpretation of reality. And there's also the part where, if she's not wearing UGGs it's obviously because she wants men to notice her Extensor Digitorum Longus Tendons, so where is the question of you being a creep if you gain exposure to something she wants you to be exposed to in the first place?
This is BS. You cant say your "creepiness" is reality, especially if it involves interpretation. If it does, then its subjective, not objective and nothing morey than an opinion.

Fuzzy12
05-01-17, 08:07 AM
I don't agree with that. Body language in itself tells us most about the person, about 90%. So if you watch a woman walk in mini-skirt and high heels, the way she moves, the way her skirt undulates around her waist, the way she looks forward, a bit indifferent, with a superior air, bourgeoise, sophisticated, an ankle bracelet so provocateur...a sophisticated vulgarity, stepping lightly but firmly, her Extensor Digitorum Longus Tendons tightening as she takes a new step, eyes looking around with an impenetrable shine, inviting ways...

See, that's not you being a creep, that's a man interpreting reality. When she looks at you she sees something and when you look at her she sees something else. No one, man or woman, should feel sorry for his or her interpretation of reality. And there's also the part where, if she's not wearing UGGs it's obviously because she wants men to notice her Extensor Digitorum Longus Tendons, so where is the question of you being a creep if you gain exposure to something she wants you to be exposed to in the first place?

You really can't assume so much. Well, you can but you are very likely to be wrong in most cases. When it comes to humans very little is obvious, especially at the superficial level we are discussing here. Your interpretation is an interpretation only. The only person who can reliably tell you what a woman means by her behaviour is the woman herself.

Postulate
05-01-17, 11:15 AM
You really can't assume so much. Well, you can but you are very likely to be wrong in most cases. When it comes to humans very little is obvious, especially at the superficial level we are discussing here. Your interpretation is an interpretation only. The only person who can reliably tell you what a woman means by her behaviour is the woman herself.

Here's the thing: She may not know herself. Not everyone has good levels of self-awareness, and some man as well as women, have abysmal self-awareness.

When I went out with one of my date's mother, late 30s, she told me that I have great legs and that I should wear short pants to reveal the hair and the muscles of my legs. Guess what, I wasn't aware of that fact until she told me! I didn't know! And it was true! What a great tip she gave me. Did I feel creeped out because she was staring at me? Nope.

midnightstar
05-01-17, 11:22 AM
I don't agree with that. Body language in itself tells us most about the person, about 90%. So if you watch a woman walk in mini-skirt and high heels, the way she moves, the way her skirt undulates around her waist, the way she looks forward, a bit indifferent, with a superior air, bourgeoise, sophisticated, an ankle bracelet so provocateur...a sophisticated vulgarity, stepping lightly but firmly, her Extensor Digitorum Longus Tendons tightening as she takes a new step, eyes looking around with an impenetrable shine, inviting ways...

See, that's not you being a creep, that's a man interpreting reality. When she looks at you she sees something and when you look at her she sees something else. No one, man or woman, should feel sorry for his or her interpretation of reality. And there's also the part where, if she's not wearing UGGs it's obviously because she wants men to notice her Extensor Digitorum Longus Tendons, so where is the question of you being a creep if you gain exposure to something she wants you to be exposed to in the first place?

I don't understand the point you're trying to make here. I'm referring to friendship.

Postulate
05-01-17, 11:35 AM
I don't understand the point you're trying to make here. I'm referring to friendship.

With friendships, in my opinion, being excessively kind, talkative and giving uncalled for favours usually creeps people out because they can't figure out what you're getting out of it for your efforts.

I was creeped out by a 65 y.o. music teacher and singer (woman) who gave me one of her CDs saying that when she dies, that will have value and I can sell it. That was like...creepy, I said to myself, she may have good vocal cords but this isn't happening. Period.

Fuzzy12
05-01-17, 01:47 PM
Here's the thing: She may not know herself. Not everyone has good levels of self-awareness, and some man as well as women, have abysmal self-awareness.

When I went out with one of my date's mother, late 30s, she told me that I have great legs and that I should wear short pants to reveal the hair and the muscles of my legs. Guess what, I wasn't aware of that fact until she told me! I didn't know! And it was true! What a great tip she gave me. Did I feel creeped out because she was staring at me? Nope.

Not everyone has good self awareness but almost everyone will know themselves better than you know them.

Also your date's mother made a suggestion. She didn't infer anything from your behaviour.

midnightstar
05-01-17, 02:00 PM
With friendships, in my opinion, being excessively kind, talkative and giving uncalled for favours usually creeps people out because they can't figure out what you're getting out of it for your efforts.

I was creeped out by a 65 y.o. music teacher and singer (woman) who gave me one of her CDs saying that when she dies, that will have value and I can sell it. That was like...creepy, I said to myself, she may have good vocal cords but this isn't happening. Period.

What about getting asked for a favour and doing whatever I can to help that person? Is that creepy?

Seems most people if someone helps them they refuse to ever help that person back even if that person has helped them heaps of times out of kindness.

Seems most people are "fair weather friends", the moment they have what they want they pull out the "creep" card and vanish into thin air never to be seen again.

kilted_scotsman
05-01-17, 03:50 PM
What about getting asked for a favour and doing whatever I can to help that person? Is that creepy?
Yes, this can be creepy.....the clue is the "whatever I can" part of the sentence. Some people will get creeped out by asking for a small favour and then seeing you go massively out of your way to meet their need.

THere's a kind of code about helping people..... the effort made to meet the requested favour balances the level of friendship and the significance of the downside of not doing the favour.

For example, seeing a friend of a friend stranded a at the side of the road a few miles from home and offering them help is OK. Finding they want to go to 200 miles out of town and then insisting on driving them there becomes creepy.

If you "help them heaps of times out of kindness" before some form of reciprocity has been established then something's awry, not in them, but in you.

Know people by their actions, if you help them, make it a gift, not a loan. If you expect something in return at a future date you are being transactional, and this communicates itself..... people subconsciously know there is some kind of debt obligation thing happening..... so the more you do for them without reciprocity the more you're all on the Drama triangle, with inevitable consequence of shifting from Rescuer, to Persecutor to Victim.... & c &c &c.

midnightstar
05-01-17, 04:05 PM
Yes, this can be creepy.....the clue is the "whatever I can" part of the sentence. Some people will get creeped out by asking for a small favour and then seeing you go massively out of your way to meet their need.

THere's a kind of code about helping people..... the effort made to meet the requested favour balances the level of friendship and the significance of the downside of not doing the favour.

For example, seeing a friend of a friend stranded a at the side of the road a few miles from home and offering them help is OK. Finding they want to go to 200 miles out of town and then insisting on driving them there becomes creepy.

If you "help them heaps of times out of kindness" before some form of reciprocity has been established then something's awry, not in them, but in you.

Know people by their actions, if you help them, make it a gift, not a loan. If you expect something in return at a future date you are being transactional, and this communicates itself..... people subconsciously know there is some kind of debt obligation thing happening..... so the more you do for them without reciprocity the more you're all on the Drama triangle, with inevitable consequence of shifting from Rescuer, to Persecutor to Victim.... & c &c &c.

But surely friendship goes two ways? Is it healthy for one person to give give give and give some more and one to take take take and take and if the one who gives needs some help and the take friend can help them but refuses then surely that's not a healthy friendship either?

kilted_scotsman
05-01-17, 04:43 PM
Of course a friendship goes two ways..... I didn't say otherwise.

If you give and give and the other person takes and takes, that's not a friendship..... the question is more about what is the process that drives the continual giving?

Is it that the other person asks for favour after favour, and you can't say no?

ToneTone
05-01-17, 07:30 PM
Thanks Kilted. Totally agree with you. Call it the principle of proportionality.

Best to perform big favors for people we are close to ...

There are many problems with volunteering to do out-sized favors for people we're not close to ... for one, our doing so signals that we have nothing really going on in our lives ... And we signal neediness ... and people really don't like neediness in others. And we've escalated the friendship without cause ... the things you would do for a close friends of years are not things we should do at the spur of the moment for an acquaintance.

The other point is this ... let's say I do some huge "favor" or deed for someone I barely know. Well ... people who might be interested in being friends with me ... or my friends ... could easily think, "Wow, Tone won't prioritize time with me. He'll drop time with me, time with serious life stuff to help some stranger who he doesn't even know ... without real reason to do so."

Yes, I have spent too much time giving unasked for favors ... out of some misguided notion that I would be viewed in some special way. Instead, yes it comes off as uncomfortable and creepy. Not the way to build relationships, whether friendship or more. Strange and selfish as it sounds, I had to learn to make sure I asked favors of other people if I really needed their help. Doing the one-side thing of focusing on helping others does not work. That's just another way of keeping distance and hiding and blocking real nurture and connection.

Tone

aeon
05-01-17, 07:43 PM
If you give and give and the other person takes and takes, that's not a friendship..... the question is more about what is the process that drives the continual giving?

I can imagine a situation where one has been conditioned as a giver from a very early age because the primary parental figure has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and is only capable of seeing other people as a supply of resources and opportunities, and so in turn takes, takes, and takes some more.


Oh the Horror,
Ian

dvdnvwls
05-01-17, 11:55 PM
If your friend's mother suddenly offers you dinner, you probably accept and consider it a generous act. But if she offers you a house as a gift, you definitely wonder what's wrong, because obviously that's too much.

Those ones are pretty obvious. It's the cases in between the obvious ones, that can be tricky to understand.

kilted_scotsman
05-02-17, 01:03 PM
I can imagine a situation where one has been conditioned as a giver from a very early age because the primary parental figure has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and is only capable of seeing other people as a supply of resources and opportunities, and so in turn takes, takes, and takes some more.

Spot on... this operates on many levels, both conscious where the parent asks directly, and the subconscious manipulation that makes it clear to the child that the parents wants are the priority.

coolbanana
05-02-17, 04:41 PM
Experience is my only answer. Lots and lots of experience and accumulated wisdom from people watching and interactions.

namazu
05-02-17, 07:32 PM
Moderator note: I have removed a handful of off-topic posts from the thread.
Please focus on the original topic: figuring out where"friendly curiosity" ends and "creepiness" or overbearing behavior begins in a (not-necessarily-romantic) relationship.

EuropeanADHD
05-03-17, 03:47 AM
I just saw a good movie on that yesterday. It's Suntan (Director: Argyris Papadimitropoulos). It is interesting because it shows how difficult it sometimes is to spot the difference between curiosity and creepiosity and how the former can quickly turn into latter.