Is someone a stalker or just really sweetly awkward? How can you tell?
With Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com and Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com and http://SexGeekSummerCamp.com.
Reid: We’re eating chewable vitamins, and we’re going to do this video while we make these faces.
Cathy: I’ve finished mine, hopefully.
Reid: What’s the question?
Cathy: This came from … We had a video on dealing with a mini stalker.
Reid: A mini stalker?
Cathy: Yeah. We had a video dealing with a mini stalker. Do you remember?
Reid: Oh yeah.
Cathy: So Zuzu wrote in and said “do you have any tips for someone who always talks to in a pool, follows you around and never tells you their name, but they’re getting really, really close and getting really close behind you, and won’t ever leave you alone. Please help me. P.S. I’m 11.” Please help.
Reid: Whoa! They’re 11?
Reid: I’m conflicted about this.
Cathy: I know.
Reid: Oh my god. You’re the best, for writing in.
Reid: It hadn’t even occurred to me we have 11 year olds watching these videos.
Cathy: I know, because some of them are …
Reid: Take your vitamins.
Cathy: This is Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com.
Reid: Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com.
Cathy: Just chew it and swallow it.
Reid: No I like crushing with my tongue. Answer the question.
Cathy: It depends on how old this person is. If they’re near your age then they’re probably just very awkward, and they probably kind of like you, and they don’t know how to tell you. If they’re older than you and it’s making you feel uncomfortable, telling an adult that’s safe is really important.
Doing it right away … I know it’s really awkward and embarrassing, but it’s not appropriate for adults or older people to make us feel uncomfortable that way.
Reid: Yeah. Again, I’m trying to think when I was 11, especially in the pool, it was all about tag, and splashy splashy.
Cathy: I know, but girls and boys start, you know …
Reid: … girls and boys … it’s not a gender thing, we’re all weirdos in the pool at 11. At least I was.
Yeah, so what Cathy said, there’s also a really great website called Scarleteen, with 1 t, so http://Scarleteen.com is a great website for just sex and relationship resources and communication skill sets, and it’s aimed at teenagers and young adults. There’s going to be a lot of really great information there, and, in the pool, going to an adult who you can talk to. If it’s somebody who’s your own age, like it’s some 8 year old or 12 year old, you can try, if you can find your words, to ask them to leave you alone, or to ask them their name, and then to politely be like, Reid, Cathy, could you leave me alone. Don’t follow me.
Then again, it’s awkward, it’s hard. It’s hard for adults to even find their voices sometimes. But, especially if it’s somebody who’s older than you by several years, then it’s really inappropriate. Basically, I think it’s not … You shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for backup. Go to an adult, someone who’s in charge, and ask for help and support, in the same way that you did here.
Cathy: Yeah, which is great.
Reid: But do that in real time with them at the pool if you can, or with your mom and dad, or an adult that you feel safe with when you’re not at the pool. Again, for all people, it’s hard to speak up in the moment sometimes. Especially when things are awkward. That you reached out to us, that you’re empowering yourself by watching videos and stuff like that, you’re freaking kick ass.
Reid: I wish I was like you when I was 11, because I would have been … I would be, even more cool and rad these days.
Reid: Do people still use rad?
Cathy: I don’t think so. Yeah, you’re doing great. If the person is near your age, even saying, hey I know it seems like you’re trying to say you like me, or you’re trying to spend time with me, but you’re just making me uncomfortable. If you can say that. They may not be aware. They may not be aware that you’re noticing them, and that’s probably what they want is attention. That doesn’t mean you have to give it to them, but just saying something like, the way you’re approaching me, I’m not comfortable with it.
Reid: Yeah. I would like you to stop. Will you stop, yes or no?
Cathy: Yeah, and even if you have to practice that in the mirror or whatever, getting that skill down now when you’re young, it’d be amazing. We’re really proud of you. Thanks so much for asking.
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