At a certain point if you’re being accused of something enough, you need to listen. Like, being a creep, for example.
For men who used to be "creepy" towards women and have since stopped, what was it that made you realize you were creepy that prompted you to change? from AskReddit
How are we dealing with this sort of thing? Let’s find out what Reddit has to say.
Saw this answer some time ago It was this dude that tried to confess to the girl he liked by going to her apartment and make her dinner with candles,flowers and all that sh*t But then the girl came home and the first thing she said was ” are you going to k**l me”
2. The listener.
Talking to women, becoming friends with women, changing my circle of friends, growing up, learning empathy, and the final nail in the coffin was sobriety.
3. The masseuse.
I’m guilty of this, though naively and innocently so.
This sounds weird to me now, but I actually grew up in a household that valued back, neck. and shoulder rubs.
I did this for a long, long time to people I was friends with, men and women. In my head, it was just a way of saying I cared.
In retrospect, it undoubtedly gave of a super-creepy vibe.
I stopped once I saw it in context of someone else doing it to a woman, and her facial reaction to it. Then it just clicked. “Oh…OHHHHHhhh…wow, that’s inappropriate…”
4. The dad.
I used to have this older man always flirt & be unprofessional towards me at work when I first started, I was around 24 years old.
After i had enough of his weird comments & flirting, I told him that he has a daughter the same age as me (which was true because he’d talk about his family at times) and that how would he like it if some older man was talking to his daughter like that and making s**ual comments to her.
He became less weird and flirtatious and more “regular” holding normal conversations. He moved shifts so I don’t even see him anymore.
5. The handsy one.
My best friend was actually the creepy guy.
We were both freshmen in college and virgins, and I was an attractive woman who spoke to him. It took me leaving a party because he wouldn’t stop putting his hands on my shoulders and a guy friend of mine walking up to him a few days later (not at my bidding, he just decided to do it on my own) and telling him “you make Minaowl really uncomfortable, stay away for her.”
He apologized to me and gave me space, but we were still in the same social circles, so we saw each other around and gradually became really good friends. He has apologized for making me uncomfortable multiple times, and once over a year after that party, he turned to me and just said “I’m so sorry for that night.”
6. The turned tables.
When I was younger, I would sometimes realize, someone was trying to get me f*cked up or otherwise defenses down, so they could f*ck me.
I was always really devastated and felt dirty, like I was being preyed on. But I kind of did the same thing to other people, which was justifiable because I was crushing on them or whatever. It took me a while to realize, the behavior you don’t like is what you’re doing to others.
After that I became a lot more transparent and stopped doing the whole “creepy friend with ulterior motives” and just started doing the “I am interested in you and would enjoy a date” from the get go, and it made things a lot better for everyone. If there was rejection I dealt with it and moved on, like a healthy person.
7. The cringe.
I’m a woman but I have a story about being creepy towards men.
In college me and my long term boyfriend had just broken up because he wanted to date my friend instead. This left me desperate to date or sleep with new people so I would feel desirable again. My good friend Paul was in college as well and had a cute roommate who was NOT into me. I asked for his number and Paul straight up told me no because his roomie wasn’t into me.
Well I went through Paul’s phone for the guys number anyway. It only took me a couple days to realize how genuinely creepy and desperate I was being, and every time I look back at this I cringe.
8. The way too much.
idk if I was ever creepy. I’m sure I was but I was told I was too intense. Too forward. Which made girls uncomfortable. I figured that everyone was having s** so why not just start the conversation there and see where it goes. Yeah no one wants to talk to relative strangers about your d*ck going inside their bodies. When someone you think about constantly looks at you with disgust. It’s pretty painful.
When I went to college I realized how many girls were actually s**ually a**aulted. It seemed like all of them. Seriously every single girl had a story about being accosted, or groped, or held down, or r*ped. When I was saying s**ual things I think they thought I was the kind of guy to do that.
The disgust turned to fear in the post MeToo era. Honestly I think it’s for the better. Talking about s** with a female stranger can be a can of worms of sh*t that I had no idea was even happening. Coming from a place of privilege to try and get some s** is cringey af. S** isn’t the answer to your problems. And women aren’t objects to help make you happy.
Basically, just have a modicum of respect for the human being in front of you.
9. The motto.
I wasn’t being actively creepy, but:
I used to think cat-calling was just flirtatious compliments, and who doesn’t like those, right? >.> I never cat-called anybody, largely because that’s not my personality type.
But now I live by the motto: “Never say something to a stranger that you wouldn’t want a big guy saying to you in prison.”
10. The education.
Reading many many posts on Reddit about how pervasive of a problem it is for women to have men leer or subject them to microaggresssions.
Hearing it all named, and hearing how unsettling it is for people, made me re-examine some of my behavior towards women.
Please do keep talking about it, it works! I sometimes hear “how do men not know about this”. Some don’t, but it’s constantly being discussed and part of the collective consciousness, then they will.
11. The trip.
I was what I would describe as an incel in training, I basically ticked all the boxes except I had no idea that something like this was even a thing and I was still kinda reserved about it, I’m glad I changed before I found those echo chamber forums, I don’t even wanna think what I would have become if I had all my views being reinforced.
I’m really into psychedelics although I tend to stick with weed now LSD was a big part of my later high school years. One day I dropped acid with the boys like I usually did, we got to talking about relationships and that’s when the bad trip started.
Once I realized that the trip was gonna be bad I excused myself to a storage room in my house that we basically just put a bunch of sh*t in, unluckily for me what I didn’t realize was that in this room was also a large mirror, so big that I could see myself entirely.
Now if you know anything about LSD you know what happens when you look in a mirror especially during a bad trip.
I basically went on a spirit journey where I could see what I was becoming, and it scared the absolute sh*t out of me.
That’s it, I did LSD took a good look at myself, and was so extremely terrified of what I saw that I basically had no choice but to change.
12. The poison message.
A girl told me she wasn’t interested because I did something creepy and she felt uncomfortable about it. I had no idea it was a creep move at the time. I’d never had that feedback and I’m very happy she provided it when she could have just ghosted and moved on.
I had problems understanding social situations and reading queues. I was influenced by 80’s and 90’s movies as my main educator in the ways of talking to women. My parents were available but my anxiety prevented me from asking and they failed to insist.
So I wasn’t born with the ability to read social situations well, I was provided with no map beyond coke-fueled Hollywood and my mindset was one of competition to “win” the woman prize rather than simply being with this person and getting to know them as a person.
13. The catcaller.
My brother used to catcall women ALL THE TIME until once when I was with him.
He was driving, I was the passenger, and he yelled out to a woman in another car about how hot she looked. I turned to him and said very casually yet matter-of-factly, “You know, women hate it when men talk to us like that. It’s not flattering, it’s objectifying and disrespectful.”
He got quiet, his eyes glazed over, and I saw him taking in what I’d just said. It had simply never occurred to him that what he was doing could be seen as anything other than flattering. He never, ever did it again, and I saw him grow into an extremely respectful person over the next couple of years.
Sometimes all it takes is someone to make them aware. This is why women call on men to call out their guy friends for this type of behavior. Some men look at women as objects, and they don’t take us seriously. But, the same thing coming from your sister or one of their guy friends? Completely different reaction.
14. The grand moment of realization.
I had what I can only call a grand moment of realization. There was a girl who I was acquainted with, and she was obviously, obsessively, and weirdly into me.
Being at the state of peak neckbeard that I was, I was desperate for a girlfriend. But for whatever reason I was not into the idea. I knew her too well, and although she was interested in me, I was NOT interested in her.
I spent a long time thinking about whether I should start seeing this girl I wasn’t attracted to… then it clicked for me: Sometimes people just aren’t into you. That’s okay, and it’s actually a good thing not to have to say yes to a relationship just because someone thinks they’re qualified to date you.
That moment back in 2009 changed my perspective so much, and I was able to realize that other people have and deserve their own autonomy.
15. The radar dish.
I know a guy who is creepy towards women.
I shared a flat with him and another guy. The other guy used to bring his girlfriend over sometimes and we became friendly. One night she confessed to me the other guy “creeps her out” and she’s “A little scared of him”. I had no idea he had that effect. I was surprised.
But the other day I was at the park with him. A young blond girl, looked in her 20’s, wearing black shorts and a t-shirt, came and started walking her dog in the park while we were talking. She’s a nice looking girl.
My friend turned like a lighthouse to face her…and just stared. And stared. In fact wherever she moved, he turned to face her.
After about 60 seconds of this (I was still talking to him) I got annoyed.
“Dude will you STOP staring at her? You’re going to make her feel uncomfortable”
“You’ve been staring at her non stop since she got to the park. You had a look now look away and stop bothering her”
“I think you’re being paranoid”.
She left then. And a few days later I caught him doing it again with another girl.
Now, I like pretty girls myself, but you don’t STARE at them.
And you don’t stand up, stare in their direction, then turn to face them everywhere they go…like a radar or something.
I tried to tell him he’s being creepy, but he won’t listen.
Creepy guys don’t always realise they ARE creepy. And don’t listen either!
16. Too relatable.
Hearing women complain and thinking ‘oh sh*t, I’ve done that’
Seriously has helped me improve a lot of things
Ooooo. Man I it took me recognizing I was addicted to alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and s**. I had been aggressive toward women and objectifying them since I was a child. I think this happened because I was exposed to s** at such a young age. I thought all relationships were supposed to be how movies and shows were so I just emulated what I saw.
Once I got sober I realized how much of a monster I was and took the necessary steps to really implement change in my life. Lots of therapy. Lots of crying. Self reflection as to why i was emulating that specific behavior, and quitting my addictions. It’s been a journey, but I’m happy to say I’ve been in a loving committed relationship with proper boundaries for a year now.
I didn’t have any sisters and no female friends growing up. Girls were always this magic unknown entity.
So I was always awkward around them, because I didn’t know what to do or say. I didn’t want to accidentally offend anyone or say something stupid. So I pretty much said nothing.
In my last year of high school, I spent more time around girls and realized that they really aren’t that different than my male friends. They make the same d*ck jokes and stuff. They have the same goals in life. So slowly, I learned to relax a bit and treat women like normal human beings, just like everyone else.
19. The little perv.
In middle school, I was a mid-puberty, horniness-stricken, little perv. I didn’t do a good job of concealing it either, I would always get really close to my one friend because I liked her at the time and looking back it was so wrong to do
It took me looking at what they were thinking and how my behavior affected them to really stop being creepy. Hindsight helps a lot as well.
20. It’s not all about you.
Growing self-awareness that I wasn’t the centre of the godd*mn universe.
Went through a chasing-potential-girlfriends-too-hard phase in my earlier adult years, including mistaking simple offers of friendship and work colleague status for actual interest. It wasn’t “stalking” level and it never reached the point of discipline (or even commenting), but it was probably to the point of being a little unprofessional and uncomfortable for the girl involved.
That was decades ago and I’m now with a company that doesn’t tolerate that sort of thing.
21. No laughing matter.
They aren’t laughing because I’m funny, they’re laughing because they’re scared.
22. “Chasing girls.”
When I was in my late teens and early 20s I was constantly “chasing girls” as the expression goes. Nobody ever seemed to take offence to it, that kind of behaviour seemed expected. Plus, I always seemed to be able to find someone who was interested in hooking up.
Then I got married so obviously I stopped. I found myself single again 10 years later and quickly reverted to my old ways. It wasn’t long before I realized that things that I could get away with at 21 no longer worked at 32. In fact, based on the reactions of a couple of women, I realized I was being creepy. Of course the women I was perusing where also older too.
I realized I had to take a more mature approach. Things went much better after that, but I still cringe to think of some of my early attempts to get back in the game.
23. Emotional blackmail.
When I broke up with my first serious girlfriend, I was totally heartbroken.
I called her all the time, cried on the phone. I even threatened to kill myself and told her so. This went on for some time.
Eventually I threatened again to kill myself and went to bed drunk. I woke up to a voicemail from her crying her eyes out begging me not to do it.
I was so ashamed about my behaviour. I realised in that message what I had become. It was absolutely her right, as it was mine, to end a relationship at any time for any reason, without being hounded and traumatised by the ex. I was evil and toxic. I apologised and promised never to do it again.
After that I left her alone. I was still heartbroken, but i found comfort in my friends, and in activities and hobbies instead. I had several failed relationships after her, but i never again treated a woman this way.
This was over fifteen years ago and now I am married. I have been tempted many times to contact her and apologise some more for my behaviour, but the truth is, she is better off without me in her life. I hope she is well.
24. You’re next.
I’m a lady (26F) who has been creeped upon and one of my old bosses (70M) would grope and kiss me during meetings and in front of other people and employees.
He didn’t stop until a CEO friend of his got “MeToo”-ed and their company went under. I guess he finally realized that could happen to him too. Even now he’ll say things that are on the fence of inappropriate and complain about how people “can’t take a joke anymore.” ?
25. Growing up.
Maturity finally caught up with me.
I had one particularly bad experience with a girl “A” who I think was genuinely interested in me at one point, but I was super awkward and didn’t have a clue how to act right, so I never really made a move beyond sad attempts at flirting, and so I think she eventually just thought I was a weirdo who wouldn’t leave her alone.
Then one day we were both in a big group of people just talking and a mutual friend completely out of the blue suggested that A should ask me out, and what followed was possibly the single most uncomfortable moment of my entire life to date. “A” pretty much turned white and she was out of there. I’m sure she believed that I had put our mutual friend up to it. I had not. If anything I was just as horrified.
That single event shattered my self-confidence so completely that I spent the next year and a half actively avoiding any kind of conversation or interaction with girls, because I had concluded that I must be a Creep and therefore the right thing to do was to protect girls from my Creepiness by isolating myself.
Eventually I kind of figured myself out and by my early 20s I was still awkward as h*ll but I managed to have a couple of relationships and plenty of platonic female friendships.
26. All in the family.
I have five sisters, and hearing them talk about something creepy a guy did really made me check my own actions.
Also, I think a lot of us were just hormonal teenagers with a typical, insane libido. Getting called out normally works
27. Call it like you see it.
Being called out. Directly and specifically.
I had absolutely no idea that there was anything off about my behavior. I thought nobody was picking up on how horny I was. I thought nobody knew. I thought I was smooth AF.
But some specific things I did were called out (touches on the arm, inappropriate topics of conversation, things like that) and I realized holy crap, I have been a total disrespectful creep.
And everyone knows it.
I don’t miss my teen years. Don’t miss ’em at all.
On the plus side, it encouraged me to strive for a life where I’m 100% genuine and don’t want anything from anyone.
My creepiness came from not knowing how to talk to girls, not anything predatory. I think a lot of guys are like that.
I wasn’t particularly creepy but I look back on some stuff I did or said that I thought was smooth or flirty but looking back at it now I’m like wow I was actually being creepy lmao.
29. Knowing better.
Looking back I was like most other males born in the 70’s and did not know better. I then became friends with women and learn what women want in a person.
The coup de grace was when I was hanging out with some gay men who flipped the creepy vibe on me.
The result was a bumble date voted me the most charming man she dated.
30. Cleaned up.
Honestly, reading these over has brought to my mind a handful of my own now-super-embarrassing moments of creepiness or selfishness, along with the realization that there are likely many more I’m not even remembering. That feeling can be hard to deal with, but the silver lining is that if you’re regretting, that means you’re growing.
Have you had an experience like this?
Tell us in the comments.