Can a girl not use smiley emoticons without guys thinking I'm flirting?

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Anonymous (@)    1 year, 7 months ago

I’m not trying to pose this as a topic to vent in (well I guess the inherent thought equates venting)… But I’m trying to ask a serious question here.

Guys, can a girl not smile without guys thinking they’re flirting?

I actually mean for this to extend to in person also, but this overwhelmingly gets misunderstood online all the time (not necessarily just by me, I swear I’m not sending smiley emoticons to tons of guys on fb or something).

I love having genuinely nice interaction with people. Now I certainly don’t mind someone finding me attractive, that’s nicely flattering to anyone, but how they exert that interest in their actions can change something from just an added side note to reason for me feeling extremely uncomfortable, suspicious and cautious and everything in between.

It’s commonly a mistake made, however, and the part that bothers me is when they feel like that instantly means I’m really into them and they either make well, very misogynistic and direct comments (often, and it is thoroughly uncomfortable and disgusting the high percentage is old men) whether they realize it or not or some variation where they have to make a bold move on me.
It’ll literally only take a smile sometimes. I’m not exaggerating a bit.
And I’m seriously not some extra attractive person or anything, from a very honest neutral objective. I feel I’m pretty average and range on the thicker average size.

Recent poll said ~60% of this site is male, so:
Males, what is your view on this phenomenon? Do you agree/disagree with this reaction? Do you feel that is a common reaction or more relative and ratios are different than how often this seems to happen?

I am sincerely curious and extremely open minded. I’m into true gender equality (not feminism), however have been taken advantage of in different contexts and am naturally distrusting anyway so when I feel my safety is even the slightest challenged I go into instant survival mode.

0 votes, posted 12.08.2012 at 2:54 am
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Filip (@filipek)1 year, 7 months ago ago

I can hardly imagine that sending certain emoticons is the (only) cause of this. Are you sure that you are not giving them some kind of, may it be covert, hints?

From my personal experience I know that some girls are just more open with their expressions than others, not necessarily meaning that they are into you, but sometimes it is hard to distinguish the difference. I guess it is a learning path and if you really want to know if somebody is into you, you simply need to address it and talk about it.

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Dan (@danfontaine)1 year, 7 months ago ago

Guys are pretty desperate. It’s kind of embarrassing.

You can tell who someone is by how they react around the opposite sex.

It’s fun to watch.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beardlike,

You care what other people think.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@filipek, I could send you the whole progression if you like, and maybe I said something that could be misconstrued easily online. But honestly, I feel that anything with a smiley added can be misconstrued in a million different ways because there are a million different meanings for smiles that contradict each other irl and we use one emoticon for that facial expression on facebook. So I have to disagree with your difficulty understanding.

Hm, I’m very prone to extreme straightforwardness and directness so that wouldn’t be out of character. Funny how bringing it up would put me very far out of my comfort zone. I just dont know how I would address it without coming across as conceited or something else weird. My only jobs have been in food industry so a LOT of these instances were with customers and I couldn’t do what my natural reaction is, which is to either completely shut them down in a “leave me alone”, evasive statement or to pretend I don’t hear them and just move on.
It’s difficult to approach with customers, especially since often times it’s people you’ll continually see.

@livelifeloving, Anyone posting anything on HE that ever asks a question cares about what other people think. There are only two kinds of posts on HE – one asking questions or one making a statement. That’s the point. This is partially a help forum.
Easily one of the most useless and stupid posts I’ve ever seen made. Next.

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Filip (@filipek)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beardlike, What does make you think that those guys are into you in the first place by the way? Thanks for the proposition but I am not really interested in reading your private conversations.

The use of smilies on the internet was born to show certain emotions that cannot be seen merely by the content of the text and it can make communication more effective, but I understood that it can be misinterpreted in many ways, especially with the huge amounts of different kinds of smilies that exist nowadays. For me basically only one smilie is of importance, and that is the wink smiley, because it can show that a seemingly serious post is not meant to be that serious. Other smileys are redundant in my opinion, since usually by the context of the conversation you know in which direction it is going to anyway.

But it is hard to answer your questions, I mean, I do not know you, nor do I know the people you are interacting with. I do not know the relationships between you and them, and I do not know your personal history, so maybe there are other things that make them think you are into them (if they are in fact really into you).
I also try to avoid social contact through the internet when possible, because I just do not like to converse with somebody if I do not see the person face to face. Sometimes it is inevitable, especially when you are travelling, but I just try to keep those conversations short.
Anyway, if you are bothered by this ambiguity, then I stick to my first advise, no matter how difficult it is: address the issue, then you will both know about your intentions. I mean, I can imagine that the other party is asking themselves the same questions as you are. Usually in communication what bothers one person, is also on the mind of the other.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@filipek, But also, this doesn’t quite answer my question either. I’m taken. I don’t care if they’re into me, this has no function unless I was desperate for some ego stroke or some shit.
I can pretty much always tell if a person is flirting or being genuine, I’m not too bad at reading people. And if I can’t tell if they’re flirting, well, then it’s the sort of ratio of possible ulterior motives to where I don’t feel threatened and I can enjoy the conversation for face value. I’m not gonna give them my contact info 99% of the time.

I’m asking if you feel this is a commonality among males to think “dude she smiled at me in this comment, she might dig me”? And in this instance of misunderstanding in person, what do you think is the best and clearest signal that a girl can give that this is not so?
Although I won’t stop saying it, me stating “my boyfriend” something or other rarely works. Because a man who is direct in flirting will not often care you are taken.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beardlike, Can you smile? You can. Are you stupid? Yes. Same goes for the people not being open when the blood flows to their genitalia.

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creds (@creds)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beardlike,

If there is the slightest possibility that the smiley could mean sex, it probably would be interpreted that way. Thats just how we are programmed, sorry if that bothers you. Suggest you wait 13 days for the bugfix.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@filipek Sorry posted again before I saw you reply. As for the thing that prompted me on this is actually completely opposite of a private conversation, it happened in complete public on a third party’s picture and the exchange between the two of us consisted of two comments exactly. Friend and I are commenting too much on a picture and dude says we’re clogging his newsfeed, I apologize, say “haha” and suggest to unfollow post. That’s it.
A short convo between friend and dude happens where he says open-endedly the sass is unneeded, jokingly. Hoping to not offend, all I say is exactly: “I didn’t mean any sass :) It’s all Skye, I swear.”
End. 3-4 mins later, dude simultaneously adds me on fb and sends me a message saying “hey” or some other gay variant. It’s pretty black and white. I don’t know this guy, have never met him, never knew of his existence until this exchange.

As for the dudes…. ok honestly most of that happened at work. I don’t get approached by random dudes often, it’s always when I’m already convoluted into some awkward close relation to them like standing close to each other in a crowded line or something similar.
I always know because they always have the same exact smile on their face (its almost always a smirk), their eyes narrow a little (just something I’ve noticed), and they almost always change their stance to openly face me/kind of hang around the front counter unnecessarily. But the biggest ones are always they lean on the front counter a very obvious way and linger.
Oh yeah, and they say something really direct and uncomfortable or talk about something you know they don’t give two shits about by the way they ask and linger on the convo way longer even after it’s dead.

@beyond, For such an influential poster you are so full of hate sometimes. I know if I’m attracted to someone or not.
I’m actually extremely unsexual naturally and things that catch people’s attention and turn them onto the dating game don’t work for me at all. I don’t lust after people like so.
So kindly fuck off, ahem.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@creds, It doesn’t bother me. Really. Like I said, “how they exert that interest in their actions can change” everything. If you come off as a persistent creeper, nope, I don’t like that and want you to go away.
If you are flirting and just saying neutral things, that’s not very threatening.

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Almeida (@xetado)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beardlike, the true is that emoticons are just emoticons. I think that not using emoticons may set some limits to what you want to express, and that using all the time you’ll sound pretty like an idiot. So just use it sometimes, not always.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@xetado, I don’t use it very often. I try to moderate use of phrase “lol” and common emoticons in fear of being those people who use it when they have nothing to say or being repetitive. Although maybe I should constrict use more.

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Almeida (@xetado)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beardlike, That’s a point too, use the emoticons along with a meaning. If you just resort to them as a tool to say nothing, people will notice it, I guess.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@xetado, I never use it as a tool when I have nothing else to say.. Literally trying to do the opposite. It is always used to support something I’m already saying.

Unless I’m actually laughing out loud at something funny.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beardlike, Oh, yeah. I’m ridiculously full of hate that threads like this exist. I guess I’m just like that. Can a girl not ask stupid questions about stating that she knows exactly what guys think? It’s impossible to know what someone else thinks. But it surely makes you feel good to think so, because you have troubles understanding what flirting is. :) Please, don’t fuck off. It’s alright.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beyond, It’s really obvious that you have anger and hate problems sometimes when you jump onto a string of posts and make one-liner, often negative comments. That’s from reading your last four or five posts that are all made within the same ten minutes of each other, all in different threads. You obviously are not reading everything/skimming somewhere.

It’s not a stupid question. When I have never met someone or even been tipped in on their existence, I barely have an indirect convo with them and they immediately add and try to talk to me. “SO how do you know Skye?”
Yeah, he fucking cares how I know her.
It is very very possible to know what people are thinking when they make it COMPLETELY CLEAR. Like when they creepily talk to me for too long after they’ve already received their pizza and then ask for my phone number, if they can kiss me, or something else extremely direct afterward.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beardlike, I really am not reading everything and I am usually realistic, so I’m sincerely not sorry about that. You can also read other people’s posts and imagine you know what they’re thinking without talking to them. I guess that’s a problem people have with emoticons too, they barely talk to feel a connection, but already convinced themselves of something. Stupid. If you don’t approach others and just observe, you’d never really know anything.

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MichaelO (@michaelo)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beardlike, From my point of view, sending smileys in texts and/or smiling at someone doesn’t equal flirting – why should it? Smiling can show that you like someone, yes, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. No, on the other hand, it can also mean that you’re just happy or that you’re just friendly and like interacting with them – that you don’t dislike or hate them..

Personally, I use smileys almost all the time when I’m texting another person, whether it’s a guy or a girl. I do it because I like to show my mood and because it isn’t easy to read moods in just plain text (unless you use a lot of emotional adjectives).
Of course, I won’t deny that if I’m texting a girl I find attractive, I use smileys more often, but even if she also uses smileys I don’t assume that she’s interested too. Frankly, I have problems reading moods or intentions in texts, I need to talk with them in person to understand it – so it might just be me who’s stupid in that area.

I guess it’s different from person to person how they perceive smileys….

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beyond, I’ve seen you get heated and let someone under your skin during a topic (not too long ago) and your posts, besides devolving down to just namecalling pretty much in this particular thread I’m referencing, seem pretty much the same unless it’s a topic that caters to your personal interests.

I’ve noticed you a lot (since you are literally in almost every post I ever read at some point.) I started off liking you. But eventually noticed a trend.

I’m not super outgoing, I’m extremely tended towards introversion. The situations in person are largely at work where I am the front counter person and absolutely have to talk to the customer. You obviously are picking and choosing what to pay attention to.

My point on your multiple posting is that there’s no way in hell you read the whole thread when you’re doing your serial-posting. Which leads to distortion of perception more than there already is.

You offer quality advice when you bother to, but again from what I’ve noticed you only do this on topics that already cater to your own interests.
Otherwise it is overwhelmingly one-liners or trolls. There is nothing realistic because all of them are always inherently polarizing and extremely discriminatory, just like this one.

You are literally doing exactly what you are accusing me of doing. “You can also read other people’s post and imagine you know what they’re thinking without talking to them.”
Your first post, you call me stupid based off of posts where I did not talk to you at all.

You’re really ignorant in a lot of ways. Very obviously.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@michaelo, Thank you for your input! It’s interesting to hear more real-life views like this one.

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Tine (@tine)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@beardlike,

hey, gonna let you in the secret, based on age and primarily, maturity level, any attention you give a single/non-single male will make him wonder if you want him, this is not a emoticon problem, the emoticons are just a part of the overall, which is unforced, female attention, which translates in their minds as,

‘o, my gentle jesus, this girl just sent me an emoticon / did something nice for me / looked in my direction / spoke kindly to me, she probably wants to fuck!’

i am not kidding. maturity level is seen here, so if you find you can talk to a dude and him just be chill, he’s pretty secure with himself

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MichaelO (@michaelo)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@tine, Sorry, but I respectfully disagree with your statement:

“…. any attention you give a single/non-single male will make him wonder if you want him ….”

I think you’re generalizing pretty much with that statement. Not all men/boys think like that – men that just want to be friendly/friends do exist, even if we might be the minority (Yeah, I include myself in that statement).

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@tine,
I like to hope the male populace is a little more sophisticated than that, but hey it’s a-ok if they’re not…
Although I notice this more and more as I get older. I’m not disgusted by the prospect of them jumping to *wondering*, but it’s so completely different when they take it upon themselves to turn it into a more chauvinistic thing like the gross appropriations I get at work. (I think there’s also something seriously correlated between girls serving men food regardless of how (un)attractive the female is and heightening of boldness. or maybe it’s that they have me stuck in a situation where I’m already talking to them? That’s probably a lot to do with it, cause I don’t often just randomly get approached.)

I kind of had inclinations to believe this, and this is a good reaffirmation. Thank you for reminding me of this truth.

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Gary Son (@garyson)1 year, 7 months ago ago

Are you flirting with me?

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Avatar of Tine
Tine (@tine)1 year, 7 months ago ago

@michaelo,

of course i am generalizing…. its interesting you felt the need to defend yourself if what i said was so untrue… this is revealing, just sayin’

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