Dear eNotAlone: I'm starting to get a little concerned about something I've noticed happening lately. A group of girls at my school have started to gather around and observe guys. At first it was just a few of them, but now it's like they all make a conscious effort to stand in a circle and stare the guys down. It's starting to feel really discomforting and I'm not sure what to do. I've heard some of the girls saying they are judging the guys, but I don't know why they are doing it, or if I should speak up and stand up for myself? Can you give me any advice on this situation and how to deal with it?
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It sounds like you're in an uncomfortable situation and you're not sure what do about it. When we feel observed, judged, and censored it can be difficult to know how to respond. Luckily, though, you do have some options.
First of all, whenever we are feeling overwhelmed, it's important to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation from an outsider's point of view. What is really happening? Are these girls actually judging you, or are they just trying to process their feelings about your presence? In either case, it's important to remember that you have the right to assert yourself and your right to personal privacy.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your boundaries are respected. You can start by using body language to create a physical space between you and the girls. Stand tall and keep your arms at your sides or crossed in front of you to communicate that you are not available to be observed. Don't look away or shy away, because this will only make them more curious. Instead, meet their gaze with a neutral expression while maintaining a healthy emotional distance.
You can also opt to speak up and let them know that you're feeling uncomfortable. A short, firm statement can send a powerful message. Let them know that you are aware of their presence and that it's making you feel uneasy. You could say something like, "I understand you're just watching, but I feel uncomfortable about it. Could you please respect my space?" Chances are, the girls will get the hint and leave you alone.
If the situation persists, then don't hesitate to walk away or even ask someone in authority for help. There's no room for embarrassed silence if you're feeling uncomfortable. Stand up for yourself and make sure your voice is heard. Remember that it's always better to act sooner than later.
Most importantly, try to remain calm throughout the situation. It might be easy to get overwhelmed by the situation, but don't let your emotions take over. Your assertiveness will be more effective if you're not overwhelmed with panic or frustration.
When faced with a group of girls checking out and judging guys, it's important to remember that you have the right to respectfully assert yourself. Use body language and verbal communication to establish boundaries, and don't hesitate to reach out for help if the situation persists. Your feelings do matter, and you shouldn't let anyone make you feel ashamed for wanting your privacy.