The solution to both these instances is to have an automatic predetermined response that requires no conscious thought. One that eliminates the relatively slow mental process of acknowledging and assessing. In order for such a response to be used with confidence, the response must work for most types of visual and verbal harassment. In addition, the response must have minimal negative side effects associated with it. Having minimal negative side effects is critical, because that fact insures that you can safely use the response at the spur of the moment.
“Not interested!” is that response. It allows you to instantly respond and continue on your path away from the harasser. In the unlikely event, that the harasser was not directing his behavior at you, it doesn’t matter. No harm done. Continue on your way. If it was directly at you, then you have just let your harasser know that you are uninterested and unaffected by his behavior.
Unlike an angry retort, you have not provided the harasser a reason to escalate his harassment. If he chooses to continue, then he most likely would have done so anyway regardless of your response.
“Not Interested!” – Your One Stop, Predetermined, First Response to Street Harassment – Erik Kondo Why Street Harassment Can Be Harmful to Your Well-Being – Erik Kondo