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The next thing I can do is ask myself, well, do they have a point? On the other hand, If I decide they generally do is demand that the other party see it my way and believe that if they don’t then there’s something wrong with them.One, who has the time, and two, I’m not sure it’s really important that everyone respond to me in precisely the same way.

Acknowledge that you don’t get to define other people’s comfort level with you. It sucks for even harder, because you’re creeping them out and making them profoundly unhappy and uncomfortable.

Which is to say that you may be trying your hardest to be interesting and engaging and fun to be around — and still come off as a creeper to someone else. It may not seem fair that “creep” is their assessment of you, but: Surprise!

It doesn’t matter, and if you try to argue with them (or anyone else) that you’re in fact not being a creep and the problem is with them not you, then you go from “creep” to “complete assbag.” Sometimes people aren’t going to like you or want to be near you. This apparently has struck some to be dreadfully unfair, with the implication being that other people responding to folks (usually men) as creepers when in fact they’re trying to make an effort to be charming and witty and fun (or whatever) is some sort of special case in the interaction of human beings, and that such mismatches between intent and reception hardly ever happen in other situations.

To which my response is: you have to be kidding me.

Outside of the realm of possible potential creepiness, you don’t get to choose how other people respond to you, either. Indeed, regardless of your efforts to present yourself in a certain way, it is almost certain you will come across to some other people as not that way at all, and possibly the opposite of that way entirely.

Let me, as I so often do for matters such as this, use myself as a good anecdotal example.You know, generally I try to be amusing; some people don’t find me amusing in the least.I try to write engaging books; there are people who can’t stand my writing.I often speak up on issues that are of concern to me; there are people who wish I would shut up about them, including some folks who are nominally on my side of an issue.I try to be pleasant with people; to some people I come across as insufferable, glib or insincere.I try to be open and upfront about most of my opinions; some people see that as me being an arrogant asshole. I’m not gonna lie, here: I don’t really see myself as a glib, unamusing asshole who writes awful books and doesn’t know when to shut up.

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