Scary call: What would you say?

<p>There is another thread about what female college freshmen should know. I didn't want to hijack that thread, so I thought I would start another.</p>

<p>Here is the situation: Your daughter calls home and has had a young man she had met casually visit her dorm room without calling. He asks to come into her room and she suggests they go to the public lounge to talk. He pours his heart out and now she is concerned that he is going to be following her around. He lives in her dorm. He did not do anything inappropriate. He just gives her the creeps. </p>

<p>What advice would you give her?</p>

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Your daughter calls home and has had a young man she had met casually visit her dorm room without calling. He asks to come into her room and she suggests they go to the public lounge to talk. He pours his heart out and now she is concerned that he is going to be following her around. He lives in her dorm. He did not do anything inappropriate. He just gives her the creeps.

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<p>Oh boy, so many ways you can go with this one.</p>

<p>1) It is possible that the D has a mental illness and perspective on the situation is not accurate. (Not saying this is the case for the OP, but we've read on here a lot about mental illnesses, and it's important not to take everything every student says at face value.)</p>

<p>2) People normally knock on each other's door without asking in dorm rooms, especially when they live there. I don't think that alone is unusual.</p>

<p>3) Pouring your heart out is weird. Maybe not creepy though. Maybe socially inept. Maybe has Aspergers. Maybe something else. Maybe a really bad guy. Probably I'd speculate that most guys that "pour their heart out" are probably harmless, but weird.</p>

<p>4) If she gets followed, she can call the police or talk with the resident advisor / resident director of the building she lives in. She is unlikely to be physically harmed in her dorm.</p>

<p>5) Lots men give women the creeps.</p>

<p>6) If there is a manly well built guy she actually likes living in the dorms, all she has to say is "that guy over there is giving me the creeps...could you go talk to him for me?", and he'll take care of it.</p>

<p>It is hard to give advice to this situation because there are so few details. Is she living in dorm alone? Had they had any contact before? What was he pouring his heart out about? Was she creeped out before he poured his heart out?
I'm really not understanding your questions.</p>

<p>She has a single room; the entire dorm is singles and all summer school students (who are living on campus) are housed there.
They had played cards in a group on at least one occasion, maybe more.
She was creeped out when he showed up at her room; he was aware that she is dating someone who is home for the summer.</p>

<p>Bigtrees, she has always had a little trouble reading people, but this call today was different. I think I will suggest that she have one of her guy friends talk to him.</p>

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She was creeped out when he showed up at her room; he was aware that she is dating someone who is home for the summer.

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<p>Sounds like typical college antics to me. She isn't interested in the guy, but the guy is interested in her. He knows she was with someone, but probably hoping that they broke up (frequently happens over the summer). Girls don't seem to label those guys as "creepy".</p>

<p>I wouldn't worry about it at all, except tell her to pay attention and if he makes unwanted contact or actually follows her to let the university know (either through the police department or residence life staff.) </p>

<p>Other than that, there isn't much that you can do. He'll probably lose interest pretty fast. Or not and then get told to lose interest.</p>

<p>Thanks. I told her that giving her the creeps wasn't against the law. She seemed to have a pretty good handle on what she needed to do. I gave her some suggestions of what to say to him. She was going to stop by the security office to ask for suggestions as well. That will make her feel better.</p>

<p>It is not unusual for kids to just show up and knock on your dorm room, but if she is getting weird vibes from him I would not answer the door. I would have her make the RA aware of her concerns. The RA may have some insight as to his character and/or other issues that might shed some light. He is also put on notice about the situation. It just may be a harmless situation of social ineptitude. She can also be very upfront and honest with him so there is no misunderstanding or mis leading and just tell him that she is not interested in a relationship, they can be friends, but that is it and be VERY CLEAR. That is one of the first rules in stalker prevention literature.</p>

<p>She was expecting another friend when this fellow stopped by, which is why she opened the door without looking. I will make sure she talks to the RA. </p>

<p>The very strange thing about this is that the young man was in school at another school with one of DD's oldest friends. Apparently, there he had a tendancy to latch on.</p>

<p>Sounds like he needs boundaries and he does not need subtle hints, but rather clear statements about crossing the line.</p>

<p>Thanks. I also told her that that inner voice is the best thing we have to protect us. It doesn't really matter what his intentions are if she doesn't feel right.</p>

<p>You are so right. I have a daughter, too and I tell her the same thing. Trust your gut and listen to what your inner voice is saying. You can never go wrong with that.</p>

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I also told her that that inner voice is the best thing we have to protect us. It doesn't really matter what his intentions are if she doesn't feel right.

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<p>Yes and no. I have a dear friend who (after college) was at work there was a creepy guy that kept talking with her. He didn't respect her boundaries and followed her around. Of course, we all felt bad for her.</p>

<p>The problem is she was suffering from a mental illness (maniac bipolar disorder) and he actually wasn't following her or disrespecting her boundaries. Her inner voice was wrong and she needed serious help. </p>

<p>I really don't think this is the case for the D in this situation. I'm posting it here for others to be aware of. The inner voice is good as long as mental illness is out of the picture.</p>

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just tell him that she is not interested in a relationship, they can be friends

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<p>I think do NOT tell him they can be friends. Do not be friends with him at all.</p>

<p>I don't think the guy has done anything wrong in this case. The D maybe creeped out, but it doesn't mean he has crossed the line. If he was attractive to her, would she have felt the same way. Not saying she should spend time with him if she doesn't want to, but to report him to security is a bit over board and would be embarrassing to him. </p>

<p>If it was my daughter, I would tell her to let him know next time it's not convenient for her and she will see him later. If he continues to show up unannounced (without texting or calling first) then I would consider notifying the RA or security. </p>

<p>Sometimes boys at this age still not clear about boundary, especially if their parents never taught them. Many figure out social skills once they move away from home by having their peers adjust their behavior.</p>

<p>She was not going to report him--she agreed, nothing to report. She was simply going to ask for suggestions. This is a young woman who has very little experience. And I think the young man could have the same problem, so to speak.</p>

<p>It's important for your D to understand that she has no obligation to be "nice" to him by tolerating his behavior, if he continues to "latch on" to her. Girls can get into trouble that way. I speak from personal experience of 30 years ago -- and the guy turned out to be a psychopathic stalker. Fortunately, I moved cities. Some men who turn out to be stalkers really know how to exploit this reluctance in girls to be rude. I'm not saying that this guy will end up being one of these types, but at the least he sounds like he could be a black hole of time and energy for your D.</p>

<p>"Pouring your heart out is weird. Maybe not creepy though. Maybe socially inept."</p>

<p>This sort of behavior is more prevalent in DW's part of the country. That doesn't make it OK though. I think prior posters have provided some fabulous suggestions.</p>

<p>I don't think it's particular creepy or inappropriate for him to have stopped by her dorm room. Certainly seems normal in my experience of dorm life. </p>

<p>And not even necessarily creepy for him to have poured his heart out. Of course not having seen it, I wouldnt' know the content, the body language etc. Maybe he's just immature, geeky, infatuated, or lonely. Or your daughter is very warm or open or a good listener (the kind that boys open up easily with). It makes an awkward moment, but it doesn't make him a stalker. </p>

<p>At least not yet. And that is probably what I would say if I got such a call. I'd say keep it in perspective- it is good you listened to your gut, but let's not jump to conclusions or worry about something that hasn't even taken place. Then I'd encourage her to practice a verbal response to use later on if she needs to cut down or cut off interaction with him.</p>

<p>So she should decide what her boundaries are (what interaction, if any, she is comfortable having with him again), and what she'll say if they are crossed. So for example, it might be okay for her to be polite and say hi or exchange pleasantries, or maybe not. Or it might be okay to talk about the weather but not personal topics. Only she can know (and she can't expect he can read her mind). And she'll come up with a response to him (that she'll have practiced) that will create and keep that boundary. Sometimes it can be difficult to be assertive if you haven't had practice with it in a given situation, or feel flustered by the situation itself. And it's worthwhile to learn how to deal with these relationship things. No doubt she has a lot of years ahead of keeping boys at bay. </p>

<p>And I think she should learn to assert herself, not get her guy friend or the RA to do it. But it's because I don't think he's done anything wrong (yet) and because I think she's an adult, and not a helpless victim, and she would gain a lot of confidence from doing so (which will serve her well into the future because there isn't going to always be guy friend or RA to get men to back off). Of course if he does not heed her verbal response (above), then of course reporting it and involving others is necessary.</p>

<p>I compliment your daughter in having the foresight to suggest a public lounge for their talk, and for recognizing that she's uncomfortable. Whether or not he's a creep is immaterial, she has an absolute right to establish her own boundaries. As she continues to set her limits, she might also suggest to him that he can find caring people to talk to at the college's counseling center (some even have peer help lines, etc). She could also suggest that the RA could help him find additional resources. Whether he takes her up on that is his business, but it may be helpful for her and for him to recognize that if he's troubled, there are other people to turn to.</p>

<p>When this happened to me I'd just say "You're a nice guy, but I am really not interested." If he doesn't get the message, you'll have to take further steps. IME that's usually all it takes, even with the inept guys.</p>