At 31 years old, I’m a little too old to stay out until 5 AM (as I learned the hard way last weekend), but I am still young enough to want to go out and have a really good time. There’s just one problem with going out – I’m sure we’re all on the same page with what that problem is.
An unrelenting, annoying man (boy?) at a bar can make the difference between a banger of a night, and a night spent angry whispering to your girlfriends and playing an elaborate game of bar chess. Let’s face it: ignoring men who bother you at the bar rarely works. Men want to touch your cool earrings, men want to play with your gorgeous hair without permission, and men want to bring you an open drink. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite tactics for getting rid of overly persistent men who just will not leave you alone.
Disclaimer: ONLY attempt these tactics when you are safely with your friends. Do not attempt these tactics with men who seem legitimately dangerous – that’s when you just want to get out. It is always important to know your exits, too. Trust your judgment.
Disclaimer 2: These tactics are specifically for men who are crossing boundaries.
GO ALONG WITH HIM (A LITTLE TOO MUCH)
This tactic only works when the man who won’t leave you alone sees himself as a Casanova. He’s big and he’s strong, and he wants you to know he’s an alpha. This man will probably brag about the gym, or the sports he plays. Hell, he might even ask you to feel his muscles.
This is where you shine. I like to act really impressed by these men. Really impressed. Give him your big doe eyes, your best fake smile, and tell them to “Prove it, stud.” Do not say anything else. Just, “Prove it.” If he tries to embellish or talk himself up without proving it, don’t let him. “Prove it, baby! Let’s see how many pushups you can do!”
He is going to try and laugh you off. Do. Not. Let. Him. “Oh, come on, baby, I wanna see that strong man!” Keep going. One of two things will happen: Either the Alpha Male will realize he has been bested and will slink off to the next unsuspecting woman or – and this is what we’re going for now – he will attempt to prove it.
I’ve actually had men drop to the floor of a disgusting dive bar and start doing pushups. This is great because not only is it embarrassing and demeaning to be made to do pushups on a dirty floor, but you also get to walk away while he’s huffing and puffing and proving his ridiculous point. And speaking of ridiculous…
MAKE FUN OF HIM (RELENTLESSLY)
This one works when he is with his group of friends. Of course, while it goes without saying that many groups of men and women meet and have a great time together at the bar with no sinister motives, that kind of friendly connection is not what I am referring to. This particular tactic works best for someone who is using his friends as a way to almost overwhelm you. He approaches with his group, starts talking to you, and all of a sudden you find yourself surrounded. Now, it’s time to emasculate! Make it hurt. Seriously. So many women are afraid to speak up and stand up for themselves because we are expected to be people pleasing, accommodating, and most of all, polite. I used to be polite, and then someone spiked my drink. Now, I embrace my bad attitude.
Make fun of his shirt. Bonus points if it’s a short sleeve button down. If they’re clean shaven, make fun of the fact that they can’t even grow a beard. If they do have a beard, ask them why they think looking like an indie folk singer is doing them any favors. Who cares if it’s true? We’re not trying to politely turn this guy down. We’re trying to humiliate him into leaving us alone. Maybe his hair has a lot of gel in it. Tell him you’ve seen more mousse in his hair than within the entire state of Maine. The goal is for him to leave you alone. Sure, he might call you a bitch, but that’s a compliment compared to whatever it was he wanted you to be for him.
HONESTLY…JUST BARK AT THEM
Bark. Bark like a dog. Not a little yippie dog, either. Bark like a bull mastiff. And before you ask, yes, I have barked at a man who would not leave me alone. This is my personal favorite of all my methods because not only are you scaring away the man who’s been bothering you, but you’re also scaring away any man within ear shot.
Barking should be a last resort, lest you scare off the guy you’ve really been eyeing.
SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Yes, this article has been fun, and goofy, but this really is a major issue for women, and I want to end on a very important point. No matter what method you choose to deflect unwanted male attention, you must be safe! Safety in numbers. Do not venture out alone in an unfamiliar place. Bring your gals with you to the bathroom. Keep an eye on each other. And if you hear your girlfriend bark, well, that just means it’s time to sound off with her.