LPT request. What do I do if I scared a woman by accident

  1. "Woah hey there, sorry to frighten you. Hey can you hear me taps window hello, hi. I'm Charlie from apartment 321, sorry to scare you. This is my dog Pongo. Come on out, it's ok I want to explain myself I promise it's safe. I'm not a danger to you or anyone or myself haha hello?"

  2. Yeah honestly this is the best response, I've had menn accidently startle me and they said somthing like that and I went from being terrified to laughing about it

  3. A similar situation to OP happened but I was the scared party and the dude literally said "don't worry I'm not gonna get you." Like wtf who says that?

  4. I think the best thing you can do is exactly what you did, just get away from her as quickly as possible. If I'm freaked out that a guy randomly popped up behind me in a dark parking lot, I don't want to chat about it, I just want to see that you're not a threat because you're leaving my immediate area. If you were to stand around apologizing or explaining or anything, I'd be on edge the whole time thinking you were playing the nice guy to get my guard down. Pointing to the dog and going away quickly was the best possible response!

  5. I would say "continue doing what you were doing at a relaxed pace" instead of "getting away as quickly as possible" but otherwise agree.

  6. This is exactly the right answer. The only thing you can do, other than find a way to change all of history between men and women, is to walk away and be nonthreatening.

  7. Or act even more scared, jump, scream like a little girl, and run away with a "whoop whoop whoop" like Dr. Zoidberg.

  8. Then there's me who works on getting the carts. To be fair the woman took it really well and knew it was an accident but I still felt bad being around and gathering the carts right after I accidentally scared them.

  9. Besides, in some parts (of the US at least), she might be retrieving a gun from her car or bag, so that's another reason not to stick around.

  10. It’s not your problem or your fault. Nothing you need to do because someone else is sensitive to normal behavior

  11. I'm so now I have to inconvenience myself because you aren't aware of your surroundings 😅😅 yeah no not gonna happen how about.. You look up and around. Instead ... I'm no threat if keep to my damn self pointing to the dog is enough.... You could also gtf away quickly after seeing the dog ...

  12. This is the right answer. Make sure you say sorry audibly if you can, so it's clear it was a mistake. Somebody may not see or interpret a wave the same way as you intend. They may take it as being dismissive. I would show both open/empty hands if I could do so smoothly though (not as easy in winter weather, with hands buried in pockets).

  13. OP doesn't need to be sorry. OP, you could say that, but you could also just say oh, hi! As you continue walking. I have people apologize to me in the store if we happen to get in each other's way, and I smile and say, "It's fine. You have every right to be here."

  14. You just reminded me of what happened to me last month. I was a passenger in a car and we stopped to get some fuel. I got out to grab some things and pay for the fuel while my gf filled up the car. There were only 2 cars there and as I left there was a lady about 60yrs old who walked out just before me. So I walked in a straight line to our car and she just walked to our car while occasionally looking over her shoulder. I remember thinking "she thinks I'm following her but why is she walking up to our car?". She got to our car hand on the passenger door handle just looking at me as I stood there puzzled. All I could manage was to look confused and say I think you have the wrong car. You could see her paranoia get replaced with a mix of embarrassment and relief. She smiled and let out a nervous laugh and said sorry I thought you were following me.

  15. Yep! It's fine. Women live in a world where half the population is bigger and stronger than they are. They're a little more jumpy because...well, anybody would be.

  16. I’ve been startled by another woman when out in the evening. You’ve no need to dwell on this as you already apologized and made clear you meant her no harm. She likely won’t be dwelling on it either.

  17. What you want to do is get down on all fours and gallop over to her along with your dog to show that you're both friendly.

  18. I am also a tall guy who people have occasionally been startled by me just walking down the sidewalk while they're entering or exiting their cars.

  19. This is the answer. Grab your phone or pretend you’re sending a WhatsApp audio loudly. Something like “yeah I’m walking my dog but I’ll be there in 5 minutes”

  20. I feel like the not whistling children’s songs advice has a story behind it? That’s REALLY specific there!

  21. I like to whistle children’s songs, in a minor key to boot, and was not aware this was creepy till my husband and I moved in together. He put up with it for awhile but eventually told me he felt like he was living with a serial killer.

  22. You did nothing wrong. The unfortunate reality is some people feel the need (and rightly so) to protect themselves from strangers. You did the best you could by just continuing on your way.

  23. Anyone unexpected can be startling. I’m a small woman. I still startle people walking my dog at night. Just pointing at the dog and giving a head nod is plenty. “Didn’t mean to startle you” is fine too. It’s nice to be mindful of others, but don’t live your life trying to tip toe around other either.

  24. Be really insistent about it as well. May I suggest wearing something lighthearted like a clown mask to break the ice and let her know you have a fun side?

  25. Additionally, if she starts to move more quickly it's important to maintain the pace - even if it turns into a foot race - this will demonstrate your commitment to setting things straight and that you are only trying to apologize.

  26. Bellowing "I am not going to hurt you!" loudly to ensure she hears you is a great way to calm her down and assure her that you are, in fact, not going to hurt her.

  27. Aggressively chase her to apologize, and if she barricades herself in a car or residence, bang on the door/window whilst screaming “you better come out!” So she knows you really mean it that you aren’t a threat.

  28. Seriously though, just yesterday I was driving my work van to a site (utilities) and I made a turn with after a lady just passed. Then we both turn into subdivision. Then several turns later she is still in front. I'm like shit this doesn't look good just don't make this last turn...and she does. So I pulled over and waited for 5mins then preceded on.

  29. You don't have to be embarrassed for existing. Just ignore them and go about your day like the criminal you aren't.

  30. LPT: Don't feel bad about accidents where you did nothing wrong. You weren't trying to assault her, or even scare her. You were just wrong place, wrong time.

  31. He wasn’t even in the “wrong place, wrong time.” He has every right to be in the same places women are, and no responsibility to try to manage another’s emotions.

  32. Maybe if you chat with your dog when passing women who are alone it would ease their minds… hard to be scared of a guy saying “who’s a good boyyyy” in their dog voice lol

  33. It's just one of those things. Neither one of you did anything wrong and she's probably a little embarrassed.

  34. Why are you so concerned? Who cares. Keep your head down and walk away.. nothing to do or say because you're both strangers.

  35. Meh, I'm 6ft tall and mixed. People clutch their purses when I walk by sometimes. I decided a long time ago not to apologize for just going for a walk. I just ignore people when they startle.

  36. I think saying “sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you” is enough. It’s technically not your fault she is anxious at night and you should technically not have to apologize for simply walking your dog tbh. It happens, don’t feel guilty.

  37. It’s not his fault she’s anxious, it’s an unfortunate issue that way too many women experience and so we’re always on edge and ideally aware of our surroundings so I think it’s good on OP that he realized he did startle her.

  38. As a woman, if I see a 6 foot tall 220 lb guy next to my car at night I won't even notice his outfit, let alone care. Well, maybe if it's a blatantly "not out here to mug people" outfit - pink with sparkles, white tie, or a Gryffindor scarf with a cape and wand.

  39. The more you’ll try to not come across as weird, awkward and creepy the more you’ll come across as weird, awkward and creepy. 🤷🏻‍♂️

  40. Do we need LPT about what to do if you accidentally startle somebody? Very briefly apologizing is great but also optional, as you did nothing wrong. Then just.. continue on your way..?

  41. Well your simple existence made her scared, nothing you can do about a fear like that. Just keep doing what you are doing. Poole just get jump scared or have fears we can't help. Its not your fault and she may have past trauma and you cant change that.

  42. My mother in law gets startled easily, it's always cracked me up. There have been times where I think I've made enough noise coming down the hallway and I'm under the impression that she knows I'm in the kitchen with her, but then she sees me out of the corner of her eye and she does the terror-gasp and throws a hand to her heart - I'm like, Donna, how? Hahaha

  43. Yea just distance yourself and apologize at the time if necessary just for their own peace of mind I guess. You can’t apologize for existing. It just sucks that we as women have to be so vigilant and paranoid, but you did all you can do.

  44. I have the same question. I go to the complex's gym at 7:30pm to avoid people, but there's always just one woman who hastily leaves her treadmill as it is just she and me. First off, I have zero interest in her, nor am I a r*pist. I feel bad, but I keep to my schedule. What should I tell her?

  45. Im 6’4 235. When Im at the trail to walk/jog every woman who passes me looks scared. It breaks my heart to know they live like that cause of the world we are in.

  46. World we are in? That's just how it is dude. And how it has always been. Its not a man's fault for simply existing or walking along a trail and some random woman got scared while you were minding your own business.

  47. Fuck man this kind of apologetic thinking isn't healthy. There's literally nothing to feel guilty about. You didn't do anything. You should have laughed it off, continued on with your life and stop thinking about it.

  48. A reflective vest or goofy clothes would indicate you're there for a reason. But don't feel bad for living your life

  49. Don't apologize for being a human being. If she's going to be scared of you that's her business. Unless you were out looking for people to sexually assault, which it sounds like you weren't, its not your responsibility to make other people comfortable when you're simply out in public.

  50. bro you dont need to apologize for existing. you dont need to do anything just keep walking as you were. her getting scared is completely on her.

  51. You should not feel bad for scaring someone by walking your dog. Just move along with your day/life. These are not the type of things to fret over.

  52. While it is kind and thoughtful of you to ask the question, it seems like an overwhelming responsibility to take on making everyone around you feel safe. I mean, everyone carries around the weight of the history of their own traumas. But you have the right to walk your dog in peace without being assumed to be a predator just because of how you look.

  53. I've had nearly the same situation, got off my bus, walking home in the cold reading on my phone, the woman apparently walking in front of me turns around and asks "why are you following me?" right as we get to my house. I responded "because I live here" walked across the yard and went inside.

  54. Lol. This happened to me kinda. I'm 6'1" 240. I was also walking my dogs (two big dogs that like to walk as fast as my long legs will let them) around my neighborhood late at night. A young girl pops out a block or so ahead of me going to same direction. I was headed back to my house and had a path I was aiming for that takes a few odd turns to get too. We'll the girl takes the first turn, then the next as I am catching up to her quit fast and then the last turn between some bushes (like a hidden entrance to the path I was aiming for). At that point I spoke up and said I'm sorry I'm really not following you I live that way and hurried past her. I know I scared the shit out of her. All we can really do is go on like we did.

  55. i was delivering a package between 8 and 9 o clock one morning, scanning it as the resident walked out of her front door, clearly not expecting me to be there. that's her porch, not somewhere in public, so not the best comparison. also, i was still new to the company, so i had no uniform yet. but you were walking the dog/just living your life/jamming to some music. i was just doing my job/delivering a package. then, there they were. we were just going about our day, and never intended to startle anyone. most people's eyes (and brains) are so glued to the phone now, not their surroundings, that it's no wonder it probably happens hundreds of times a day. in your situation, i say just keep walking normally, no words are necessary. she'll be ok in a few seconds. maybe she's been attacked or abducted before, and has PTSD. or simply knew it was late at night and was extra on guard.

  56. I’m 6 foot 7 myself and it happens all the time. Just stop caring man, it’s not your fault that everyone is just jumpy as hell because we’re tall. If they know you they will understand, if they don’t then who cares?

  57. What you did is fine. Most men women come in contact with on the street like that are harmless, we’re just gonna have our guard up no matter what anyway. I doubt she’s traumatized by this, it’s unfortunately normal to dodge men at night.

  58. You do nothing. Shit happens. It's not as if you did something wrong and neither did she. Have you ever been startled? Did you expect that person to do something about it? This can't be real...

  59. Best bet is to knock on her window feverishly to apologize and if that doesn't work, hide nearby so she gets out of the car and apologize in person.

  60. Say nothing. Keep walking. Her fear is hers and hers alone. Might not seem rational to you, but you're not her therapist. You do not apologize, just keep walking like nothing happened.

  61. Just stick to yourself and keep minding your own business. If you scared someone, reassuring them will make it worse, running away makes you look guilty, so simply ignoring them and going about your business is the best option.

  62. Run after her to apologize. You’ll be out of breath, so you can be brief. Scream “I got something for yoOooou!”

  63. No harm done. Don't feel bad, this shit happens. People are jumpy these days. Besides she probably startled you too. But be glad, she knows what to do when she is frightened. You helped her practice her awarenesses.

  64. You did the right thing, its not your fault your existence scared her. Just walk away, if she chooses to have PTSD over that incident that’s her problem. I wouldn’t worry about it, just don’t give her an actual reason to be frightened.

  65. Don't worry about it. You shouldn't feel sorry for existing in a public space and doing nothing wrong. This might sound cruel, but it's not your obligation to go out of your way to make sure others feel comfortable.

  66. I'm 6'6" and tend to startle people because I walk quietly. A lot of people are scared of taller people. You dont need to do anything. Her reaction is her discrimination.

  67. Move on with your life…it was a genuine accident and you had zero intention to startle her….if you see her again laugh and say sorry about the other night. Keep doin your thing

  68. A reflective vest goes a long way to make you more visible at night. A man in dark clothes is scarier than a man in high-vis.

  69. A reflective vest to go over your hoodie would help it seem like you are not sneaking and want to be seen and not hit by a car

  70. I think I light up leash would be more fashionable than a reflective vest. Not saying safety can't be fashionable but most vest are not good looking and can be cumbersome. But they do makeup light at leashes and collars, that would be cooler and less obnoxious.

  71. I can just picture someone walking around in blaze orange hunting gear singing over and over again, "Ashes, ashes, we all fall down." to not startle anyone.

  72. If you plan to walk the dog at night some more, you might think about a hi-vis vest, or a body light of some kind. Might help people see you coming, and make you very visible to any cars if you’re crossing roads.

  73. Maybe a reflective vest would help, cars driving by can see you as a plus and give the impression you’re just on a walk since most people wearing something specifically to draw attention to themselves aren’t up to anything nefarious at night. I have a cool one I got online with LED lights under the reflective strips that light up in all kinds of colors, a little obnoxious but I couldn’t help myself.

  74. I was walking across a parking lot and realized I was running behind and started to jog and the woman I was completely oblivious to, who was also on the same parking lot, thought I was chasing her and started running. It occurred to me that she was running from me so I wanted to convey to her that I wasn’t chasing her or dangerous, but just in a hurry and I managed to blurt out, “I’m not a rapist! I’m in a hurry!” That didn’t help.

  75. You didn't really do anything wrong. You walked your dog in a public area. Just continue not being a threat to women and I think we're good here.

  76. Follow her to her home and when she is sleeping, slip into the window (gently) and sit on her bed. Politely lean towards her neck and ear and whisper “I’m so sorry….”

  77. Chase her down and apologize. Use the dog with her scent if you lose track of her. If you find out where she lives and she won't answer the door then go by now and then with hopes of catching her when she's coming or going. But smile a lot so she can tell you are kind and not one of those crazy stalker types.

  78. You did nothing wrong and still apologized. Just dont worry about it. You wont be able to address every persons issues that you walk past.

  79. Sounds like you were both pretty oblivious to your surroundings. Neither really did anything wrong. She was startled because she hadn't seen/wasn't tracking you. You need the right thing. Loud "sorry, didn't mean to frighten you, just walking the dog" while moving briskly AWAY from her is the right move. Certainly don't linger or approach. After her heart rate came down, she probably had a giggle at her own expense.

  80. Don't worry about it dude. Don't even pay attention and move on. If she's freaked out because you were walking your dog and didn't see you, who cares. Just do your thing dude. She obviously has her own issues to deal with. No need to apologize. Just keep walking and don't bother feeling bad over spooking someone. It's small potatoes.

  81. don't say shit and keep walking. why would you apologize, if you did nothing wrong. I'm 6.3 and if someone wants to be afraid of me, then that's their problem. Keep walking, don't look at them, don't talk and go about your way. If someone is afraid just because you are there, it's just best to leave

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