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to have told the child in the supermarket to please stop staring

(210 Posts)
twilighteyes Mon 22-Jul-13 18:34:10

At the self service checkouts, I noticed a little girl (perhaps 7 or 8) looking at me. I had an "unexpected item" so assumed that was why she was looking, but then I became conscious of it and realised she was staring at me! I don't know why, as I wasn't wearing anything unusual and I don't think that I look remarkable, either in a positive or negative way.

As we were going out she was staring again and when I was getting into my car she and her mum (I presume) were getting into the one next to me and she was just staring. It was really making me feel uncomfortable and I said "hi, is there something I can help you with?" Girl turns scarlet, gets into the car and mum drives away. As I drove off she was staring again.

AIBU to think this is really rude? It made me feel really disconcerted (and yes I have checked and my skirt isn't in my pants or anything!)

TerraNotSoFirma Mon 22-Jul-13 18:49:17

I think just saying hello would have been more polite, yet still acknowledging you had seen her staring.

twilighteyes Mon 22-Jul-13 18:49:32

Natasha, I didn't embarrass her, I politely asked if there was something I could help her with.

I accept I was BU, all the same some people are acting like I snarled "stop fucking staring." I didn't, I asked a polite question after a good ten minutes of being STARED at.

AvonCallingBarksdale Mon 22-Jul-13 18:50:16

I don't think "hi" is THAT much different to "hi, is there something I can help you with?" really, is it

It is different, of course! Hi, on its own can be just that -a greeting. Your title says you told the child to please stop staring - but you didn't, did you? That might have been what you meant, but it's not what you said!! I think you went for the old safe PA response. Probably the weather!

Pretty my 3 year old is a starer commentator

Solari Mon 22-Jul-13 18:50:33

I think its your title OP, its asking if you would have been U to ask her to stop staring, and I think people are reacting to that more than the "hello, can I help you?"

WinkyWinkola Mon 22-Jul-13 18:53:55

I used to state at people at lot as a kid. They just fascinated me. My mum always told me off.

I can imagine it's disconcerting. You could grin back, wave, stick out your tongue, be friendly to break the staring 'spell' as it were.

MissStrawberry Mon 22-Jul-13 18:53:58

I don't think YWBU but maybe be upfront and ask why someone is looking at you rather than being a bit PA about.

ButchCassidy Mon 22-Jul-13 18:54:17

But it's hot and that can make everyone grumpy/on edge smile

twilighteyes Mon 22-Jul-13 18:54:35

I can assure you I did not intend in any way to be passive aggressive, I just wanted her to stop staring at me as I made my way out of the supermarket.

I do feel it is very rude to stand and stare at somebody, I accept it can happen by mistake as in a daydream and I accept that obviously toddlers do not know. But children of this age, I would have thought, would have known better - I don't think a polite reminder of the fact that people notice you are staring at them and that it is uncomfortable for the person on the receiving end is so terrible but obviously I am incorrect in that assumption. Thanks for replies.

ZolaBuddleia Mon 22-Jul-13 18:54:42

Do you have a beard? Children stare at my DP sometimes, and I hope think that's what it is. grin

OldBagWantsNewBag Mon 22-Jul-13 18:55:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hobnobsaremyfave Mon 22-Jul-13 18:55:30

You didn't actually tell her what she was doing to annoy you, I doubt she got your question even.

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Jul-13 18:56:32

I don't think what you said was unreasonable. She'd know at that age that if she stared at a teacher in school like that then she'd be asked if something was up. She probably just hadn't realised she was staring and probably thought she knew you from somewhere.

ChippingInHopHopHop Mon 22-Jul-13 18:56:47


I am sorry you suffer from anxiety, but surely by now you know that and can make allowances for fairly normal behaviour from other people, especially young children.

I mean, maybe you look like a teacher from school or aunty maude or maybe she actually liked your top... kids are odd, don't take it personally.

carabos Mon 22-Jul-13 18:59:39

Try travelling in a remote bit of China - that'll show you the meaning of staring.

usualsuspect Mon 22-Jul-13 18:59:40

I wouldn't give a child gawping at me a second thought.

I probably Wouldn't even notice.

twilighteyes Mon 22-Jul-13 18:59:57

chipping, I honestly can't think of the last time a child stared at me for ten minutes plus especially when there has been movement in between.

Certainly, babies/toddlers have stared, and I've had children looking in my direction (as opposed to me personally) but I have never experienced this before and while I don't think she had any malicious intention, I also feel it was not polite.

twilighteyes Mon 22-Jul-13 19:01:22

usual, trust me, you'd have noticed this. it was very, very obvious - at one point she was walking slightly in front of me holding her mum's hand and had turned her head around to stare at me.

I did smile at that point in fact but she didn't smile back, just carried on staring.

hobnobsaremyfave Mon 22-Jul-13 19:02:24

Maybe she has some additional needs?

rainbowfeet Mon 22-Jul-13 19:02:53

You were very harsh, children stare, I'm glad it was my dc because I'd have told you to wind your neck in!!!

BettyBotter Mon 22-Jul-13 19:04:08

Perhaps she thought you looked beautiful.

AcrylicPlexiglass Mon 22-Jul-13 19:07:15

Sorry, agree with others and think it was a bit mean. 7 is still quite little.

ASmidgeofMidge Mon 22-Jul-13 19:07:26

But you did embarrass her; you mentioned up thread that she 'turned scarlet'. I would agree with previous posters: YABU

YouTheCat Mon 22-Jul-13 19:07:28

Children stare at my wondrous beauty. grin hmm

I just smile at them, that usually stops the little buggers.

Children stare. It is rude but it's not the end of the world and is much better dealt with with a smile and a 'hi' than anything more complicated.

She might have been looking at a necklace you were wearing or anything.

JackieTheFart Mon 22-Jul-13 19:08:03

I see nothing wrong with what you asked her.

I think YABU by being bothered by a young child staring!

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