Talk

Advanced search

Man on my course smells bad and keeps getting in my personal space.

(159 Posts)
RoundandAroundSheGoes Fri 21-Oct-16 15:10:29

Man in my class is over-familiar. Smells dirty, musty, unwashed. Is virally ill with a cough. Frequently rests his head on mine during lectures, cuddles up to me, leans against me. Does this to other men and women in the group.

He is a bit eccentric, as in identifies as non-binary asexual, wears hair clips in his hair and stuff.

I think the asexuality or "ace" thing might be his way of rationalising being too "touchy" with people, i.e. it's non-sexual therefore innocent therefore OK.

I find it really jarring, especially as I am a rape victim and it's uninvited.

AIBU to tense up and move away when he does this, even though he will feel hurt?

ShaunPaul Fri 21-Oct-16 15:12:38

Fuck tensing up. I'd physically jump and say 'don't touch me again'

'Asexual' or 'non-binary' or whatever bullshit doesn't give anyone the right to invade your personal space.

ShaunPaul Fri 21-Oct-16 15:12:58

Can you sit away from him in lectures?

Rubberduck2 Fri 21-Oct-16 15:14:01

Make your boundaries VERY clear. It's totally unacceptable what ever the circumstances. TBH you are being too nice!!

I would actually say something to him so that there can be no confusion on his part!!

RoundandAroundSheGoes Fri 21-Oct-16 15:14:07

Can you sit away from him in lectures?

I try but he's taken a liking to me because I let slip that I'm bisexual. He wants me to come to LGBTQIA society and stuff. I'm not into that kind of thing, I'm me and bi is a small part of me but not my identity.

I tried hiding from him today (ha, how mature) but he sought me out to sit with me.

SabineUndine Fri 21-Oct-16 15:14:39

what he's doing is assault. Tell him to get off you and stay off and report him if he doesn't.

RoundandAroundSheGoes Fri 21-Oct-16 15:15:14

*Make your boundaries VERY clear. It's totally unacceptable what ever the circumstances. TBH you are being too nice!!

I would actually say something to him so that there can be no confusion on his part!!*

I think I'm worried that I'm being intolerant because he identifies as being part of a specific group. I worry that I find him weird because he's non-binary or whatever and that I'm being mean. It's confusing.

RedTitsMcGinty Fri 21-Oct-16 15:15:58

Your institution should have a Dignity in the Learning Environment policy (it similar) and this person definitely needs to be reminded of it. If you don't want to be the one to tell him - and there's no reason you should be the one, although an initial "please don't do that" is often the best approach - then please tell your tutor and get them to sort it. He's out of line. You shouldn't have to put up with this,

TheGirlOnTheLanding Fri 21-Oct-16 15:16:03

YANBU. People differ as to how comfortable they are with encroachment on personal space, whether or not they have history that affects that comfort level. He should respect that with you. You may have to tell him rather than flinch and move away, though: some people are not good at taking a hint. Saying in a neutral tone something like 'You're in my space: I'm not comfortable.' Shouldn't cause offence.

RoundandAroundSheGoes Fri 21-Oct-16 15:16:16

what he's doing is assault. Tell him to get off you and stay off and report him if he doesn't.

That seems a bit harsh because the others are OK with it, and I let him do it initially (out of shock).

RedTitsMcGinty Fri 21-Oct-16 15:16:30

or similar*

RoundandAroundSheGoes Fri 21-Oct-16 15:16:59

Thanks ThatGirl, that sounds good. I don't want to make things awkward. You're probably right about me being too subtle.

ShaunPaul Fri 21-Oct-16 15:18:02

If he seeks you out to sit by you, once the lecture is just starting just move a couple of seats away. This won't disrupt the lecture but will get you away. I'd go to the lecturer at the end and apologise for any disruption but say you were trying to get away from him. I'm a lecturer saying this!

You are being way too nice to him.

You need to be firm; "Don't try and convince me to come to LGBT.. meetings, it's not my thing, I'm never going to go so can you please stop talking to me about it"

and

"You need to stop touching me and invading my personal space. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable"

Clandestino Fri 21-Oct-16 15:18:04

I think I'm worried that I'm being intolerant because he identifies as being part of a specific group. I worry that I find him weird because he's non-binary or whatever and that I'm being mean. It's confusing.

He's a moron. Binary, non-binary or hexadecimal. He is in your personal space, he behaves inappropriately, he deserves to be told to keep to his own space. There's no confusion about it.

RoundandAroundSheGoes Fri 21-Oct-16 15:19:36

He's a moron. Binary, non-binary or hexadecimal. grin

OK thanks everyone. I need to be more assertive/firm, I have a right to do so. I will take action on Monday.

AmeliaJack Fri 21-Oct-16 15:19:47

Ok if he was straight would you want him cuddling up to you in lectures?

If he was a gay woman would you want him cuddling up to you in lectures?

It's not discrimination to not want someone not to touch you.

You need to be very clear:

Sit up I don't like that.
Please don't touch me.
Please give me some space

Why are you worried if you hurt his feelings? He isn't worried about your feelings or boundaries- is he?

myownprivateidaho Fri 21-Oct-16 15:20:53

Agree with others, make boundaries clear and do it verbally. Doesn't have to be unpleasant - just "please can you not come close to me, I prefer to keep my own personal space." His sexuality does not enter the equation.

GerdaLovesLili Fri 21-Oct-16 15:22:01

Carry a can of Lynx or whatever the female equivalent is in your bag, every time special snowflake approaches get it out and squirt it vaguely in his direction. He'll soon get the message.

RoundandAroundSheGoes Fri 21-Oct-16 15:22:22

Why are you worried if you hurt his feelings? He isn't worried about your feelings or boundaries- is he?

Twofold: because I'd worry I'm committing some kind of hate crime or bullying him, that his sexuality would come into it somehow, and also because we share friends in our group so I'd worry about creating tension.

RoundandAroundSheGoes Fri 21-Oct-16 15:23:32

Agree with others, make boundaries clear and do it verbally. Doesn't have to be unpleasant - just "please can you not come close to me, I prefer to keep my own personal space." His sexuality does not enter the equation.

Yeah I don't know why the sexuality thing is such a sticking point for me. I guess because I feel guilty. When I first met him I kept thinking he was weird, and then he said he's non-binary ace panromantic and I felt bad that I assumed he was odd when he's obviously just.. different.

ChuckBiscuits Fri 21-Oct-16 15:23:51

even though he will feel hurt

He doesn't worry about you love, just tell him to stop

carmenta Fri 21-Oct-16 15:24:36

It's not discrimination to not want someone not to touch you.

^^This. It makes no difference that he's from a rather persecuted minority group. It still doesn't trump your right to bodily autonomy.

ShaunPaul Fri 21-Oct-16 15:25:22

There's no hate crime. Your not discriminating against him and certainly not on the grounds of sexuality or gender. You don't want to be touched and cuddled by anyone in lectures regardless of their gender etc

It doesn't need to create tension. As long as you're not nasty about it, just forthright, then there should be no problem. I also wonder whether others in the friendship group are struggling with his behaviour but no-one is saying/doing anything for the same reasons you're not? If you say something others may follow.

ShowMeTheElf Fri 21-Oct-16 15:25:52

'Back off Stinky' should probably discourage him a bit.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Fri 21-Oct-16 15:26:02

With the greatest of respect OP you're practically tripping over yourself trying to be ok with him - when he is doing the exact opposite.

Be more assertive. Tell him to stop it. If he continues, get up and move, or say it loud enough so that others hear you. If he smells I'm sure you're not the only one who doesn't want to speak up but actually isn't happy with it.

Being non-binary asexual with hairclips doesn't mean you get a free pass to do what you want. And if anyone were to dare question me I would ask why he's allowed to touch me but apparently I'm not even allowed to ask him not to and why they are making apologies for his behaviour?

Easy for me to say though, it's not me it's happening to! flowers

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now