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To be a bit creeped out?

(59 Posts)
Willowgate5 Sun 12-Nov-17 16:33:37

Took DD to park. There was another woman and her 2 kids, and 2 men who seemed to be around 40s. Naturally assumed the men were with the woman.

Then the woman left but the men stayed. They were just hanging around in the park. It's a tiny park, with walkways and a bit of green around it with benches, so it seemed a bit odd for them to be in the actual park without any kids.

I chastised myself and asked would I be thinking the same if they were women? Perhaps I was being stupid.

One man left, other stayed. I kept seeing him watching me. I can be a people-watcher at times though so I shrugged it off again.

As I left, he said goodbye to me and said me and my child were 'very good'. I figured he meant well-behaved (my child) or something like that - It was clear English wasn't his first language so I couldn't understand exactly what he was trying to say.

Me and DD walked down the pathway to a grassy hill where she was running up and down it. I look back at the park and find him stating at us. He then vacates the park and comes and stands with us, watching what we're doing.

Now I feel a bit creeped out... I wonder if perhaps he is just lonely and want a someone to talk to? Maybe he has a younger age intellectually and doesn't realise he's making me feel awkward?

Anyway, he starts asking me if she's my only child, where I'm from. He says he's from Bulgaria and I say I've been on holiday there before... I was just trying to be nice. He says he has no kids but will soon.

He then says bye to me again and walks on down the path, and I think I've gotten rid of him. But then I turn around and he's standing at the exit of the pathway where he knows I will be going... just staring at us again.

I take my sweet time putting DD in the pushchair and wrapping her up, hoping that if I take long enough then he'll go away. No such luck. Still there, still watching.

I realise that he thinks I'm going right as he is standing to the turn right at the exit (I vaguely mentioned I lived over that way and pointed right during our brief convo). He was waiting for me so that he could walk with me or something? I don't know.

I went left. He shouted goodbye again but then went on his way.

Now I'm wondering if I'm overthinking this and shouldn't have gotten the weird vibe that I did? It seemed he wasn't aware he was behaving strangely so maybe just socially awkward?


TheQueenOfWands Sun 12-Nov-17 16:35:21

Yes, weird.

But you might just look friendly.

I too have a 'come and chat with me face'.

Hellohellorain Sun 12-Nov-17 16:38:09

Pointless thread hmm
We encounter a strange people everyday

Sayyouwill Sun 12-Nov-17 16:38:37

No that is very odd behaviour. I would consider reporting this tbh. Something just makes it sound like the beginning of a horror movie

demirose87 Sun 12-Nov-17 16:47:31

I would feel unnerved also, but it may have been nothing. Some people are just strange and don't realise that their behaviour comes across different to how they intend.

Willowgate5 Sun 12-Nov-17 16:55:13


I don't encounter strange people everyday actually, at least not to the point of making me feel a bit uncomfortable.

The point of the thread was for me to see if my feelings were valid or unreasonable/over-the-top.

RoseGoldEagle Sun 12-Nov-17 16:57:02

There's no way of knowing if he was unusual but harmless or had malicious intentions. Doesn't really matter- if you felt uncomfortable you'd have been better off not talking to him and leaving. Never ignore those feelings just because you might offend someone or feel awkward- you don't have to be rude but there's nothing wrong will not wanting to engage with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable.

SirWibbles209 Sun 12-Nov-17 16:57:44

Maybe he was just trying to be friendly? I'm really cynical IRL however so I would probably have been creeper put too grin sorry not much help.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Sun 12-Nov-17 17:03:07

He might have ment no harm, but I'd have creeped out, too

Awwlookatmybabyspider Sun 12-Nov-17 17:04:22

"They" whoever they are of course.
Always tell us to listen to our intuition and gut instinct

Mittens1969 Sun 12-Nov-17 17:04:39

I would be very creeped out by a man like that, that’s very odd behaviour. Obviously, he might be lonely, but why hang around a children’s playground on his own? hmm

Noimbrianfromhull Sun 12-Nov-17 17:14:37

I might be being completely off course here but I went on holiday to Bulgaria a few years ago with a couple of friends to a not very touristy area and we were stared at all the time.

On the first day we thought it was weird and were a bit worried, especially as cars would slow down to have a stare and men would stare without trying to hide it in restaurants etc but after that we assumed it wasn't particularly unusual.

No-one ever approached us or made us feel uncomfortable other than the staring which didn't seem that odd after a day or two.

British people think it's very rude or weird to stare. I don't think the rest of the world always does.

TheDowagerCuntess Sun 12-Nov-17 17:16:52

Your feelings are your feelings.

Everyone could come on here and tell you you're BU to feel like that, but so what?

You were creeped out, and that's that. Nothing's going to change that.

No way of telling whether he had good or bad intent, unfortunately.

Squarerouteofsquirrel Sun 12-Nov-17 17:19:51

It’s sounds like he was just being friendly and you felt vulnerable in the park alone with him. I’m naturally quite an anxious person and don’t like seeing lone men when I’m out walking alone with dogs, start imaging all kinds of bad things happening, but it’s mostly anxiety talking.
However, you should also trust your instincts if you don’t feel comfortable around someone then just make your excuses, get away as fast as you can.

TheDowagerCuntess Sun 12-Nov-17 17:20:16

You don't have to be polite to strangers who make you feel uncomfortable, you know.

Maybe that's the most important 'take away' from this exchange.

I had reason to actually tell DD (7) that over the weekend.

You are not obliged to humour strangers at all, ever, even a tiny bit, if something feels off about them.

Ignore. Walk away. Be 'rude'. That's perfectly OK. Wise, in fact.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sun 12-Nov-17 17:21:12

I would have been creeped out too, but he was probably just trying to chat you up. I would possibly go to a different playground for a bit just to avoid running into him again though.

Ttbb Sun 12-Nov-17 17:22:52

That is very strange. I would be creeped out too.

blanklook Sun 12-Nov-17 17:22:59

why hang around a children’s playground on his own?

Absolutely, with bells on.

mallardduckponds Sun 12-Nov-17 17:27:15

As someone who is often very lonely, I do not seek to assuage that feeling by staring at toddlers.

northlondonlassie Sun 12-Nov-17 17:36:08

In some other countries, it’s normal for groups of men to loiter in public places in a way that British men just wouldn’t do. I also think sometimes, they look upon women on a different way than what we are used to. It can seem sinister to us, but I don’t believe it’s usually creepy with any intent. That said, I might avoid that particular park on my own for a few weeks - to avoid running into him again.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 12-Nov-17 17:38:42

I would be creeped out, sounds like he might have had an ulterior motive. Twice he has seeked out op and her child, making her uncomfortable, and hanging round on his own in a child's playground, not right.

ConciseandNice Sun 12-Nov-17 17:43:37

There was a guy that used to sit on the bench (alone) in the park my sons and their mates used to play in. I didn't think anything of it as one of the kids said they thought he was the grandad of one of the other kids. Years later ,my sons mentioned how the old man used to take photos of them with a camera that he always kept in his raincoat pocket. I was horrified. The boys never mentioned it because the guy never touched them, but still. Basically all I'm saying is, if you have a gut reaction you need to listen to it. Nature has given us a sense of danger and it's important we don't disregard it entirely.

saoirse31 Sun 12-Nov-17 17:44:10

It was a park the op said, not a playground. Don't see anything to worry about.

mallardduckponds Sun 12-Nov-17 17:46:54

I don't think that it's a gut reaction to be perturbed by lone men watching children. Just common sense.

JokersRus Sun 12-Nov-17 17:48:25

Pointless thread
We encounter a strange people everyday

If it's pointless, why did you bother reading and then bother commenting??

The OP was clearly unnerved and uncomfortable.

Love these MN "first comments" grin

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