Getting stalked at the gym...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 1:49 PM GMT
    I've joined a new gym here in DC and all is great - except for one thing: An old, overweight guy is hovering around the same machines as me, looking at me constantly, and generally creeping me out.

    I keep my ipod on and avoid eye contact. On Saturday, he came up to me, starting saying something - so I took my earbuds out. He said "you are incredibly beautiful", I said 'thanks', and put my ipod earphones back on, and he moved along.

    Yesterday, was working out WITH MY BF and he *still* looked at me the whole time.

    Last night, chatting with a friend on facebook and he said the guy does this to a lot of the guys at the gym.

    So....what to do? What have others done?

    I'm thinking a polite 'please leave me alone' or 'i'm a bit uncomfortable' ought to do it, no? And if not, report him to gym mgt? The 'old, overweight' adds to the creepiness, but of course even if this was a hot guy, it would still be offputting, so please no comments like "well if he was cute you wouldn't be complaining". I'm there to work out and work out only! icon_cool.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 02, 2009 2:25 PM GMT
    Well I think you ought to approach it as inappropriate, regardless of his age and weight status.

    I'd reverse the approach. I'd tell the gym staff first (the reason being, he has done it to others and they need to know). Be reasoned about your compliant.. I'd just say, "this guy is giving me inappropriate attention and I understand he has done it to others". If the situation doesn't change, I'd
    tell the guy to his face.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 3:49 PM GMT
    You need to confront him directly, asking him to stop. Tell him that if he fails to stop, you'll complain to management and seek an injunction against harassment from the courts. That should wilt his lettuce. If you get an injunction and he fails to comply, complain to the police, and let him think about it in a jail cell for a few nights. That should get him in line.

    I've had weirdos follow me around, stare, and the like. With these sorts of folks, they're mentally ill, and require brute force to get to comply.

    It's very important that you reject him personally, so that he'll accept it. He needs to understand there is NO HOPE of being involved in your life.

    You need to make sure you man-up and confront him directly, letting him know that his behavior is unacceptable and that you think he's a creep.

    I had folks from ugly middle-aged guys to little twinkies with cell phone stalk me. I've never had to put an injunction against one, but, I have gotten in several of their faces and made sure they were very clear that I wouldn't put up with it.

    Get in his face. Tell him to knock it off. Do that before complaining to management (that's a sissy method, and will surely piss him off).
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    Feb 02, 2009 4:06 PM GMT
    Try the direct approach and tell hiim he is making you AND your partner uncomfortable at your gym. I actually had a creepy guy in my office stalk me at the gym on the ground floor of the building. I couldn't afford to piss him off, so I changed my routine from lunch to AM before work. That did the trick.icon_neutral.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 02, 2009 4:07 PM GMT
    I heartily disagree with Chuckster on this one....

    The gym management MUST be made aware of the problem, especially if
    there is a history of "stalking" or "inappropriate conduct" by this guy.
    Chuck mentions legal action, not a bad idea IF the guy continues to bother you. If you should take legal action against someone like this, imagine serving the management to testify and they state you never even notified them there was a problem.

    Not a "sissy" way out, its the responsible way of dealing with a problem.

    Now having said that, I'd probably be more apt to take physical action if he didn't leave me alone, but you could end up in court defending your actions.. again, good to let others know what the problem is so your not defending yourself in the end.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 4:08 PM GMT
    You need to review the rules of conduct for your gym. As creepy as it sounds and it is creepy he really has not done anything to get in trouble.

    He has not said anything offensive and has not touched you or followed you in the mens shower stall.

    He's only staring and unfortunately that's not against the law. He could easily say I'm just staring in that direction.

    Really not much the gym staff can do unless he has broken the rules.
    I went through the same thing. This guy was very vocal. I ended up changing gyms.

    It appears that your only option is to confront the guy and just let him know.
    You don't want to come off as being agressive, just let him know straight up!
    It may work it may not work. Because he really hasn't broken any rules from what you posted.

    Good luck to you.
  • Matia79

    Posts: 215

    Feb 02, 2009 4:53 PM GMT
    I hate to say it Sean, but it's a common problem. I've been going through the exact same thing at the gym. My gym buddy and I are constantly being bothered by some creepy guy who's been watching us, following us and throwing us strange looks. We're both very quiet and serious when it comes to working out. A couple of weeks ago this discovered where our lockers are (we tend to use the same ones every day) and he's decided to use the one directly between us.
    This morning we found him in the locker room after our workout and as I reached over to open my locker he actually sniffed my arm with a huge grin on his face. That was it for me! I quietly informed him we didn't like being followed or leered at and it wasn't until this moment that we had any leg to stand on should we complain to the management, but after his olfactory abuse (I still feel like I need a shower), should he continue to bother us, I will be putting in a formal complaint with gym management.
    HOPEFULLY it takes. In the meantime, we've decided to move lockers and will be rotating our work outs to another part of the gym (its a six floor gym).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 5:10 PM GMT
    Inside that blubbery mass is a person who wishes to be beautiful like you. Poor fellow. Drowning in his own fat. He is only stalking because you wont recognize his existence. Say hello. Be friendly. Fat isnt contagious....oh, let me think.....didnt they just say it was ... icon_lol.gif ... anyway

    When put in proximity to such a person at the gym that silence is awkward, I have turned "hellos" into gentle complains of my excess adipose.... and talk about the nu4you.net online nutrition company that RJ uses for it competitions. I also talk about the book "You on a Diet" by Drs Roizen and Oz and how it helps you understand how your metabolism works so you can make intelligent decisions about eating, not just follow a diet plan. They are so happy to hear about something that might help them....they invariably go away and dont bother me anymore. But we still exchange smiles, nods, and hellos.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 5:39 PM GMT
    It would be best to just politely confront the guy. When he is crowding you at the gym, ask nonchalantly if you can help him. I assume he will say no. Then you can state your case that you noticed he seems to be following you around and that it makes you very uncomfortable since you attend the gym to workout only and not to socialize. If he apologizes, say thanks for understanding and walk away the better man. If he continues the behavior ,you have every right to report him to management. It is not up to you, however, to report him on behalf of everyone he has supposedly stalked--that is hearsay. Some older men just don't know their boundaries with younger, hotter guys and must be told. The best approach is always firm but polite.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 5:43 PM GMT
    Confront? Confront? ....what's wrong with saying hello and being friendly?
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Feb 02, 2009 5:49 PM GMT
    I don't think that you have much recourse ... Right Now

    If the guy hasn't really touched you in any way
    going to the gym and complaining isn't going to do anything except stir up drama
    I've had some similar situations and some Inappropriate Touching as well icon_eek.gif
    You don't wanna know what I did to stop THAT icon_wink.gif
    But as far as the old guy ... why not kill him with kindness
    always remember that ANY attention is better than no attention

    If you ignore him he'll go away
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 6:31 PM GMT
    I'm personally not supportive of rewarding creepy behavior with positive attention. I personally feel that's absolutely idiotic.

    I'd give him attention all right. No need to drag the gym into it, risk your membership, or stir up drama. Get in the guy's face, and tell him to knock it off.

    Keep
    It
    Simple
    Silly

    A few years back, a little twink was following me around with his cell cam. He came after me in the locker room. I walked over, got in his face, and said, "You knock it off, or I'm gonna' take your phone away from you." I never saw him at the gym after that, ever.

    You absolutely should not reward bad behavior in a good way. Even most Mom's know that.
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    Feb 02, 2009 6:47 PM GMT
    I have a really sick sense of humor. I would most likely reverse it and make him feel uncomfortable. LOL --

    I can relate though, I hate those creepers at the gym who don't leave you alone! I'm sure you're like me and most other people; I'm at the gym because I want to work out and get out of there!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 6:55 PM GMT
    I don't think anyone is advocating rewarding bad behavior. But from what the OP has written, the guy is only guilty of a lingering stare and complimenting him. Hence he has not broken any rules. Last time I checked there are no laws against it. It's socially retarded.

    He did not follow him into the locker room with his camera on. The guy is creepy.

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    Feb 02, 2009 6:56 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidI'm personally not supportive of rewarding creepy behavior with positive attention.

    funny pictures

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    Feb 02, 2009 7:27 PM GMT
    Panther84 saidIgnore him and make it evident that you are avoiding him at all costs.. As rude as it is, it worked.

    Avoid him at all costs....that's the ticket! icon_wink.gif

    "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead with no clothes. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 7:39 PM GMT
    Would this be a problem for you if the guy was very good looking and gym toned? It would for me and it has been for me.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 7:59 PM GMT
    You have been working out to look good, and while some won't admit it, to attract attention. Well, you have attracted some attention.
    Play nice.
  • SeaMichael

    Posts: 138

    Feb 02, 2009 8:00 PM GMT
    Gym stalkers are quite annoying. Don't get me wrong, I've caught myself all but staring at hot boys at the gym, but I sure as shit don't follow them around, and once I realize that I'm staring, shake it off and focus on what I'm doing (unfocused workouts are never any good).

    Be that as it may, I agree that positive reinforcement of poor behavior is not a good thing. I'm lucky in that I can pretty much tune out everything that's going on around me at the gym, but I've given a look a time or two before, and typically that's enough (I come off as kind of an asshole, especially for the nice folks here in Seattle).

    Best of luck with your stalker problem!
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    Feb 02, 2009 8:08 PM GMT
    Personally speaking I'm the kind of guy who deals with situations up close and personally. I would do the direct approach and inform him to please just leave me alone and then continue to say that if he doesn't that I'll be forced to inform the gym staff of his unwanted actions. I seriously don't have time to play little games with people and I treat people the way I like to be treated.

    I feel alot better knowing that I give people the option to correct themselves before I have to do anything about. It allows me to walk with my head and guilt free when I have to turn around and be a mean person to someone. At the end of the day I can honestly say I gave them a warning and therefore don't feel bad.

    Give the guy a warning and hopefully he takes it to heart and if not then he's fair game for some an embarassment.
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    Feb 02, 2009 8:20 PM GMT
    "Give the guy a warning." Have you given the guy a chance? Tried talking to him? Seeing what kind of guy he is? ....then in a friendly way, letting him know that his staring isnt appreciated, if that is what is needed. Maybe he is a nice guy who would just like to hear a few words from somebody....and not be ignored.....it could happen!
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    Feb 02, 2009 8:28 PM GMT
    If he was hot I wonder how you and your boyfriend would feel? I bet you'd be secretly dead chuffed (pleased) that your workouts were having the right effect on those hotties. Shame he doesn't have the good grace to be good looking.
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    Feb 02, 2009 8:32 PM GMT
    Well I don't think it matters whether the guy is gross looking orif he's freaking drop dead goregous. Staring and stalking someone in a gym is just bad taste all together. It's on the same level as that one thread where the guy was practically soliciting for sex in the gym and was too blunt about it.

    Bad manners is never attractive. There's nothing wrong with window shopping but that doesn't mean you have to stay glued on a person and becomne their shadow. It's just creepy.
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    Feb 02, 2009 8:39 PM GMT
    redheadguy saidIf he was hot I wonder how you and your boyfriend would feel? I bet you'd be secretly dead chuffed (pleased) that your workouts were having the right effect on those hotties. Shame he doesn't have the good grace to be good looking.


    Seanp7 said "The 'old, overweight' adds to the creepiness, but of course even if this was a hot guy, it would still be offputting, so please no comments like "well if he was cute you wouldn't be complaining". I'm there to work out and work out only! "

    icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2009 8:43 PM GMT
    Guy101 saidWell I don't think it matters whether the guy is gross looking ar freaking drop dead goregous. Staring and stalking someone in a gym is just bad taste all together. It's ont he same level as that one thread where the guy was practically soliciting for sex in the gym and was very blunt asbout it.

    Bad manners is never attractive. There's nothing wrong with windowshopping but that doesn't mean you have to stay glued on a person and becomne their shadow. It's just creepy.

    Snobbish ill-grace is bad manners, too. He apparently hasnt even spoken to the guy in any meaningful way, if at all.

    But calling someone a 'stalker" puts him in a category, dehumanizes him, allows you to objectify him....allows you to reject him based on this label, rather than face the fact that you just dont want to talk to him because he isnt attractive.....and then you can blast him with both barrels as being a "creep"....and never get off your high horse doing it! How convenient.