As young people we were barraged with warnings from well-meaning loved ones– things like “don’t take candy from strangers.” Or “don’t accept rides from people you don’t know.” But as we get older, we have to look out for new tactics used by creepy people. Whether they offend us, make us uncomfortable, or pose a serious threat, it’s best to learn the kind of creepy people to avoid.
From public transport, bars, restaurants, the workplace, and even online–creepy people are just everywhere. You won’t get a chance to avoid them.
So for your own peace of mind, here is a list of the various creepy people you will likely come across at some point in your life.
This is a subtle kind of creepiness, which is why it is at the top of the list. These people make a point to get in your face. It could be a coworker who is a weirdly close talker, or the person that chooses to sit next to you even if the whole train or bus is deserted.
This kind of micro-aggression is a test– the creepy person wants to see what you will put up with from them. The answer should be: absolutely nothing. [Read: The 11 glaring clues to watch for in a stalker]
It’s totally normal for people to look at each other, but that is not the kind of staring creepy people do. They ogle, which is the kind of stare that you can feel on your body. It’s unwanted and it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
Some steal glances and retreat if your eyes meet theirs, but the bolder ones unblinkingly fix their eyes on you like glue. Both are creepy as well as profoundly rude, and give you the impulse to fumble through your bag for your pepper spray.
Catcalling is the worst, particularly because it is so misunderstood. Some people *mainly men* don’t understand what all the fuss is about, because they think that the victim of catcalling is complaining about receiving a random compliment about their appearance, which sounds just swell to them.
But that’s the problem– Catcalling is not a compliment. It is a threat.
These creepy people use unsolicited, aggressive sexual comments to upset and bother you, to make you uncomfortable and afraid. And compliments generally don’t make people feel like they want to run screaming in the other direction– but catcalls do. [Read: Should women take catcalling as a compliment or offense]
From the girl who swings her legs wide open to guys airing their junk in the bus corner seat, this kind of behavior is as unwanted as it is upsetting.
Luckily, most cities penalize this kind of behavior. But for the unlucky rest of the world, they have to deal with these creepy people who think the public appreciates seeing what normal people have the decency to do in the privacy of their bedroom.
If you think personal space invaders are creepy, wait until you meet someone who actually attempts to touch you. On purpose.
There are obviously overt examples of this behavior, such as gropers on public transit. Those creepy people can be dealt with by a swift blow to the head and, hopefully, criminal charges.
But there are other kinds too. Creepy people who push your physical boundaries in more subtle ways, who hug you a little too long or spend a lot of time “accidentally” touching you.
If you feel uncomfortable with someone being touchy with you, say something–and if their feelings get hurt, that’s their problem.
The Stalker has changed over the years. It used to be that if a creep wanted to stalk you, they had to physically follow you around, hanging out where you hang out, visiting the same shops at the same time, and generally just making sure to be where you are.
These days, the majority of stalking is done virtually. Stalkers bookmark your social media accounts and likely have a personal collection of screenshots of your most flattering photos. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on what you post, and to mark yourself at locations only after you’ve left. [Read: How to get rid of a stalker and all the ways to banish them for good]
People usually have unspoken rules for giving gifts to their friends, co-workers, significant others, and family members. That is why it is so alarming to receive an unsolicited gift from a creepy person– it’s an invasion of privacy and a breaking of the social contract.
In addition, these gifts are not true gifts. The creepy person gives them to you with the heavy implication that you are expected to “pay them back.” For example: a boss who gives you expensive jewelry with strings attached. [Read: How to know if you’re being seduced – 13 subtle tricks seducers use]
There is a time and a place for talking about sex. But a lot of creepy people didn’t seem to get the memo. We all have met the type who talks and acts like they haven’t seen members of the opposite sex for years.
They blurt out embarrassing things, constantly turn the conversation back to sex, and generally make everyone uncomfortable.
All of their comments and remarks are either about porn, sex, or the disgusting objectification of the opposite gender. If you’re unlucky enough to know someone like this, do yourself a favor and stay away from them.
This one is a classic. With his old, grandfatherly charm which commands respect and forgiveness for his possible senility, he exploits your kindness by trying to score a touch.
Luckily, most old men are harmless, and the ones that aren’t can be put in their place with a reminder that they are old enough to be your grandfather. When all else fails, the good news is that he’ll probably die soon!
This type of creepy people are in the same family as the Exhibitionist. For whatever reason, they feel the need to tell you every detail of their personal life. That might be fine if the subject was their garden, or how they decorate their house. Boring and self-indulgent, sure, but not creepy.
However, the Over-Sharer gives you unsolicited and detailed stories of their sexual escapades, personal hygiene practices, and unpleasant family matters.
And to make things worse, they generally dump this on you within the first five minutes of meeting you. Be especially wary of the Over-sharer—anyone who is that eager to air out their dirty laundry likely has no close friends to tell these things to, and there’s a reason for that. [Read: You have no friends? Uncomfortable reasons why your life is how it is!]
This variety of creep uses all the tools in their arsenal to do research on you to the point that they know more about you than your mom.
They badger your friends for information, stalk your social media profiles, and drop tidbits of their knowledge into a conversation, such as mentioning a party that you went to that they weren’t invited to.
It may seem harmless at first… just don’t let it escalate to where they break into your house in the dead of night to cut a lock of your hair.
They are no spy or a paparazzo but with the skill of one. This type of creepy person knows how to sneak around to take your photo without notice, and without your consent.
Normally, you might be flattered to be treated like a celebrity, but the feeling gets old. Besides who knows what other private moments the creeper with a camera might be taking pictures of in this outright invasion of privacy.
If you’re in the online dating game and attracted to men, you have undoubtedly come across one of these creeps. They are kind of hard to miss.
With their manly hubris, they think a photo of their not-so-appealing junk is the way to impress you, or at least shock and upset you. After all, no one likes to be flashed while trying to just go about their day. [Read: Dick selfies and why men love sending them to women]
Of all the types of creepy people on the list, this type is probably the creepiest and most dangerous. The obsessed romantic creep adopts all the characteristics of the other creeps. The person may stalk you, invade your privacy, attempt to make unsavory advances, and generally freak you out.
Listen to your gut. Someone who breaks your boundaries, especially repeatedly, is not someone who cares about you– no matter what they say.
You are within your rights to protect yourself, just be careful— an obsessive may become unhinged in the face of rejection.
Unlike other creeps on this list, this character is a bit less obvious. Perhaps they are a friend of a friend, or a friend of your partner—someone on the periphery of your social circle.
Maybe they attempted to be friends with you at one point, but that quickly soured when they realized you wouldn’t sleep with them. Perhaps they covet your partner, and are pissed that you usurped them.
Either way, they are pissed. They say nasty things about you behind your back, and/or try to break up you and your partner. They spew hate for the opposite sex in general, but seem to point it especially at you.
These kinds of people can be dangerous because they feel they have been “wronged,” and might attempt to exact some kind of twisted revenge. Therefore, it’s important to put as much space between you and this type of creep as possible.
[Read: What makes a guy creepy? 24 signs and types of guys girls should avoid]
People in general have their own quirks that we may find strange but harmless. But it’s still important to remember that creepy people can be found anywhere, and may take the form of a family member, a friend, or a co-worker.
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