Men kept mistaking her kindness for flirting, so she asked the internet for advice. It delivered.

This article originally appeared on 09.21.18

via LAHWF/YouTube

There's a dilemma women face that most men will never understand.

When a woman is nice to a man she has just met, they often misconstrue her kindness for a sign of sexual attraction.

A study published in Psychological Science found that men who are shown pictures of women misidentify their body language and facial expressions as sexually suggestive 12% of the time.

This poses a huge problem for women in customer service.


Reddit user XochiquetzalRose is having such a problem with men misinterpreting hr kindness for flirting, she asked the online forum for help:

I work at a grocery store. I have excellent customer service and im really empathetic. Im kind and i try to make every 30 second - 5 minute interaction with a person a good experience for them…
I'm starting to feel a little upset though because some of my regular men... older, sick, sad... have become too comfortable with me. They needed a kind ear but now they seem to feel it means more. They make comments about going out, or do i have a boyfriend or “nothing sexual" but…"can we be friends, can i have your number?" When i know the “nothing sexual" isn't their true intention.
It hurts my feelings because, can't i just be kind? Can't we just be humans in this together? Why must it turn down that path...
Do any of you experience these sort of interactions? I don't want to close myself off from being an empathetic person, but the way the tides have been turning... it's becoming exhausting.

The post was a huge hit on Reddit attracting nearly 2,000 responses in the first 16 hours. More importantly, it provides some great advice for women who want to be kind to men but don't want them to think they're are being flirtatious.

Here are the 11 best responses: