So I have a weird situation. I work with the public, and I always try to be nice and talk to the customers about the weather and just be friendly. Well we have a regular customer who comes in almost everyday and he just passed the creepy line. Today at work he talked to me about how he hates the weather, then talked about his cars, then he showed me pictures of his nieces, then it got creepy and he asked me for one of my pictures and I said I dont have any, and he told me to get some done and I said I need to get back to work and stepped away from the register. He then grabbed my shoulder and hugged me and tried kissing my cheek which I pushed away, then he asked where I lived and I said about 10 minutes away and he asked when I got out of work. I was slowly stepping away, then he said we should have dinner and I said sorry I cant and tried getting away and he kept trying to put his arm around me and finally I said bye and was walking away and he said ok we will make plans. This guy is about 3 times my age and is really creepy. I talked to one of my associates who saw the whole thing and said that hes going to start stalking me now and bringing me flowers and other things and he will start looking for my car and might try following me to different places because thats what he did to her for a while, and only stopped when I started working and he turned his attention to me. So, I dont know if hes going to or not, but if he brings flowers is it a sin to tell him I cant except them because my boyfriend would be mad… even though I dont have a boyfriend? I havent lied in a while and Im trying to keep it that way, Im actually afraid to lie now. Is there another way without lying?
Tell your boss, if he or she doesn’t do anything, contact the authorities. Making up a story (though fine in this case) might not be enough.
It is perfectly okay to not accept any gifts or attention from this individual. It is also perfectly acceptable to tell this man to behave as a gentleman. From your description of his behavior he has not been doing so.
Have you discussed this with the manager or business owner? At the pool where I worked we had no tolerance for such behavior when it came to our female lifeguards. This man should know better and he does not have the right to act upon his impulses just because he has them.
It is okay to tell him you do not give out your picture to strangers.
It is okay to raise your voice or yell if he is behaving aggressively.
It is okay to tell him you will not accept any flowers from him. It is also okay to ask the local police or sheriff’s deputy to talk with him.
If he asks why you are not willing to accept his gift you can simply state, “My reasons are my own.” Leave it at that. If he continues after that call over another associate. Without knowing all the details of who this man is I can only offer general ideas.
Be Christian in how you approach the situation, but do not forget to be firm in how you state your position.
There’s a very simple answer to the specific question in the thread title. It was answered by someone on EWTN radio recently – could have been Fr. Groeschel, don’t remember.
The answer is, You need not tell the truth to someone who is doing something sinister (or threatening to) – whether the object of that is yourself or someone else. The moral ground for this is that the person pursuing an evil does not have a right to accurate knowledge (the truth). Your first responsibility is to love yourself enough to ensure your own survival. Stalkers can be deadly. Not something to be played with, if this is seriously a stalking situation.
If either answering a question ‘untruthfully’ or offering deceptive information is a self-protective tactic, then you are morally entitled to such “deception.”
Hang on - people might not be entitled to the whole truth, but that’s not the same thing as you having an entitlement to lie to or deceive them.
Read the catechism’s section on lying and see how it discusses lying being an injury to Jesus who is truth, if nothing else. That’s enough reason to avoid it.
St Maria Goretti had a stalker - who ended up killing her. Her martyrdom in defence of her chastity was more than enough reward for her truthfulness, and she didn’t try to get rid of him by pretending to have a boyfriend.
You have to get help. This man needs to spend some time either in the psychiatric system or in the correctional system after what you describe. At this point he might have been watching you without your knowledge and know a lot more about your habits than you think. I encourage you to tell your boss, brother if you have one, and co-workers that he is dangerous and has already attacked you (which is what that is) and tried to get personal information and photos from you, and make it clear you want protection.
Do or say whatever you need to do to protect yourself, including obtaining a civil restraining order, they’re easy to get, if your state has them. It also sounds like he’s making future threats, which is a crime, so a visit to the police might help too.
Tell him your boyfriend is a Marine MP. I can’t see how anyone can advise you to be a St Maria Goretti-style martyr, knifed to death by a would-be rapist.
If you let me know what state you’re in, I’ll look up the civil restraining order stuff for you. In states like California, its a simple form that you don’t need a lawyer to do. This is the California link, you might get some ideas here.
What’s wrong with martyrdom? Assuming that all legal and moral means of averting harm have been employed and failed, the answer is nothing.
It is a high and noble thing for people to aspire to give their lives for the faith as martyrs, not something to be ashamed of or advised against.
Clearly the reason St Maria Goretti is a saint is that she understood this. Remember many of our greatest Catholic saints are martyrs - it ain’t a bad thing to be by any stretch. :getholy:
I second Highwayhound’s advice.
This man has no right to anything from you. Simply tell him “No”. When he demands a reason for your refusal, remember he has no right to require you to justify yourself. He is the one in the wrong. Just say no. Or say “My reasons are my own”.
Also tell people. Tell your manager. Tell the police. Tell your family, and warn them not to give out information to him.
Also document everything. Make written notes of everything he says to you, with time and date. Make a note of any eyewitnesses.
If he does try following you, or you catch him hanging around your car, document that too, with details.
I will pray for your safety. May the peace of Christ fill your heart.
I disagree. While martyrdom is a great grace to those who are called to it–[LIST=1]
*]Not all are called to it.
*]There is nothing wrong in seeking to protect ourselves from unjust aggression.
*]I think it’s poor policy to urge martyrdom on someone else.[/LIST]It’s good advice to say “don’t lie”–but that is a far cry from telling someone to embrace the risks of being stalked.
How is dying at the hands of a rapist giving your life for the Faith? Even atheists can die that way.
If you, personally, want to become a martyr, that’s one thing. Advising anyone that a rape is something not to be avoided at all hazards (Goretti, according to one site, fought back) is not something I understand.
Um…why would a person continue to interact with someone who has shown such “creepy behavior”???
Christ never said be stupid and put yourself in danger.
This person (and I don’t know the right word, “assaulted” or “battery” ) the OP. Other people cannot touch you without your permission.
Personally, I would refrain from speaking with this person, and have your boss have someone else take care of his customer needs or tell him that his actions are inappropriate and if he continues to pester you, he will be kicked out and not allowed to come back.
Then I would pray for him.
Thank you so much for the advice, Im deffinatly going to let my boss know whats going on. Unfortunatly we are a small store and there is only 2 people on at a time (usually 2 girls), but Im still going to let him know and make sure I know where the other person is at all times at night. Im hoping things dont progress from yesterday because it really shook me up, but im deffinatly not going to talk to him anymore and if things get worse call the authorities. Thanks so much though for the posts, I really appreciate it!
Telling this man that you have a boyfriend won’t make any difference. He is not just some guy with a creepy crush - he has crossed the line into physical assault. In his mind “I have a boyfriend” could be twisted into “I like sex and you can have me, too.” Seriously - don’t play any games with this person.
You need to take this very, very seriously.
You need to be very, very clear. Don’t just say “I need to get back to work” or pretend you have a boyfriend… crazy people like this will think you’re playing hard-to-get, at best. Please be very clear on that.
You MUST say “Don’t touch me” or “Go away” and “If you do that again, I will call the police.” Be hard. Be mean. Don’t apologize or try to spare his feelings. If you do, then you are telling him “I’m a victim and you can mess with me.” You really must be a b*ll-breaking ***** in regards to this man. Hard. Cold. Unyielding.
No need to scream or cause any scenes that might annoy your employer (who might not “get” how serious this is. Be calm, be firm, and be ruthless… and if he doesn’t immediately go away, call the police. Call the police every time you see him.
Never talk to this man, again. You must be utterly consistent and unyielding. Google “how to handle a stalker” and get more advice.
I have to withdraw my advice about telling him you have a boyfriend. Do what this poster says, or get a restraining order.
This is extremely poor advice. Nothing in
the OP’s question indicated this was an issue
of standing up for the Faith. You have urged someone
to put themselves in jeopardy of being killed based on
your skewed idea of death as a ‘‘reward.’’ This isn’t about
maintaining virtue, this is about reasonable self-protection!
Lying is objectively wrong. Meaning it cannot legitimately be done under any circumstances. One can withhold truths from people that are not entitled to them. And we are somehow under the delusion that lying will save you. It won’t. This is known as Faustian bargining.
There is nothing wrong with martyrdom, but it is scarcely a requirement for Catholics. Just like the right to legitimate self-defense leaves open the right for those who chose to die for their attackers, so one may defend or not in this case.
BTW- While lying may be wrong, deception is not. You have zero moral obligation to reveal your personal life to him. You can make limited true statements that will lead him to the wrong conclusions. Tell him there is someone dear to you that would not appreciate him giving you flowers and you are not interested. This is not a lie. If you are not dating or even want to date, you could tell him you are not interested in men. This might have him draw some wrong conclusion, but you owe him no explaination.
If you don’t have a weapon or choose not to carry one, at least get some pepper spray & don’t be afraid to use it if you’re followed or physically approached again.
Right. But that is not the heart of the issue. The issue is whether it is acceptable to do an objective wrong in order to preserve your life. It is not. One may be less culpable for doing wrong due to duress, but wrong it remains.
This is not a joke. Get a restraining order immediately so he will know without a doubt that you are serious - doesn’t seem like he will take any other hint.
Keep in mind that stalkers typically kill the person they are stalking, so you will want to immediately put a stop to him before he really gets into stalking mode.
And no, lying to him is against the 10 Commandments - plus if he is truly stalking you, he will know your every move and know that you are lying which will likely only enrage him anyway.