The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I think I’m a nice person. I try to be nice to everyone. Whenever I feel like someone is left out of a conversation, I feel the need to reel them in. If I think I’m due to offer someone a compliment, I definitely will. If I think I’m capable of helping someone who needs it, I’ll do my best to help them. That’s just the way I am. I think I’m as nice as I can be.
Unfortunately, a lot of people – mostly men – mistake my kindness for flirting. Well, I’m here to confirm that I am in no way, shape, or form flirting with anybody.
For one thing, I don’t even like flirting nor do I like being flirted with. I find it awkward in all honesty. If I’m offered a smooth pickup line, I laugh. It’s not that I’m trying to be mean or that I think the other person is pathetic or anything like that, it’s just that I feel awkward and am unsure of what to do in that situation; so I laugh instead. Flirting is just not in my field, nor do I want it to be.
It’s really frustrating for me when I’m trying to be nice to someone, and they just assume that I have a crush on them and am bringing my A game. I don’t have any “game!” I don’t flirt!
This never occurred to me until my second year of high school. I had a friend who I’ll call A who happened to be a guy in my Challenge and Change class. We’d known each other since the year before, but we never really became friends until the following year. I found him nice and funny, so I was kind to him as well, as anybody would be to someone they just became friends with.
Well, one day, another boy who I’ll call B from the same class approached A and I and started to joke around. He told me that A would talk about me during our lunch break and say that I was in love with him. Here was the thing: I found B kind of annoying and never took him seriously. So initially, I thought he was just messing around. My friend also responded to this, saying that it was bullsh*t. Of course, I believed him over B who used to be annoying to me.
This kept going on. B would just approach us during class to talk, and then joke about A saying that I loved him. It got very irritating. Every time, A would say, “Bullsh*t.” Time and time again, I would believe him. Why wouldn’t I? He never gave me a reason to doubt him. I had made a friend and we were nice to each other. There was no reason for me to believe that he was talking about me behind my back about my supposed flirting.
Then one day after school, I was in the gymnasium to help with that year’s school musical. There was a girl – let’s call her C – who was in the musical who I had become friends with the year before. So, while everyone was cleaning up after rehearsals, C and I were chatting about a drama class that we had both attended. She said that she was unsure if she wanted to take that class again next year. We talked back and forth about it until we stumbled upon A from my Challenge and Change class, who was also in the drama class we were speaking of. She said that she could not stand him and didn’t want to be in the same class as him again.
Now this startled me. I didn’t understand why she felt that way about him. So of course, I asked her why. “Do you not like him?” I asked. She looked at me with this shocked look on her face and answered my question with a question: “You do like him?” I got more confused. I told her that he was my friend, so of course I liked him. “But do you like him, like him?” she asked. “No, of course not!” I responded. Suddenly she looked irritated. I asked her what was going on. I think it’s easy to guess what she revealed to me.
Well, she told me that every time during our lunch break in the cafeteria, my so-called “friend” would talk about me and say that I was in love with him.
The thing about C is that she was always brutally honest. I’d known her for a while at the time, so she had no reason to lie to me. I just kind of looked at her, stunned. Then I asked, “Why does he think that?” Guess what she said. “He says you’re always flirting with him.”
Being nice to him was mistaken for flirting. Since that day, I’ve been cautious with the way I speak to guys. What if I was kind to the next guy I become friends with, and he mistakes that for flirting as well? I find it difficult to befriend men now, just because of that.
On one hand, it frustrates me that A thought I was flirting with him and talked behind my back about it. On the other hand, I sort of get it. The thing about me is I blush easily. Not even when I’m embarrassed or flattered, but when I’m happy or laughing or even just talking, my cheeks get red. Considering that, maybe it’s understandable why he thought that. But that happens with everyone I talk to. It doesn’t mean I’m crushing on anybody.
I obviously can’t speak for everybody, but I feel like we can’t always assume that someone is in love with another person just because they’re expressing kindness to them. For me personally, as I’ve mentioned before, flirting makes me feel awkward. I’m just a nice person. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m looking for a relationship with anyone.
Please do not be so quick to assume anything. If there is someone expressing kindness to you and you are under the assumption that they might have feelings for you, at least ask them about it. Don’t gossip about it with your friends. I found it hurtful when it happened to me. Let’s assume for a moment that I was flirting with A and that I was in love with him. I still wouldn’t want him to talk about it to his friends behind my back.
As the title expresses, just because I’m nice to you, does not mean I am flirting with you.