I did a series of trainings for the Toledo Public Library before the world ended. (You all were awesome, by the way!)
A woman in her 20s shared a story of an incident from earlier the same week.
A library patron (twice her age) asked, “Didn’t I see you dancing on a pole last night?”
She looked at him and without any facial expression and in a completely monotone voice asked, “What do you mean?”
He stumbled with his words. Completely flummoxed, he eventually said, “Never mind” and walked away.
He was expecting one of a few possible responses. The top two are:
- Flirting – He probably didn’t expect her to ask him on a date, but he might have been hoping for a little “harmless” flirting. (In case it wasn’t clear, I put the “harmless” in quotes to signify that I don’t think it is harmless).
- Objection – It gives him an opportunity to say something like, “Oh, you are pretty enough to be a dancer.” Even an argument keeps the conversation going.
What she did was sidestep the entire conversation like a Judo master using the weight of her enemy to bring him down!
The key is to have a totally “flat affect.”
Flat Affect = Monotone voice, no facial expression, completely devoid of all emotion.
The creepy dude is feeding off her emotions. Any emotion will work for him. Even a negative emotion works. When she puts the question back to him without any emotion, it ruins his game.