When you think of a stalker, you think of someone who won't leave you alone -- but who is also scary, threatening, and even mentally disturbed. But there are other kinds of stalkers. Stalking is about someone trying to control their victim -- and people use different methods to try and control. One of those methods can be "niceness." It can be manipulative, boundary-busting, and incredibly hurtful, but it's maybe harder to understand than the typical stalking. But, yes, there is such a thing as the "Nice Stalker." Let me explain.
My friend ended a relationship with a man about a year ago. Actually, he was the one who ended it. He decided he wanted to date another woman. So he told my friend he couldn't see her anymore. My friend was devastated, but said she understood.
There was just one thing she asked him to do: To please not contact her anymore. Although they were friends as well as lovers, she needed time and space to heal, and felt their usual all-day emails and text messages wouldn't allow for that. He said he understood.
But he didn't.
Soon enough, the text messages began coming. How was she doing? He hoped she was okay. He hoped he hadn't hurt her too badly. He was sorry for what he did. Hey, they could still be friends.
My friend said she understood and asked him again to give her space to heal and to stop communicating. Maybe they could be friends in the future but not NOW and could he please leave her alone for awhile.
Each day, several times a day would come the text messages. Always concerned for her welfare. Always wanting to be friends. Sometimes going as far as to suggest they get together for lunch or drinks. Occasionally, the messages slipped into light flirtation. He's always reminding her what a "nice guy" he is. (Never mind that he dumped her and won't leave her alone.)
My friend was baffled. WHY was this man who didn't want to be with her continually contacting her? Since ignoring him wasn't working, she blocked his text messages. Then he began emailing. So she blocked him there. Then he began sending messages through Facebook, even though they weren't friends.
Each time he contacts her, my friend is thrown into a new tizzy of conflicting emotions. If he doesn't want to be with her, why is he always saying such nice things to her? And why can't he leave her be if he has a new girlfriend?
The answer is: Because he wants to control her. He may not want a relationship with her -- but that doesn't mean he doesn't want to stop manipulating her. This is more than just a minor annoyance -- this man is going out of his way to make sure my friend never gets the distance she needs to heal her heart. He's doing that on purpose.
At this point, she's blocked him from everything she can think of, and he hasn't shown up on her doorstep. He hasn't threatened her. He hasn't gotten angry with her. Which is good.
But make no mistake -- this is a man who wants to keep hurting a woman he's already hurt. And that makes him not nice.
Have you ever had a "nice stalker"?
Image via Jhaymesisviphotography/Flickr