Jumping to Conclusions
The first was when an intern who is being assigned to me (cuz apparently he'll learn stuff?) for a week or two asked if I'd like to "Go for coffee. (pause) To discuss the training that's coming up and what's expected." And I was all "Sure." While thinking to myself (because we all know how much I like to think.) Hmmmm, is he asking me for coffee or is he asking me for "coffee" as in, you know "hey, let's go for coffee"? So I got a little weirded out and asked my supervisor what he thought and realized later that maybe the guy was just asking to hang out and talk about what he'll be doing while working with me. (I nearly said under me but I stopped myself...heh.) Who am I to know? I just automatically assumed it was a flirting/dating situation when maybe it wasn't at all.
The second time was at the gym. I was stretching with my earphones in when I heard "Miss, excuse me miss?" Seeing as I was the only other person in the room I figured the guy in question was talking to me. He was a few years older and spoke with an accent (which, yes, is relevant in this situation.) He asked me if I did yoga and then proceeded to ask me a few questions about where and when. I found myself uncomfortable because, again, I assumed he was trying to strike up a conversation with me in order to ask me out or to tell me what a supremely hot chick I was and could he have my number. It wasn't until I'd stuck my headphones back in my ears for the third time that I realized that maybe he was just trying to be friendly and I was doing the typical North American thing; assuming the worst. I remember when I came back from Mexico a couple of years ago being shocked at how unfriendly everyone in Canada seemed. I'd just spent a week in a country where everyone smiled and said hello and struck up conversations with ease. And I'd loved it. I got off the airport in Vancouver and started smiling away at everyone, ready to shout out a hello here or there and I realized almost everyone had their heads down or was avoiding eye-contact, lost in their own world.
So I ended up with two things on my mind:
1) Maybe I'm over-assuming that guys are trying to hit on me when they're actually just trying to talk to me.
2) Why are we so afraid to talk to each other. To just talk? To be friendly?
But it's hard. The times I have assumed the other way; "Oh, he's just being friendly" it's turned out I was wrong and the guy was wondering why I wasn't picking up his signals.
Maybe this all goes back to my male friendship thing. That elusive experience I can not quite master or figure out. Or maybe I'm just crazy.