A Young Woman Kept Being Harassed By An Older Man On Her Flight, But When She Ignored Him, Things Turned Ugly 

A woman recently asked for advice about a situation involving another passenger on a plane. The passenger said that he was autistic, and he kept trying to speak to the woman. When she ignored his persistent advances, he blew up at her. Was she right to ignore him? Here’s what she had to say:

The Woman Was Traveling Alone

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“I’m a [19-year-old] who was traveling alone on an 11-hour flight today,” the woman explained. She was looking forward to using the flight to relax and catch up on some sleep. However, things didn’t go as planned.

Another Passenger Spoke To Her

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A man in his twenties was also on the plane. He introduced himself and started to bombard the woman with questions. She couldn’t get a word in edgewise—not that she wanted a conversation. The man told her that he was autistic, so she guessed that somewhat explained his behavior. 

She Felt She Could Relate To Him

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“I tried to be polite because I have ADHD and I understand how social cues are difficult so he probably [couldn’t] tell I’m not in the mood.”

He Couldn’t Take a Hint

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Every time the woman put on her headphones and tried to sleep, the man started talking again. Even though she told him she didn’t want to talk, he kept trying to strike up a conversation. Eventually, she fell asleep, but the man was waiting when she woke up.  

She Tried To Watch TV On Her Phone

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After waking up, she let him speak for a while. But when she started watching a show on her phone, he kept interrupting. Although she told him repeatedly that they could talk later, he didn’t get the message. He wanted to talk now.

The Man Reacted Badly To Rejection

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When the woman stood up for herself, the man took it badly. He ranted that he was a horrible person, so the woman had to tell him he wasn’t. She drew on her own experiences of handling difficult emotions to try and reassure the man. But the woman was firm: now wasn’t the time to talk.

The Woman Reached Breaking Point

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When the man tried to speak to her again, she just ignored him. She knew that it was rude, but she’d had enough of dealing with him. Hadn’t she made her position clear? 

The Man Took It Personally

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The man couldn’t take being ignored. He started to yell at the woman, claiming that she was prejudiced against him because of his gender. He wanted to know why she couldn’t see that he was one of the nice guys. The woman wasn’t convinced.

She Was Rescued By The Airline Staff

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When the man left his seat to go to the bathroom, the woman asked the flight attendant if she could be relocated. The flight attendant clearly thought there was a problem, and agreed to move the woman’s seat and luggage. This saved the woman from having a full-blown panic attack.

Was The Woman Right Or Wrong?

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The woman recognized that the man’s autism might have been a factor in his behavior. She wondered if she should have been more patient when dealing with him.  

People Shared Their Thoughts

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“No, you shouldn’t have been nicer to him. You should have been more firm from the start,” said one person. “Now is the time to learn to stand up for yourself. Men will get mad about it. Too bad for them.”

Other users agreed. “Dude was creepy,” said one. Another added, “He started by telling you he is autistic so he could be excused for bad behavior. Being neurodivergent is not an excuse for behaving as he did.” 

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