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How to Stop Unwanted Stares at the Gym

Help! I'm So Tired of Being Eye Molested at the Gym

Sick of that one guy staring at you every time you work out at the gym? Self has tips on how to make it stop.

Girl, we feel you. Here's how to shut it down right.

  1. Ice him out. If the guy on the bike across from yours is staring, you can take it as
    a clear signal that he's interested. Put the kibosh on it by showing him you are so not down. It's all about body language: Keep your eyes (and your focus) on the workout, and maintain an assassin's frozen stare so he knows you're not looking to mingle.
  2. Make the guy cringe. So he just won't quit looking. What now? It's time to escalate. What he's doing is rude, but he's assuming he can get away with it. Prove him wrong by challenging him directly, asking loudly: "Can I help you with something?" Suddenly, everyone at the gym will be looking at him, and that embarrassing public exposure should make him back off.
  3. Pull in the big guns. If this silent harassment turns into someone following you around or getting too close, you can go to the front desk. Approach a manager and say, "As a paying customer, I love coming here, but there's a situation that's making me uncomfortable." It's her job to come up with a plan of action to help you and to keep the gym your happy place.

Sources: Leah Lagos, Psy.D., clinical and sport psychologist; Nancy Hogshead-Makar, senior director of advocacy at the Women's Sports Foundation and a civil rights attorney

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