17 Apr The stalked
Being stalked is no joke. Ask anyone who has been unfortunate to have the experience. It’s not funny to know that you might need to keep looking over your shoulder, screening your calls and messages or sometimes living in fear or constant irritation. However, the most annoying part of being stalked is how some other people see it. They say silly things like; ‘He/she’s in love with you so they can’t help it.’ You seem to be the butt of jokes who try to complain about how a stalker is making your life miserable especially if you happen not to have any significant other. People around fail to realize that there is a fine line between being in love and being obsessed which is what stalkers basically do. Its only when they start to become violent and aggresive that people start taking stalking seriously. This is especially dangerous when the stalker lives within your vicinity. If one waits until a stalker begins to get very aggressive, it might even be fatal.
So, how do we protect ourselves from the stalker? Firstly, if you have the suspicion that you are being stalked, take it seriously. Usually, people regard the stalking as a minor source of irritation until the problem escalates. Some even think that trying to talk reasonably with the stalker will work. They even try to turn the stalker into a friend. It sounds plausible but many people have tried that strategy and it failed. The stalker does not respond to reason(except by divine intervention).
A tactic that is quite difficult to employ but is very helpful is to ignore the stalker as much as possible. Do not engage in lengthy dialogue with the stalker, warning them to leave you alone. Any form of attention from you even negative only creates the impression in their mind that their tactics are working. At first, this method may seem counterproductive because their pestering may get even worse because they really want to get your attention. And they may resort to sending provocative messages or even threatening ones. But if you just bite your tongue and wait for time to pass, the stalker will eventually tire.
Another thing to do is to statesocial/romantic rejections clearly. Don’t say things like; “I’m not interested in dating you at this time.” Such ambigous statements just give them encouragement. Warn the stalker off clearly telling him not to contact or see you ever again. Also, as a precautionary measure, keep a record of the stalking incidents such as incessant phone calls or messages or events in case you need to carry out legal action against the person or file a report.
There’s a so called failsafe technique that ladies usually employ. And that is the muscular boyfriend. The hulky hunk that threatens the stalker and says; “She’s with me. If you don’t leave her alone, I’ll punch your brains out.” I see some problems with this. Many times, it’s a flat out lie. And it may even backfire. The stalker with violent tendecies may see the other person as a target and make an attempt to get him out of the way, so beware when you want to use this tactic.
Other strategies one may want to employ depending on the intensity of the stalking include; changing all contact information; phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and contacts on all social networks. Ignore the jokes and notify everyone around you about your situation and the identity of the stalker. They might just be able to help protect you. Make your home safety a priority. Ensure good locks on all doors and be security conscious at all times.
As with every thorny issue that comes up in life, prayer has always been a sanctuary and an answer. If something or someone is disturbing you or not giving you peace, pray about it. The stalker is God’s creation too. He knows how to handle his creation. And sometimes we find that the pesky fly we are trying to swat…suddenly disappears into thin air.