You want to say Hi to the cute girl on the subway. How will she react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because she’s already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb. So, y’know, don’t disturb her. Really. Even to say that you like her hair, shoes, or book. A compliment is not always a reason for women to smile and say thank you. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Rapist. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win her over with charm or flattery. Believe what she’s signaling, and back off.
And they get on my nerves not because any of the advice is bad, but because they address seriously what is in all honesty just another creepy asshole's excuse: Oh, I didn't KNOW I was being a stalkative weirdo! If one of you bitches would just TELL ME when I was being horrible, I would immediately cease, and begin to interact with you in an adult way. Take PITY on me in my unknowingness of your foreign, mysterious kind!
Fuck that. There are dudes who genuinely don't know how to deal with dating and such, and I'm not talking about them here. By and large, they are curious and courteous, and will be just fine reading these lists of advice and realizing they aren't dickheads at all.
The guys who REALLY need to hear this? The ones who are so quick to profess their ignorance of Woman and her oh-so-indecipherable signs and portents? They're not listening, because they're not really ignorant. Saying they didn't know is just one more way to get the fuck out of being called on their behavior.
Think about this. The guy who stands too close when you refuse to look back at him? The guy who follows you down the path when you're walking your dog, staring suggestively? The guy who calls a hundred times because you haven't answered 99 of his messages? That guy knows exactly what he's doing. That guy DOESN'T CARE.
And saying "oh, I just didn't realize" is the same as saying "oh, I was just kidding" or "oh, I never thought you'd take offense to a compliment." It's one more defensive way to get out of being held responsible for freaking somebody out. Stop buying into it. Stop granting that guy more of your attention by educating him.
Chances are, while you're explaining the world to him, he's staring down your blouse anyway.