Have you ever had a stalker?

June 10, 2008 at 11:28 am (question, random)

Or had someone act in a stalkerish way?

My sister has had a few stalkers. Or at least, a few people who have behaved in a fairly stalkerish way. She thinks this is normal. I, on the other hand, think this sort of thing is pretty unusual – she is one of two people that I knew who have had stalkers. She thinks that maybe the people I know do have stalkers and they just haven’t told me. So, now I’m asking… has anyone had a stalker?

This exercise will either prove my point or it will bring out entertaining stories that people are hiding away.



  1. Mike said,

    First, both genders can be stalkers and targets of stalkers. But for the sake of simplicity, I’ll focus on the most common case: women being stalked by men. Most of what I write below should generalize to other cases with adjustments in constant factors / parameters.

    In my observation, this sort of thing seems to follow an exponential distribution: a few women are stalker magnets and the rest are not. Also, the creepiness of a stalker tends to follow an exponential distribution: most stalkers are harmless and at worst awkward, but a few are straight-up creepy, weird and (thankfully) even fewer are dangerous.

    Thus it follows, that most women (with zero, one or two stalkers) might never encounter a “stalker” creepy enough to set off alarms. It also follows that stalker-magnets will much more likely come across “creepy” stalkers but having more exposure will be able to contextualize them better.

    Lastly, most women I know who are stalker magnets tend to have several common characteristics: reasonably pretty (n.b. it’s not necessary to be gorgeous), either excessively friendly (sending signals that are being misinterpreted by the stalkers) or excessively unfriendly (shy or even off-putting, but again creating room for misinterpretation by the stalker), they also tend to be in technical disciplines, but this is probably a sampling bias sort of thing (around more men, thus more likely to be stalked), and for better or worse, there’s usually something “quirky” about them.

    In short: you’re both right, just at different ends of the distribution.

  2. babblingblueberry said,

    If stalking and being stalked have exponential distributions, then that’s not normal and I’m right.

    Ha ha! I crack myself up!

    How about some amusing stories behind this general analysis? A little case study?

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