Despite what you may think, you don’t have to be a celebrity to have a stalker. Often, stalkers are people we know, like a colleague or ex-partner. So what may start out as a keen interest in you can quickly turn into an unpleasant situation as they take control of your life.
But if you can catch the signs early enough, you can learn to avoid these types of people and move on with your life. We investigate some of the early signs of stalking to help you stay safe and alert.
Seeing The Same Person Hanging Around
Noticing someone lurking in your workplace or neighborhood can be one of the first tell-tale signs of a stalker. Maybe you meet the same person at the grocery store, or they park next to you on the street or in the garage.
Of course, meeting the same person from time to time does not instantly mean that they are following you. But repeated “random” meetings can indicate that you have a stalker.
For example, you can meet them at the store and then at the gym; such coincidences could be a reason for concern if they are repeated.
Knowing More About You Than What You’ve Told Them
Perhaps you are getting to know a neighbor or a colleague and they let information that you did not tell them. Stalkers will use your online accounts to obtain as much information about you as possible, from accessing your private emails and social media to tracking your movements.
They can also contact your family, friends, or workplace for more information.
Manipulating You Into Interaction
A big sign of a stalker is that they will find any way to contact you and keep you interacting. This usually involves manipulation to draw you in, such as blaming or threatening you.
For example, they may corner you at a party and not leave you alone, knowing that you probably don’t want to make a scene in front of a crowd.
Damaging Your Property
While damage to your property does occur, if it is repeated, it may be a sign of stalking. This can include forced entry into your home, arson on your property, and graffiti.
They are also known for leaving signs to let you know that they have been to your house, from kicking trash cans to rearranging your things and sending you a message.
Spreading Personal (Mis)information About You
Stalkers can spread rumors about you, either online as a cyberbully or face-to-face. It is common for stalkers to create online accounts or hack into your personal accounts to assume your identity. They do it to embarrass you and spread misinformation in any way they can.
This means that you may start to notice that people act differently around you, or you may notice activities on your online accounts that you haven’t done.
Contacting Your Friends And Family
You may find that an early sign that you have a stalker is the person who comes into contact with your friends and family without good reason or your knowledge.
This may even involve manipulating or threatening your family and friends, while the stalker tries to take control of your life. This will help them become more involved in your life, as well as get more information about you from those closest to you.
What other signs do you think should be added to the list? What precautions do you take to protect yourself?