I have noticed two issues which have regularly come up in my relationships with men that have started to intertwine into something that keeps me from ridding my life of LVMs.

The first is that, as an ugly duckling, I was able to form genuine friendships with males as a teenager. The second is that, as the girl no guy ever wanted, I KNOW how bad it feels to be invisible, rejected, socially isolated, etc. And I think this experience of feeling bad doubled down on the socialization to "be nice" that females constantly deal with.

I find myself in situations where men who claim to want to be my "friend" eventually prove to be romantically obsessed with me but too LV to admit it so that I can just shut the "friendship" down. They basically attempt to monopolize my attention and mate-guard me. This is something that has been going on since college and followed me through all my workplaces. Even at work, I feel like I have amassed a small cadre of males taking turns following me around with those "I love you" eyes, making me feel both annoyed because they won't leave me alone, and guilty because I remember when my self-esteem was so low and can't bring myself to just tell them their continued attention makes me uncomfortable.

In short, I am realizing that I can't keep being "nice" to men. Has anyone else experienced something like this? How can I stop worrying about being "nice" to men who trigger my pity-sympathy?