"I hate it when people mistake kindness for flirting."
I hate this statement. SO. MUCH. I know I am young and inexperienced in a lot of things, but from my personal observation and assessment of people and human nature over the years, most people don't actually mistake it for flirting. If you have been kind or polite to someone and they began showing an interest in you, it's probably because you are the only one, or one of the few, who has actually treated that person as an actual human being.
Of course they're going to be attracted to you! No one likes hanging around people who think less of them unless that's all they've ever known. And even then they usually don't really like it, it's just what they're used to.
Instead of complaining about how socially awkward, average looking, or just plain weird people are attracted to you, be proud that you're actually a decent enough human being to treat them like they are people, too! Encourage your friends to treat them well along with you, and pretty soon they won't just like you. Sure it might sometimes be an inconvenience on you to be followed around by them, but if you were a good enough person to be nice to begin with, don't stop there.
The only way this world will get better is if we treat each other better. Even your friends. One of the biggest paradoxes I see in society is how poorly people speak to or treat their friends. Sure it's usually done in a joking manner and no one takes each other seriously, but it doesn't make it right and it can desensitize people to the needs of others. If you love someone, tell them so. If you are glad of your friendship, show it.
We don't have to be a society of unloving and uncaring jerks. If you have a good thought toward someone, don't be afraid to show it. Sometimes it can be daunting being nice to someone: you may think you'll be rejected, or you don't want to give them the wrong impression, or you just don't know how to be kind. Practice! The only way anyone becomes good at something is doing it anyway and doing it a lot of times. If your methods aren't working, ask someone else how they do it. Find a better way to be nice.
Being good to other people isn't a crime. Being good to other people isn't making yourself any less. Being kind to other people is a way of showing that you're bigger than you used to be, that you are better.
The excuse that it isn't in your nature to be kind or polite isn't an excuse at all. One of the remarkable things about people is that we are all born with a capacity for kindness and social bonding that exceeds that of animals. We can really become the greatest kind of creature on this earth if we are all willing to listen and help each other.
Anyone can be a jerk. Anyone can make excuses. Anyone can not care.
But anyone can also be kind, responsible, and caring. It's all in our nature.
Please SHARE this, and actually try to make a difference. It'll be more rewarding than you know.