- You have a right to your feelings.
- You have a right to set boundaries to feel safe.
- Anyone who attempts to revoke your right to your feelings or to set boundaries is someone scary.
Now, it may just be that the person is clueless, but lack of empathy on this is a danger signal that you cannot ignore.
Predators and bullies will try to negate your feelings and push you into situations where you don’t feel safe. The only defense you have is to own your feelings and to own your boundaries.
A predator will flatter you to let your guard down. A predator will cast you as a bitch if you don’t do what they are asking.
You know how this plays out in a bar: “I’m just trying to buy you a drink! You don’t want me to buy you a drink? Why are you being such a bitch?” No one has the right to argue with you when you say no. This is the clarion call of the predator. Hell, yes, I absolutely am such a bitch. I do not want your drink. I said so clearly. Now buzz off.
But a bar is an easy situation. What happens when this is your boss? “Can’t we just have a cup of coffee and talk this over just the two of us?” If you don’t feel safe, you have every right to request that a neutral third party is present. But for many it’s harder to set this boundary.
I think I am lucky that I do not find either of these situations ambiguous. Trigger my lack of trust, and I will take action to protect myself. Even so, I still get the arguments.
On this count, I am flabbergasted.
I am shocked by how many people are unable to see or unaware that when a boundary like this is set, that if you wish to reestablish trust, the only way to go about it is to be very very respectful of the boundary. No sneaking around it, no flattering your way out of it, just respect and forthrightness.
This is one of those topics that makes me see red.
If there is one book you should read on this topic, it is The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.