Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Extricating yourself from Uncomfortable Situations

In keeping with our goal of offering techniques to folks to get out of situations where they are being “creeped on,” and with Halloween coming up and the chance for costumes hiding identities, we wanted to offer some suggestions on extricating yourself from uncomfortable situations.

Remember that being in this situation is not your fault. You did not do anything wrong, it is the person who is making you uncomfortable that is to blame.

Some options that can help you escape are: a trip to the bathroom, getting a drink, or by letting the person know you want to go talk to a friend you just saw.

If the person follows you to the bathroom, getting a drink, etc, it may be time to resort to these more direct suggestions.

Other suggestions:
  • Talk to them - If someone's conversation makes you uncomfortable, tell them. By not telling them, you're attempting to make them feel comfortable and you need to ask yourself this: why?  Why should you remain uncomfortable just to avoid awkwardness?  The situation is already awkward, and telling someone you're uncomfortable isn't cause for anger or further dispute. "We've been talking for a while, and I really want to see some other people here."  The key is to be assertive without being mean.
  • “Let me stop you there.” One of the techniques I’ve seen work very well is to hold up your hand making a stopping motion and say “Let me stop you there,” when confronted with a topic that makes you uncomfortable.  You can follow that with "I am uncomfortable discussing X Topic, can we talk about the weather, the football game, insert new topic here.”  Most people are understanding and will switch topics.
  • Signals – Many women (and men) may feel uncomfortable in situations where they find themselves alone.  Because of this, feel free to take a buddy with you.  You can pre-arrange a signal with your friend, a wave, a look at a watch, or something that signals them to come help you out.  Your buddy can then give you an opportunity to leave.

Last thought, never be afraid to walk away.  If someone is making you uncomfortable and none of these tactics have worked, say thank you for their time and walk away.  Leave the space.  Remember you did nothing wrong and it is okay to leave a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

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