I wish we could all leave our wine on the bar and go dance without worry.
Alas, that is not the world we live in.
Hello, Sexy Voyagers!
You’re in a club, or at a party, and a guy slides up to you and wants to chat, wants to buy you a drink, or has some sort of pickup line. That guy is what I call a pseudo-stranger.
Or perhaps you swiped right, but the dude is no longer attractive to you.
For whatever reason you are just not interested in the guy, in person, or online. Doesn’t matter why. You don’t owe a reason. A simple “No, thank you” should suffice.
Next part of the scenario. He reacts with, “Okay, have a good night.” And leaves.
Awesome. End of interaction.
However, suppose he does something else, anything else. Suppose he overreacts. Suppose he doesn’t accept your “no” and decides to say something rude or insulting. What do you do? Only ONE choice here, Voyagers. End the interaction right there.
This leads us to Rule #1 of staying safe with pseudo-strangers:
The word “no” is a complete sentence, and that is something it is NEVER too early to teach a guy, or anyone, really. If he meets your “No” with a “Be nice,” “Come on,” or “Why not?” you now know all you need to know about him, which is that he is trying to control you.
A side note in the inappropriate reactions list. Supposed that the guy insults you by saying something like, “You think you’re too good for me, don’t you?” Or, even more to the point, “Why are you being such a bitch?” Gavin deBecker calls this manipulative behavior “typecasting,” and it is designed to get you to change your behavior, to start to be nice to him, give him your time and attention. Please for the love of baby Jesus in a manger DON’T GIVE your time and attention to someone who has already insulted you. What to do instead then? If you reply to him at all (which you shouldn’t; just walk away.) your answer is, “Yes. I am too good for you. So, why would you want to talk to me anyway?” Then, get away from him immediately. Let him go on “negging” (another name for this manipulation) someone else.
Also, there is Rule #1, part B: Don’t say “no” unless you mean it, and if you say it, stick to it.
Next is Rule #2 of staying safe:
If you want someone in your life, keep communicating with him. If not, don’t. It might seem like an over-simplification, but it is true. Example: Suppose a guy in a bar is rude or insulting or even grabby towards you. Anything you say or do to him invites him into your life. So, before you react by, say, throwing a drink in his face or insulting him or slapping him, or even defending yourself, i.e., “I am not a bitch!” just ask yourself: is this a person I want to invite into my life? Because, if you do any of that, guess what? You just have.
These bros. Avoid these bros.
Why? Is it the tank tops in the clurb? Is it the uber-macho look? Or maybe it’s the one on the left, who looks like he’s about to spit.
A few more hints:
A nice guy isn’t always a good guy. Anyone can pretend to be nice. See my post about Joe from Netflix’s You if you wonder about that.
Don’t always believe everything you hear. It’s only natural to believe what someone says, about what they do for a living or where they’re from, or that they are single. However, maintain a healthy skepticism when it comes to high-stakes interactions with strangers. Always be prepared to ask yourself, what do they have to gain by lying? It could be your attention, your phone number, or something more sinister.
Don’t be scared to be thought of as “rude.” You don’t owe anyone anything, including your time or attention. Get rid of the notion that if you are not nice, the guy will get angry and then suddenly decide to do something violent. Rudeness will not turn a good guy into a bad guy. And, if the person turns mean or rude or ugly towards you, you have just proven yourself right.
If someone has intentions to harm you, they have a plan, and your job as their target is to disrupt that plan. Do not just go along with what they want. As I always told my students, do your best to send the interaction down a different path from what he wants.
Finally, it bears repeating: Do not think that you are immune from danger just because you a) are with someone else, b) are carrying a weapon, c) know the neighborhood, d) are on your phone, e) have told someone else where you are going or, and especially this: e) have your phone’s location services on. Some of these things may help police to find your body after you’re dead, though. So, there’s that.
Check out the next “Preventing (Your Own) Murder.” That one’s about avoiding an abusive relationship. And after that? Oh, after that, I’m gonna be talkin to you, guys.
Until next time, Voyagers. Don’t get murdered.
And this guy. Avoid this guy.