BG: My best friend Amy's brother, Nathan, recently moved back to town, and he's been living with her for a couple of months now. At first it was a 'til he finds a place' situation but now he's working and paying rent so it'll probably be more permanent. I go over there a lot, and he's usually around, so we've developed a friendly relationship
, but aren't really *friends*.
Nathan is a nice person, but has this one little quirk that's getting on my nerves. He is extremely safety-conscious, which is harmless or helpful most of the time. (He will make sure the doors are locked even when people are inside, for instance, which isn't something most people bother with where I live...we'll lock them when we're out, or when people are sleeping.) But, I like to walk home by from Amy's place, which is about a 20 minute walk. Sometimes my boyfriend is with me, but about half the time I'll be visiting by myself.
Nathan really doesn't like the idea of me walking home alone after dark. I feel perfectly safe doing this, and in fact really enjoy the walk, whether I'm alone or not. Every time I do this, he will express disapproval. He's offered to walk with me, but I really prefer walking alone to having someone I don't know well along with me, making stilted conversation. I also pointed out to him that he'd be walking back by himself, and he's got no more self-defense training than I do.
He made a comment recently about how he can't believe my boyfriend lets me walk by myself, instead of coming to meet me (we don't drive). I got pretty mad at this, and told him it wasn't his business and my boyfriend doesn't 'let' me do things anyway. I really could've been nicer about it, but I'm getting aggravated that we have to go through this song-and-dance repeatedly.
This really sets my teeth on edge, so I'm thinking I need some polite deflecting techniques so that I don't lose my temper at him. I know he's trying to be helpful but I find it really condescending! I've thought of quoting safety surveys to him about how the likelihood of getting attacked outside by a stranger was not nearly as big a threat as it's perceived to me, but I don't suppose that would go over well. He's not the first person to have an issue with me walking alone at night, but he's the only one to push so hard about it.
(I thought about obfuscating the safety issue here, because when I brought this up with someone else their only response was 'well, you shouldn't walk by yourself!' so hopefully nobody here will give me another lecture