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Author Topic: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe  (Read 27755 times)

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Curious Cat

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #135 on: September 13, 2013, 06:00:07 AM »

I may have been harsh in the first instance. regardless of whether I could see why, I do believe you could have felt uncomfortable around someone who is essentially a drunken stranger - where alcohol and guns are around and when you aren't sure of his connection to Tom.

However, I seriously question the logic that Rusty could have shot your husband and Tom and stolen everything. I cannot see where those thoughts came from. Why would he shoot them both when they were out shooting?

   "I don't know whwt that guy's motive was but theft is a very common motive.  People kill for much less than one would think."

The way this is written sounds to be like you do think he had a motive - even though nothing bad happened.

I guess i'm just in shock that your feelings were so intense about Rusty - without bailing up Tom to find out about Rusty or asking your DH to find out more if you weren't comfortable or without demanding to leave.

I feel like this is beyond etiquette.

I agree especially considering that in the latest update the OP indicates that her dog was there as well.  I think the OP decided she wasn't going to like Rusty and spent the weekend trying to come up with reasons to justify herself.(btw I did read the entire thread)

LeveeWoman

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #136 on: September 13, 2013, 06:00:54 AM »
Thank you to the people who "get it."  Thank you for reaffirming that I have the right to not be a social butterfly when I feel it would lead to problems.
It was all just a bad combination of circumstances and an uneven social mix.

One thing I did really enjoy up there was seeing the mist on the river at night.  The surface of the water was so still it was like glass.  And there were these long fingers of mist moving silently over the surface.  It was eerie and beautiful at the same time.

I'd love to visit a river like that again, but maybe at a prvate cabin, or a B&B with just DH and me!

I've learned from experience not to ignore my hinky-meter.

MariaE

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #137 on: September 13, 2013, 06:05:37 AM »
I guess i'm just in shock that your feelings were so intense about Rusty - without bailing up Tom to find out about Rusty or asking your DH to find out more if you weren't comfortable or without demanding to leave.

I feel like this is beyond etiquette.

I agree, but it really doesn't matter. Whether the OP overreacted or not is a red herring. What matters is how she acted upon that (over-)reaction - did she become rude in response.

From the sounds of it, I don't think she was. Cold - yes; rude - no. So "safety trumps etiquette" is moot as I don't think she was rude in the first place.

And that makes whether or not I think she overreacted completely irrelevant.
 
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Goosey

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #138 on: September 13, 2013, 07:11:47 AM »
You realize that sitting there and imagining he was some kind of rapist/murderer wasn't helping you get an accurate look at the guy, right? That making all this stuff up in your head about a guy who was a friend of a friend only made you more fearful and looking for more flags that probably weren't there? In fact, reading that made me more certain that Rusty was just some dude who came to represent your resentment and discomfort with the weekend activities in general.

And no, I don't think he was hitting on you. Calling you "babe" isn't hitting on you - neither would calling you "dear" or "honey" or "sweetie". You may not like it, but it's not hitting on you. Trying to make awkward conversation with you when you've been cold/avoiding him all weekend wasn't hitting on you. Hanging out for a little while in a house he had every right to be in for whatever reason that you've just happened to hole yourself up into wasn't stalking you. Being drunk wasn't an act of aggression against you.

I'm not saying you have to be a social butterfly. I've actually said I didn't think you did anything wrong if you were polite. But it's simply not normal or healthy to sit there for a couple days thinking about how this guy is going to rape/murder/pillage when you are the ONLY one not getting to know him. You had the opportunity to ask Tom about him and you didn't - you just made up all this stuff in your head and went with it. I think that those are pretty awful things to think about someone you don't even know - someone your husband and friend hung out with all weekend with and didn't have any issues. Someone who was alone in the house with you for some time and didn't even talk to you.

metallicafan

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #139 on: September 13, 2013, 09:26:43 AM »
Thank you to the people who "get it."  Thank you for reaffirming that I have the right to not be a social butterfly when I feel it would lead to problems.
It was all just a bad combination of circumstances and an uneven social mix.

One thing I did really enjoy up there was seeing the mist on the river at night.  The surface of the water was so still it was like glass.  And there were these long fingers of mist moving silently over the surface.  It was eerie and beautiful at the same time.

I'd love to visit a river like that again, but maybe at a prvate cabin, or a B&B with just DH and me!

I've learned from experience not to ignore my hinky-meter.

Imagining myself in the OP's situation, I can say that I would have been Extremely uncomfortable.   Honestly, I'm not sure what I would have done.

Firecat

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #140 on: September 13, 2013, 09:43:20 AM »
Thank you to the people who "get it."  Thank you for reaffirming that I have the right to not be a social butterfly when I feel it would lead to problems.
It was all just a bad combination of circumstances and an uneven social mix.

One thing I did really enjoy up there was seeing the mist on the river at night.  The surface of the water was so still it was like glass.  And there were these long fingers of mist moving silently over the surface.  It was eerie and beautiful at the same time.

I'd love to visit a river like that again, but maybe at a prvate cabin, or a B&B with just DH and me!

I've learned from experience not to ignore my hinky-meter.

Imagining myself in the OP's situation, I can say that I would have been Extremely uncomfortable.   Honestly, I'm not sure what I would have done.

I agree with this; I'd be unlikely to be in precisely this situation, because my DH's socializing preferences are different, but I can see myself being very uncomfortable in the OP's shoes.

Thinking about it, I think that, as with many other things, there are degrees with the hinky meter. I've met people who felt slightly "off" for one reason or another, but it wasn't that they made me feel fearful or unsafe. More that I felt like I should be a little cautious around them until I had a better idea what was going on.

I've also met people that I felt I shouldn't trust with anything personal, or when it came to certain things, but again, didn't feel as though they were a threat to my safety.

And at the other extreme, I've met a few people (maybe a half dozen at the most over the course of my 40-odd years) and felt, immediately and strongly, "This person is NOT safe to be around. Do NOT be alone with them, and do not draw their attention if possible."

In those situations, I've mostly been able to spend my time mostly with other people at whatever event; if the person to whom I'm reacting that strongly joins a conversational group I'm in, I'll wait a couple of minutes and then need to talk to someone else/get a drink/go find my DH. If the person addresses me directly, I'll give a brief answer and bring someone else into the conversation. Basically, just extracting myself from the group or conversation quickly, but in a hopefully non-obvious way. My DH and I tend to spend a lot of time near each other at social events for the most part, so it's not too remarkable if I stick fairly close to him, and he's pretty good at knowing when I'm not comfortable.

Eden

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #141 on: September 13, 2013, 09:54:13 AM »
I think what I understand most people are saying and I agree that we certainly understand that the OP felt uncomfortable and there is no need via etiquette to have to actively engage with everyone at all times over an extended stay.

I think where the OP lost a lot of people was the very drastic and dramatic imaginings as to what could be Rusty's story. In reality, those things are not actually relevant to the etiquette question and maybe should have been left out. I think these unnecessary details are understandably coloring people's reactions to the OP's situation and etiquette question.

menley

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #142 on: September 13, 2013, 10:04:36 AM »
I think what I understand most people are saying and I agree that we certainly understand that the OP felt uncomfortable and there is no need via etiquette to have to actively engage with everyone at all times over an extended stay.

I think where the OP lost a lot of people was the very drastic and dramatic imaginings as to what could be Rusty's story. In reality, those things are not actually relevant to the etiquette question and maybe should have been left out. I think these unnecessary details are understandably coloring people's reactions to the OP's situation and etiquette question.

I agree completely with this.

gen xer

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #143 on: September 13, 2013, 10:16:20 AM »
 In general I think we have a responsibility to give some rational thought to the dreaded "hinky meter".  It can be valuable but it can also lead to wild speculation and overactive imaginations.  It can be really counterproductive if it is out of control and you run the risk of not being taken seriously and losing all credibility.  It can be hard to get that back.

I completely understand why the OP didn't enjoy her weekend -I know if I were the only sober female I would be pretty out of my element.....but what Goosey said made some sense - maybe Rusty was just the embodiment of all that was wrong with the weekend.


Garden Goblin

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #144 on: September 13, 2013, 10:21:30 AM »
Also, getting professional help is not an insult. It's a third party who is licensed and experienced in helping people figure out their thoughts and behaviors. I don't know why you would assume I'm saying that as a negative thing. I have had unusual and extreme reactions to ordinary things before - I've discussed them with a knowledgeable therapist - and now I don't have as many panic attacks as I've had in the past, because I know how to deal with them. I'm a huge advocate of therapy and professional help.

I had a friend who was in a similar situation to the OP once.  Something very bad happened.  It's not an unreasonable or extreme fear at all.

Goosey

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #145 on: September 13, 2013, 10:25:29 AM »
Just because it happened to someone somewhere doesn't make it a reasonable fear.

Something bad happened in the theater a while ago. Does that make being afraid of going to the theater a reasonable fear? No, it doesn't. Understandable, maybe. Reasonable? No.

Pen^2

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #146 on: September 13, 2013, 10:35:59 AM »
Just because it happened to someone somewhere doesn't make it a reasonable fear.

Something bad happened in the theater a while ago. Does that make being afraid of going to the theater a reasonable fear? No, it doesn't. Understandable, maybe. Reasonable? No.

Absolutely. OP, or anyone else, can feel however they happen to feel and it's understandable. It is also understandable to be on one's guard as a result, and take steps to ensure that you don't feel worse by prolonging things. Removal of yourself from the situation is a good way to go. As long as all of this is done politely, then there isn't a problem.

If someone has an unreasonable fear, again, as long as they are still polite then it's fine. If they often have such a fear then it might be worth looking at with a counsellor, but if it's just once or twice instead of on a daily basis, then I personally wouldn't worry about it and just avoid letting the situation happen again. Either way, it's their business, and as long as they maintain etiquette, they shouldn't be faulted for it by others. None of us were with the OP and it is very hard to convey a lot of things via typed words, so I don't think it's fair for anyone to judge whether or not her fear was reasonable. But it's irrelevant anyway. This is an etiquette forum, not a mental health one. Whether or not the OP had reason to feel the way she did cannot be determined by any of us, and it doesn't affect etiquette anyway. She had a feeling. The reasonableness of that feeling is not in the domain of etiquette, only the actions she subsequently took based upon it.

shhh its me

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #147 on: September 13, 2013, 10:56:39 AM »
I think what I understand most people are saying and I agree that we certainly understand that the OP felt uncomfortable and there is no need via etiquette to have to actively engage with everyone at all times over an extended stay.

I think where the OP lost a lot of people was the very drastic and dramatic imaginings as to what could be Rusty's story. In reality, those things are not actually relevant to the etiquette question and maybe should have been left out. I think these unnecessary details are understandably coloring people's reactions to the OP's situation and etiquette question.

I agree completely with this.
This exactly.

I think there are actually different answers to " I didn't know this person , they rubbed me the wrong way and the additional factors of firearms and copious amounts of alcohol made me feel very uncomfortable and not like socializing"  and " I was worried about being robbed, raped and/or killed in a secluded place with no hope of contacting the authorities by a drunken man with access to a large amount of guns."

The first coolly civil is appropriate maybe even feign illness and  going home;  The second "leave  , leave now" is appropriate. 

I would have more difficulty empathizing with a friend who said "I think he may kill us all and rob the place." with nothing other then "I've not met him before" as the reason, then " I'm uncomfortable. I don't know him , I don't have the history I do with Tom to know that he is a happy drunk and very safety conscious  about firearms."   I missed what OP actually said to her husband that annoyed him but I think if OP said what she did here I have a little more understanding for her husband.


cass2591

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #148 on: September 13, 2013, 12:03:01 PM »
This is/was not a safety trumps etiquette situation. Furthermore, it's locked.
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