Author Topic: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe  (Read 15386 times)

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lowspark

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2013, 03:42:26 PM »
Boys' weekend, yeah, that's what it was. And that's why I cannot wrap my head around why DH & Tom both so strongly encouraged her to go. What were they thinking? I'd sure have a conversation with my DH if I were the OP to try to figure out what it was about that dynamic that he thought I would like. Because that's why the OP accepted the invitation in the first place.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2013, 03:43:33 PM »
You went on a "boy's weekend" and that's what you got.  Next time, politely decline such outings.

The line about smoking a cig in the cabin made me laugh.  Its ok to shoot up the woods but a cig is a big problem?  Wow.

I don't see what the two have in common other than possible rules: If the owner of the cabin does not allow smoking inside, Rusty broke the rules; if the owner allows shooting on the property, no one broke the rules.

EMuir

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2013, 03:45:30 PM »
I think that the OP could have given Rusty more of a chance without being unsafe.  She could have asked him how he knew the others.  She could have been assertive when he did or said something she found uncomfortable. 

If Rusty was a woman, would everyone's advice change?  Sometimes I think men are unfairly feared.  Which doesn't mean you can't be careful.  Maybe carry bear spray next time (it is the woods after all).  Whatever makes you confident enough to risk getting to know the new person. 

Goosey

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2013, 03:50:46 PM »
As for trying to figure out who Rusty was, well, if he was drunk most of the weekend, or at least when you got there, maybe not the best time to play 20 questions and get to know you.

Well, actually, that's a big part of who Rusty is.

That's quite an assumption.

Also, I don't know that someone being inebriated prevents them from talking to you, or you to them. You might even get more honest answers :P

I see a lot of people willing to villify Rusty because of the OP's discomfort with a situation she wasn't happy about in the first place. Rusty never really got a chance. The OP isn't required to GIVE him a chance, but that doesn't mean Rusty is a Bad Guy or deviant or alcoholic or anything.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 03:52:36 PM by Goosey »

TootsNYC

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2013, 04:03:11 PM »
As for trying to figure out who Rusty was, well, if he was drunk most of the weekend, or at least when you got there, maybe not the best time to play 20 questions and get to know you.

Well, actually, that's a big part of who Rusty is.

That's quite an assumption.


It's not an assumption in the least.

Randy is someone who will get really drunk really early and STAY drunk all weekend long. That tells you something about him.

Not everything, of course--it doesn't tell you whether he's a criminal, or whether he would use those guns in an irresponsible or dangerous way, or whether he's a molester or sexual harasser. It doesn't tell you whether he'd take advantage of a friend or burn the chicken. It might tell you only a little about whether you should be afraid of him.


But it tells you what role alcohol has in his interactions with people, and in his life.

And if you're someone who really doesn't like people to get THAT drunk, or isn't comfortable around people for whom getting drunk is a huge sport, then you aren't going to like Rusty.

And I'd personally be a little afraid of someone who in a new social situation (new people at the very least, even if he'd been to the cabin before) was that willing to get that plastered. Not that I'd think they'd assault me, but that I'd think they were going to create one uncomfortable situation after another.

And you don't have to like him. For any reason you choose.
You shouldn't *slander* him to others, but you can personalyl dislike him or fear him for any reason you want.

People show us who they are. Believe them.

Goosey

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2013, 04:11:09 PM »
Does it tell you something about the OP's husband since he was doing it too?

The only thing it tells you is that he lets loose some weekends. Nothing else. Any further supposition is an assumption.

SCMagnolia

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2013, 04:12:26 PM »
I, too, am still wondering why Tom and your DH thought it would be such a great idea to ask you along as the lone female on a guy's weekend in the woods.  It would have been one thing if Tom brought his wife/GF along, but it just seems very weird to me that they would press so hard for you to go along knowing you'd be the only woman there.

And then for your DH to be mad because you weren't having the time of your life?  I think he kinda earned that one.  Did he really expect you to be thrilled to be the only female around?   

At least now you know to respond to any future camping trips with a "have a great time, I'll see you when you get back."

TurtleDove

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2013, 04:34:33 PM »
Does it tell you something about the OP's husband since he was doing it too?

The only thing it tells you is that he lets loose some weekends. Nothing else. Any further supposition is an assumption.

POD. 

Amara

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2013, 04:50:15 PM »
One of the Ehell sayings is "Safety trumps etiquette." So to me, this is a safety matter. Given the description the OP provided I too would have felt unsafe. And it wouldn't be a big surprise, though it would be disappointing, that her (my) husband wouldn't have understood. For the most part, men don't view the world the same as women in terms of safe/unsafe situations. If you can go through life without ever worrying about being in an unsafe/rape-risk situation at some point you are probably male. So for even the best men to understand they have take on the perception of a woman in a particular situation--like this cabin trip.

Since you gave in to the pressure to go, OP, would you have considered telling your husband you were not staying but would be back to pick him up at the end of the time? That might have solved the problem (assuming it was not a long drive).

P.S. I am glad you stayed safe.

Arila

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2013, 04:54:16 PM »
I am a relatively young woman, and relatively recently married, so maybe my perspective is somewhat skewed...The scenario that I was thinking about while reading this story is that all these men seem to be unattached, and if the OP/DH are recently married, there may be a bit of naivete here that makes them want to bring her into the fold and be friends. They might be trying to be *good* friends and reaching out to OP and sharing their idea of a good time, and/or maybe also looking for how they can keep their bachelor habits in harmony with their buddy's new status. For a few years my husband and I did *ALL* socializing together. Literally the only times we were apart was during work. We are slowly (and still sometimes uncomfortably) starting to go and do things separately again, so I just sort of wonder if OP/DH haven't reached this realization yet?

Anyway, to the OP's original question, I don't think you were wrong to be a bit standoffish if you weren't comfortable, and hopefully the lesson learned is to stay home next time, or meet these guys in smaller chunks of time, and in places where you can at least sleep securely. BTW, the turn of phrase you used about a lifetime movie running in your head was a little funny. That happens to me a lot, and I used to call them "waking nightmares", but I may start using your words for the future. :D


ETA: Sorry, I just looked up the OP and saw from some old posts that she has sons who have moved out of the home, so maybe my reading was just completely skewed by my perspectives.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 05:00:33 PM by arila »

Goosey

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2013, 05:04:56 PM »
I was under the impression that safety trumps etiquette was for emergency immediate situations, not bad feelings. Still not saying the OP did anything wrong if she was polite, but I don't think safety trumps etiquette applies here

DavidH

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2013, 05:07:00 PM »
If you arrive and feel unsafe since you don't know how one of the people there know the others, rather than spend the weekend uncomfortable, a much better solution is to ask how they know him.  Meeting a new group and saying how do you guys know each other isn't grilling someone, it's just a basic question that one might ask socially in many situations and never think about.  Asking is a much better solution than kind of ignoring them all weekend which is bound to make for an unpleasant time all around.   It also means that if you are still concerned after hearing the answer, then you can make an informed decision about whether to stay or go. 

I don't quite understand why your husband thought that going together to this was a good idea, but that's an entirely different issue.  If you have children who recently moved out, it could be an apparently misguided attempt to redefine your relationship as empty nesters. 


Cami

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #42 on: September 11, 2013, 05:08:04 PM »
Hmm. First off, I totally subscribe to listening to and acting on your instincts. However, I've also found that FOR ME it can take some self awareness to differentiate between instincts and deeply rooted learned fear, as well as the difference between fear and discomfort. 

Therefore, if it were me, I'd have to examine the reasons for my feelings about Rusty, as well as whether I was afraid or if I was uncomfortable. Is it because he set off my hinky meter or is it because I don't like him because I don't know him AND/or he's drunk?

If he sets off my hinky meter (especially if he's drinking with guns in plentitude around me), then I'm outta there.

If it's that I don't know him and he's drunk on a guy's weekend the point of which is to BE drunk, then my discomfort is my problem.  I'd make an effort to be cordial and friendly the way I would if he weren't drinking.  The only way to get to know someone is to, well, get to know them, which is a process.

So in conclusion, when your hinky meter is going off and you have fear, it's always better to get yourself out of a situation that scares you. If it's just discomfort, then that's my problem and I'd just deal with it.

secretrebel

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2013, 05:20:05 PM »
You tell us this story as if it is wrong to not feel safe.  This is exactly why Gavin De Becker wrote the book "The Gift of Fear."  You  know you don't feel safe.  Don't worry if you upset your host when you were surrounded by drunk guys who had access to guns. You are not required nor should you be more than cordial to guys who set of your hinkymeter.   Listen to yourself and STAY AWAY from them in the future.

I was hoping someone would mention The Gift of Fear. I think the OP did what she needed to feel safe (or less unsafe) and it's a pity her husband didn't seem to quite realise how unsafe and uncomfortable she felt. There can be a lot of social pressure not to rock the boat but in a situation like that I think the couple should have had a "diplomatic illness" and made their excuses.

Your **feeling of safety** is exactly as important as your **actual** safety.
You always have a right--in fact, I'd say a responsibility--to protect your *feeling of safety*, exactly as you have a right to protect your actual safety.

I like this comment. I personally hate *feeling scared*. I avoid walking at my own at night in certain areas of my really quite safe city because it frightens me and I hate that feeling. So I'll spend more money and take a cab or ask a friend to walk with me because I don't like to feel afraid - quite apart from any genuine risk assessment.

I also know what the OP means by making up some kind of Lifetime movie in her head and that adding to her feelings of scaredness.

I think that the OP could have given Rusty more of a chance without being unsafe.  She could have asked him how he knew the others.  She could have been assertive when he did or said something she found uncomfortable. 

If Rusty was a woman, would everyone's advice change?  Sometimes I think men are unfairly feared.  Which doesn't mean you can't be careful.  Maybe carry bear spray next time (it is the woods after all).  Whatever makes you confident enough to risk getting to know the new person.

EMuir, I'm sorry but I really disagree with your comment. It reads uncomfortably like victim blaming to me to suggest that the OP should have done X or could have done Y - and especially the part about her carrying something that amounts to a weapon to make herself feel safe. She shouldn't be placed in a position where she feels unsafe in the first place or that she needs to be more assertive to gain that feeling. It's too much like the advice given to women about not putting themselves in dangerous situations. I think responsibility should rest with the other people in the story.

Her husband should have thought more about what he was inviting her too and done more to make the event enjoyable for everyone. I've had many a fine evening of boozing after a day spent at some activity with a bunch of guy friends - but these were people I already knew. Since the husband and her friend were so keen for the OP to come they should have done more to welcome her, ensure a good mix if people, introduce them and keep a friendly flow of (drunken) conversation.

If Rusty was a woman I don't think the OP would have had quite such an unpleasant fearful experience. I'm sure the experience (of being a single woman in a bunch of boozy guys who aren't fun to be around and some of whom make questionable comments) was a large part of what made the dynamic not good - even if she wasn't in actual danger. (And we simply can't know if she was or not and what part her actions played in that.)

TurtleDove

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #44 on: September 11, 2013, 05:26:50 PM »
I think I am struggling with WHY the OP felt unsafe.  What was she scared would happen?  I don't get it, and I suspect her DH didn't either or he would have been more supportive.  I am not saying the OP was wrong to feel unsafe, but I think articulating to herself and then to her DH might be helpful to explain why she will decline future invitations.

I think some of the comments are making me uncomfortable because they are essentially saying that we should judge people before we know them based on our own internal assumptions.  I think we all do this to some extent, but I don't think it is necessarily helpful, especially among friends.