It’s not your fault if someone oversteps your boundaries. But if you want to minimize the chance of that happening, the following tips could help:
When you go out, go on a first date or are traveling alone:
- Take a charged mobile phone with you which is topped up with credit.
- Make sure someone knows where you are and what time you plan to be back.
- Maybe take a friend along when you meeting someone for the first time.
- Arrange to meet at a place you can leave easily if it doesn’t feel safe; like in a restaurant or on the sport fields.
- Trust your instincts. Leave any time if it doesn’t feel right.
- If necessary, think up an excuse to leave. For example, say you have another appointment, or arrange to have someone call you at a certain time. This way you can always say you have to go if you are not comfortable in the situation.
Ways you can express yourself when your boundaries are crossed:
To be able to say or express what you like or do not like is difficult. But it is necessary that you do so clearly and directly.
You can express yourself with words or actions.
- Be clear in your message. Say for example ‘I don’t like that’.
- Don’t excuse yourself or apologize for saying what you don’t like.
- Speak firmly. Don’t say: ‘Can you please stop’. Just say ‘Stop’.
- Don’t give mixed signals. Don’t laugh and say no at the same time.
- Express your preferences. For example, say ‘I prefer watching a movie instead of kissing’.
- Use hand gestures like the stop sign.
- Remove an unwanted touch. For example, lift the hand of the other person off your body.
- Turn your body away.
- Step away from the person.
- Leave the room.