Thursday 07-04-16

Make no mistake; not everyone out there is your friend. Not everyone out there has your best interests at heart. Most of us, at one time or another, has trusted the wrong person (it is only the degree of trust, and the consequences that vary). Whether that trust ended in a friend who has let you down, or in tragic circumstances, we all have a story to tell.

On the more serious end of the spectrum (where you experienced an event that taught you a valuable life lesson), there were warning signs. You might not have recognised them at the time, but they were there. The most important warning sign was the uncomfortable feeling you had in your gut. Once you’ve felt it, you never forget it. And once you know what that feeling means, it is only a fool who ignores it. One way to describe that feeling is like having a tennis ball sized lump of ice sliding around in the pit of your stomach.

It doesn’t matter where you are; if someone makes you feel genuinely uncomfortable, it is time to leave (when I say uncomfortable, I don’t mean the way an annoying relative makes you feel at Christmas, I mean at a primal level). The individuals who have this effect on people are predators, and they are well aware how they make people feel. Not only are they aware, they rely on social norms to allow them to get away with their behaviour. Those social norms include people being too polite for their own good (or simply “not wanting to make a scene”). Instead of calling them on their behaviour, or leaving the situation, the average person will tolerate quite ridiculous behaviour in order to avoid conflict.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? You’ve spent some time with someone, but the longer you spent with them the more uncomfortable you felt. Then when you tried to leave they used a phase like “Don’t you think you’re being rude?”, or “Don’t be like that. It was only a joke” ? This was an attempt to embarrass you into staying, or make you believe your feelings are unfounded. You don’t need any special training to work out there is something terribly wrong here.

It doesn’t matter who they are, or where you are; if you genuinely feel there is something wrong with a situation or person, you must leave immediately. If they are so desperate to prevent you from leaving, you have to wonder why. What possible motive could they have for keeping you around, when you are obviously uncomfortable and want to leave? Unfortunately, the longer you remain in these situations, the more dangerous the situations are going to become. And the more difficult it will be to escape from them (especially if you have left a public area, such as a bar, and gone to a secluded secondary location, perhaps their house or flat).

Leave the situation immediately. You don’t need their permission to leave. You don’t need to spare their feelings. You don’t have to justify your decision to leave. Just leave.

Just as “No” is a valid answer to a question, and it doesn’t need any further explanation; you don’t need to explain to them why you are leaving. If your primal instincts are telling you something, listen to them. There are some lessons you don’t want to learn the hard way.

If this blog helps even one person avoid a dangerous situation, then I have achieve my aim. But this information can only help other people if they know about it. Please share this post with your friends and family on social media.