Hello, friends. I’d like to share some advice that I wish I had been able to take earlier in my life: Trust Yourself. If you think there’s something wrong with a situation, there probably is.
Everything is so immediate nowadays that we push our better judgment aside in order to rush forward to the next thing. And sometimes, as children (or adults in an extended abusive situation) we don’t have (or end up losing) the tools to stand up for ourselves.
But we can develop the skills we need to help keep ourselves safe.
In a situation where you are feeling uncomfortable, even if it’s just a little bit, it is extraordinarily important to listen to what your self is telling you. Sometimes something needs to change. Sometimes you need to get out.
There are several levels on which you can learn to value yourself to implement the kind of trust I’m talking about:
Give value to your thoughts and feelings.
This is not about pride, or valuing yourself above someone else. This is valuing what you have to say enough that you actually listen to yourself. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
Now, please don’t confuse “feels wrong” with “causes discomfort”. Discomfort can be healthy and help you grow. If something is uncomfortable, take a moment to examine it. Will the discomfort help you or hurt you (give benefit or cause damage)? What is the truth of the situation?
Give value to your safety and wellbeing.
If the situation feels wrong, or the discomfort will damage you in some way, give yourself permission to remove yourself from the situation.
You can try your best to explain why you need to take a break (or leave permanently), but this is not necessary and not always advisable. If the person with you in this situation is not respectful of your need to feel safe, they probably don’t need to be an influence in your life, anyway.
Explaining does not need to be any longer than, “This doesn’t feel right.” or, “I don’t feel safe.”
Give value to your ability to understand the situation fully.
If you’re confused about something, or not sure if it will be dangerous or safe-but-challenging, pause. Ask for time to consider the situation. Ask for clarification on the point you’re not sure about.
Many manipulators will communicate a false sense of urgency to their intended victim in order to rush them into making an unwise decision. Then, when confronted, they remind you that you were the one who made the decision.
Deny them the opportunity. Value yourself enough to take the time to work through any concerns or misgivings. Again, if this is a worthwhile person to keep in your life, they will make allowances to help you feel safe. They may get a little annoyed because they’re human, especially if they don’t yet understand why you feel unsafe. But it is never okay to shame someone into acting in a manner they are not comfortable with.
Give value to being able to keep your own self safe.
Taking a few moments to think won’t “ruin the moment” or a relationship or irreparably damage the plans or screw everything up or even ruin your life. It will give you the opportunity to feel as safe as possible and make sure you are taking care of yourself in a way that makes YOU comfortable.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to feel safe. Some people may try to influence you into feeling like you should forego feeling safe so you don’t inconvenience them. This is not a valid argument. You are a human being; you have the right to feel safe. The end.
These are not extreme measures doled out to the worthy few; this is how every single person should be treated.
Dear friend, you are so valuable, and so worthwhile. You know your own life and your own heart and mind. You are the only one who has the authority to make decisions about your safety.