Just Ignore It?



Somebody recently asked me, “What do you think about the advice to ignore unwanted behavior?"


I hate to say it, but you know I will.


It depends.


And here is a great place to focus on the first principle of Empowerment Self Defense, which is mentioned in the question: THINK.


Because that is exactly what I will need to do in order to assess the situation. Think. What's going on here? Is this someone I know, or don't know? In other words, how long am I going to have to put up with this unwanted behavior?


What's going on here? Is this someone I know, or don't know? In other words, how long am I going to have to put up with this unwanted behavior?

Is it a stranger sucking on their teeth sitting next to me on the bus? Irritating, but not abusive, and one of us will get off the bus, and I can change my seat if I really need to. Is it a family member who has no clue as to what an "inside voice” is?



Well, maybe that is worth talking about.



Oh, you want to know about unwanted behavior that you feel is threatening or can develop into something more threatening? Maybe the stranger who walks up to you way too close and engages in a conversation that you don't want to be part of?


Engaging or not engaging should be a choice.

Yes, that is different. Engaging or not engaging should be a choice. That being said, there is no way to know how the other person is going to react until you respond. So, if they are too close, consider saying, "Whoa. Too close for me, take a step back," and throw in a please if you'd like.


They may be European with a much shorter understanding of personal distance.


Did they step back? Great. But They want to talk, and you don't? Well, you did learn something from asking them to step back.


If they ignored you, ignoring them might not be the best tactic, which is why it's important to have options. And I say "might" because, unfortunately, there are no rules here. Only lots of options and ideas of things that have worked in the past, or make sense.


There are no rules here. Only lots of options and ideas of things that have worked in the past, or make sense.

What will or won't work really.....dang it, need to say it again.


Really depends.

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