Although there are plenty of awesome, gentlemen around, sometimes we meet one that gives us the creeps. We may even think there is something wrong with us because he keeps telling us he's a gentleman. I've encountered this situation more than a few times and I'm guessing you have to. So let me share some very simple things you can do to determine if it is safe to be around a man. By safe, I mean physically, mentally and emotionally.
- Trust that gut feeling
- If a man tells you that he is a gentleman instead of proving it, he isn't
- Enforce your personal boundaries to avoid being near anyone who gives you the creeps
True Story To Illustrate:
I was waiting with a girl friend in a long line for harbor cruise and the man behind us interrupted our conversation to comment on what we'd been talking about. She and I had been discussing the fact that I had to explain to guy why it is polite and appropriate to walk a woman to her car when she's leaving a club late at night. The guy behind us (we'll call him Brad), stated that he was a 50 year old gentleman and commented that gentlemen are seemingly rare these days.
As we listened to him, we both got the creeps and so did the other women overhearing the conversation. Brad mentioned several times that he was a gentleman and always followed it with an increasingly inappropriate compliment or comment about women. I decided he was trying to take the curse off of the comments by telling us he was a gentleman.
Finally, with Brad moving closer and closer to my friend, getting in her space, I told him that his comments were inappropriate and that he didn't seem to be a gentleman at all. That seemed to make him even more enthusiastic about saying off-color comments like how good my friend's jeans fit and how great she looked at 47. Interspersed were mentions of his wife, which I took as more attempts to remove the curse from his offensive monologue. He would also say, “I'm sorry but, " before he said something that made us uncomfortable.
As a Personal Safety Trainer, I have very solid personal boundaries and am not at all shy about enforcing them. I told him that the more he told us he was a gentleman and apologized the more he seemed like a creep. He started to speak again and I said, “You're stepping over the line and you need to stop talking right now. " Finally, he shut up. Later on the boat, a couple of women who overheard the conversation complimented me on the way I handled the situation.
This story is a perfect example of the need to trust gut feelings, pay attention to someone's behavior instead of their words if they don't match and establish and enforce personal boundaries. Brad is a verbal and mental abuser. Part of what he did by stating that he was a gentleman and apologizing prior to rude comments can be considered crazy-making as in domestic violence situations. This is where the perpetrator makes him or herself out to be the normal one so that the victim thinks they are the one with the problem.
Knowing how to tell a creep from a gentleman is an important safety tip for women!
Bonus Safety Tip: When someone tells you, by their actions, who or what they are, believe them. And now I would like to offer you free access to printed and audio versions of the “Seven Deadly Personal Safety Mistakes" plus 2 additional safety bonuses when you subscribe to a free weekly Safety Quick Tip. You can get your instant access (and a sample Safety Quick Tip) at http://www.PersonalSafetyTrainer.com