Often, when people made me uncomfortable, I didn’t know when to stop them. Instead I would laugh with discomfort and hope they would just read the room, or my expression or something. Because, I didn’t want to have to say something as it would “make a scene.”
Let me be honest with you all, I was raised on a diet of always be polite and never ever make a scene, like there was nothing worse I could do in public, according to my mother than make a scene. But the truth is, sometimes people push. Sometimes they didn’t understand how to read my expression or that I was uncomfortable. I don’t like people touching me without my permission (unless I am very close to them) and some people take the hugging or playful hitting too far. I struggle with loud and sudden sounds and people would take this as a fun prank to play on me. And I really really don’t like any jokes about sexual abuse, they almost bring out a physical reaction, and people would take my silence as complicit to their joking. It took me making scenes and not being afraid of making them for all this to stop.
Now it sounds like I shouted at them. It sounds like I shrieked my head off and told them off. I did none of these things. I just established my boundaries by saying “Sorry, I’m not comfortable with that” and then by leaving the room/conversation. I didn’t make a fuss or scream or do anything hurtful. If someone crossed my social boundaries, I just started believing I had a right to leave the room or any situation that made me uncomfortable.
Some people may find this harsh, but I have honestly reached a point where I am not going to be making myself uncomfortable for someone else’s comfort. If someone crosses my boundaries, I simply do not stand for it anymore. Same goes for people who force me into trying to do something I am not ready for. Quietly state I am uncomfortable and leave the room.
You need to have strong boundaries in this world. If you do not like something happening to you, your body or some things just aren’t funny and make you uncomfortable, you are not supposed to stand there and take it. Set up strong boundaries and don’t care if other people tell you you’re being “uncool” and to “get over it”. No one is comfortable with everything out there. And believe me, more people will respect you for saying something than for allowing something you are uncomfortable with for the sake of being nice. Stand up for yourself. Set up your boundaries. Allow no one to push you around. You have the right to say no. And that is far more a priority than making a scene could ever be.