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Handling Disrespect: Man Up! Edition

July 3, 2012

Handling the disrespectful friend has been covered. What about the first date/jumpoff/friend with benefits?

Athol Kay’s reader explains his experience with a disrespectful date in public:

Was a friends birthday party, and i was there with my at the time FWB. So he pulled out the hardcore Portuguese spirits and started pouring shots. It was nasty stuff. When i pounded it back, i thought i swallowed acid and im sure my face showed it, along with the groan.   FWB turns to me and says ‘Really? You should buck up and take it like a man. You don’t hear us complaining when we have to swallow!’

Perhaps this isn’t so bad, yet it was enough for the reader to be pressured into something he didn’t want and feel disrespected.

How should he have handled it? In the midst of suggestions to say some witty, try-hard retort and telling her to “find her own way home,” I humbly offer this piece of advice:

There’s a fine line between not putting up with nonsense and feeling deeply challenged and offended by it.

If you leave her, it should simply be because you don’t want to spend any more time with her, not because you feel hurt or offended. You should be secure enough to handle foolishness.

You should also be bold enough to speak up when someone is out of line. A simple “excuse me?” with eye contact should be enough to make her reconsider her conduct. If you feel it’s necessary, follow up with “watch how you speak to me.” Don’t fear this. She’ll respect you. If she doesn’t, then she’s cut off instantly.

I don’t think there’s any reason to overthink this. Draw your boundaries early. If you feel someone’s crossed a line, speak up. Just expect this challenge is likely to come, but don’t be afraid of how others react. You’re responsibility is to respect and value yourself as an example for others to do the same for you.

From → Practical Steps

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