I am a very affectionate person. ‘Snuggle’ is my middle name. But there is a line of affectionate appropriateness that has to be drawn and some people just do not get it.

The latest example comes from my flight to Tasmania. I was having a nice chat with the 50-something man next to me about wine and work and MY HUSBAND and 2 kids. As the plane landed, I felt my hand leave my side. He had grabbed it to give a kind of gentlemanly kiss on my hand and said, “I enjoyed talking to you!”. Talk about inappropriate and uncomfortable! I couldn’t get out of the plane quickly enough.

Later on I thought of all the things I could have said to him, “Please don’t do that, it makes me uncomfortable” or I could have yanked my hand away but I was too shocked and embarrassed to do anything of the sort. So I was left kicking myself and wondering why such people feel they are free to force their affections onto relative strangers, willy nilly.

Mostly, these issues come from overly-affectionate men who do not know what is appropriate and what is not. I don’t mind a hug goodbye or a kiss on the cheek from someone I have known for a long time… a friend! But I do not understand how acquaintances and strangers feel they can just throw hugs and kisses around without it being awkward and without realising how unwelcome their actions are.

And it hasn’t just happened once. I try and steer away from those type of men because I just do not trust their judgement.  I feel if I bring it up with them it will be a major drama as they’re usually of the sensitive persuasion. But, if pushed, I will have to stand up for myself and ask them, politely, not to cross that line again. Oh dear.

I also feel an obligation to teach my kids to stand up for themselves as well. If I let people do things that make me uncomfortable, how will my little treasures know how to protect themselves? In the end I just do not like making a scene and would prefer to leave and avoid those kind of people in the future. But sometimes, it is unavoidable and I just need to get proactive and say what I feel!

Any advice peeps?

Advertisements