Being Civil…but Having Boundaries

Sometimes, you have to stop laughing and present the issue. What could I be talking about today? Well, let’s start with a story:

 

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I was sitting at a desk, writing some notes for a new script I wanted to work on, with my phone at the corner but clearly in view so I can see if I have a notification from a friend or a phone call from a doctor. Suddenly, I saw my phone blur away as someone snatched it from the desk I was sitting at.

I knew who it was.

A man, who we’ll call Jesse. He frequents this establishment, and we have spoken before. I thought I was being kind when I initially spoke to him, but as it turns out, he likes to mess with those who give him any attention. Particularly, taking others’ belongings.

So there Jesse stood, looking at my phone (locked, thank God), and tried to get into it. aot wallpaper He admired my phone background; “Ooh, is that Attack on Titan?” Yeah. “Cool. I haven’t finished it yet.” He tried swiping up to play music (I was listening to an audiobook which he found boring), swiping left to get to the camera (he couldn’t), and guessing my 6-digit passcode.

Usually, I would playfully grab at it, bobbing and weaving as he dodged me, until I finally caught it. To be clear, I did not like doing this. I didn’t appreciate him doing it in the first place and I was sick of this dude taking my property. But I admit to my fault of sometimes being too kind-hearted. Jesse had a mental illness and I didn’t want to be a bitch to him.

But today was not the day to mess with my stuff. I didn’t even stand up; I didn’t give him the satisfaction. I simply said, give me back my phone please. Jesse either didn’t hear me or ignored me, and I believe it to be the latter. Give me back my phone. Hesitating, he looked at me like I told him many an insult. Finally, Jesse returned my phone and I continued writing. He tried to tell me about ‘joking around’, but I blatantly ignored him until he eventually took a hint and walked away.

Now, that might have seemed pretty bitchy to you. But I would reiterate that I have been nothing but kind and civil to this man, only to be met with rude forms of interaction.

“Maybe he had a crush on you.” First of all, that’s not the way to flirt. If that was his intention, he ruined any sort of already impossible chance. Second of all, I don’t think his boyfriend would appreciate it.

“But he had a mental illness.” Ready for another unpopular opinion? Having a mental illness does not give you the right to be an ass. The person writing this (hi, me, Alexandra) has mental illnesses and mental disorders. I live with it, and I don’t use it as an excuse to be rude. And before you combat with “maybe he didn’t know/can’t get help”, he has told me what his mental condition is and that he doesn’t want to take his meds, despite him either having them or it being readily accessible to him.

However, the biggest point I want to make is that no one, no matter whatever excuse they or others try to make, has the right to be rude to you.

My bluntness the day I didn’t play along was not rude. It was setting a boundary. You can be blunt and honest without being rude. Be civil but have your boundaries.

Hugs

Alexandra

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