Drawing the Line


Drawing the line is a bright line you establish that will allow you to set a physical boundary that, if crossed, will give you permission to take aggressive action.  You make this decision in the comfort of your own home – not at the time of the incident.  What this looks like may be lifting your arm straight out, spread your fingers open to make your hand appear wider, and say, “I need you to back up,” or, “You are making me uncomfortable,” “I need you to leave,” or whatever you decide in advance will work for you.   This may seem like a very simple step- and it is so there is no excuse for not doing this- but it is a very powerful step.  The very act of raising your hand up, telling him he must stop doing what he is doing, does several things.  This changes your mindset from victim to victor, you are taking charge and setting some hard rules and you are preparing to keep yourself safe.  It also tells him something, that you are not a soft target, you will not be easily manipulated and that he should think long and hard before brining violence to you.

Doing things to keep yourself safe when someone is trying to violate your boundaries may feel rude.  This is not how most of us interact on a daily basis.  Please, please, remove concerns of rudeness and focus your mind on the fact that someone is attempting to take something from you against your will.  Remember, this is an audition for a part you don’t want to get.  Make him understand you are a hard target and picking you will cause him more hassle than it is worth.   Remember that there is not a situation where a safe man approaches you with no agenda and then becomes violent toward you because you refuse him.  If he becomes violent it was likely there all along and not the result of your response.

In my case the reason I kept doing what I was told to do during the kidnapping was because I mistakenly believed that keeping him calm would keep me safe.  Not true.  Trying to cooperate with him and keep him calm, so he would stop hitting me, only landed me in an isolated place where he almost stabbed me to death.  Your willingness to draw the line by showing you are willing to protect yourself will drive away a safe man with innocuous intentions and may possibly drive away a predator.  If the predator then strikes, you know he was going to strike anyway.  He was just waiting to lull you into a false sense of safety so he could strike without notice.  Using your mindset and awareness to quickly identify when someone has busted through a boundary may give you more time to use other tools in your tool box to maintain your safety.