Boundaries: How to Deal With Unwanted Sexual Advances

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Unwanted Sexual Advances

How do you deal with unwanted sexual advances? Do you ignore it and hope it goes away?
Do you freeze, not sure what you’re supposed to do? Watch this video for tips and tools!

This week’s boundaries video is about a heavy and sensitive topic: How to deal with unwanted sexual advances. What do you do if someone is coming on to you in a sexual way, either at work or in your personal life, and it makes you uncomfortable?

This can even be people saying sexual or inappropriate things to you that make you uncomfortable, which is still a kind/type of sexual advance.

The creep vibe.

The looks up and down or suggestive comments. Ick!

How to Deal With Unwanted Sexual Advances

Theresa Byrne and I are the co-creators of the Boundaries for Beautiful Relationships program coming to you in March, and this is the fifth video in our prelaunch series of boundary challenges.

With the #MeToo Movement, there’s been a lot more messaging in the news and social media about women who faced unwanted sexual attention or advances in a personal or professional setting.

I love that women are finally feeling heard and empowered to step up and say “this is what happened to me, and it’s not OK!”

Theresa researched and studied many of these events to look at the patterns of predators. She shares what she learned in the video, and it’s fascinating. 

Dealing with unwanted sexual advances is all about CONSENT.

What is consent? And why is it important?

  • Consent is permission.
  • It’s Agreement. Approval. Compliance.
  • It’s saying “Yes — that’s what I want” to something or someone because it’s what you want too.

When you don’t react or respond to a boundary pusher it’s likely they’ll go further. They can take your passivity as compliance/agreement.

 

What are some of the ways we handle these challenging boundary violations?

Most of us do one of two things:

  1. We ignore it and hope it goes away.
  2. We freeze, not sure what we’re supposed to do.

Why is it hard to know what to do in the moment? You have an adrenal response that triggers your emotions and overrides your rational thinking.

Our studies have shown that if you are a codependent, you have been conditioned to please others. So, when a man makes an unwanted sexual advance, your first response is to make sure you don’t come across as mean.

Some women are confused by sexual advances, as on the surface, it can feel ‘flattering’ that this man finds you sexy.

If this is true for you, make sure to take a few moments to process so you don’t have an automatic response—or lack of response—that you’ll regret later.

Ask yourself, is this something I want, or am I acting out of obligation or fear?

Where do these unwanted advances happen?

  • Workplace – #Metoo! bosses, work friends, colleagues, clients or potential clients
  • People in position of power – churches, workshops, gurus, coaches, therapists 
  • Socially – friends, acquaintances, friends of friends, husbands of friends 
  • On dates – sitting too close, getting in a car, asking to meet somewhere private, sexual advances by text (dick pics, sexy photos, sexual inappropriateness). PLEASE: THINK OF YOUR SAFETY when setting up the first few dates.
  • In a relationship – he wants sex and you don’t, you’re arguing and he tries to make up by having sex without resolving the conflict, or you don’t feel loving or comfy with what he’s wanting, and you feel pressured.

Click here to download this week’s FREE Checklist – “No Means No!” You’ll learn what to do the next time someone makes an unwanted sexual advance. We even included a few amazing scripts to help you speak up when you want to say, “NO”!

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