Mar 15, 2016

Safe Calls, Boundaries, and Assertiveness

Q: Would it be a good idea to tell my friends about my date I’m going on and if I’m not back to call me to make sure I’m ok?

AskAnAdvocate: Yes, definitely! The term for this arrangement is a "Safe Call."  As described in the linked article, a Safe Call has a few specific details ahead of time:
  1. The physical address(es) of where you plan to go.
  2. The full legal name of the person/people you're meeting.
  3. A predetermined time that you will call them by. 
  4. A code word to text or say if you aren't freely making your call.  
The "Safe Call" person is understood to IMMEDIATELY call local law enforcement or some other agreed upon response system if you don't call at the predetermined time.  

Q: Angie* has a boyfriend she loves to hangout with. Angie suspects her housemate is in love with her and jealous of Angie's boyfriend. So what would you suggests to them?

AskAnAdvocate: Great question!  We all know that things can be complicated with our housemates, but the key to any healthy relationship is open communication, especially around boundaries and expectations.  
I would suggest to Angie to be brave and bring up her concerns to her housemate.  Schedule a time to talk when you and your housemate won't be distracted by other things.  Maybe try your favorite coffee shop or deli.  
Even though it might feel strange, bring a note card or piece of paper with what you want to go over - not only will this help you stay on-point should your conversation be uncomfortable, but it will also be a reminder to hit all points you want to cover.  
Practice assertiveness using x,y,z statements like "I feel [x], when you [behavior y], at [time z]". 
For more information on assertiveness and boundaries, check out this article from 

*As with all of our posts, any names or identifying information has been changed to protect anonymity.

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