People can be dangerous!

One thing I’ve learned when I moved from my very Asian country to a cosmopolitan city like London is that people are different. There are various types of people and not everyone is nice to you, or just nice as a person. They might cheat you, deceive you, trick you, con you, steal from you, metaphorically stab you in the back or right in your chest, or literally.

I come from a place where I was taught to be nice, polite, respectful and honest to people and expect the same from others. I wouldn’t say my family was rich or totally happy but I never lacked anything or had to be jealous of anyone. I went to the best schools and was always in the top ten for my grades and good behaviors. I never got into real troubles in any way. I got a totally clean record. All my friends are pretty much the same. We live in a heaven-like world where real danger has never reached us.

So it has been a dramatic change for me to be exposed to the world out there on my own. I experimented it and was several times shocked at how naive and simple I could have been. Then I got a bit wiser and more cautious, yet I still had this mindset that everyone is nice and respectable. Or even more foolish to think that it’s absolutely impossible for someone to stalk me, attack me, or literally pull out a knife to stab me.

The truth is, for sure, not everyone is nice, and not everyone deserves to be respected. They can be impolite, inappropriate or even harass you. Some people can be very dangerous, or mentally ill to the point that they are not able to control their behaviors.

I wasn’t aware of it. In fact, I wasn’t prepared to handle it. I still tried to treat them in a way I thought they deserved and because I would feel guilty and reflect negatively back to me if something I said or did could possibly hurt their feelings in any way, I often went along with them, only to end up blaming myself for not standing up for myself enough towards these people.

For instance, there was one time I was chatted up by a young guy while I went out shopping. He appeared to be harmless and not creepy looking at all. However, he always tried to make physical contact with me, which made me very uncomfortable. The bad thing is that instead of asking him to leave me alone, I kept questioning myself if it was weird and mean of me to treat a person like that. So I ignored it and tried to be friendly to him as I wanted to avoid awkwardness. (Thank god, I was able to make an excuse to leave in the end).

What he did as a stranger was inappropriate and I was not at all expected to be nice to him in such a situation. The awkwardness that I had always put myself in a difficult situation to avoid would be totally none of my business. In fact, he would deserve it.

Nowadays, not even girls but boys are also more commonly the victim of harassment and rape. We must learn how to handle these situations (not to mention other types of violation!) and speak it up if anything ever gets out of control. Although I agree with the opinion that rape does not occur because of where people are, how slutty people dress but of the existence of rapists themselves, I think it’s still best that we don’t wear revealing clothes, no matter how flattering or comfortable they are or how much you love to dress up, when going out alone… at night (Don’t make the matter worse!). Just to be careful, you know. Note to myself, too — the world is not that nice.

Just a few weeks ago, a car was literally on fire right next to my building. And just check the news, too. Murder, murder everywhere! Well, I might be over-dramatic but you get what I mean!

Take care.

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