How do you handle feeling like a novelty item from a store?

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silverlinings1069
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06 Jan 2024, 9:06 am

I know - weird question. Let me set the scene for you. When I tell someone (a man) that I am a ballroom/Latin dancer/instructor, I become a novelty item. I have learned to recognize it in their face and tone of voice and change in body stance. Okay, I feel it and it is not a good feeling. They start asking me questions that get personal and leads to questions about sex. Sex with a dancer. Yay. Whatever. I do not want to become a "novelty item" to men (or anyone) because I have Cptsd/Autism/ADHD. How do you handle this? How do you politely exit the conversation? Leave? Protect yourself?

I am not adept at being assertive but if I had a script or a memorize sentence that will stop them, that might help. I don't know. Thank you for your advise.



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06 Jan 2024, 10:27 am

That must be very triggering!

I can't think of a sentence that would always be appropriate. It depends on the situation.

Giving short answers like "yes," "no," or "I don't know" can discourage a person from prying further, especially if it's coupled with a clear attempt to change the subject.

Other ideas for when that doesn't work: you could suddenly "remember" an appointment that you're late for if it happens during the day. In the evening, you could supposedly get a text from friends or family saying that they need a sitter or something. You could tell them that you're expecting your husband to arrive at any moment if they don't know you at all. When I was younger, this is what I would do to get out of conversations with people who were making me uncomfortable.

In person, I'm not very assertive either. I usually try to avoid confrontation whenever possible because it doesn't feel safe. I have CPTSD, autism, and ADHD too.


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nick007
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06 Jan 2024, 2:35 pm

Could you avoid telling guys you do that till you know each other better & feel safer with them OP? I know this is not the same thing but I tend to avoid mentionimg certain various personal things offline because others tend to treat me like I'm special & can not understand simple things or they act like I'm someone who needs to be avoided. Sometimes it's better for me to just avoid giving others unnecessary info about myself. I like TwilightPrincess's suggestion about giving short answers, that sometimes works for me. I'm also sometimes a bit disingenuous with what I say if it makes interaction easier & will not hurt or screw anyone over in any way.


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07 Jan 2024, 5:05 am

silverlinings1069 wrote:
How do you handle feeling like a novelty item from a store?
The question presumes that I have that feeling.

I do not.

Instead, I feel like a ghost haunting my own life.

Big difference.


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blitzkrieg
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07 Jan 2024, 5:29 am

You don't have to tell anyone you are a ballroom dancer.

It's okay to set boundaries and even say something like "I would rather not discuss that" if a man asks about your occupation, for example.



nick007
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07 Jan 2024, 6:28 am

I just had a thought that the guys might be dates or potential dates. IDK if this is the case but if so it might be common to mention your jobs/occupations; I never really did the dating thing so I could be wrong but various people I've known said they mention it on dates. If a date mentions their job & asks about yours & you do refuse tell them it could seem suspicious & lying about your job could make you seem untrustworthy when they do find out. I think if a date is going to treat you differently for having that job or start mentioning sex, they are not quality guys to be dating. So my advice with dating would be to mention it & end thing if the guys make you uncomfortable.


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