I once wrote an email to a work colleague that included a complaint about certain people not doing a very important part of their jobs. I didn’t write this to gossip. I wrote this in the hope that she’d be able to put a stop to it. We work different shifts, and I rarely see her, so I thought email would be the best way to communicate in this instance. Silly me.
Instead, she shared my email, without my permission, with another coworker. And he decided to share it with everyone, including the people I had named, so that he could look good by defending these people. My relationship with pretty much everyone has been damaged by this.
There is nothing as obnoxious and outrageous as sharing someone’s email without their permission. Yes, it’s easy to do, so people who would never think to share personal letters don’t hesitate to forward emails. We seem to have forgotten basic etiquette.
Another thing that drives me absolutely nuts is when I call someone, and they put me on speaker phone so that others can hear, without telling me. Someone in my chain of command does this all the time. That person has broken my trust. It makes me not want to talk to him unless absolutely necessary.
I talk to different people in different ways. I share information with some people that I wouldn’t share with others. I should have the right to choose who hears what in my life. Taking that right away from me is unacceptable. And yet it happens all the time.
If you have either one of these bad habits, I urge you to rethink your communication style. Not violating people’s privacy is common courtesy. Thank you.
When I think of the many times as a child and young adult that I was preyed upon by some sick person, it makes me wonder how anyone survives to adulthood. If I weren’t touched inappropriately, then inappropriate things were said to me, or someone tried to talk me into doing something that I didn’t want to do. Every woman I know has some story like that from childhood. It really is like being a baby animal on the African plains. Wearing a steak around your neck.
And I appreciate that parents and schools try to teach children to avoid these situations, but the whole “stranger danger” concept doesn’t help at all, because these predators are usually not strangers. They’re relatives, “friends”, or professionals/authority figures whom you are taught to respect. I was once groped by the family physician.
We have to figure out some way to teach children to listen to their inner voices. If something feels wrong, we have to teach them that that instinct is more important than respect or trust. We have to teach them that there are boundaries that no one, NO ONE can cross, and that they have rights. We have to give them permission to say, “No, I’m not doing that.” We have to make sure they understand that if someone says, “Don’t tell,” that’s the very moment in time when they have to tell.
And parents need to be taught, too, that the world is a whole lot less safe than they’d care to believe. Unfortunately, predators can come in many forms. And your child is out there alone on the plains a lot more often than you realize.