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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Kumagoro Offline
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I want to get out more... - May 16th 2011, 09:03 PM

Since I turned 18, I haven't been out to pubs/bars/clubs very often at all. It's not a peer pressure thing: I really want to go out and have fun, but there's no way I'd go on my own. I don't know whether I'm irrationally paranoid or sensibly precautious, but I could never walk home at night or get in a taxi on my own because I'd freak out. It's my parents' influence; they worry so much. So I guess I'm kinda reliant on my friends to come with me and to bring me home safely.

There's this one friend who's looked out for me countless times, he calms me down when I get scared at night, he knows martial arts so I know I'm fairly safe, and he always makes sure I get home OK. The problem is that when I rely on him, he's the one who decides when we're leaving, he's the one who decides which pub we're going to, and I don't have any independence. I'm too scared to go out alone but I don't want to have to depend on him like this.

I don't think I can go out with any of my other friends... I wouldn't feel safe and my parents would worry like crazy. So, in a nutshell, how can I have a fun night out with this guy without burdening him with my neediness? And will my parents ever stop worrying about where I am...?

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Re: I want to get out more... - May 16th 2011, 10:59 PM

I don't think parents ever stop worrying about their daughters... it's kind of their job to worry! =P You can help set their minds at ease, though, as well as your own, by taking a few basic steps to ensure you're protected while clubbing at night.

You don't need to know martial arts in order to fend off an attacker, but it's good to know some basic means of protecting and defending yourself. I actually wrote an article about this for Avatar, so click here to read the October issue! It's the "Street Smarts" article on page seven. Also, there are many techniques you can use for defending yourself against someone who is attacking you. I'm not going to link to any particular websites because I don't want to "endorse" violence; however, keep in mind that there are many weak points you can go after when being attacked. You can attack the eyes, nose, face in general, throat, groin, and feet, to name a few. I strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with techniques on how to EFFECTIVELY fight back, and even practice defending yourself against friends (don't actually hurt them, though!). You can also carry mace/pepper spray with you, as well as pocket knives and other sharp, pointy objects. Again, learn how to use these tools effectively!

I used to hate traveling by myself at night (I would work until 9:00 P.M. and have to take the bus back to campus afterward, then walk for 10 minutes by myself through poorly-lit areas...). I would become a nervous wreck and avoid anyone who seemed to be headed my way. Becoming "street smart" and familiarizing myself with self-defense techniques went a long way for me, though. I also had to convince myself that everything was going to be okay - not an easy task for an anxious person, but it's possible! Reassure yourself that it's okay, you are not going to die if you have to travel alone, and so long as you take the necessary precautions, you'll be fine. =) It takes practice, but if you start traveling small distances at night, then slowly work your way up to traveling alone from home to clubs and back, you'll become more confident and not feel the need to rely so heavily on your friend.

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Re: I want to get out more... - May 18th 2011, 02:57 AM

Hey there,

Your friend sounds like a nice guy. If you want to go to the pubs that you want to, you could voice your needs. If he cares that much about you, then I don't think he would be so unreasonable as to decide where to go and when to leave. The key is to just tell him what you want to do, and any sensible and normal friend would be receptive to someone else's desires especially when hanging out. Unless he's really unreasonable which I doubt it from the sound of it.
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