Have you ever wanted to say something to a bully or an adult that makes you feel uncomfortable but you just seem to lose the words? It’s okay to be nervous but we can help you find your voice and communicate your consent.
What is consent? Simply put consent is permission. No one is allowed to do anything to you or that will affect you without your permission. People may be able to see that you’re uncomfortable but sometimes you have to verbally communicate your consent. We have a few tips on how you can do this.
We are here to give you the ABCs of consent and how you can say no to someone who makes you uncomfortable.
1. Assert yourself You are the master of your personal space and this means that you and only you have a say about who enters it and on what terms. It can start small. You can refuse to give hugs to people you don’t feel comfortable with, even if it’s family members, friends of the family or close friends. You get to say who can touch you and who isn’t allowed. You also get to decide who you want to talk to. You can practice asserting yourself by practicing different ways to say no in the mirror. This can be a fun exercise where you write down different responses that you’d use in a tricky situation.
2. Be aware You might be called rude for saying no but It’s important to remember that respect goes two ways, and if they can’t respect your wishes then they are the rude ones. Sometimes you have to be aggressive and let people know in a very strong way that you are not comfortable with them in your personal space. Use your face and body language to show that you are serious. Make sure your voice is stern as well. You can say no at any time even when it doesn’t seem like the polite thing to do.
3. Care for others You want people to respect your wishes right? This means that you have to respect the wishes of others. Don’t force yourself on others and look out for their non-verbal cues. Some people might not speak out about how they feel but their body language may show you that they are uncomfortable. Watch out for those signs and know when to back away.
Remember the golden rule: Do unto others as you expect them to do unto you. Listen to others and back away when they want you to.
Speaking up for yourself and communicating your consent can be scary but remember that your body is yours alone and no one has a say on what you should do with your body.
These are the basics of consent. Your body, your rules.
Do you have any tips that girls can use to say no? Share them in the comments