A few months ago I wrote a post about how I didn’t want my daughter to arrive at Union Station DC in the middle of the night because I thought it was unsafe. Many thought that as my daughter is “an adult” I shouldn’t say that to her. My retort was simple: If I had a friend who planned on arriving in a train station in the middle of the night, I would tell them not to take that train either. Which then lead to people saying- “You would never tell another person that. You would let them do what they wanted.”

So…

Do you tell your friends when you think they are doing something that is unsafe?

I have a really good friend who tells me how unsafe NYC is. The subways. The streets. The crime. And to be fair, my friend has statistics on their side: NYC is much less safe than if was pre-COVID. There was a point where our murder rate was up 86%. While crime has slowly started to come down, I see the difference- these mean streets really are meaner. Sometime in April you’re going to read about some mass transit experiences that I had recently…

But anyway…

Does my friend have a right to tell me to watch my back?

Don’t you want the people you love/care about to be safe?

What is the line between what you can and can’t tell friends?

When I go out with friends, we text one another when we get home. It’s just what we do. I make sure that my friends make it into their homes and are safely behind locked doors. Period. And this includes my friend M who I share theater tickets with and we go to matinees and she lives in Westchester. She texts me an hour and a half later when she is firmly ensconced in suburbia.

Because this is what we do. Is it because we’re women? Is it because we know what crime is like? Is it because we care about one another? Does it matter?

So where do you stand on safety and your friends?

Discuss

94 thoughts on “Safety

  1. Great question! Simple answer. Consider for one moment standing at a graveside saying I wish I had said something. The person may not have listened but you tried. Sometimes, and I have experienced it myself, a word of caution is enough to rethink the situation. Please don’t change

    Liked by 9 people

    1. That’s a great reminder. I’d rather be the over protective idiot who makes their friend call them then not. I know I can’t prevent things, but nothing wrong with precaution

      Liked by 7 people

  2. I think it is good to be aware and a reminder is a good thing. My daughter routinely calls us when she walks on campus late at night.
    The only issue I would have with someone telling me about the dangers in NYC was if it seemed too judgmental about where I live.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. To be fair, my friend thinks I should move out of the city to someplace safer, so I know there’s a bit of judgement there, but with this particular person I accept because I know that it comes from a good place.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a great question because I’m sure we’re all guilty of doing this. I mean, it’s only natural to want to protect the ones we care about. My son is in LA, and I still find myself telling him to be careful and bringing things to his attention. Of course it’s probably annoying, but it’s just the way I am, even to my mom and others. Honestly, you never know, it may save a persons life or keep them from danger. Usually with my son I’ll back it up with, “I know you’re an adult and can take care of yourself, but…” Better to be safe than sorry. 👍

    Liked by 4 people

    1. My daughter was the “mom” of her high school friend group. You know how teenage girls don’t sneeze without texting someone first? So my daughters friend K wasn’t at school, and she hadn’t told them she wasn’t coming in. My daughter went to the office and brow beat them into calling the mom (which is not procedure in high school) because she thought it was off that k hadn’t told them and they couldn’t reach her. Turns out K fell back asleep…😆

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My friends and I have always had each other’s backs and will say when we think something is unsafe. Absolutely we text when we get home or call if too much time has passed and someone forgot to say that they’re safe. Especially now as divorced women, but we always kind of did it before too. I do it with my kids and I don’t care that they’re in their 20’s. Letting someone know you’ve arrived safely is common courtesy in this potentially dangerous world.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I don’t say it much anymore, any of the little reminders, to the kids or others but I do/will speak out if we’re talking major event- as you mentioned with skydiving! I don’t see anything wrong with doing it though, even with friends if they are agreeable.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. See, I won’t do it for something that someone is completely aware of the risks…heliskiing, scuba, etc. my hope is that they’ve done their due diligence. Like, when my daughter went to Costa Rica I okayed the zip line and the surfing and the white water rafting, because I know exactly what the risks are. My daughter is supposed to be studying in South Africa, and some have thought that unwise, but I was all go for it. But train stations….bleh….

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Since you don’t seem like a ‘meddler’ or helicopter parent at all, I would not accuse you of that. This is simply making sure people ‘who may not be familiar with a place’ have all the pertinent information. You could preface it with a question such as ‘have you ever been there before?” or “are you aware of the dangers in this place?”. If so , then you can save your warning. The fact is that many young people do not think they are going to be a victim, or get hurt, or get a traffic ticket, or whatever, so they need reminders from time to time just to get them to pay attention .

    Liked by 5 people

  7. My friends and family check on each other and we Do tell each other safety tips. Once we all turned 65 and retired we spent more time helping the environment, volunteering more, AND giving helpful advice. We take care of one another. Many of us are widowed, divorced or live alone. So we all call one another when we get home safe or we take a pic to check on the well being of one another. It’s something Women over 50 have always done for each other.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Safety first – yes, I agree with your concerns about your daughter. I’m very independent, but I always text friends when I get home. I lived in Miami a long time & had friends & family have bad experiences so I’m cautious. I don’t buy gas after dark and am careful where I go at night.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I’m a worrier. I care about my friends’ and family’s safety, so I will absolutely let them know when I’m concerned about something. It is very much a thing that everyone texts when they get where they are going (though my son is NOT good at doing that and I don’t give him tons of grief over it). For me and my family it is just a form of care and respect for others to do that kind of check in. I don’t see that as being any different than checking in after you know something happened around them. If I know particularly bad storms when through an area where someone I care about lives, I will check to make sure they and theirs are all okay after the storms have passed. It is all just a way of saying “Hey! I’m here. I care.”

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I would feel so guilty if something happened to someone I care about and I had not warned them of potential dangers. My girls and my husband all share their whereabouts with me on Find My Friend and we always let each other know when we’ve arrived safely at our destinations. We even let each other know when we are moving from one place to another. Why add a worry when it is not necessary? I once read about a mom who’s son went missing and even though he lived with her she had no idea where to start looking. I made a promise/request to the kids never to put me in that situation. When my girlfriend and I recently attended a scrapbook weekend, we let each other know we made it home (we lived two hours away in opposite directions).

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I don’t mind a friend telling me I’m doing something she thinks is unsafe IF the concern is sincere. If however it some kind of subtle manipulation, passive-aggressive even, I smile, say thanks, then move on. Not everyone has your best interest in their heart, ‘ya know?

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I would absolutely notify a friend or family member if I knew of a safer time or train to travel. Unless the other person expressly states that they don’t want your help, it is assumed that they want to be safe. You were being helpful, not impolite.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I would have told your daughter and my friend the same thing. Are you crazy? I dont live in NYC , but I most certainly want my friends to stay away from trouble so I have no problem telling them how I feel. Isn’t that part of loving someone?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. These are great questions. My friends and I do check on each other and worry about each other’s safety. It’s nice. And at work, when we all leave at 8 pm and it’s dark, a few of us wait until we’ve started our cars and are moving before we leave. However, it’s tricky to offer advice when you think it’s a dangerous situation. I feel that way with my adult sons when I listen to them talk about their travels. I usually stay quiet (and worry in private!).

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Oh, yes, I do, yet I always frame it as a consideration. Like, are you sure you’re not too tired to drive, maybe you should consider letting someone drive you home….I think self expression works two ways in a relationship. Each person needs to have the space to express. When one expresses a safety concern the other has the right to heed or decline. I think the important thing is that it is stated and considered….

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I don’t. I would like to give my daughter advice about travel and safety but I know better. She has travelled much more than I have and been all over the world, I haven’t. Still I worry. At least now she travels with her husband and now thanks to technology it is easier to reach out and stay in contact. I will never forget how helpless I felt when she first travelled to Sweden alone not long after graduating high school. Most of my adult friends I try hard not to give advice without being requested for it, or to offer it as if I do then they feel obliged to hear it.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I don’t think age, gender, or relationship should be a factor in asking someone to be careful, to give you a call or text when they arrive. If you care about someone, it is one way of telling them that you care.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I second your arguments. It’s a really noble thing to check on one’s close friends and relatives and advise them whenever there’s a threat. There’s totally no problem with that. Those who would say otherwise are heartless, uncaring, jealous and really really unloving.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. It depends on the circumstances. I’m not an “I’m home. I made it” kind of person, but if I’m leaving the country or something, then I’ll people know we arrived safely, or we’re still alive. Also, I have friends who are like that, so I try to be accommodating. It also depends on how far away you’ve travelled.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A lot for me is the route taken and the time. My daughter used to leave the house at 630 to take public bus to transit practice. It’s still dark in the mornings, so even though it’s relatively “safe” I made her text when at school.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I would totally say something if I felt there was a risk involved in something my friend was doing. It would ultimately be their decision but I think showing concern for a friend’s safety says you love and care for them.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Safety can mean different things to people from different social backgrounds. Sometimes it’s a I’m home message from a friend after a taxi ride and sometimes its a I’m home message from a friend in a war torn country. Safety is also a state of mind .

    Liked by 2 people

  22. This made me smile for yes my friends, family and I do this. Maybe not every time but a lot!! I had jokingly told a friend that it was good she texted me for I was soon going to have the cops show up at her house. LOL! Was joking but we both thanked each other that we know we won’t be the people that you hear about on the news. No one knew they were missing. They laid in their house for 4 days, etc. I just think that is so sad.
    And yes, I think we can speak up to our friends. Its their choice to listen or not, but nothing wrong with saying something out of love and concern.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I would always love for my loved ones to be safe no matter what so if I know the situation at hand then imma warn them ahead. It becomes non of my business when they refuse to listen

    Like

  24. My husband says safety is an illusion. It doesn’t matter where you live, you always need to take precautions. I think it’s wise to check in with friends or family or check up on them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think some people feel it’s none of someone’s business to tell another adult something. I sort of get it…but it doesn’t work for me

      Like

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