This may sound obvious, but unless you are actually imprisoned (and I appreciate that is a very real situation for many right now) you get to leave a situation if it doesn’t feel safe, if it triggers you or makes you uncomfortable. Your experience is valid. That doesn’t make anyone else at fault, but as an adult you get to be responsible for yourself and you get to leave if you don’t feel safe. Take yourself somewhere safe, check in, give yourself what you need and deal with any consequences later.

Your mental well-being is more important than any business meeting, friend’s birthday or family get together.

If you need to make excuses, do so, but also know that ‘I’m not feeling good in this situation and am going to leave – I’ll touch base when I’m feeling better’ is a totally valid statement all in itself.

P.S. If you would like support to feel clearer around how you feel and how to create boundaries for yourself in difficult situations, reach out – I have space for a couple of new clients right now and would love to support you if it’s a good match.