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Boundaries: Chatting outside the community

ellaella Community Manager Posts: 76 Budding Regular
edited March 16 in Health & Wellbeing
Let's talk aboooout boundaries!

I like to think of boundaries as invisible lines that help us feel safe, comfortable and empowered :)

Today's topic: what to do when someone asks to chat outside of this community.

Why boundaries are important:

To keep you safe: Talking privately with someone you don't know well could lead to uncomfortable situations.
To protect your privacy: You control what information you share online.
They empower you! It's okay to say no, and it shows you respect yourself and your needs.

So, someone asks to chat elsewhere. What now?
Here's the thing: It's completely okay to say no! Here are some ways to politely decline:
Be direct: "Thanks for reaching out, but I prefer to keep our conversations within the community."
Offer an alternative: "I like chatting here, but if you have a question, feel free to post it publicly."
Explain your boundaries: "I keep my online interactions within this platform for safety reasons."

Bonus Phrases! (Feel free to adapt these!)
"That's not really comfortable for me, thanks though!"
"I appreciate the offer, but I'm not interested in chatting privately."
"Let's keep the conversation going here for now!"


You don't owe anyone an explanation.
If someone pressures you, trust your gut and report them to a moderator.
There's no shame in prioritising your comfort!

Let's discuss!

Have you ever been in this situation? How did you handle it?
What are some other ways to set boundaries online?
Share your best tips for staying safe in online communities! :star:


  • Options
    Amy22Amy22 Posts: 3,967 Community Veteran
    Hi @ella this would have been super super helpful when I first came on here and I would have people asking to dm outside of the website and I didn't know what to do. I thank you a lot for posting this here. I did have a recent incident where someone in gc who was new wanted to dm about something but never actually did and turned out that what they needed help with wasn't actually true. I remember it making me feel anxious because one I didn't know the answer to the question but really wanted to help them as much as I could.
    Just a person who likes pop culture and films
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