by Jack – Real World Protection
It is very important to understand how to stop potentially violent situations before they become dangerous. For example, in a bar, you make eye contact with somebody and that person assumes that you want trouble. They approach you and say something like: ” What you looking at?!” It is of the upmost importance that you know how to diffuse this situation with words alone- so that the self defense that you have learned is not needed.
Remember: your main weapon is patience. Keep in mind your goal: de-escalation and escape. Don’t rise to the bait – don’t get emotionally tied to your opponent’s responses. If you go up against a blade, getting cut has to be expected. Similarly, if you want to de-escalate aggression, you have to expect taking some verbal abuse. Accept it.
Don’t rise to it. Your physical safety is your number one priority.
Keep using closed statements that stop the conversation. So, no questions.
If you’re asked “What are you looking at?” the easy answer is to say something along the lines of, “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were someone I knew. My mistake, sorry.” and start to move away. This method will see them soon run out of things to say! If after this the person still pursues the issue, you know he is just out for a fight and you must then prepare for self defense.
Something else that can be effective is to put subtle commands into your placation of an aggressor. This could be as simple as not using ‘please’ in your discussions (it is easy to become overly polite in de-escalation situations), so if they are shouting simply use direct language to quieten them. When they do quieten down, they have done what they have been told, this removes control of the situation from them without them realizing consciously and makes it far easier to make them go away- it does work, but you have to get it right as it’s a fine balance.
THEM: “What are you staring at?!”
YOU: “I’m sorry. My bad. I thought you were someone else”
THEM: “You better be sorry!” *Shouting*
YOU: “OK. Stop shouting. I’m going to turn around now and get on with my evening. You should do the same!”
Note: A very simple tip that will help people to take you more seriously is to tilt your head down slightly whilst you are talking. This makes your voice noticeably lower thus creating the impression of you having more power. Something that we already know, attackers normally don’t want to have to deal with!