<strong>Don’t respond with anger.</strong> If confronted by an angry individual, no matter what the circumstances, do not reciprocate his aggressive words or actions. This will only feed the fire and escalate the hostile situation to dangerous levels. Instead, soften your words in volume and meaning, and your aggressor will hopefully do the same. When there is nothing to help build his anger, his intensity level should start to drop. However, always keep your guard up.
<strong>Keep a safe distance.</strong> A safe distance is out of his reach or punch range, yet close enough to have a conversation. If you move too far away, he may follow you, thinking you are abandoning the situation, and this serves to only further increase his aggression. Too close and you may fall victim to an unforeseen punch, kick or grab as he moves beyond hostile words. Find that comfort zone where you can retreat if needed yet defend yourself if attacked.
<strong>Identify the cause of the issue.</strong> If the problem is not clear, then it’s very difficult to solve it. Many times during a verbal confrontation the actual problem is buried deep under profanity, personal insults or other taunts or “jabs” totally unrelated to the issue at hand. Get your opposition to stay on track with the problem and a solution will be easier to find.
<strong>Apologize and offer a solution.</strong> This is the difficult part for most people. But swallow your pride, put your ego aside and apologize. In most instances, this can do wonders to stop hostility dead in its tracks. Even though the incident may not be directly your fault, it’s best at times to use this tactic to diffuse a hostile situation.
<strong>If all else fails, be ready.</strong> Trying to keep the situation peaceful has its breaking point. Enraged individuals, those on drugs or intoxicated to a high degree will not listen to logic or rational words. If what you say has absolutely no affect on your aggressor’s behavior, then either leave the scene or be prepared for a physical attack. Rage can make a person lose control, and you don’t want to be on the receiving end.
When faced with an angry individual, you basically have two choices: engage them at their level, which can make the situation escalate to dangerous levels, or try of diffuse the hostile situation and find a satisfying solution to the conflict. Yes, the latter is easier said than done, but there are several steps you can take to help reduce the chances of the confrontation going from verbal to physical, and it’s up to you to learn them long before the face-off occurs.
- RELATED STORY: Jeff Cooper’s Code – Understanding the 4 Levels of Situational Awareness
- RELATED STORY: 5 Deadly Force Cases with Heavy Legal Consequences for the Good Guy
There are five things to keep in mind when examining a hostile situation. Scroll through the gallery above and learn about each step you should take.
This article was originally published in ‘Personal & Home Defense’ Spring 2017. To order a copy, please visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
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