L – Confrontation

75CAQ73ZUECAGJPH2BCAYQAM6GCAJ069ESCAVGIA1ECA94IHWXCAALWY1TCAJZWHD1CARTGKGZCA06N2YCCAKM8KI6CAPBSAMWCABZ2WMFCA33U9YJCA50JD2CCA27MHXNCA5ZM7WMCA2OWTM3CAF1WXIGWHAT TO DO IN A CONFRONTATION?

I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

1 Corinthians 9:22 NKJV

Violence is a traumatic, life altering experience. Whether you are the victim, the victor or you just survive it, it changes a person forever

Effects of violence will last a life time, exposure to and participation in violence, will change you; often, not for the better.

Try to stay calm and focussed. Let your adrenaline charged fear help you with your task ahead, which is de escalation, avoidance of violence and getting away unharmed.

The oldest part of the brain (Amygdala or reptile brain) prepares us for a sequence of actions and options following an external threat, by issuing hormones (adrenalin/nor adrenalin) into the blood, which is the so called fight/flight reflex. The adrenalin changes and prepares our bodies, blood pressure raises, breathing is fast and shallow, blood pools in centre mass and vital organs (peripheral injuries might not even bleed for a while in that state), increased muscle tension, body and brain are readied for attack/defence.

Flight, eyes focus/tunnel vision, senses are super sharp, but we lose most of our “thinking ability”, everything seems to slow down, but is just a consequence of our reptile brain being 80 x faster than the cortex, our IQ looses an average of 20 points, we lose fine motor skills, etc. In effect, we dumb down and get ready to be like our ancestors again and fight or flee.

No confrontation is ever good or healthy or exciting. It’s always about fear and survival. The only fight you will surely win, every time, is the fight you are not there for.

If you are not a cop, a soldier or a security professional and you get into a fight for any reason other than to defend your life or a loved one’s from imminent danger when you could have walked or run away, you are the problem, not the solution.

Most criminal attacks can be avoided by awareness and situational knowledge, just by not getting into a potentially risky situation in the first place. Be aware of your personal space all the time, become aware of  the personal distance “dance”  when you are in public — do NOT let people approach you at inappropriate times. Unless you are in a line, crowded elevator or a crowd, don’t let anyone get closer than five feet. In a deserted parking lot, it’s 10 feet or more. That is your space, and nobody has no right to be there. If someone tries to close, move wide. This will show you if it is an intentional or unintentional invasion. If you move and he continues on his way, it was unintentional. If he again veers towards you, be assured the invasion is intentional.

If you are confronted and you can’t escape easily, you have to overcome fear induced freeze symptoms and constantly evaluate your best chances for escape and survival. That can be by dropping your valuables just out of reach of the criminals hand and then run, or by trying to infuse calm in the situation by talking the attacker down, “there is no need for violence, I will not fight, I will give you all my money”, trying to create some cooperation and make yourself appear less of a threat to the criminal.

It is to a man’s honour to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.

Proverbs 20:3 NIV

Many attacks can be stopped completely or defused by a strong verbal defence, together with a confident body language which says that you don’t want to fight, but you also are not giving yourself up completely.

A strong and confident verbal defence means, you speak calmly but confidently, saying things like, “No, there is no need for violence, I will give you what you want!”or other words to indicate that you are and will stay calm and that you will not pose a threat. In a nutshell: Don’t give him a reason to go off, but do give him lots of reason not to.

Pleading and whining does not work well, it gives the criminal no incentive to treat you better or let you go. Remember, usually the criminal wants to get the crime over with as quick and easy as possible without risk of having to fight you or being held back and caught.

In cases of rape and/or abduction however, where the risk to your life increases dramatically if you are taken from the scene, statistics clearly show that fighting back improves your chances of getting away successfully before the crime is completed.

If you choose to physically resist, you must be prepared to injure the subject and go all the way. You can’t start to physically resist, stop, then try another tactic.

Again, awareness leads to avoidance; if you got caught and surprised by a criminal, stay calm and assess the situation. Try to flee and make a lot of noise immediately if you can, that will surprise your attacker and give you a chance to get away unharmed.

If the criminal threatens with a gun or you cannot run, don’t make yourself a threat to the criminal. Appear calm and confident and communicate that you will not fight and no violence is necessary; or fake a heart attack or asthma, faint or go crazy, whatever works to make yourself less of a threat. Even hardened criminals try to avoid having to deal with a victim on the brink of collapse and death or a crazy person.

Love is patient, love is kind, Love does not insist on its own way. Love bears all things, believes all things, Hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

Remember, it all depends on the situation – your assessment of your chances to flee or fight back is the crucial key to survive; and you need to stay calm and aware for it.

Sometimes you can talk yourself out of the situation, either with confident strong verbal self defence, or with sympathetic compassionate empathy. If your life is directly threatened or you are being taken away and there is no chance for escape, your only chance might be to fight.

Please do not confuse assertiveness with aggression. Assertiveness will prevent an attack. Aggressiveness will provoke one.

There is no place in self defence for defence of self, as in your selfish ego. Self defence to protect your life and health and your loved ones is not only allowed, but expected. Getting angry and provoking a fight is always bad.

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