Most of us have at some point found ourselves in some kind of confrontation with someone who is using threatening behaviour to try and intimidate us. This can be a situation where we’re doing business of some kind and have gotten into an argument regarding the way a service is carried out only for it to escalate, or it can be a scenario where we have literally just been attacked without provocation. In any of these situations it’s crucial to try and get out of the situation without violence in order to avoid injury for either party and a potential legal case that could be expensive and highly stressful.
Here then we will look at the best ways to talk your way out of a confrontation or otherwise escape unharmed.
Drop Your Pride
The first thing you need to do when you’re in a potential confrontation is to let go of any feelings of pride you may have. If you find yourself wanting to shout back at your provocateur in order to protect your ‘honour’ or some such, then in reality you will just be putting yourself at unnecessary risk. In any potential confrontation the most important thing is to simply rise above the situation and to avoid getting angry yourself or feeling like you have no choice. Avoiding violence is always the right solution, and if you can do this then you will have been the bigger person. Forget about reputations or what’s ‘fair’ and think about the things that matter – like your safety. If someone says something derogatory then don’t feel the need to say the last word – control your breathing and walk on.
Use the Right Language and Body Language
Meanwhile you also have to use the right language and gestures to show that you aren’t a threat to their masculinity in any way. Again, a lot of violence really stems from insecurity and macho posturing, so give them the excuse they need to back down by apologising and holding your hands up to show you don’t want any trouble. Don’t mock them or use confrontational language, but do apologise in a way that suggests you’re not afraid but you don’t want trouble either – showing fear can be counterproductive as the attackers will often lose respect for you as a result making you more of a target.
Another thing to do is to draw attention to yourself and the situation. If you are worried that the person is going to commit a crime, then simply making sure they’re aware they’re being watched can be an effective way to stop the behaviour as they won’t want others to intervene or to be fined/imprisoned for their violent behaviour. Speak loudly, and move to a public area if possible.
If something in particular is causing this argument and your health is at risk then you should always just comply to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. In other words, if they ask for your wallet then just give it to them. If they want a refund, then again just hand it over. You can then deal with the consequences by using a lawyer/involving the police/cancelling your cards etc. at which point you won’t be at such a disadvantage.