Summer is here! Time to get away for a vacation, or attend pool parties. With the increase in road rage situations, or those getting drunk at parties, there is an increased possibility of running into an angry-aggressive person who wants to fight.
How do you stop an angry-aggressive person from using you as his/her punching bag?
You may not like it, but the first thing you need to do is to act humble. Remember, in a physical altercation your life is on the line. Something as simple as a punch that knocks you to the ground, cracking your skull open on the concrete, can kill you. Also, if the aggressor pulls out a weapon they can kill you with it. Even if you are the victor in a fight you may have to deal with lawsuits, or even prison time!
So how do you get out of a fight?
In any altercation, step one is to get humble and put your ego in check, so you can live another day. Practice these strategies:
You want to de-escalate the situation by talking to the aggressor. Put your hands up in a non threatening manner (open hands, palms facing outward), and tell the aggressor in a humble tone that you don't want to fight. Don't retaliate if he calls you names, stares you down, or even pushes you.
Apologize to the aggressor in a sincere tone and blame yourself, even if you didn't do anything wrong. "I am so sorry I cut you off, I wasn't paying attention", or "Did I spill your drink? I am so sorry, please let me get you another one". The more enthusiastic you are in your apology, and your willingness to make things right, the quicker the conflict ends.
Interrupt their aggressiveness. After apologizing enthusiastically, introduce yourself and put your hand out offering to shake his, "I'm Joe, what's your name?" This interrupts their angry mindset.
If talking and apologizing doesn't work, try and garner sympathy from the aggressor. Tell them a story like "Sorry my mind isn't right, my spouse ran off with my kids" or, "I'm out of it, my doctor just diagnosed me with cancer". While these are terrible lies, they may be just enough to make the aggressor feel sorry for you. No one likes to be the bad guy and pick on a victim.
If none of the above tactics work, and he/she's getting physical, then it's time to run away to safety. If you cannot run away and you must fight, attack the attacker hard and fast until you can escape.
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