WOD Talk Magazine

Your Words ARE Weapons, Use Them Wisely

By on November 13, 2012

When we talk about de-escalation, and diffusing a potentially violent situation, we have to remember one thing. Communication is around 70% body language, 20% how we say things, and 10% the words we choose to use. And to diffuse a situation properly you need to have all of these things in order and congruous with the others.

And although the actual words you use only make up 10%, they are a very important 10%. In fact the words you choose will be a crucial difference between your ability to walk away from a potential threat versus being stomped into the ground, or ending up in the Intensive Care Unit, or even death.

[pullquote1 quotes="true" align="center" textColor="#000000"]Consequently, while sticks and stones may break your bones, your words CAN actually kill you. [/pullquote1]

Here is an example: On January 27, 2005, actress Nicole duFresne was robbed at gunpoint by then 19-year-old Rudy Fleming who stole her friend’s purse and pistol-whipped her fiancé. What was supposed to be a simple property crime turned deadly when the 28-year-old actress confronted the robber. She became furious, shoved the robber, and snapped, “What are you going to do, shoot us?” A fatal mistake and she died shortly after in her fiancé’s arms.

This is an excellent example of what NOT to do. All she did was escalate the situation, not de-escalate it. I don’t know about you, but when I am in a conflict, the last thing I want is to be killed due to something I say. But how many of you actually practice diffusing situations like that? My guess is not many.

A Couple Rules:

If you are in error about something, admit it. Honesty is a much better way to de-escalate a bad situation than lying or stubbornly refusing to acknowledge a wrong. It is tough on the ego, but it sure beats an unnecessary hospital stay, jail time, or a premature trip to the morgue.

Try not to insult or embarrass the other person in any way, particularly in public. We do not like being treated that way, we are pretty sure you do not either, and we strongly suspect that neither will an aggressive person.

[pullquote1 quotes="true" align="center" textColor="#000000"]Do not let your ego overrule your common sense.[/pullquote1]

Do NOT challenge them. All this is going to do is make things 100 times worse. You don’t like it when you are challenged, so what makes you think that someone, that is already upset or even violent is going to like it.

Don’t tell them they are wrong. This is perhaps the hardest thing for most people. They let their ego control what comes out of their mouth. Even if you are in the right, it is sometimes prudent to pretend otherwise.

Don’t tell them what to do either. We as adults dislike very much being told what to do. We want to be the one telling someone else what to do. We want to think to ourselves “I am not a kid and should not be told what to do”. But in a volatile situation, telling someone what to do can end with you seriously injured.

You’d be amazed how many potential disputes can be prevented early on if you know how to properly verbally diffuse the situation before it gets heated.

STAY PRIMAL, my friends
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PS: I’d love to see this post on the first page of Google for any Self Defense related searches and for it to become the lonely voice of reason and common sense among all the glorious reviews stuffed with crap, filler and affiliate links.

So please:

Share this post, link to it, tell anyone who’s thinking about learning self defense or has been a victim of violence – help me to spread the word.
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STAY PRIMAL, my friends

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About Coach Karma

Coach Karma L Senge has been in Personal Protection / Self Defense as well as the Fitness & Nutrition world for over 31 years now and continually teaches around the world. He has held seminars for many government agencies around the world as well as seminars for civilians. He currently teaches seminars in the United States, Europe, India, and throughout Central America. As well has oversees many training groups around the world.
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