For Everything Self Defence

    Assertiveness vs De-escalation


    Mr Natural

    Posts : 34
    Join date : 2009-05-21

    Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by Mr Natural on Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:57 pm

    I was in a bit of an uncomfortable situation today and wondered how you guys would deal with this sort of thing.

    I turned a corner and started walking along next to a shop. A guy who was coming the other way made no effort to move to one side, and barged me into the wall as he walked past. He was fairly big, fat and arrogant.

    I was surprised that he didn't move...turned round and said 'wha...what are you doing? I didn't have any space why didn't you move?'

    He just gave me a smug grin and walked on. I wasn't dealing with it in the best way as I was taken aback. I swore at him as he was walking away, which wasn't the best idea I know.

    What would you do? The guy that taught me was saying just act submissive, de-escalate and let things like this go, but damn that feels shitty.

    I don't want to get into unnecessary fights or hassle, but it just feels like I can't let someone completely barge me out of the way, then laugh at me without doing anything.
    Phil Brady

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    Join date : 2008-08-18

    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by Phil Brady on Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:33 pm

    If you were to do something what would you do? I get this type of stuff all the time. It used to be hard to let it go as you feel you've been "disrespected" but really you should have got out of the persons way. Let him be an idiot. Be safe in the knowledge that one day some other idiot will have him for it. Live to fight when you really need to.
    Go placidly.



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    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by sekibugei on Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:55 pm

    I agree, I think the best thing was walking away as you could and did.

    Its so easy for it to develop into something further. Yes I bet you are kicking yourself and question your reaction to the situation but your sat by your computer telling us about it and not in a police cell or a hospital bed.

    Bet you other passers by who saw the same thought what a ()()()!!!

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    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by drgndrew on Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:48 am

    Well to be honest I would have just got out of the guys way in the first place, there is no shame in stepping to the side to let another person by.

    lets look at it differently, why did he do it?

    I'm assuming it was deliberate, in that case he was doing two things either exerting his will over another, or he was trying to elicit a response from you. These are typical bully Behaviours, and the best way to deal with bully's is simply to not give them what they want.

    if they want to exert power over you then simply don't give them you power, don't be affected by their attempt, let them exert their power just don't let yourself be affected by it, exerting power only benefits the bully when it has an affect on the person they are directing it to.

    if they are trying to elicit a response which is the typical opener for street thugs, simply don't give them what they want. if someone barges in to you just say whoops sorry mate, this negates any escalation attempt, if you tell him off then gives him the in to escalate the situation, closer to violence from hear they will try to get you to say or do something that "justifies" their use of physical violence (bare in mind this may not actually be justified)

    REMEMBER TACOS - the don'ts of de-escalation.


    do any of these and you play into the bullies plan,

    Besides dude life is too short to be pissed off for half a day over some fat dick not moving out of your way, lets have a thought about him as well, he may have just discovered that his mrs and boss have been rubbing bellies for the last 6 months, and has been diagnosed with diabetes meaning he can't enjoy his daily brew.

    we often forget that the world is only our perception of it, we have to interact with others who have different perceptions, who have had different experiences both good and bad etc. in Psychology there is a concept called the fundamental attribution error. this is were we naturally tend to attribute the cause of behaviour of others to there personal characteristics and traits, were as we we ourselves tend to attribute our behaviour to external causes.

    for eg the guy who barged into you, you assume he did so because he is an asshole, arrogant etc where as you attribute your actions as a reaction to his actions, instead of the likely natural ego defence (this is not an insult but a natural human thing).

    Remember that he has things happening in his life to that affects his behaviour mood and so on........of course the guy could have just been an asshole, but in my experience these people are relatively rare compared to those acting like one due to other external causes in his life. we all have bad moods sometime
    Mick Tully

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    Age : 49
    Location : coventry

    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by Mick Tully on Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:28 am

    Great responses guys
    Total agreement here.......I personsally despise confrontational and adversial people as I've also found that physically they cannot step up,so therefore its a case of kidology 24/7 with them anyway. Realistically its a lose-lose situation as the mindset those types have makes them have to escalate verbally.....and then its shooting fish in a barrel view on these dicks? Leave them to it....there's usually a courting ritual with this "relationship" so don't say yes when they ask you out on your 1st date! Also the feeling shitty thing never really goes away.....imo that though tells me more about me than any fat bullys behaviour ever could
    Mick x
    Al Peasland

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    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by Al Peasland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:18 am

    Totally agree with all the responses guys.

    Look at it this way - if you were driving your car and the other guy was driving towards you, making no attempt to divert and avoid a collision - would you just keep going head on, knowing you'd eventually crash?

    If you did that - why would you?
    Probably because you wanted the excuse to get out and chastise him for his bad driving - using the collision that you could have avoided as an excuse to highlight just how crap a driver he is.

    So now - on foot, when you are aware enough to see this guys trajectory is converging with yours, it's your job to do something about it.

    As has already been said - bumping into others is a classic way for bullies and thugs to start the "interview" process of a mugging or street attack.

    Your best option is to move out of their way.

    From a slightly different angle here - lets look at the battle you've been left with.
    I have no doubt that had it gone physical, as Mick has said, your bully would probably have been found wanting and not actually up to the job he pretends to be.
    So, knuckling up with the guy could actually have been an easier fight than the one you now have with your ego.

    From my own experiences, fighting my ego is probably one of the toughest fights I have on a regular basis - but just as we should always seek out the toughest sparring partner in our class - so we might as well seek out the toughest fights all of the time.

    Ego versus fat lardy bully in the street - Ego fight will be the one I learn the most from.

    So see this as a great training session - one you can learn alot more from than simply slapping some loser in the street for being an arogant bully.

    And as Drew very rightly said - we also need to consider why he wanted to act in this way - perhaps if we knew the facts we'd also feel sorry for him Wink

    Thanks for the posts guys Cool

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    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by karma on Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:51 am

    Excellent posts guys enjoyed them.

    Mr Natural

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    Join date : 2009-05-21

    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by Mr Natural on Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:17 pm

    Thanks for replies.

    It's not that I don't agree with you about the actual best thing to do.

    The problem I have is that rationally it's easy to accept that your life would be better if you let it go, but emotionally it's difficult and eats away at me.
    Al Peasland

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    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by Al Peasland on Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:16 am

    The problem I have is that rationally it's easy to accept that your life would be better if you let it go, but emotionally it's difficult and eats away at me.

    That's the fight right there Mr N.

    It's your Ego that will get you into trouble most times.
    No-one said that battle is easy - if anything, it's the toughest of all cos you can't deliver a nice sharp right cross and finish it in one blow.
    But the toughest battles bring the biggest growth and reward.

    Still - far too many people are training to learn to roll over car bonnets when they could simply avoid the car in the first place!

    These kinds of "inner" fights require a totally different skill-set but one which you can take directly from your training. The ability not to give in to it, tenacity, commitment, etc etc etc.

    Stick with it my friend Wink

    Mr Natural

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    Join date : 2009-05-21

    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:04 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement.


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    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by moldeeside on Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:33 pm

    it must be a double edged sword to be proficient in any fighting art because there is the one side of you from generations back which is put on earth to survive by any means, then the higher spiritual side which is said to grow from coming through mental trials like the one mr natural describes.

    Ultimately if your goal is to rise above all conflict and not give in to triggers, how does this sit with training in combatives or fighting arts in the first place, why not concentrate on meditating for enlightenment and physical fitness through general sport / lifestyle?

    My personal view is that regardless of what higher ideals you may strive for, there will be a point in time when you make a choice to take a physical approach - usually because you`ve simply had enough of putting up with a certain situation.

    But fat knackers trying to bump into you definitely aren`t a good enough reason to let rip, hopefully he`s been hit by a bus by now, or got a wedge of black forest gateau stuck in his windpipe.

    Glad you are ok mr natural, bell ends seems to be breeding these days so happy it all turned out ok.

    Mr Natural

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    Join date : 2009-05-21

    Re: Assertiveness vs De-escalation

    Post by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:59 am

    Just thought I'd add something that's helping me with this.

    As men we feel we should stand up for ourselves in social situations, and it hurts if you have to let an idiot do bullying behaviour.

    However, if you were walking through the forest and an ape starting screeching at you and posturing you wouldn't feel the need to assert your position to the ape or get in a fist fight. You would just try and avoid the thing or take it out if you really had to.

    Solution...when I'm out I think of stupid, aggressive people as a kind of ape and just walk around them, plan tactics to avoid them. If they start saying something, I'm gentle but assertive and just say what I need to to get out of there.

    This might be sociopathic if you can't switch out of it. I'm not saying that all people on the wrong side of the tracks actually are animals or beyond redemption or's just a mental shift that helps me to deal with it. And has done a lot for my wellbeing living in an idiot rich area Smile

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