And when it comes to protecting our lives, we need an edge even more!
After all, you are stood there, possibly surrounded by a pack of thugs, each thinking about how they will take their fists and smash them into the soft tissue of your face and then drag you to the floor where they will stamp on your skull until it cracks.
Yes, at that time you need an edge.
And in today’s article, I am going to share with you exactly how you can get that edge, reduce the chances of a fight happening and how you can talk your way out of attack scenarios.
Ready? Let’s do this.
What is your pet called?
Right then, even for a split second, you are highly likely to have thought about your pet and mentally answered.
This is what is known as ‘Instinctive Elaboration.’
You see, contrary to what people think, none of us are good multi-taskers, and when we are asked a question, our brain takes over and has to answer it.
Even if we don’t answer, our brains have to decide that we are not going to answer that question.
But much more than this when we are asked a question we envoke an either more primal urge, ‘self-disclosure’.
Tests have shown that around 40% of is dedicated to disclosing information about personal experiences to others and what’s more, by revealing this information we actually change the chemistry of our bodies.
In short, people love to talk about themselves.
So, how does this work when it comes to self-defence
Asking Questions To Trigger ‘Instinctive Elaboration’
Take yourself back to the street and being surrounded by these yobs.
They want to attack you, and suddenly you turn to one of them and ask:
“Why are you doing this?”
Once this happens, one of two things will happen.
They will give an answer that will allow for further discussion, or they will dismiss the question.
But before we go into scripting let us be clear, you now have a blind moment.
For a split second, they are thinking, and that can give you a split second to escape or a split second to launch a preemptive strike while they are off guard.
These split seconds are priceless and can give you the advantage you need.
But what questions should you ask?
How To Deal With The Answers By Using Loops
So, you asked them why they are doing this to you, and here comes the reply.
“Because we want to?”
This kind of reply is perfect for what I call ‘looping’, or bringing the question back to them.
“But I haven’t done anything to you, so why would you want to hurt me?”
This is a great question to ask because there is usually a long list of people that have hurt anyone. A boss, a parent, a neighbour, an ex and so on.
You are now entering what we call comparison questioning.
You have asked a question that they need to deal with and also forcing them to mentally compare you with others.
The mental answer goes like this:
“yeah, you haven’t done anything to me, so why am I doing this?”
Each of us has an inner narrative and depending on the circumstances if we can trigger the individual to consider how the situation fits into their internal narrative we can reduce the risk of violence.
But this is not foolproof.
If the attackers are doing this for reasons of status, perhaps to seem tougher in the eyes of others, you will not be able to enter into dialogue.
They probably won’t answer you and will go straight into attacking you.
But…for other people, this works well.
When I was a police officer I used to say to people ‘calm down, do you want to spend the night in the cells?’
Suddenly the sobering thought of waking up to a microwave breakfast and sleeping on a cold mattress would startle people back out of their rage zones.
Other questions you can use include:
“I know you don’t I?” This has some risks to it, especially if they are worried about being caught so use wisely.
“You are clearly going to hurt me, but I swear I will hit one of you so hard you will end up in hospital, do you really want to do this”. This is a challenging question and shows you might get hurt, but you mean business.
It forces them to evaluate ‘can he hit that hard, what if they hit me, I don’t want to go to the hospital?’
But what if they have a knife or gun?
We are in the midst of surging knife crime in the UK and also terrible gun crime worldwide.
So What Happens If Someone Pulls A Weapon On You?
You first have to examine what the knife is for because not everyone who pulls a knife or gun out wants to use it. They usually have it to gain something, be it your wallet, bike or whatever.
Sadly there is an ever growing trend to use weapons in attacks for increased status and of course revenge.
We have even seen acid used more frequently too.
When people set out with the intention of killing or seriously injuring a person, then questions will not work.
And it is with these people you need to draw upon your awareness, reactions and skills.
Asking a question takes seconds yet can give you an instant edge and even give you the chance to avoid violence.
I have used it for years and seen it used, and while it is no replacement for physical skills, it makes sense to ask a question.
Because it might be the best way to either giving you a blind moment or making them reconsider their actions.