This article is based on a conversation I had with a friend of mine. It was pointed out to me during this chat that I spend a lot of time writing about how to avoid conflict, how to not participate and how our ego gets us in trouble, but do not tend to address those times when the trouble is seeking us out.
What exactly are we supposed to do when they ambush us, blindside us, or take the fight to us? How do we respond?
So today I will offer my thoughts on what to do in those situations that have no good options.
There are people out there who do not regard you as a human being. There are people who are not wired right. There are people who cannot see past their own selfish wants. There are predator humans. These people are truly dangerous and deescalation is not going to be a good tactic with them.
With the predator, your best option is to not be selected as a target in the first place, but as I have already stated – some people are not wired right. I’ve been attacked before. If they will attack someone like me, who is 6’5″ and 250 lbs. +, and tends to look like they missed breakfast and lunch and are angry around strangers, well…they will attack anyone.
We have to face the facts that, at least sometimes, there are no good choices to be made. Sometimes we will have to fight, injure, maim, or even kill if we want to survive.
From a legal standpoint, you need to use only the amount of force necessary to stop the threat.
From a practical standpoint, the definition of “necessary” can be kind of fluid.
People in the midst of an adrenaline dump do not react to pain and physical damage the way someone not under such influence might.
Alcohol affects different people in different ways, but pain tolerance is usually higher than normal for drunks.
Another variable is the level of pain that is normal for each person. For me, even when I am asleep and dreaming, I am still aware of the pain in my knees and back. It never stops.
For some people a papercut is a tragedy. And there are any number of other levels as well.
Stopping someone who is not reacting normally to pain is a challenge and will probably create legal hassles for you in the aftermath, but sometimes we have to do what has to be done.
I am not giving legal advice, just offering points to consider.
When you face those times where there are no good choices to be made, you have to opt for the least worst choice.
There is still a technicality of sorts involved in this.
You can lessen the legal aftermath if you break bones instead of killing the attacker. But each situation is different. There are those times when the threat needs to be stopped, and stopped now, and that might involve lethal force. Those decisions are made in the moment and are made on the best information you have at the time.
A normal, healthy person never sits around wishing there will be a chance to kill another person. People who hold such wishes are predators from the start.
But there are those who are willing to do what needs to be done when they end up face-to-face with a predator human. These people do not want to hurt anyone, but they are willing to go there if that is what it takes.
In cases of ambush or blindside attacks, awareness will maximize what little time is available to you to react and have at least some chance to defend yourself.
Obviously, if you are hit with a lead pipe from behind, there is not much you are going to be doing about it. But if you see the guy start to swing, or if you peak around and see him approaching, you are much better off. So, stay aware. Drop the digital distractions and pay attention to what is going on around you.
And if you are willing to stop him, you will be safer than if you try to negotiate with him or just opt to be a victim. None of this is pretty, and there will almost certainly be legal and psychological issues to be dealt with in the aftermath, depending upon the level of force used.
Sometimes the absolute best choice sucks.