Is Non-Verbal Communication Part of Your Self Defense Tactics?

Published: 16th July 2010
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Self defense has become a much more conscious part of our society. With so many people engaged in a variety of self defence training activities, they often focus solely on the actual attack. Many people do not think about what they can do to avoid the situation all together. It has become critically important to learn how to defend yourself from a physical attack, in order to give yourself piece of mind. However, most people have never thought about adding non-verbal communication to their arsenal of self defense tactics. A variety of studies report that 70% to 80% of all communication in non-verbal. Additionally, the FBI reports that a majority of all crimes are committed with no physical contact. This means that you need to know more than just how to physically defend yourself.

Most people that are attacked are engaged in some sort of verbal banter before an attack occurs. The attacker uses this time to size up their target. There are three basic responses to this type of situation: passive, aggressive, and assertive. Passive self defense tactics are rarely successful. This is because being passive is often confused with being weak or fearful. If your attacker believes that you are fearful or too weak to fight, then they will definitely target you. People who are being too passive will normally have their head down and avoid eye contact. It is as if they want to actually disappear into the background.

Aggressive non-verbal self defense tactics can also cause problems. A majority of people that operate from an aggressive non-verbal position are often overcompensate for the fear that they have. Aggressive tactics often include: being loud, pointing fingers, and drawing attention to themselves. The problem with this approach is that the attacker probably has a dominant or alpha mindset as well. When approached with another aggressive or alpha-type person, conflict will likely arise. This is because the attacker is not being given a way out. They would rather fight than back down, if only to save face.

The final option is employing assertive non-verbal self defense tactics. Being assertive comes from a position of confidence. This often includes: walking with shoulders erect, creating eye contact, and appearing to be very aware of the situation. Essentially, you are showing potential attackers that are prepared to defend yourself, even though you will not make the first move. Attackers tend to avoid people who appear confident, because there is usually a reason that they appear confident. By acting assertive, you are non-verbally stating that you are in control of the situation (whether you are or not).

While self defence training is always a good idea, it is important to understand that you should not only train yourself how to physically repel an attacker, but also how to avoid them altogether. Acting passive will be inferred as being weak. Acting too aggressive can instigate even more confrontations. However acting assertive can not only help you avoid the situation in the first place, it can also help you diffuse a situation when it does arise When it comes to non-verbal self defense tactics, assertive is always the best choice.


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