How to Avoid a Fight: My Top 7 Strategies by KJN Jae Jeannotte
Introduction: As a US Army Infantryman, Professional Hapkido Instructor, and a Private Security Officer, I’ve seen, and had, my fair share of fights. From petty squabbles to all-out brawls, they can leave everyone involved feeling angry, hurt, and even traumatized.
But the good news is that most fights can be avoided. As a professional Hapkido Instructor I don’t just teach students how to fight, but also how to avoid a fight. Deescalating the situation is the best strategy. Below are some of my best tips on the topic.
In Hapkido we teach that by understanding the psychology of conflict and employing some simple strategies, you can de-escalate situations and keep yourself safe.
Understanding Conflict: Before we jump into specific techniques, let’s take a moment to understand the nature of conflict.
Conflict arises when people have different needs, wants, or opinions.
It’s a normal part of life, and it doesn’t have to be negative. In fact, healthy conflict can lead to growth and understanding.
However, when conflict is not managed effectively, it can escalate into violence. This is why it’s important to be aware of the signs of escalating conflict and have strategies in place to de-escalate the situation.
Signs of Escalating Conflict:
- Increased heart rate and breathing
- Raised voices and clenched fists
- Insults and name-calling
- Personal attacks
- Invading personal space
- Threats of violence
My Top 7 Strategies for Avoiding a Fight:
1. Stay Calm: The first step to avoiding a fight is to stay calm. When you’re feeling angry or upset, it’s easy to say or do things you’ll regret later.
Take some deep breaths and try to relax. Count to ten if you need to.
Remember, it’s better to walk away from a situation than to say or do something that could escalate the conflict.
2. Listen Actively: One of the best ways to de-escalate a situation is to listen actively to the other person. This means paying attention to what they’re saying and trying to understand their point of view.
Avoid interrupting or talking over them.
Even if you disagree with them, let them know that you’re hearing what they’re saying.
3. Use “I” Statements: Instead of blaming or accusing the other person, use “I” statements to express your feelings. For example, instead of saying, “You’re always making me mad,” you could say, “I feel frustrated when you…”
Using “I” statements helps to take the blame off the other person and focus on the problem at hand.
4. Take Responsibility: If you’ve contributed to the conflict in any way, take responsibility for your actions.
Apologize if necessary and be willing to make amends.
5. Use Non-Verbal Communication: Your body language can play a big role in escalating or de-escalating a conflict.
Make sure to maintain eye contact, stand tall, and use a calm, assertive voice. Avoid crossing your arms or fidgeting, as this can be seen as aggressive.
6. Know When to Walk Away: If you feel like the situation is getting out of control, it’s okay to walk away.
Don’t be afraid to remove yourself from the situation and come back to it when you’ve had time to calm down.
7. Seek Help: If you’re struggling to resolve a conflict on your own, don’t hesitate to seek help from a trusted friend, family member, or therapist.
They can offer support and guidance as you work through the issue.
- Avoid using alcohol or drugs, as they can impair your judgment and make it more difficult to control your emotions.
- Be aware of your triggers and try to avoid situations that you know will make you angry.
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, to help you stay calm in stressful situations.
Conclusion: Remember, avoiding a fight is always the best option.
By following the tips in this article, you can learn to de-escalate situations and keep yourself and others safe.
I hope this article has been helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions.
About the author: KJN Jae Jeannotte is a lifelong martial artist who has served as an officer in some capacity in several of the top Hapkido organizations in the world. He is the Founder of JaeMuKwan Hapkido which is recognized by several of the leading Korean organizations. KJN Jeannotte is also the Vice President of the USA Hapkido Union.
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