This post is based on an idea formed by my good friend and an exceptional individual, Darren Friesen. His idea was so interesting to me, that I had to write down my thoughts on it and it turn into an FB comment and now it’s a blog post.
To get a better idea of what I will be talking about down there, click HERE and visit Darren’s blog first, to understand what this subject is about.
So, now, hopefully, you’ve read Darren’s blog and if you’ve returned here to read more on it, I’ll start with a simple question; How many of us train with either of these three types of mindsets?
Have you considered the fact of how they might have adverse effects on your psyche and by extension, your actions?
So, let me expand more on this. It’s along one, but it just might help you tweak your training a bit to make it more efficient in terms of mindset.
Demonizing would cause one to look at someone from a completely moral high ground perspective. rejecting the fact that there is still human nature beneath the violent behavior. This would often cause someone to either make ‘others’ out to be something inhuman and impossible to beat, resulting in a very skewed perspective of any predator.
Dehumanizing would cause one to look at someone as something less than them. Absolutely disregarding the fact that the life they so flippantly talk about taking is a human one. And there are consequences of taking a human life (or even an animal life in some countries, not the point though). This of course would create severe social and legal consequences. Not to mention that eventually, this kind of perspective leads to dehumanizing anyone who the person doesn’t like or if someone does something they don’t like or believes something that they don’t like. I don’t mean to go the political or religious route, but dehumanization is what’s done by such organizations in order to make the “other guy” look “less than”.
Familiarizing would cause a moral dilemma for many if it comes to cause any harm. Some would prefer to take damage than give it, due to thinking that, that is a human being and I cannot harm one. This kind of perspective could lead to one being quite pacifistic. Dangerously so.
So which one then? Well, a simple one. Training from a survivability mindset. I.E. Avoiding any threats. Combating those that cannot be avoided.
Let me expand on that because in one sentence it doesn’t sound right or complete.
Training for survivability would not demonize someone, because they know they are still human and are not immortal or unkillable. They can still be harmed. They still have emotions. They can still be misdirected. They can still make mistakes. They can be overwhelmed. They can be talked down. They also have ASR and other physiological responses.
Training for survivability would not dehumanize someone, because they know that this is still a human life, but the same person would also recognize that ones life is not superior to another, especially if the other is intending to take their life. One would also understand the social and legal repercussions of using extreme methods, if they understand how others will see their violent act and act accordingly, make decisions accordingly. Say or not say things accordingly. Knowing that the other person is still a person, a threat to their safety, but still another human and if the situation can be diffused by other means, the individual will choose them over violence as the primary option.
Training for survivability would not familiarize themselves fully with the one endangering their own safety, yet they will understand the consequences of a potential reckless action on another human being and that physical violence is an absolute last resort, and while they’d like to get out of the situation with minimal to no damage to themselves in any aspect, if needed, they will do what needs to be done.
Basically, it’s not wanting to engage, but if needed, as a last resort, focus on ones own survival and getting out, rather than focusing on how they’d perceive the threat anything other than a threat.
So, yeah. I don’t categorize. I just view someone as a threat or a non-threat and although the threat levels differ, the main classifications remain consistent.
This is a simple, yet relatively effective mindset to have when dealing with a potential threat. Of course, we do need to take into account every factor as well. But the baseline remains consistent.
You can always rank and prioritize threats according to different contexts and situational and environmental factors. That comes only after you identify them though.
It’s still an oversimplification, but it removes the other categorizations of mindsets which may lead to ineffective decision-making process.
Alright. That’s it. Just my thoughts. Thanks for reading.
P.S. – Sign up to Darren’s blog. He has some great content and in-depth perspectives on self-defense, self-protection and overall conflict management, perspectives that not many have. Logical and rational.