Tag Archives: safety

Demonize, Dehumanize, Familiarize.

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.

Another facebook safety tip

Today’s facebook safety tip is simple enough.

 

In order to avoid getting friend requests from strangers and other unwanted individuals, go to your privacy tab in settings, then select “Friends of Friends” in the “Who can send friend requests” option.

 

That’s it. No more pestilence from strangers.
Share it if you think anyone else would find it useful 🙂

How to spot a sociopath

Here’s how you might be able to spot a sociopath.

Hopefully it’ll be useful for someone who’s been a victim or it might save someone from being one. The victims of sociopaths often suffer more from psychological and emotional abuse more than physical, which is what makes this type, the most dangerous for our well-being.

So to begin, one thing to remember is that sociopaths have a tendency to do small insignificant favors for people. Now, these favors are small enough that they don’t have to truly invest anything in them, but they’re big enough for the one they’re doing it for. They won’t ask anything in return. But your brain will register it as something that you “owe” them. Then when the time comes for them to cash in, they will indirectly play the “guilt card” and will get a lot more out of you than they ever invested in you.

So, if you want to spot a sociopath, observe the behaviors of those close to you or of someone whom you suspect to be one.

Focus especially on the ones who are always nice to you and doing little stuff for you, things that you can do yourself, but don’t and so they do it for you without asking anything in return. It might be that they’re doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, but let’s face it, not many of those around nowadays, are there…

So, start by seeing what kind of stuff they do for you, then one day, ask them for something big, it should be small enough that it’s doable, but big enough that they’d need to actually invest themselves and their time or money or effort/energy in you. See how they respond.

Most sociopaths in this case, will respond with indirectly saying ‘no’, usually by finding some excuse and try to circumvent around your request. They won’t say ‘no’ directly if you’re still ‘useful’ to them, they don’t want to fall out of your ‘good graces’, so they will create some other way to “help”, a way that won’t involve them investing anything in you, but making you think that they did “help”.

Remember, such individuals are the most cunning when it comes to getting their way. They often hide behind innocence and friendship and kindness, which makes them harder to spot. But if you know where to look and how to see thru the charade, you’ll be able to spot them with relative ease. In which case, the next step would be a bit harder, i.e. cutting such toxic individuals, out of your life.

There’s one other kind as well, btw. The type who will ask you to do small favors for them. This type will twist your mind a different way. Doing favors for someone will mean you investing yourself in them and we always tend to hesitate in breaking off from a relationship that we’ve invested a lot in. This type is the one that people find the most difficult to get away from, as they don’t want to leave a relationship they put their mind, body, soul, money, effort, etc. etc. into. ‘The higher the value of investment, the harder it is to let go’.

The world is a messed up, dangerous place with a lot of different kinds of predators. BUT..if you know what to look out for, it becomes a whole lot safer and you probably will never have to face one throughout your life.

 

This is a facebook post turned blog post. Hopefully you found it useful. Thanks for reading.

Observation on change

An observation.

Instructors who often are unwilling to change their perspectives. Unwilling to adapt to the ever changing environment of our society. Unwilling to evolve their training methods are often the ones who have trained under such instructors themselves.

Their mindsets have been condition to follow tradition no matter what. The longer that instructor has been training with that organization, the more aggressively he/she will defend it. But those who do manage to break free from that organization, will often have their perspectives changed drastically over time with the right exposure to the contrary information.

This applies to people in general as well. Every behavior has a root in something. I think it’s important to reach that root cause. Not many see it that way and straight up start criticizing it without actually going to the beginning of it.

I truly believe that ranting about those problems isn’t going to help anyone. Trying to form solutions to those problems however, just might.

Safety Tip

A danger of valet parking. Or anything similar where you have to give your car to someone to park it. If you have a GPS system in your car and your home address is set in it. Someone can easily look it up, take a snapshot of it and use it as they please. Including for a home invasion. Always program your home address as something else. It can be anything. Just don’t make it too obvious as a fake title. For example, it can be titled as “Joe’s place” or something like that to make it vague. Best thing would be to avoid programming your home address into the GPS just to be safe and type it in every time you need it. It doesn’t take much time to do so. Practicing little safety measures like this one can have long term benefits.

Self-Control

Self control is easier said than achieved. Your brain doesn’t like being in pain, it doesn’t like being angry or sad, so when a stimulus comes along to do just that, the brain responds aggressively and negatively, instinctively without thinking it.

 

Instincts are a powerful thing, everyone has their “breaking point”, and once they take over, it doesn’t matter how much you trained your brain, if enough distress is caused to the brain, I.E. once it “snaps”, there won’t be any control left, you will act as you were programmed to by millions of years of evolution. The ‘thoughts’ that will occur will be as a result of your brain desperately wanting to end the cause of your distress, which will result in you using violent means of doing so if necessary.

 

Self control is something that should be exercised 24/7. It’s not something that’s done selectively. The best way to be in control is to stop a situation before it begins, and the best way to do that is to not engage in the first place. When you haven’t been pushed to your breaking point, when you still have coherent thought process, that’s when you stop and disengage rather than let your emotions or ego take over. Stop. Think. Walk.

 

The fact remains, once you get involved, you won’t be in control anymore, your instincts, your emotions, your biases, your natural responses and your neurotransmitters will be. You won’t think clearly, coherently, calmly or even at all, you will be without a rational thought process, which often leads to individuals either ending up in jail, hospital or morgue.

 

Having self-control is generally a part of your everyday life. It’s not something that’s incident or situation specific. It’s just having good enough sense to not act in a way that needlessly harms you or others around you.

Analyzing a video

Another facebook post/comment tuned blog post, I thought many might benefit from this.

This is in a context of analyzing a video that shows some sort of violence, to study the incident and then later modify our training to adapt to similar situations. This also helps you perceive violence differently than others and your previous self.

When I analyze these videos, I first prefer to know the full story or at least as much as possible about the incident that took place because any analysis without the full story will be filled with my own biases and experiences which will affect the outcome of the analysis.

After I’ve known the story, I usually have the data, the blanks that are filled in the categories of;
1- What instigated the incident?
2- What happened before the actual incident?
3- Who was involved?
4- Why did it escalate to this point?
5- What was the location?
6- What time? (This is often not mentioned though)
7- Which country did it take place in? (Cultural aspect)
8- Ages of the individuals.
9- Backgrounds of the involved (It’s not always full, but enough to make a ballpark estimation).
10- What kind of violence was it?
11- What means were used to accomplish the job?
12- What were the legal and other repercussions of this for both?

After I’ve got the above data, I then look at the incident itself, first from the assailant’s perspective;
1- Pre-contact cues.
2- Verbal cues (If audio is available).
3- Means of violence utilized.
4- Levels of violence utilized
5- Body language of the assailant.

Then I see it from the victim’s perspective;
1- What were they paying attention to before the assault?
2- How long did it take for them to spot the threat?
3- What was their reaction?
4- How quick and efficiently did they react?
5- What were the external factors that would/did hinder them?

Then I finally look for the bystander’s reactions.
1- When did they arrive at the scene?
2- What did they see?
3- How did they react?
4- Did anyone help?
5- What did they say after?

Finally, I put it altogether in my notes and add the previously received full incident data and see where I would fit, what I would be capable of doing and whether it would work for me. Of course, I do this from both perspectives, strange I know, but I first see if I would be successful if I were the predator, then if I were the survivor/victim. Then I add in some additional external factors, remove some factors that don’t pertain to my situation depending on my own location and I come up with possible solutions to these kinds of problems.

Luckily, since I’ve adopted this approach, I’ve been able to, on a certain level, know and avoid certain violence prone areas, so, now I don’t have to use it a lot. Which I think might affect my training, because there is no more testing to what I do. A cruel paradox.

This was specific to me analyzing videos of violence. The principle of getting the core information first then, looking at the presented information, can be utilized for analysis of any video or anything that you analyze and study.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.