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16. Dangerous Behaviour: Rule 1 - Do Something!

Well it sounds obvious but very often people attempt the opposite. This can be for a number of very understandable reasons:

  1. They don't know what to do

  2. They are worried that they may do "the wrong thing" at make matters worse

  3. They think that if they allow the aggressor to vent, they will get it out of their system and calm down

Well first, it is not possible "not to do anything". Our mere presence is doing something, the expression on our face "does something" as does the whole of our non-verbal communication. Attempting to "do nothing" can lead all those signals being misread (as defiance, as indifference, etc.) or we may become unreadable.

Furthermore, in attempting to "do nothing" we may well be fighting ourselves. When challenged it is natural for our sympathetic nervous system (the fast running part of the autonomic nervous system) to become activated. Does it really make sense to divert all our precious resources into looking like a statue instead of responding to the situation in front of us?

"Doing nothing" means we cannot positively influence the aggressor's behaviour and ipso facto leaves the aggressor in control when, very likely, they are either out of control, in a disturbed state, or malevolent.

Finally, as we saw in the posting on Inhibitions and Catharsis ( and my Youtube video "Let them Vent?" the Catharsis Theory only applies to low levels of arousal when all parties feel safe and are in control of their actions - and not to dangerous behaviour.

So, our first Rule is "Do Something!" That, in itself, doesn't take us very far but it does start pointing us in the right direction. Of course, the critical question is, "what is that something" and that is the whole purpose of this blog - but we need to get the foundations right first.

Next up, Rule 2!

Stay Safe


Responding to aggression demands an active response
Dangerous Behaviour - Do something!

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