Confrontation & Commitment

Confrontation & Commitment

All to often we find ourselves close to or in a confrontation with someone whether it is over a parking space or changing lanes on the highway or just a mere disagreement on an issue.

When this happens, we must take a step back and look at ourselves.  Most of the instances we are upset are because of something we believe in for ourselves.  We feel that we are being treated unjustly.  This is due to beliefs and ego.  I believe many times people are solely thinking of themselves when doing just about anything.  In turn they usually are going against norms.  For example, parking.  How many times have you been waiting for someone to back out of a parking spot and you have your turn signal on and just as they pull away someone pulls into that spot with total disregard for you?  There are no Parking Police!  So, what you must do is find another spot.  A parking spot is not a reason to go fist to cuffs with someone.  Now others may differ.  They feel that if you wait for the spot and use your turn signal that you get that spot.  Well in normal everyday life and the norms we believe in yes, that is your spot.

How about driving in an area where you have never been before and are trying to navigate yourself to your destination?  Unchartered territory requires a little more attention.  In doing so, you cut someone off inadvertently and they are furious!  Now they are tailgating you and your focus switches.  Again, the ego of the other driver feels that they have the right to enforce their beliefs upon you when they have no idea why you changed abruptly into their lane.  Even though it as not safe, these things happen.

What’s needed more and more in our daily lives of driving and in other situations, is a cool head.  Think before reacting.  Take into consideration what the other person is doing and what they are experiencing at that moment. 

Where confrontation and commitment come into play is when another person decides to confront you for something, they feel you have done to them that is not right in their thinking.  There are two things you can do.  Flee and get away from them.  Stay and confront the situation.  If you choose to do the latter, you must be committed for what is going to take place.  You must realize that the person confronting you has anger and wants satisfaction for himself, solely himself.  When choosing to stay and confront, you must think that this person may have a weapon on them, and they may use it. Are you prepared for that?  They may physically hit you. Using force over another human being gives the feeling of being in control.   Meanwhile, you are sitting there with a bloody face or hurt in some fashion while they are satisfying their ego.  The best sometimes is to just walk away and give them the satisfaction of letting them think they are correct in their beliefs.

I have two situations to describe and explain the outcome of both.

Situation #1:

A man and his two sons were driving through the parking lot of a mall.  A car cut them off.  The driver, one of the sons, honked his horn to let them know they cut them off.  The car stopped and backed up towards the three men.  The father and son, who was not driving exited the vehicle and confronted the two persons.  When confronted, they were assaulted.   The two victims, practiced karate for many years.  They had been practicing long enough where they could defend themselves.  

The problem with this situation is the two that were assaulted did not commit to what they were getting themselves involved in.  They probably thought it was just going to be an exchange of words and some chest puffing.  The reality is, the two that did the assaulting were not going to have their pride or ego challenged and put down.  The father and son were lucky that no weapons were brandished. 

What I would have done in this situation was stay in the car and lock the doors.  Attempt to get out of the situation by driving the vehicle away from the scene.  If you can’t drive away, then verbally tell the two to get back in their car and get out of the way.  Meanwhile I would have one person on the phone calling the police.  If the assaulters attempted to enter the vehicle, I would ram their vehicle and flee.  At that point they are wanting to physically harm the occupants in the car.  If the occupants decided to confront the situation, they had better go 100% on the exit of that vehicle. 

A note here:  Persons that practice karate, ju-jitsu, MMA etc., must remember that these are typically sport activities that they are involved in.  There are rules and regulations that are followed to participate in these activities.  There are techniques that are taught in karate that will defend you, but you must commit to carrying these out.  I believe some that practice karate, or the martial arts have a false pretense that it will carry them through their confrontations and no physical harm will be endured.  One must also remember that karate is used for self-defense, not an aggressive reaction for a solution to a problem. 

Situation #2:

Man (A) walks into a packed barroom late at night.  Steps up to the bar and orders a drink.  While enjoying his drink a young lady converses with him.  After a few seconds a man (B) approaches man (A) at the bar and tells him to take his drink and leave! Man (B) was intoxicated. Man(A) turns and says ok buddy and continues his conversation with the lady.  Man (A) conversing with the young lady asks her “is he with you?”  She says NO!  a few seconds later, man (B) tells man (A) again to leave or he is going to kick his A**!  Man (A) turns and says “Are you really going to do this?”  After several volleys of words between man (A) and man(B), Man (A) steps back and prepares to confront the intoxicated patron, man(B).  Man (B) decides to get his friend who is 6’4” involved in the confrontation  Man (A) just sits there waiting for one of them to approach.  Both men start to get loud and use their hands and arms to show their unhappiness.  Man (A) steps back and pulls a bar stool out so it is between him and the two would be assaulters. At this point the bartenders finally notice the problem an remove the two would be assaulters from the establishment. In this case many would say why didn’t man(A) just leave?  I believe that was not necessary.  Man (A) had just as much right to be there as the two would be assaulters, probably more because he was not intoxicated. 

In this situation, man(A) was committed to dealing with the problem even though he was not at fault.  He was also committed to dealing with a second person when the time arose. Man(A) even attempted to defuse the situation by using the bar stool to block the would-be assaulters and retreating to take a defensive stand. 

What we should take away from this discussion today is a few basic principles.

  1. If you are going to confront a situation, be prepared to be committed.
  2. Remember, the confronter is usually thinking of only himself and is ego driven.
  3. Often, the confronter has a perception of you, and it is not what you are in reality.
  4. The confronter usually has beliefs that are not the same as yours, therefore they will act according to their norms and beliefs.
  5. Try to approach these situations with a calm, open mind. Focus on the confronter’s actions.
  6. Use a verbal approach with a calm voice. Speak slowly and articulate.
  7. Try to diffuse and retreat when possible.
  8. When all fails, be prepared to defend and commit and go 100%.

Until next time, be safe and smart and be aware!  Have a safe summer!


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