Conflict is often quite difficult to deal with. Not only does it threaten the unknown, but without care and diligence, it can escalate without warning. Of course, certain conflict is tolerable, such as when your child throws a tantrum because they won’t eat their broccoli. But what about when you’re in a road disagreement with another driver, and it seems that they have no regard for the safety risk this represents?
Of course, defending yourself is not necessarily only about mediating conflict maturely, but also learning to exercise your rights when you need to, being unafraid to disagree, and standing up for yourself when necessary. In this post, we hope to discuss a few measures by which you can practice this in your everyday life, and why doing so is not poor judgement or a lack of diplomatic capability.
With that in mind, please consider the following advice:
The Power of No
It’s not easy to say ‘no,’ but it can sometimes serve as the most powerful word in your vocabulary. When we’re had a tough time of it, and especially if we were taught this in our childhood, it’s very easy to fall into general hyper-compliance about everything, never allowing anyone to be restricted around us.
This can be a good way of getting on the good side of people you speak to, but it’s also artificial and can lead to bitterness if this isn’t actually how you feel. In addition, it’s good to remember that it’s not necessarily virtuous to be super nice about everything all of the time, even if you’re not genuinely feeling it.
So – say no when you really mean it. It might be rejecting the voluntary request for overtime for the third time this month, telling your boss that your work/life balance is actually an important part of your life – and that’s important. Like a muscle, the more you work it, the easier it becomes to use. When people know you won’t say yes to everything as a default, they also take clear notice when you do.
Understand Your Rights
Ultimately, your rights are the stringent laws and protections that shield you from mistreatment. In some cases, this might mean applying your statutory rights as a consumer, or perhaps making sure your end of the contract you signed is escalated so more and more people can find some benefit here.
Reading through the contracts you sign, understanding the basic rights you have as an employee such as a right to visit a tribunal, or even using attorney Eric Ramos to help press your side of a car accident case for the compensation you deserve – it all makes a tremendous difference, and also ensures you retain the precedent set by these laws which were generated for a reason.
Understand The Limits Of Defense
Defending yourself doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a tiresome presence that tries to fight every conflict or litigates against any slight perceived against them. In some cases, it’s important to remind ourselves of that. For instance – if a neighborhood child kicks a ball through our window without meaning to, and the parents are apologetic, do you really need to sue them? Perhaps you can find a diplomatic solution for funding the replacement.
In some cases, it’s also important to avoid assuming the law. For example, depending on where you live, you may be well within your rights to defend against a home intruder no matter what happens to them. In many places though, an over-excessive use of force, even in self-defense, and especially once the threat has been handled, could land you in hot water.
You might not agree with this of course, but it doesn’t mean the law won’t apply to you. Understanding these parameters can help you mediate an appropriate response and avoid escalating situations to a harmful level, or to become more harmful on you than they need to be.
Pick Your Battles Appropriately
Defending yourself intensively is not always the smart thing to do. That might sound strange, but it’s true. Sometimes, it’s better to avoid taking the risk. Let’s say you’re about to pull into a car parking space, but an overaggressive driver, with overaggressive passengers, force you out of being able to do so. Is it worth picking up the fight and escalating it?
As tiring as it is to say, sometimes it’s worth letting that go, because we can never truly know who might be in that car and what the impact on us could be. This isn’t to say you need to run scared, but pick your battles carefully and understand if they’re even worth fighting at all. This helps you retain energy for the self-defense that does matter – and of course, you might not have to go everything alone when calling law enforcement or litigating is a good time for recourse. So, perhaps you can litigate and defend yourself in the future, as opposed to winning a small battle right now.
With this advice, we hope you can see the value of defending yourself when you need to, which will always be a relevant pursuit.
If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.
And thanks for reading! 🙂