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How To Navigate A Fight

By Cultures Of Dignity | August 13, 2019


The following excerpt from The Guide deals with fighting and the best ways to approach a tough confrontation. Being in 11th grade, and making my way through the public school system in Colorado, I’ve witnessed how fights can happen with guys.  Although you may not be involved in a serious fight yourself, they’re common both at school and parties so you are more than likely to witness at least one either in real life or online. With fights being filmed and spread across social media it is crucial to understand the ways to work around these situations. 

A Guy Hates Your Face:

How to navigate a fight


I’m sure the guy who “hates your face” has a miserable home life and if you knew the details you’d feel sorry for him … which doesn’t matter at all when he’s in your face trying to start something. This usually happens when you’re out with your friends having a good time at a party, a concert, at school, etc. The good thing is that this guy is usually with a group of friends who just want to have a good time and can get him to calm down. The bad thing is that they may be dumb enough to think they have to back him up no matter how annoying he is or they think it’s funny to see him be an ass.

Also, and really different than one our parents were growing up, is how common it is for fights to be filmed and broadcast online.  Even if it seems like a small deal, any fight will become entertainment for the bystanders and everyone that sees it online. The guy harassing you loves the idea of a video of him bashing your face spreading all across the school which makes him that much more of a danger. 

So when you’re in the moment of dealing with this guy, the easiest thing to do is not be there. As in leave. Sure, you want to stay at the party, but if you’re heading toward a fight, the night won’t end well anyway. Fun doesn’t include having your face smashed in or having to deal with police because you were at a party that got out of control and somehow it looks like you were part of the problem. 

You can also try de-escalation or distraction by using humor, but not at the bully’s or anyone else’s expense. If you start making fun of him, that’s a surefire way to trigger a fight, and if you redirect by making fun of someone else, you’re just contributing to douchebag behavior.

Just be prepared for the possibility that nothing you say is going to stop that guy from wanting to fight. If that’s the case, then you have a choice to make: walk away toward safety or you stand your ground. 

Standing Your Ground

There are times in life when you may have to fight, and it’s going to go better if you prepare. By all means, take a few MMA or martial arts classes, or even get way into it and make it a regular part of your life. Just do yourself a favor: learn from someone who actually knows realistic strategies; you aren’t in a movie. Look for qualities (whether they’re male or female) that truly reflect internal personal strength. That means they don’t brag and try to be tough all the time. And they don’t look for fights in real life. If you find a calm, humble boxing or martial arts teacher, these people are great to hang around anyway, even if you never get into a fight. It’s a win-win no matter what.


You’ve Had It

If someone’s constantly going after you, you may get to the point where you refuse to be bullied anymore. When and if you come to that conclusion, this is serious, because ultimately no one will be able to defend you but you. Even if an older kid or adult is protecting you, they can’t do it all the time and at some point, the bully may want to go after you when you’re alone. Remember the goal: maximize your projection of mental and physical strength.

With that in mind, it’s better to choose when this will happen. The other message you want to communicate somehow is, “We don’t have to do this but if we do fine, I will.” This puts the choice in the bully’s hands, but you’re setting the terms. The bully’s power is based on the illusion of his power—an illusion that he needs to manage carefully.  Victory doesn’t have to mean winning a fight outright. It can mean facing that person with honor and courage no matter what happens. It can mean is settling the issue so that the problem stops, without putting yourself in a situation where you could get seriously injured with no help nearby.

The best way to do this is by having a few friends with you when you have the confrontation, and you definitely don’t want to be outnumbered. Their presence will make your bully less likely to initiate a fight; your friends can also ensure that if a fight does happen, it stays fair and doesn’t get out of hand. If having friends around isn’t an option, at least try to make sure you’re in a fairly public place with other people reasonably nearby. If you really get in trouble and need help, you can’t depend on the crowd to help you. That’s called bystander effect and it means that people in a group often wait for someone else to intervene. So think about your exit strategy; remember you are moving towards safety not away from danger. 

How To Navigate A Fight