Monday Night, 2 of our instructors had the opportunity to experience Downtown Denver at it’s best. While stopped at a gas station, out of necessity, they were “confronted” by one of Denver’s finer citizens. While putting air in a tire, this fine citizen began walking across the parking lot toward both the cars. About half way, he began to yell that he wanted some change to get on the bus. Normally we blow this stuff off, but this guy struck them as different. It brought to mind Mike’s post and his suggestion to read The Gift of Fear. Below are some indicators that I noticed which are included in deBecker book:

Forced Teaming – “Do you guys have change,”

Charming/Niceness – “I’m stuck hear and need some change to get on the bus,”

To Many Details – See above and “I’m trying to get on the bus stop across the street,”

Now while these are just a few of the indicators, subconsciously they knew this guy wanted something more. You can account this to many factors, one of which I’m sure was the fact that he saw a young female standing “alone” in a dark corner of a parking lot. As he got closer Tony (Instructor 1) lost sight of Jessica (Instructor 2) although she was standing right next to him (after moving around her car). It was one of a few psychological reactions to a stressor:

Auditory Exclusion – “Although we were about 5 feet from a busy highway with cars flying by, I could not hear anything but the sound of this guy and his loud voice,”

Tunnel Vision – ‘I totally lost sight of Jessica although she was right next to me and all my focus was on this guy; looking at his hands, his body language, his demeanor,’

Automatic Pilot – “My first reaction was to go immediately to the threat, after obviously “taking some precautions.” Now while I don’t advocate getting in a physical confrontation, sometimes you have no choice; it’s merely a by-product of the situation.”

Mike’s post drives home a valid point; you just never now. You can do everything right and still end up in a bad situations through no fault of your own. While this incident is minor compared to his, it still has to make you wonder; do you fight or do you run? While fighting should always be the last option, sometimes it’s the one that can be the difference between life and death. It must be a mindset and you must be pre-programmed to just react if a confrontation is unavoidable. Additionally, it is important to realize how your body will react until real time stress. It still amazes me that although I have been in many bad situations, my body still tells me something is just not right. Never chose to be assaulted while you stand still, the first time you are a victim, the second time you are a volunteer.