Two Good Ways to Avoid a Fight

I am convinced that getting involved in a fight is something that should be avoided at all times. There might be circumstances where fighting is absolutely unavoidable and I repeat something I have already expressed before: in a fight or flight situation the latter should be preferred if you are sure you can run faster than your attacker.

What triggers a fight? Many different circumstances and reasons. In any case it takes more than one person to be involved.  Even if somebody is bothering you or threatening you in many, many cases you could avoid the physical confrontation by talking the situation down or by simply walking away. Unfortunately our pride sometimes plays bad tricks and we would love to be like inspector Harry Callahan, being able to state a few sentences and then punish our attacker in one way or the other.

The so called self defence should really be applied to situations when you are physically attacked and the only way of getting out of the situation is to stop your attacker with all possible means before he might cause serious injury or death to yourself or your loved ones.  While it is not often possible to turn and offer the other cheek it is possible to avoid a fight and walk home rather than risking to spend some time in a cell or in hospital as a result of a fight gone wrong one way or the other.

B.H. is a friend of mine ex professional boxer and is surely a guy you would not like to be involved in a fight. With nearly hundred fights under his belt between amateur and professional level he is a person who has spent more time in front of somebody that would like to knock him down than most street fighters would ever experience in several lives. As it happened once a guy thought to have a good reason to punch him straight in the face.  This is a fairly common, not too exciting, experience for a professional fighter: probably similar to having a cup of coffee for the average office worker.  The simple end to the story is that the attacker was so surprised of B. not reacting at all to the attack and he simply added: “It takes a lot more to make me angry, and if I get angry I could kill you”.  This sentence made me think, it is true that a professional fighter is in business to harm other people for money.  At the same time he will not necessarily react with anger to the typical situation where most people would go berserk.

Another similar experience happened to me personally. Although I have never been a professional, I consider myself capable of seriously harming the average punter with bad intentions that happens to challenge me.  A few months ago I drove out of my driveway in a winter, dark afternoon and somebody in another car was arriving at a distance that I failed to evaluate correctly so he had to slow down.  He blew his horn violently and repeatedly.  As I stopped at the red light a few hundred yards away I promptly checked in my rear mirror where the guy was and I noticed a car behind mine with no driver: in less than a second I noticed the guy was by my side window yelling at me . He was in a rage and ready for a fight, inviting me to get out.  I apologised to him and said that I had not seen him coming (never mind he was probably faster than he should be). Nevertheless, he kept insulting me and after about 30 seconds of a few more insults he went back to his car, the light turned green and I drove on to my meeting.  The guy had a scary look but had he tried to grab or injure me I could have probably got rid of him in no time, perhaps leaving him in the middle of the road … and then what?  He had seen me coming out of my drive way. He could always come back there and wait for me with a weapon and/or with friends. He could even burn my house down or do other extreme measures.  Are all these terrible consequences really worth the fact that he thinks I am an idiot”?  Not really, so I left him with his opinion and moved on.

The choices that B. and I took were safer in the end because we avoided, in different ways and circumstances, a fight that could be avoided. for B. being punched in the face is as normal as a hand shake; for me, while I don’t like to be called names, I can conclude that it is simply someone’s opinion and it does not affect my self esteem.

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About Massimo Gaetani

Massimo is a professional coach certified by Results Coaching System. He works primarily with business owners and senior managers in organizations to boost their performance, set powerful goals about their business and careers and he supports them on their path to ensure successful outcomes. His clients to date are professionals, entrepreneurs, C role individuals and senior managers spanning a broad range of industries. Massimo supports his coaching qualifications with 15 years of management experience in small to large enterprises working in various senior positions in sales, marketing, IT and business consultancy. Find out more at
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