We spend a lot more time speaking with people than we do fighting, stabbing, or shooting them. I mean, unless you’re a complete psychopath, in which case please stop reading this. I don’t want my explosion of publicity to be “The People’s Exhibit A”.
On top of all that, being able to effectively communicate with people and control your message can allow you to prevent a situation from ever getting got the point that force is needed.
The challenge, as I see it, is that a good portion of people that are into guns are those that interact with their world physically. This is easy because there are “moves” to practice, and tangible results of your efforts in the form of holes in the target.
There seems to be some resistance to the idea of leveraging communication as somehow cowardly or less manly; not wanting to fight. But I’ll remind folks that “Verbal Judo” is a thing for a reason.
If you had to fight with someone, would you rather they be resisting you with everything they’ve got, or not even know that they’re in a fight? If your goal is just to fight (or spar), then the resisting opponent might be fun. But if your goal is to prevail, why make the job harder than necessary.
The other major reason that verbal skills are critical is because if you don’t have them, it’s easy for someone to jam you up and now you’re at their mercy. The reason why a lot of muggings start off with a request for the time, a cigarette, or change is because, while your brain is tied up responding, you’re not processing what they’re doing (read: initiating the attack).
Just like how you want your draw, trigger press, and reload to be so automated that they don’t require active thought, the same is true of your verbal skills. You want to have some appropriately automated responses (John Farnam calls them “Tape Loops”) established so that you can focus more attention on what they’re doing vs. what they’re saying (or trying to get you to do/say).
Having active, intentional control over the words you use can also ensure that you don’t create a situation that requires more force. Watch the video to see what I mean.
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