How to Deal With Aggressive & Threatening Behavior

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At some point in your life, chances are you will have to deal with a difficult individual. It may be a family member, a co-worker, or a perfect stranger. In extreme cases, their behavior may turn aggressive or threatening. This could escalate into a potentially dangerous situation. To keep yourself safe from harm, there are certain strategies you can employ.

Assess the seriousness of the situation. This will help you determine how to proceed. In milder circumstances, the situation may be easily diffused. As matters escalate, however, additional steps will need to be considered.

Stay calm. Getting upset will only worsen the situation and perhaps even agitate the other person more. Speak softly and try to avoid getting into any arguments, which will only cause matters to become more inflamed.

Try to keep the other person calm. Avoid countering with your own verbal threats or making gestures that might be deemed as aggressive. Do what you can to attempt to persuade him that you want a peaceful resolution and don't want to challenge him.

Be ready to defend yourself, should the situation warrant it. If someone follows a verbal threat with physical violence, you may need to fight back. Kick, scratch, scream, use car keys or whatever you have available should you find yourself in danger of being harmed.

Look for an opportunity to escape. Search for an exit or an area where you can quickly get away. Look for other people and approach them for help. If you are able to find a public place, like a store or restaurant, hurry inside and tell them what's happening.

Contact the police. If you believe someone is being aggressive or threatening, inform the authorities. In some instances, a restraining order may have to be obtained.