Showing fear...

This is a discussion on Showing fear... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by BigJon10125 I agree with the make eye contact and nod aspect. People who plan on doing something bad will do it, but ...

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  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon10125 View Post
    I agree with the make eye contact and nod aspect. People who plan on doing something bad will do it, but I think that showing fear could potentially inspire those not initially looking for a victim to think "hey, easy mark right there" and maybe act accordingly. I don't think the look and nod will stop a determined thug, but the opposite may invite them.
    I also see making eye contact as a way of saying "I know you're there, and what you look like- you won't catch me by surprise".

    Not always, but it can be a deterrent.
    "Rock and load, lock and roll... what's it matter? FIRE!!"

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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array Cold Shot's Avatar
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    Fear can be good in extreme situations, but it's not worth showing. A bunch of dudes standing around is not something to be afraid of.

  4. #18
    Member Array billstaf's Avatar
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    I always make eye contact. Sometimes I'll nod a little if some type of non-verbal communication seems warranted. I never back up and never look away.

    I'm now 63 years old, so my toe-to-toe fighting days are a long ways behind me, and I have no intention of getting into a physical scuffle with anyone, but I'm always armed and I'm not going to be anybody's easy mark.

    People seem to sense it when you won't tolerate being messed with and tend to look elsewhere for somebody easier to take on.

    All bets are off when the opposing forces are drunk or high on something though. It is hard to read people like that. Best advice; Stay alert - stay armed.
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  5. #19
    Member Array CPanther95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevolvingMag View Post
    I also see making eye contact as a way of saying "I know you're there, and what you look like- you won't catch me by surprise".

    Not always, but it can be a deterrent.
    This is normally my response as well.

    Anyway, it's the guy who shows fear last, not first, that loses.

  6. #20
    Distinguished Member Array BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    I look them right in the eyes and continue walking just like I always do. Never show an animal any fear. They only like to prey on fear.
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  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I always look directly at them, and speak first. It leaves me in the control position. It says that I'm confident and aware of them. If they are further away I give the nod. And yes fear does attract them. just acknowledging that they are there is enough most times to send them looking else where for someone who was distracted and not paying attn. DR

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardo View Post
    Does showing fear.... Visibly accelerating your pace, glancing over your shoulder and so on actually increase the likelihood that an attacker will target you? Do the bad guys smell fear and pick you out as someone who is weak?
    Sure, such things can be sensed by predators watching for them.

    What was it Paul Newman's character said in the film The Color of Money: "You gotta be a student of human moves." Loitering around and "people watching" allows such predators to do exactly that.

    We've all heard the adage that dogs can "smell fear."

    As well as the statement that "toughs" often "respect strength."

    IMO, these are all variations on the same thing: acknowledgement that paying attention to such indicators can have a powerful impact on the success or failure of a predator's attack on prey.

    Buying our meat from the local butcher has dulled our senses, largely. Consider being in the wild armed with only a knife, with only larger/dangerous game animals available for food sources. What would you consider as indicators that could seriously harm chances for getting the kill? Size, speed, strength, general health, aggressiveness, apparent lack of awareness of your presence, apparent fear ... all of these things could help determine whether you're likely to catch the boar unawares, unprepared and/or incapable of withstanding your attack, or whether you're likely to be gored and stomped to death.

    I can't believe any successful street predators would be much different. In a very real sense, their success depends upon it.

    A few afternoons of people watching at the local street corner can teach a person much about such indicators. And they're all the more obvious if introduced and honed by a mentor who's adept at picking out such things.
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  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    If these guys are "up to know good" they will do what they will do and I personally do not see that anything would change regardless of what your perception is of your sister's fear. SA and any kind of avoidance is the order of the day (cross the street, go back where you came from etal) and if they still respond with an intent to confront by following you, it is time to think about protecting yourself. You did not mention anything about concealed carry. BTW, anyone who is having a grand old time walking and talking and not feeling a pang of concern or fear when the potential for a confrontation is being played out, is either lying or just stupid--that is what SA is all about in the first place---
    Predators definitely prefer soft targets which they identify by their behavior. Fear is a survival mechanism. It's a normal reaction and not necessarily indicative of softness. Naturally, minimize the reason to fear.
    Manage the reason to fear by crossing the street, backtracking, or otherwise avoiding.
    If one is sheepish and white-eyed, yeah, they see the fear, but the question is can they overcome a counter-attack or is the fear so paralyzing that one can't get off of the "X"? You will probably get an answer really fast (and be in a fight) or never (and post a question on this forum). One who is paralyzed can't evade. Evade.
    Learn the continuum of force as you shift from condition yellow to orange and maybe to red: Avoid, Evade, Counter. (A note on terms, backtracking is avoiding if in condition orange, it is evading if you throw your car in reverse in condition red).
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  10. #24
    Senior Member Array xsigma40cal's Avatar
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    Some would say paranoid, others say its taking proper precaution. She's not dumb and she wont make the same mistake twice. Criminals look for easy prey who arent paying attention. She did fine.

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy View Post
    I look them right in the eyes and continue walking just like I always do. Never show an animal any fear. They only like to prey on fear.
    One must be aware though that there are those who take direct eye contact as a sign of aggression. Not saying don't do it. Just saying that you should be aware that it could have just the opposite effect you are looking for.
    While I believe that in the majority of instances that eye contact will warn folks away from you. We also must not be caught off guard when that eye contact provokes the "whut you lookin at" response.

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  12. #26
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    If you recognize a dangerous situation and still walk into it then what does that say about you? I think it says you aren't playing it safe. If I thought those guys were a possible threat I would have crossed the street or gone a different route.

    SA is all about seeing a threat early enough to avoid it or to prepare for it if things go bad. To see a threat and just "act calm" is, to me, folly.
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  13. #27
    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    I think you have the right idea that fear may induce a confrontation, but I would say that your response of not noticing the threat is not the opposite of showing fear, but may be even worse. Acting oblivious to a threat may also embolden an attacker because they observe that they can approach unnoticed or at least without "spooking" the prey.

    It is not fear that they are looking for, it is weakness. Fear can be an indicator of weakness, but lack of fear does not always mean strength. Sometimes it just means stupidity or distraction, which can also be an opening for attack. I would say that you don't need to run the other way or put your hand on your gun (the two extreems), but aknowledge the presence of the threat, and make sure that they notice you aknowledging their presence. They are looking for soft targets, and an aware, alert individual who is aware of the surroundings is an unnecessary risk. There will be plenty of easier prey come along soon enough.

    Or, have you seen the Dish network commercial...? Cable frustrates you, so you blow off steam, get hit in the eye with a racketball, look tough wearing an eye patch, people want to find out how tough you are, and you end up in a roadside ditch. Don't end up in a roadside ditch.
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  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    I sometimes show fear. But it's usually shown in the form of a loud crack & a bright muzzle flash.
    Shooting is not justified by raw fear alone.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

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