Six Ways to Stop a Fight
- Surrender. Is your pride really worth a human life? Drop your weapon, put up your hands, and tell them you’re ready to cut a deal. You walk, and in exchange you give them something they need. Sidestep the current agenda. Offer them something unrelated to your dispute, and negotiate to find a solution.
- Disarm. Knife on the table? Throw it out the window. Opponent with a gun? Dodge until he’s out of bullets. Deescalate the confrontation to fists, if possible. You can settle your differences with some brawling and still walk away, plus neither one of you has to face a murder charge or criminal investigation.
- Rechannel. So you have a conflict. Settle it a smarter way. Arm wrestle, play cards, have a scavenger hunt, a drinking contest, anything that lets you establish a winner and a loser. Smart gamblers bet nothing they aren’t willing to lose. Why put your life on the line?
- Pass the Buck. Is there somebody more powerful than either one of you who is going to be angry that you two are coming to blows? Pretend you’re all in the mafia and you can’t just kill each other without kicking your dispute upstairs first. Let that symbolic superior make a decision. You both gain clout for not spilling blood.
- Call the Cops. If you’ve got a grievance against somebody, let the police do your dirty work. File charges. Get a restraining order. Sue him in civil court for wrongful harm. You can beat him down without throwing a punch.
- Run Away. The hell with it. Who needs this kind of heat? Blow town, get a job someplace else, build a new power base. Is the world really too small for the both of you? It’s a big planet out there.