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Principles of Verbal Self-Defense

Hello guys,

I think you know by now how much importance I place on self-defense. As individuals aiming for social power I think these are the skills that we have to develop in priority. For instance, how can you be a powerful leader if everyone is able to laugh at you and walk all over you?

As you know I reflected a lot on this topic. I had a lot of great feed-back from members of this forum such as Lucio and Matthew. So I had the following idea: there are principles to verbal and psychological self-defense. So far I would say that it depends on many things that will influence how and when we will defend ourselves. I think they mainly rely on:

  1. Context: family or friends, business or casual, high-stake or non-issue, light or heavy, acquaintance or signifcant other, long-time relationship or having just met, history of abuse or respectful relationship, drunk or sober, etc.
  2. Skill level: I realized that between the carefully and methodically extracted principles by Lucio are hidden skill levels. If it's the first time you assert yourself, it will be very difficult to articulate a calm, grounded meta and assertive answer. That is why I was stuck in my situation: I wanted to have the best answer, according to Lucio. However, I realized that despite context and other things, I still had to start somewhere. And somewhere is where I'm at right now, which is not Lucio's level of assertion and dominance.
  3. Mindset: this goes together with skill level. Because of family context and years of social conditioning, self-respect is something that I had to learn (and am still learning as an adult. So the first step is to know that you are worthy of respect. This goes together with self-esteem. There are great mindset sentences in PU about that.
  4. Degree of (micro-) aggression: this is a key concept. When somebody attacks us, it's important to answer to the same level of (micro-aggression) or slightly higher. Otherwise, we are framed as the aggressor. Credit to Lucio.
  5. Emotional state: to be calm and grounded is the best emotional state for most situations. However, to amp up the emotional response with tone, emotional intensity or verbal volume can be called for in short bursts if the situation and/or the individual is called for.

That is where my mind is at currently. This is what makes the art of verbal self-defense. To feel and adapt to the situation. Together, with the science, this will bring a high level of social power.

What is your opinion on this topic?


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