Acronyms like F.E.A.R. are often catchy to grab people’s attention, but “How Do you Determine If It Is FEAR or F.E.A.R.?” You must reflect more deeply to determine.
You often see the acronym F.E.A.R., and people think of “False Evidence Appearing Real.”
If you imagine terrible violent things happening to you without evidence, that is when the acronym can be crippling, but it can also be dangerous, even with what you perceive as a threat right in front of you.
You may have taken a self-defence course predicated on seeing threats around you and how you must take out a threat before it takes you out.
Imagine someone standing before you, yelling, angry, and clenching their fists. They may even take a couple of steps toward you, so you act on what you were taught, strike first, and ask questions later because you did not ask any questions upfront.
You pre-emptively strike, and the threat hits the ground. After that, the person is no longer a threat, and even though you are still shaking, you feel relieved.
Do you consider that a successful application of self-defence? Or could you have fallen victim to “False Evidence Appearing Real?”
Yes, you are alive, but what if they have received serious injuries or worse?
Have you ever been angry to the point where someone could mistake your body language, tone, and words as a threat? But you know it was a moment of anger because you were having a bad day, maybe lost your job, or received bad news. But in no way would you strike someone; it was just an unfortunate conflict of circumstance with someone you did not know.
Do we not owe it to ourselves, our loved ones, and the general public to seek as much evidence as possible before striking someone?
I am not suggesting there aren’t times when you would pre-emptively strike, but my concern is when that is all people know as a strategy in self-defence and violence prevention.
In any conflict that has yet to go physical, are there not some simple questions we could ask that might determine if you are acting out on Fear or F.E.A.R? Yes, there are!
You may see false evidence that something appears real because your knowledge of a topic might be limited, but we can all change that by seeking as many options as possible.
Founder, SAFE Violence Prevention & Self Defence