Moderator: Van Canna
In another great book written by former FBI agent Joe Navarro What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agents Guide to Speed Reading People termed this effect as Eye Blocking.
“Our eyes, more remarkable than any camera, have evolved as the primary means by which humans receive information. In fact, we often attempt to censor incoming data through a limbic survival mechanism know as eye blocking, which evolved to protect the brain from “seeing” undesirable images.
Any decrease in the size of the eyes, whether through squinting or pupilary constriction, is a form of unconscious blocking behavior. And all blocking behaviors are indicative of concern, dislike, disagreement, or the perception of a potential threat.
The many forms of eye blocking are such a common and natural part of our nonverbal repertoire that most people either miss them completely or ignore their meaning.”
When you are up to no good, attempting to deceive or lying, you divert your eyes away or down from whom you are trying to deceive or avoid.
When interpreted in context, gaze avoidance, eye blocking or cutoff can be a powerful indicator of a persons thoughts or feeling.
This according to research is a normal human response to deception, guilt, embarrassment, a perceived threat and shame.
To succeed in your abilities at assessing real-time threats and improving our effectiveness and safety on the street, nonverbal indicators are key to helping us process unfolding information when encountering people.
We need to become craftsmen of conflict on the street! Knowing the basics and remaining and apprentice of conflict and violence is not good enough, these days where the threats are evolving to a much more serious and violent level.
When I speak of the Boyd Cycle, observation, orientation, decision and action and getting inside the mind of an adversary understanding dangerous body language is part of this process.
Gaze avoidance is another one of those signs we need to be looking for.
Conflict is a clash between two adaptive systems. Dealing with adapting adversaries you cannot predict exactly what’s going to happen next, because there are things going on that you cannot see, or hear.
For example: the numerous thoughts going through an adversaries mind: “I will do what I am asked,” “I will not do what I am asked,” “I will escape,” “I will fight,” “I will assault,” “I will kill,” “I will play dumb until...,” “I will stab,” “I will shoot,” “he looks prepared I will comply,” “he looks complacent I will not comply,” etc.
It is important to remember that the adversary has his own objectives; also, they have plans that conflict with the friendly side, therein creating further conflict and hence the need for adaptation.
Understanding dangerous body language, (a thousand words…none spoken!) just may give you the edge you need.
Mental calmness comes from within and being self aware. To be effective at controlling emotions one must consistently train.
Training can take place in conflict resolution and other workshops, but even more critical and effective is positive self-talk and conditioning our own minds not to REACT to words.
Instead use a strategic and tactical mindset and words to gain compliance and control. If you want to challenge or prove yourself show it in your ability and effectiveness at controlling your own emotions and individuals by using de-escalation techniques balanced by your ability to escalate when condition change and more powerful words and physical force may be necessary.
We are professionals and hence cannot be going around handling people like we are in a school yard fight, chest pumped up, posturing, trying to prove we are king of the hill. That attitude and approach just may get you killed at the worst and out of work at the least.
We have a tough job to do and at times we will get emotional. Lean on one another and lets show our abilities based on skill and the positive attributes we possess to make sound decisions. Stay the course and do what we know how to do…only better!
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