Verbal Defense doesn't always work on everyone, why not?
The reasons have been well spelled out. A problem with verbal self defense is that many confuse it with verbal sparring (verbal fighting). Verbal sparring in most cases will effectively lead to a physical confrontation, the very thing to be avoided.
Verbal self defense, like any form of martial art, is not perfect. Sometimes, one can deflect an attacker with a joke, a weird response or a strong stance. Sometimes, these things will not work.
The strong stance is technically not a verbal action and is out of the realm of verbal self defense. A strong stance can be viewed by some as being an offensive action, thus causing escalation. A strong glare by some is sufficient cause for a fight, in fact.
What is the guys' motivation? What does he really want? Is it something that you can safely provide -and are willing to?
The negotitation is something that is not well understood, especially by me. In my present area of L.A., we have some pretty aggressive pan handlers. One could easily confuse their requests for money as being demands. Blurring these lines in an attempt to intimidate thru means such as talking loud, use of aggressive speech, darting to and fro unexpectedly to see your reaction, attempting to get too close for you for shock value, to test your defenses, etc.
The negotiation is kind of a dance in which we both, BG and yourself, make your intentions known subtly. You each, with both verbal and physical (non-verbal-visual and oral) signals, indicate to each other how you might handle an altercation if necessary. Many of these signals are deebly subconscious and go deeply to the kind of self defense mindset you have developed and how bad is this bad guy anyway.
There exists a neurolinguistic organic brain phenomenon among us humans since we value communication and rapport linking...matches our voice modulation ... to the person we are speaking with.
It is quite ironic how often the BG may be more inclined to just match your resonance as to force the issue of a fight. Like maybe they are more interested in the rapport than in whether or not they get your wallet
the physical and body posturing, the threats ...
Posturing and threats, whether verbal or otherwise does not seem much like the way to defuse a tense situation, although it may be better for saving face and pride, things which may be less vital to survival than physical health.
Why VSD doesn't work? Usually, it's when the situation has crossed a threshold where negotiation and talk have been eliminated from the interaction formula.
Keep it in the negotiation if you can. Drop five bucks from your left hand while running off to the right (making a wild gesture to ensure that the bill dropping is observed by the bad guy as well as keeping your hands up in case needed), thus, possibly, you will be able to keep the hundred bucks in your pocket that u may have lost if you chose to fight this dude straight up (although you may have one and got to keep the BG's wallet).
I am in law enforcement and have had only three events in eight years) where Verbal Judo has not worked.
Awesome. Here is someone who has the force of the law to back up their words and yet the guts to see the glass as being half full when so many of their co-workers might be viewing it as being half empty. I may not have the same succes as I am not a police officer. The sight of a police officer in a lot of situations would be enough of a provocation to create an altercation in and of itself.
Is there a book available on VSD?
I read a book years ago about VSD; its approach was mostly on how to handle personal relations with co-workers, friends, acquaintances, etc to avoid verbal bullies. The main ideas of the book translate well, though, IMHO, to VSD. Just as in Martial arts, you dont use your new found verbal skills to pick on those weaker than you, but rather use them in a responsible, defensive ways to avoid the person who is trying to bait you into an argument, for example, are discussed. The main ideas that I recall and use extensively utilizing what I would have to call "depersonalizing"; don't personalize.
Dont talk about or refer to any specific person when possible. Talk in general, non-specific terms. If you are told that you look ugly, a vsd response can be, "That has been said before about me" or "I have heard that before". You are not disagreeing or agreeing. You are probably even tellign the truth. Such statements are hard to argue. Humor would not be out of the question, although as discussed in another thread, humor can be dicey if they think that you are laughing at them. Sarcasm should be avoided at all costs.
The Verbal sparring approach sounds a bit like this, "Your ugly", "Your mama", "F... U", "F... u", smack, bang, boom. Just because it is verbal, does not make it self defense
what people are looking for when they are yelling at you- by not participating (if you can help it LOL) it either calms them down- or drives them so crazy that they storm off
So true. In this case, this person is not trying to merely match your tone and pitch in an attempt to have rapport, they are looking for a fight and you are too whatever to provide them with that chance. If you wont cooperate, they aint gonna waste their time on you, they gonna go find someone that will fight with them.
Heck, In some places, that is how people get to know each other and become friends, by fighting with each other. I mean heck, who wants friends that are such sissies that they are afraid of a little altercation? (yeah, Im baiting, anybody game?)