How to Use Words to Fend Off Attackers

Our expert guest blogger and Personal Safety Expert, Ian Fox, shares his advice with us today that could help defuse an attack using nothing more than our own words.  Learn what to say if you’re being approached aggressively by a stranger.

Tongue Self Defense

Words are mightier than the best right hook. 95% of all self defense situations begin with some form of verbal communication. The variations on how conflict begins is too big to cover here. But there are lots of words you can use to help your plight.

The word “sorry” or “I don’t want any trouble” can diffuse a situation quickly if it’s not gone too far and depending on the circumstances.

Or break the aggressors pattern by asking a question to divert attention, be careful though not to escalate it with the wrong one.

A Question Might Be?

This is a very powerful and persuasive language pattern:

“Shall we stop this now or shall we do something else?”

“Can we talk about this like civilized adults?”


(If appropriate) “The police have been called and are on their way”


“I’ve got aids” or “I have a heart condition”


“It’s my birthday today”


“My husband just left me and I’m really upset”

Or any other question you can think of that will help defuse, confuse and bemuse an attacker.

Obviously it goes without saying it all depends on the situation and if you’re comfortable saying it. Verbal exchanges may not always be possible, but for many situations they are.

Ian Fox, Martial Arts / Personal Safety Expert, Fox Martial Arts

Think about a few questions you can have ready in case you ever need them.  Coming up with the appropriate questions on the fly when in this situation can be much more difficult than if you prepare something just in case.

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Author: FizzNiche

This article was created with the help of FizzNiche Guest Bloggers. If you'd like your articles to appear on this site, come see the topics we're working on in the Fitness and Exercise category.

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