Avoiding Emotional Responses

I often post in social media about people who let their emotions get the best of them in situations where they get sucked into confrontations that they could have (SHOULD have) avoided. Usually, those posts involve tragedies where people searching their homes with guns shoot family members or where people who used guns inappropriately get indicted or convicted of crimes.

Some recent examples include an Ohio man who mistakenly killed his son and this man who plead guilty to manslaughter after killing a bystander with an errant round while recklessly shooting at someone who was stealing his vehicle.

This morning, while heading out to run some errands with Wife and Toddler, a foot pursuit broke out right next to our car in our “low crime” neighborhood. A rush of emotions and impulses ran through my head. There have been periods of my life where I looked forward to a good foot pursuit. While the thought of jumping out of the car and joining was quickly dismissed, the thought of driving around to the other side of the block wasn’t so easily passed up. Take the family out of the equation and, regardless of the reserve commission from another In-State jurisdiction, the gun I’m carrying and any experience/training I have, getting out of the car in any way was a non-starter unless I saw a cop that immediately needed physical help. There were already at least three officers involved that I saw at the outset (we had been passed by the third arriving patrol car about a block from the incident).

The “be a good witness” option while maintaining the priority of safety for my family and I while minimizing any potential confusion for the on-scene Officers was the right choice. There was a very large open lot adjacent to the block of houses that the pursuit went into. I was able to pull over about 300 yards away and have a clear line of sight down two of the three streets that the pursuit would’ve crossed if it continued. With phone poised to call 911 and report anything I could if the suspect happened to emerge alone and continue on, we sat there for about 60 seconds. Several more patrol cars arrived and we saw nothing else… so, we went and dropped off my dry cleaning. 15 minutes later, we drove back by and I took this pic. I assume they grabbed the guy within 50 yards. No ambulances or flood of officers arriving.

Think about these types of things Ahead of Time so that you might avoid emotional responses! Visualization can be a huge help in this kind of preparation. Just imagine that you see something happening or are experiencing an event that could cause to you to react foolishly out of curiosity, anger, ego or any other negative emotion… and work through the most thoughtful and appropriate response that you would chose outside of the emotional moment.


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One Response to “Avoiding Emotional Responses”

  1. Sasha

    Hence the importance of personal defense. It does not only help the emotions, but to calm down and make the most correct decisions in these and other cases. Also on a personal and self-esteem level, it has helped me a lot. I recommend this book, (en amazon.de) "Meine ganz persönliche Erfahrung", It is a somewhat personal story, but it is very interesting.