Sooooooooo … is being a victim now a lifestyle? Has our nature turned us from being self-reliant and responsible for our own personal safety and security to needing an army of like-minded wounded birds before taking action?
Recently, there’s been a veritable deluge of accusations and allegations concerning despicable acts of sexism, hostile work environments and exploitation at the hands of people who believe they’re in a position of power.
Here’s a truth: No one has power over you unless you allow it. Think about that for a minute. If you’re willing to stand up, you can stand down bullies. Every time. In one of the most egregious examples of this horrible behavior, a wellknown movie mogul allegedly pressured a rising star to come into his room. On the audiotape (which she recorded), he can be heard becoming anxious and nervous because she was getting vocal in her protests. He basically said ( paraphrasing here), “Quiet down, I’m somebody important. Don’t make a scene!” And in that moment existed the opportunity to seismically shift the predator to the prey.
Will you seize the opportunity if something similar happens to you? What about the bully boss who threatens and glowers and stomps around, putting employees in fear? He (or she) believes he (or she) has power over you: the power to promote, to assign pleasant and unpleasant tasks, to basically control the quality of your life. But does that person? Really? What if you just walk?
Don’t write and tell us you really need your job — we get it. We need work, as well. But we’d never let someone lord that over us and make our lives a living hell. They. Just. Don’t. Get. To. Do. That.
THE THING IS, it all goes sideways when you look for “justice.” Justice by someone else intervening, someone else fighting the battle for you. When you do that, you’ve given up control and assigned responsibility to someone else or to an organization. Life is a constant struggle. You’ve got to adopt the mentality that says, “The helicopters aren’t coming.” In other words, yeah, you’re tired, shot to hell, and in need of resupply and transport. But the helicopters are not coming, so you’d best pull that rucksack on and get moving if you want to survive.
We always explain to students that it isn’t necessarily how to fight that’s the hard part. The hard part is actually following through and doing it — regardless of the uncertainty, the doubt or the fear. And that takes courage. The best examples of courage occur when people are alone. When they don’t have the support of people nearby who are a de facto safety net. Because guess what? Bullies and sexual predators don’t operate in the light of day. They wait so they can prey on people when there’s little chance the victims’ allegations will be corroborated.
The same is true when fighting back becomes necessary. It’s not as if you’ll be attacked when the predators believe there’s a chance of failure — to the contrary, they’ll attack when conditions are most advantageous for them and least advantageous for you. This makes the fight that much more difficult, more daunting and more challenging.
WE DON’T MEAN to be insensitive — far from it. We mean to empower and to lead people to the understanding that if they adopt this stand-up mentality, they’ll be far better off. They’ll become indomitable, and a happy byproduct of that is predators will sense it and be far less likely to try anything.
If you train, you can’t have a victim mentality. The first thing you have to acknowledge is that you’re training because you decided to take personal control of threatening situations. You recognized the basic necessity for that. We’ve encountered many people in training environments who still lug around their victim stories or their feeling of inadequacy or self-doubt. One of the biggest pleasures we get is to relieve them of those feelings and show them how easy it is to wrest control from the types of people who’ve terrorized them.
When you see pictographs of ancient tribes on cave walls, you’ll notice only two warring factions of different colors. There isn’t a third-color tribe in the middle, fulfilling the role of the United Nations. There are no pictographs of police. Have we gotten so far away from the truth that we honestly believe our safety and security are someone else’s responsibility? Do we believe “That’s just not the way things should be!” suffices? Please don’t say you’re down with that.
People fail to stand up in the moment because it’s hard. There’s no safe way to do dangerous things, and whenever violence is threatened, it may actually be used. So it’s not easy. We’re not suggesting it is. But what we know — and want you to know — is that you’re capable of doing it. #youtoo Kelly McCann’s Combatives for Street Survival book and the companion DVD set are available on Amazon.com.