Non-Physical Self-Defence (psychological defence) is probably the most important type of defence there is. It means defending yourself mentally and emotionally. Self-Defence begins as soon as you are being threatened. This does not have to just mean physically threatened. Verbal threats, mental threats, emotional threats and even financial threats need to be dealt with in a similar fashion. Some people like to call it psychological warfare but these are generally the same people who are initiating the attack. Psychological attacks can be delivered on purpose or by accident and the hardest part is that sometimes you even need to defend yourself psychologically from friends and family. What are we talking about? Negativity is all around us and it affects us greatly. If our environment and the people around us are negative, then it is hard to be positive. Some people will purposely try to drag you down due to their own jealous nature. Others can drag you down by accident because they simply have bad attitudes. At this stage, you must know what we are talking about! Many people live their lives, oblivious to how much they are affected by others. We inflict and receive a lot of psychological damage on a daily basis. Diagnosis is 90% of the cure, so it is important to spot your psychological attackers.
Attacker no. 1: The person on the street. We encounter plenty of heated moments in our day to day life. Petty arguments, road rage and many situations which are beyond our control.
DEFEND YOURSELF! How? The first step is to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Notice that I use the word unnecessary’. This is because some confrontation is necessary like standing up for your rights e.g. bringing something back to a shop for a refund because it is faulty. Other situations are completely unnecessary. Road rage is a perfect example. Don’t let anyone push your buttons. Don’t get angry. I’m sure everyone has experienced a heated situation, which left you in a bad mood for the whole day. It’s just not worth it so don’t entertain these situations. Continue on with your agenda. If you can’t avoid an incident then try to nullify it.
Attacker no 2: Friends! Is this a typo? Nope! It can be very hard sometimes to decipher who really is a good friend and who is not. Have you ever told a friend about your plans and ambitions only to have them look at you funny? I had this one friend’ who would always ask me what I was currently working on. When I would tell him, he would grit his teeth in anger and try to smile and say Oh.. that’s great’. Then when I saw him again he would tell me that he had just done a lot of amazing stuff (coincidentally similar to my plans!) and he would look thrilled that he had beaten me. Of course, this only lasted until he asked me again what my plans were and the cycle would start again! The strange thing was that this guy had a lot of nice qualities and I don’t think he meant to be so competitive but he just couldn’t stop. This eventually wore me down and I just couldn’t be around him anymore. Even though it may be hard, sometimes you must let negative people go. If someone is making you unhappy or dragging you down, you need to defend yourself. Don’t be mean but do move on.
Attacker no. 3: Family! If only you could pick your family, huh? Family members can do devastating damage to your mental state, especially if they are unsupportive. They may not mean to be and they might only be worried about you but they can still drag you down. With families it is a bit more complicated. You don’t really want to have to ignore a family member unless it really is a bad situation that can’t be resolved. Communication is the key. Not necessarily what you say but also what you don’t say! Above all, never let anyone convince you that you are not able to do something. Here is the corny bit: The best way to rid your life of a lot of negativity can be summed up in one word. FORGIVENESS. Forgive others and let go. You must understand that this is an entirely selfish process. If you stay angry at somebody then they still have control over you. If you forgive them, then you are free. Forgiveness also goes for you too. Forgive yourself. We are always torturing ourselves about past mistakes and regrets. Forgive yourself and let it go. You owe it to yourself. Focus on the future and maximise your positivity. That’s what non-physical self-defence is really about. Happy Living!
By Robert Devane