The attacker is the one to pity but currently is not the victim!
These are the main points that I suppose about these men (yes—men). If you feel capable of getting in trouble like that, I will inform you what I see.
Still Feeling Attacked?
Most attackers don’t see themselves as aggressive villains. They’re stuck in an old (childhood) trauma so bad most of us cannot imagine. They’re still feeling the victim of yesteryear and are unaware that they switched roles.
Their violence is an attempt to finally feel safe and in power/control again.
Softly Say What You Feel
Search what you feel. Small feelings might be more important than big ones. But if you only have feelings of rage/disgust, etc., say them. I feel … because …. Try to guess why and say it. I will give you more control. You might turn others into friends who want to help you.
Humbly Say What You Need and Believe
If you feel you are denied what you need, say what you’re lacking. Or better, say what would fulfill that need. It will give you more control. You might turn others into friends who want to help you.
If you feel a value you hold dear has been violated, say what you believe in. Or better, say what you want others to acknowledge as valuable. If they disagree, try something deeper: OK, you can’t love my people but at least respect me like yourself. I’m not less worthy than anyone else. It’ll give you more control. You might turn others into friends who want to help you.
This way, you can avoid having to regret what you did in anger. Good luck!
But When You’re Attacked
When someone, unprovoked, points a finger (or weapon) at you, if you can safely leave the scene, leave. If not, leave their script or expectations.
Don’t try to be the hero if you have an alternative: to run.
People who just destroy for the fun of it, leave it to the police.
If you’re a people-pleaser, don’t assume your closeness will reassure them. Once, people close to them hurt them deeply. Closeness threatens them.
If strangers (try to) attack you, and you can’t get away, assume you can’t know what you’re up against. But, having no choice, remember this:
They attack against their deepest wishes, unaware the childhood attack that frightened them is over, and they survived and are safe now.
They expect you to counter-attack (Do if your dare!) or defend yourself (Please don’t!). Either will spell deep trouble. Say anything but those.
They hate following the script they’re in and need help to leave it.
Don’t say: Calm down. That is facilitating a fight. If you listen well, the angry person will automatically become more reasonable and less angry. But if you’re in danger, don’t count on that, and try to flee unexpectedly. (If the ‘angry’ person just fakes it, is not really upset, only aims to scare others, or only brainlessly rehearses set mantras, he won’t calm down.)
Surreptitiously, change the focus of the conversation by calmly, sub-friendly focusing on them, being their natural friend. Try these:
It really hurts, doesn’t it?
Don’t do this to yourself.
Beautiful sweater you’re wearing; where do you get that?
What can I get you? What do you need?
Guess out loud: Do you feel … because you need/value? (Don’t say: because of I/they … — that makes him powerless and angrier.)
If their blank stare leaves their eyes and they suddenly look confused, they’re waking up from their hopeless, dated script.
If they answer you: I need people like you to all die, give empathy: Did people like me so bother you?
Don’t say that you are sorry for bothering them. You’re not the issue. That’s entering their old script. Focus on them: I’m sorry to hear how much suffering people like me have caused you. Or perhaps better: Guess and ask them what their pain is: Did you feel threatened by people like me?
When they start sobbing, don’t interrupt them. They are getting over terrible childhood traumas. Getting closer to them might frighten them. When they can cry standing alone, they don’t need your hand or hug. When they do, they will get closer on their own initiative. Let them.
I survived two such attacks, which gives me confidence it can be done. But, I succeeded after a lot of prior training and still, there are no guarantees.