Episode #4 Transcript - Red Flags, Stalkers, and Self-Defense: Workplace and Personal Safety
[00:00:00] Kelly: Welcome back, and today we are taking questions from our listeners’ survey. Thank you to everyone who has responded. There is a plethora of questions in the survey that we can’t wait to dive into, but today we’re taking three specific questions, and we’re going to start off with the question from this listener: “How to approach people if you see red flags?” I wasn’t quite sure what the listener was alluding to, so I took it from a coworker scenario. “What do I do if a coworker is displaying inappropriate behaviors or is making my intuition alarm bells go off? How do I handle that?” So I’m going to jump right into that unless you have something.
Doug: Well, I mean, I think the question is a little bit confusing, and we’ll maybe we should [00:01:00] tackle it from two different angles because of the other angle I could see there is what do you do with one of your friends or contacts or partner is giving off red flags towards others. So, you know, one is how do I take care of myself when I’m confronted by a red flag that concerns me, i.e., your coworker, or how do I help somebody else who maybe is either intentionally or inadvertently giving off red flags to others and help them to see the light, so to speak.
Kelly: I like that approach too, and I like the two sides of it. That’s part of why we wanted to co-host this podcast is to bring different perspectives. So, I’ll kick it off with the coworker first. Somewhere I went is a coworker’s behaviors that are making my intuition alarm bells go off. So this is my coworker, and something about their behavior is making me uncomfortable. Maybe they’re being overly nice, and I thought of like platonic love bombing, or maybe they’re insistent on helping, so even after I [00:02:00]
Doug: Love bombing. Can you define that?
Kelly: Platonic love.
Doug: What is that?
Kelly: Okay, thank you. Good question, Doug. So love bombing comes up a lot of times in what we talk about, that narcissistic or coercive controlling relationships.
Somebody being overly nice to you in that dating scenario, making like saying all the right things, doing all the right things, over the top romantic gesture to overwhelm your senses and make you feel like, wow, this person is so nice. Now, not everyone who’s nice has ill intentions, but that’s a tactic used often by narcissists to distract you from the ways that they’re trying to control you or manipulate you. So in this instance, I call it platonic love bombing because this is a coworker scenario. This is not a relationship scenario. So thanks for pointing that out. [00:03:00] Going back to it. Okay, maybe it’s not so much of that overly nice. Maybe they’re simply insistent on always helping, even after you’ve said, “No thanks. I don’t need any extra hands on this project. I don’t need any extra eyeballs,” whatever it may be. It’s basically disregarding your boundaries even in a work scenario. And maybe they even use a little bit of what Gavin, Deb Becker calls typecasting. So it’s, I think of it as the backhanded compliment. “Oh, you don’t be one of those types. Don’t be so independent. You don’t need help from other people,” whatever it may be that makes you feel guilty for setting and enforcing a boundary. Practice what you will say to them to enforce your boundaries in a common direct. That is my first thought. If that behavior of a [00:04:00] coworker is making you uncomfortable, make sure you take the time to say, “Well, what exactly is making me uncomfortable?” Because the more direct and precise and detailed you can be about the behavior that’s making you uncomfortable, the more clear communication you can have with that individual. And I always recommend – nobody likes to be made fun of in a public situation or in a public area in front of other people. So if you feel comfortable, try and have at least an off-to-the-side or private conversation with that direct communication. “Hey, this behavior made me uncomfortable when you walked up behind me and started rubbing my back. That was not okay.”
Doug: Pat’s only, no rubs. No.
Kelly: Whatever it may be, but yes, so be direct and don’t be emotional is what I wanted to get through on [00:05:00] that.
Doug: Can we take our listeners back a little bit though in the process? And try not to get overly security geeky on it, but we all know that folks in the security space, particularly in the military spaces, use a UDA loop, right? UTIs being an acronym for observe, orient, decide, and act. And I think your scenario’s caught us in the middle of the loop. And so let’s pick it apart a little bit, right? And go, um, your individual has been approached by a coworker maybe multiple times, and something about it has stood out, right? So really what we want our listener to do is begin to pay more attention to that [00:06:00] spidey sense tingling, that observe, right? And move into the orient phase. What does this mean as it relates to me? Is this something that’s specific to me, or is this something that is specific to everybody? And help them process that decision because that moves them into that decision phase. If it’s just to you, then that may cause you to have to do something. If it’s a generic behavior by the individual, go ahead.
Kelly: And I want to say the caveat to that is even if, let’s say this coworker’s behavior, using the rubbing the back scenario, even if they do that to everyone else and it’s not okay with you as an individual, it’s okay to still say, “That’s my boundary.” Just wanting to clarify because so often. I’ve heard from women saying, well, when I said that makes me uncomfortable, then they said, well, I do it to everyone, so it’s not a big deal.
It’s like, that’s fine. You do it to anyone else. And apparently everybody else is comfortable with that.
Doug: Yeah, I get it. That was not what I intended to infer at all. And I guess my point is, I’m trying to think through what are the tool sets we can give our listeners to [00:07:00] evaluate their decision process and while they may land at the same point, they may not, they may decide to take a different tack in dealing with it if it is a more broadly based behavior as opposed to a specific targeted behavior.
Right. And so, they’ve observed it, they’ve oriented where they are relative to this behavior, and now they’re at the decision point of trying to think about what to do in this case. The decisions are to ignore, deflect, or confront directly – those are primary courses of action. Thinking through what that means and what they feel comfortable doing to best decide, the decision process is different for everyone given all the circumstances being the same. Your comfort level is different.
Kelly: The cliche “it depends” is foundational between Doug and me. Context matters. It’s up to you what you’re comfortable with, and we’re talking through different scenarios to give you ideas, to give you a place to start to say “Am I comfortable doing that or am I comfortable doing this?” And really to start the conversation, get your mind thinking, “What would I do if I was in that situation?” So excellent.
To your point of the ulu, the last letter is action. I think that’s another key part – you can’t not take action and expect things to change. So whether it is ignore, deflect, or confront, taking action is necessary. Personally, ignore isn’t taking action because most people escalate the situation when they’re told to just ignore it. It’s a testing of the boundaries situation. The sooner you can detect what behavior is making you uncomfortable by observation and decide that it’s not okay, the better. Make the decision to discuss it with the person in a calm way.
It does not do any good if you say it in a heated moment because it might not come out the way you want it to and might not come across as a strong boundary. Staying calm is important, and how that coworker responds to your boundary enforcement gives you the information you need to decide if further action is necessary. Do you need to talk to HR or your supervisor, or are they one of those individuals who doesn’t realize their behavior impacted you negatively? If they say they’re sorry and won’t do it again, it’s now a non-issue. Going forward, watch and stay alert to make sure they follow through, and it’s okay to remind them if it gets lax.
For the other half of the question, let’s take the same scenario where a coworker’s behavior could be misinterpreted, and you don’t happen to be the one bothered by it. How do you confront or help the individual engaging in that behavior to protect them from being misinterpreted? Even when you know they’ve been misinterpreted, are you going to be their wingman/woman in helping point out these potential risk areas that they haven’t seen while recognizing you may not have been invited to do so?
Kelly: That’s where I would hesitate because what’s comfortable or uncomfortable for me, what feels like a boundary encroachment might not be for other people. So if we said, “No, you have to say something,” I would watch the body language of the person to see if they’re uncomfortable and don’t know what to say or if they seem to be fine with that behavior. If I saw body language that told me, “Hmm I don’t know if they’re okay with that.”
I would approach that coworker or friend and say, “Hey, I saw you with our friendly coworker, and you didn’t look so comfortable. Are you okay?” And then leave it at that, not projecting or being pushy, just checking in with them.
Doug: I think that’s a good, healthy approach. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire though. And so pulling through, trying to evaluate that with the help of those who may have been offended will be a key component to addressing it if needed.
Kelly: So I’m curious because a lot of times we hear in society, men, you have to step up, you have to help be our up standards and call out your friends’ behavior that is unacceptable or whatever. And that made me think of the scenario, how you looked at the question. So what are your thoughts when it comes to that? Is how would you approach a male friend if you were concerned about their behaviors to women? Let’s be specific.
Doug: I think it depends. It depends on the nature of it. It depends on where you are, what the context is. I think at the end of the day, what you want to do is encourage people to recognize that they have the ability to stand up when they see something that is inappropriate or wrong, and call that behavior out as inappropriate or wrong. Whether it’s smacking somebody or rubbing their back in a way that’s clearly in an inappropriate context or hadn’t been invited as specific context saying, “Hey guys, you gotta think about that. You know, shouldn’t be doing that here, or shouldn’t be doing that at all,” depending upon that context. I think it’s not being afraid to engage or call that out. Now it takes a healthy self-awareness. It also takes a willingness to be called out on those behaviors and ideally in those healthy relationships with your friend group, whether this is female and female, male on male, or male and female, that explicit understanding that, “Hey, we hold each other accountable to doing the right thing or making the right choices.” And so often that conversation, people are afraid to have that level of conversation about accountability and behaviors. And so people don’t communicate well and they themselves caught up in having to react to what happened without having the same basis of understanding or same foundation of under.
Kelly: I think that’s a really good point, talking about, “Hey, that group, think of we’re gonna hold each other accountable.” I don’t think you need to have that explicit conversation of, “Hey everybody, we’re gonna hold each other accountable so that we don’t inappropriately do anything to anyone.” That’s not what you were-
Doug: No, but I don’t think it necessarily hurts either if you’ve, depending upon the friend group you’ve got, because we’ve all been in situations where we’ve seen that one person who just somehow manages to always find that line and step right over it. And then the line’s never been defined, but everybody knows it as soon as the line got crossed. Well, what was it about that, that we all knew, and what was it about the nature of the relationships with those individuals that nobody had thought that that guy didn’t understand the boundary or that line was to begin with? And so now you’re sitting there going, “Do we address it? Do we not?” You know, those sorts of things. And I do think it’s better to be aligned in essence with folks.
Doug: …And not live in fear of actually calling somebody out on their BS.
Kelly: and you would hope that in a friend group, in my mind, I’m thinking of a tight friend group. These are people that you’ve known for years or known for a while. This isn’t a new friend group. And if you’ve known them for a while, then it’s, you don’t even need to have a group discussion. If you as an individual feel like, Hey, that person stepped over the line, I’m gonna have a private conversation with them and say, I’ve seen, I don’t wanna say call it out, that comes with a negative connotation. Just having the hard discussion or the difficult discussion that maybe you’re uncomfortable even bringing up to your friend, but it could go a long way.
Kelly: and helping them not do that again or see a perspective that they hadn’t thought of, because maybe that was normal.
Doug: It may be time to find a new friend group sometimes.
Kelly: Well, depending on how they respond, because if they’re receptive to it, then we all make mistakes. We’re all human. It’s how we respond to constructive criticism.
Doug: I guess I was thinking more of if you find yourself in a consistent place where the same person or there’s always misalignment between where those lines are.
Kelly: Oh yeah.
Doug: Um, it might make your life harder than it has to be. Right, that way back to the beginning discussions you and I have had over the last couple years, the best way to get off the access to never gotten on it to begin with, and that includes in those relationships with friends and things like that.
Kelly: and I think that’s important when people, because I see this in friendships that have been going on for years, and suddenly they’re not as friendly anymore. You know, Oh, do you see so-and-so anymore? No, not really. And people get uncomfortable with, wait, why aren’t you friends anymore? Well, and again, this isn’t necessarily saying something like this scenario happened where there was a confrontation and it didn’t go well. I want to make it socially acceptable to understand when friendships go through chapters of life. You know, the friend groups that I hung out with before I had kids changed because we didn’t have kids all at the same time.
Kelly: And it’s, yeah, it’s not that I didn’t wanna be friends with them anymore. It was just the chapter of life. The season of life I was in. And I wish that was more recognizable, or at least not such a big deal if you’ve hung out with somebody and you were great friends and then sometimes it just, life happens and you’re not as close, you don’t have the availability to do as much activities together as you once did. So if you found yourself in a situation where you’re like, gosh, this behavior keeps showing up, or this is just not the type of people I wanna be around. It’s completely okay to start line and move on.
Doug: Yeah, to start decreasing your time with them, because to me, if it’s mental anguish to you that you have to deal with this, how am I gonna talk to this person? It’s not worth your energy, because technically it’s not your problem. You’re observing somebody displaying inappropriate behaviors to another person, and you’re trying to be a friend and say, Hey, not sure you’re aware, that’s not appropriate or that’s not cool. It’s making the other person uncomfortable and being sort of that upstander, but it’s not, doesn’t have to be your job to stay there and guard or be aware of that behavior and always being on the lookout for it. To me, that’s exhausting.
Doug: All right. Well, I think we should tackle the second question here, which is what do I do if I have a stalker?
Kelly: So what’s your…
Doug: I’m, well, I’ve never had one Kelly, and that’s not an invitation.
Kelly: I have never had a stalker either, and I’ve known plenty of people who have had both female, male, romantic, and simply people who got…
Doug: So what have you seen work?
Kelly: What have I seen work as?
Doug: That worked well in that individual or those individuals dealing with the fact that they were getting unwanted attention from a stalker.
Kelly: When I talk about stalking, I always like to bring up the definition cuz I think it’s one thing that is not as well known or not as common knowledge as it should be. By most definitions, and let’s say the judicial system in general, stalking is two or more unwanted contacts by the same person after you’ve explicitly said, “do not contact me anymore.” Contacts are any means of communication, could be email, text, voicemails, phone calls, sending packages, sending letters. So it doesn’t have to stay in the same medium of communication, two or more contacts.
Doug: Okay, so let me ask you a question, a clarifying question. We use the term fairly loosely, right? We talk about “stalking” my ex’s Facebook, for instance. Unless that individual has said, “don’t come on my social media,” it’s not actually stalking.
Kelly: Right. It’s used in a sarcastic way, and I think sometimes when you hear somebody saying that, they’re actually indicating that they’re concerned but couching it in humor. We have an opportunity at that early stage of the discussion to say, “Let’s talk about how this actually makes you feel. Do you feel uncomfortable about it? If so, have you done this? Have you thought through this?”
Kelly: From the Target’s perspective. See, and I was looking from the person saying, I’m stalking my ex’s Facebook profile.
Doug: They may need intervention too.
Kelly: Yes. You’re very right. It all goes back to getting curious. Well, tell me more about that. Because they could be using dark humor to tell you they’re afraid or concerned about a behavior without being overt.
Because they’re not sure if they should be concerned or not, but they don’t want to make a big deal out of it if it’s not. So that’s why I think getting really clear about the definition of stalking behaviors and then getting curious when people use that, even if it’s in jest. Wait a minute, you just said your ex is stalking you.
What do you mean? It doesn’t have to go all scary and intense, but it is good to get curious. Two or more unwanted contacts. Okay. If you feel like that is happening to you, number one, don’t talk to them anymore. Even you responding, saying, stop talking to me, that is still a response. So ghost them, to use a term, completely disengage, block them, shut it down, and keep evidence. That’s how I feel. What do you feel about it?
Doug: No, I agree. I think in disengaging completely, documenting how you got where you are, and then evaluating what your next courses of action are. And I think it’s going to depend on whether it’s strictly via electronic means versus in-person means. Is it somebody that keeps showing up at the same bar or restaurant you like to hang out at versus somebody who just keeps sending you unwanted pictures via. Two different mechanisms. Ultimately, both could be viewed as stalking. One may be viewed as more physically threatening than the other. And so I think each individual has to go through their evaluation process of what is the threat that they’re feeling here? Is it an intrusion of privacy versus a physical threat?
Kelly: Another piece that I want to bring up about collecting evidence is being able to look back at the pattern at which the communications are happening. Are they the time between communications getting shorter, meaning they used to text once a week. Now they’re texting once a day. Being able to see that pattern is helpful in the overall assessment of whether things are improving or are they getting worse. Do we need to raise our alertness? Is the risk profile been increased because of the tactics used? So keeping that information, keeping that evidence does help. Then if you get to a point where you as an individual feel like, it’s making me more uncomfortable. It is impacting my day-to-day life because I am afraid, then that’s good to have that information because you do need to report this. The stalker doesn’t want you to because then they have you under their control. But if you report it, understanding that depending on the verbiage that is communicated in those messages, this is going to start out as a civil matter, not necessarily a criminal matter, and why it’s so important to go seek professional help. Go make a report because those individuals, law enforcement community, they are going to understand the laws in your area and your location wise and they’ll be able to let you know and guide you. I had an individual that I was working with and it was male, female, but it wasn’t romantic in nature. It was more of a business and that was really a challenge because she did have fear and it was impacting her day-to-day life, her work, her career, and she didn’t know where to go to get the information to understand, well, wait, is this criminal? Wait, is this civil? What do I do? What are my next steps? Am I doing enough? What should I be doing? So having people who are experts in that be able to validate, be able to give you guidance is going to help you feel like you’re getting some of your control back.
Doug: And at the end of the day, that’s largely what you’re trying to do is figure out how do I gain control of my life back? How do I get rid of the fear that I’m confronting here and how do I keep myself and my family safe?
Kelly: We’ll have all of these takeaways for any of you listening in the episode key for this episode. So if you have concerns or know of someone who has concerns in regards to either of these two previous questions, we’re gonna have all of this broken down in the episode key on the website. So you’ll be able to go to the Diamond Arrow group.com podcast, go to this specific episode, and you’ll have all of that information.
Doug: I wanna just note there, there is no definitive decision matrix that says, now’s the time to block them. Now’s the time to go to the police. Now’s the time to get a restraining order. Like there is no silver bullet for any of that. It’s always gonna be situationally dependent and you’re gonna have to work through your own process of when do I need to get help and how quickly and do I escalate up this path?
There are times where a hundred percent getting a restraining order is the right thing to do. There are times where a restraining order may escalate a situation be out of control. And every one of those situations is gonna be different. It’s why it’s gonna be so key to ultimately have access to experienced individuals, professionals who can guide you through these decision processes.
Kelly: Correct. And listening to you, Doug, that made me think of the OODA Loop again, that observe, orient, decide, act. And for anyone who’s hearing the OODA Loop and going, what? My brain is exploding. You use this decision-making process all the time, every day in aspects of your life that have nothing to do with personal safety, so don’t let it overwhelm you. Don’t let the acronym intimidate you. You do this process already.
Doug: I mean, the example I give everybody is when you’re driving, you’re constantly using a new loop while you’re driving. When you see that car put its turn signal on, or when you see the car that starts to move to the center of the lane and you’re pretty sure they’re gonna turn right, and so you’re sitting there watching, are they actually gonna turn left or turn right, and so you’re taking in that information, you’re orienting it to yourself, you’re making a decision, and then the action follows that. And we do it a thousand times every time we get in the car, we do it at the grocery store.
We know how to do this. It’s just the verbiage that gives you the tool to think.
Kelly: Yeah, the articulation skills and in my opinion, when you understand, oh, things make sense and you can go through the process faster. For me, I can see it in my head and then it makes the process that much more efficient. So, well, the last one, the myth busting I think we can get into is the question got brought up of self-defense tools and they said, “What tools are not realistic for personal safety and what tools are better?” And they gave the example of somebody telling me to carry my keys between my fingers, lipstick knife. I’m not even sure what that is for right off the top of my head, but I can imagine. And then they asked any self-defense moves to do first if we’re being attacked, and both of us had the same initial response. But why don’t I’ll let you dive into Doug first.
Doug: Well, I guess my initial response was twofold. First, your jurisdiction matters as to what tools you can have access to legally or not. There are states where concealed carry is easy, quite viable, makes a lot of sense. And there are states where it’ll make you a felon in a heartbeat. It may be legal, but the kind of gun you can carry may not be. So your jurisdiction matters. Anything that looks like knuckles in some jurisdictions is bad, including knuckles, brass knuckles, including the cute little ones that look like a bunny with or cat ears that you can buy on Amazon that are made out of hard plastics. In some jurisdictions, those are illegal. Pepper sprays…
Kelly: Really? Okay. Hold up. I did not know that. I got given a pair of those. I call them cat ears. I don’t think any tool is good or bad. I think there are pros and cons to everything, and some have more cons than pros, and that’s what I’ll say. But those cat ears did not work for…
Doug: Which is cool. I totally get that. But there are, in the state I am in, any sort of knuckles are illegal. So you have to be aware of what your jurisdiction allows. The second thing I will say is almost anything is better than nothing, with the caveat that you’ve spent time learning how to use it. If you’ve got something and it’s mostly there to keep you believing you’re safe, it’s just a palliative for you. You’re not gonna be able to deploy it when you need to anyway. So that’s a significant caveat, that you have trained with and learned how to use whatever it is. But I would say even with the myth busters, keys in your fingers is better than nothing. It’s definitely not what either one of us would recommend someone pursue using, but it doesn’t matter if you carry pepper spray or any of the other self-defense sprays such as mace on your key ring, if you have not practiced with and know how to use them, and ideally practiced with and know how to use them under stress. You will definitely not be able to deploy this thing in a highly stressful situation if you’ve not practiced how to take the safety off, how to put it into your hand, or how to deploy it. That’s the third part of the question, which is what self-defense moves should I first use? It’s going to depend on what you’re comfortable with, but start training in whatever that is, whether it’s actually BJJ or Krav Maga or any other physical art, whether it’s a tool such as a spray or a firearm or a taser. Learning how to use those things and being forced to use them under some level of stress or duress is going to be key.
Kelly: And how would you recommend, what is the word I’m trying to figure out? Putting yourself under a stressful situation, but not actually waiting until you’re attacked. Like I get that you’re not gonna be able to simulate your body and how you’re gonna react, how you’re gonna adrenalize, but what is the closest way to doing that artificially? That was the word I was looking for. How do you artificially create a more stressful situation to practice?
Doug: It’s interesting. So, you can get a concealed carry permit in some states for $10 that’s valid for five years, and you can buy a firearm for $250 at Pawn shop or a gun store. But that doesn’t mean that you’re prepared to use that. The statement I’ve seen is you should spend something on the odds of a thousand dollars a year on training and ammo in order to develop proficiency. Because at the end of the day when you’re in front of a judge and the judge is asking you about the decision matrix you went through to decide to deploy lethal force in your self-defense, they’re gonna want to know that you have the training under your belt to have made that judgment in that moment. I think so training with instructors, whether it’s in martial arts, firearms or knives, or other non-lethal tools, is key because your instructors can help put you in situations that artificially escalate the stresses. It’s harder to do it yourself, but you can do things like run, lift weights, and elevate your heart rate. You can make decisions in the dark, etc. You can do some things to do that, but it’s better to start doing that within a class context with instructors in whatever tool you plan to deploy.
Kelly: Yeah. And that scenario-based training, I’ve attended trainings that had a lot of scenarios that we had to go through, and personally I loved that. They were safe scenarios, but just
Doug: Which is cool. I totally get that. But there are-
Kelly: But I didn’t realize it could be, I could be a felon in some areas if I-
Doug: There are, in this state, any sort of knuckles are illegal, which is-
Kelly: Even plastic ears. Huh?
Doug: So you have to be aware of what your jurisdiction allows. The second thing I will say is almost anything is better than nothing, with the caveat that you’ve spent time learning how to use it. And if you’ve got something and it’s there mostly to keep you believing you’re safe, it’s just a palliative for you. You’re not gonna be able to deploy it when you need to anyway. So that’s a significant caveat, that you have trained with and learned how to use whatever it is. But I would say even with the myth busters, keys in your fingers are better than nothing. It’s definitely not what either one of us would recommend somebody pursue using. But it doesn’t matter if you carry pepper spray or any of the other self-defense sprays, such as mace, on your key ring if you have not practiced with and know how to use them, and ideally practice with and know how to use them under stress. The third part of the question is what self-defense moves should I first use? It’s gonna be based on what you’re comfortable with, but start training in whatever that is, whether it’s actually BJJ or Krav Maga or any other of the physical arts, whether it’s a tool such as a spray or a firearm or a taser. Learning how to use those things and then being forced to use them under some level of stress or duress is gonna be key.
Kelly: And how would you recommend, what is the word I’m trying to figure out, putting yourself under a stressful situation, but not actually waiting until you’re attacked? Like, I get that you’re not gonna be able to simulate how your body and how you’re gonna react, how you’re gonna adrenalize, but what is the closest way to doing that artificially? That was the word I was looking for. How do you artificially create a more stressful situation to practice?
Doug: It’s interesting. So, you can get a concealed carry permit in some states for $10 that’s valid for five years, and you can buy a firearm for $250 at a pawn shop or a gun store. But that doesn’t mean that you’re prepared to use that. The statement I’ve seen is you should spend something on the order of a thousand dollars a year on training and ammo in order to get or develop proficiency. Because at the end of the day, when you’re in front of a judge and the judge is asking you about the decision matrix you went through to decide to deploy lethal force in your self-defense, they’re gonna want to know that you have actually the training under your belt to have made that judgment in that moment. Training with instructors, whether it’s in martial art, whether it’s with firearms or knives, or whether it’s with other non-lethal tools, is gonna be key, because your instructors can help put you in situations that artificially escalate the stresses. It’s better to start doing that within a class context, with instructors in whatever tool you plan to deploy.
Kelly: Yeah. And that scenario-based training, I do, I’ve done/attended trainings that had a lot of scenarios that we had to go through, and personally, I loved that. They were safe scenarios, safe situations, whatever it may be, but just being able to, because it’s not as simple as, okay, draw, shoot every holster or whatever the
Doug: Just because you have a gun does not mean you can shoot somebody who is coming at you. You need to reasonably believe that your life is in danger. The circumstances of that are gonna matter in that courtroom. If you have the ability to say there’s no perfect answer to it. There are definitely situations where somebody’s gonna say, “I know the gentleman who was attacking me was unarmed. However, I believed my life was in danger.” And that’s a totally supportable statement to have made. It may be a legal self-defense response to use lethal force. There may be another situation where it absolutely was not, and the circumstances of that case will matter. In principle, you cannot use lethal force as a civilian against a non-lethal threat, and you may even include drawing a weapon to stop a. It may be inappropriate escalation of threat. We had a case here in my state not too long ago where somebody tried to scare off a protestor by firing a warning shot. That person went to jail because a warning shot was not a warranted escalation of threat in this environment at that level of threat. The court said they were escalating with a lethal.
Kelly: And why it’s so important to train with knowledgeable people. It’s not just about how many rounds can you get in center mass of the target. It’s, do you understand the self-defense laws in your jurisdiction, in your state? Is it a right to retreat, or stand your ground, or all the other lingo that can be used? You need to understand if you have a means to escape. There are places where that needs to be shown that you did everything in your power to get away, to get to safety. Even if the intruder is in your house and stealing all of your stuff, if they’re not threatening you and you decide to pull out the firearm, there’s going to be legal implications in that situation. It’s not, “Well, they were taking my TV.” You can replace your TV. You just killed someone, and you can’t say that’s necessarily self-defense in some jurisdictions it is, and others it’s not. So it really matters. Back to the core of the question where the questioner said, “What is the one self-defense move that I need to know?” Something like that.
Kelly: Any self-defense moves to do first if being attacked?
Doug: I don’t think there’s any answer to that question. But if we were to distill it down to being physically attacked and unarmed, it’s literally gonna be go as hard and as fast as you can and as loud as you can. Speed and violence of action. The individual attacking you is gonna make assumptions about you being weaker and slower. I don’t care if it’s kicking, stomping on feet, slugging in the face, elbowing in the throat. It’ll depend on how and where you’re attacked. When it’s time to go, you go as hard and as fast as you possibly can, and as loud as you possibly can.
Kelly: I concur. Listen, do everything possible to avoid being attacked. The best self-defense move is to get away, but if you’re being attacked, do everything in your power to cause as much pain as quickly as possible and inflict as much damage as you can before getting away.
Doug: You’re in a fight to get away, your goal is still to get away. You don’t have to go rounds. It’s causing damage and getting away.
Doug: For our listeners who have never taken a class, try some classes. Figure out what you enjoy doing, because at the end of the day, if it’s not fun for you, you’re not gonna train and be proficient in whatever it is. So if you’re a gun person or you think you might be a gun person, that’s fine.
Take some classes and figure that out. Figure out what the right gun is for you that you enjoy and feel comfortable shooting. I know a lot of people that got small guns because they wanted something easily concealed, and then they find out that small guns don’t absorb a lot of recoil, and they transfer recoil and it hurts your hand and it’s not fun to shoot.
So they don’t shoot well. If they don’t shoot, they’re not gonna be proficient with this tool. When it comes time to deploy, if it’s a martial art, BJ J or whatever, and they turn out they don’t like grappling or they don’t wanna get sweaty with people on the ground, then they’re not gonna go to practice and they won’t actually have the skillsets.
This is a learning continuum for all of us. It’s never a once and done deal. It’s a skillset set that has to be trained to in practice in order to be best deployed, and have the best decision matrix when everything is going south.
Kelly: And your body can’t go where your mind hasn’t. So if you’ve never thought through what you would do, if you’ve never had any training, you may get stuck in the indecision of the AL Loop of not acting. So it’s so important to go through all that, and don’t be afraid that you’re not gonna be perfect the first time around.
You will probably suck. Honestly, if you’ve never tried doing something, we were all beginners at some point, at some stage, and find what works for you. And females, especially, don’t be afraid if you’re going to a physical self-defense class to grapple, to practice, to try things in a safe manner on people of different sizes, on guys.
If you’re going to an all-women’s self-defense, it’s going to be different than when you get attacked by…
Doug: Yeah. It’s not necessarily preparing your mind for it. Your mind hasn’t gone there before and there’s still the potential of intimidation in the sense of, “Well, okay, yeah, I was fine with that 120-pound whatever, but that’s, you know, 200 and…”
Kelly: Six, five, yeah. Right, and that taller, larger, more muscular individual can still be defeated. You can, even if you’re a hundred pound soaking wet, still cause damage, cuz guess what? Joints break. You know, some of those same things just need some force behind them.
Doug: …amount of elbow or a knee. It doesn’t need to be very much in order to break those.
Kelly: Right. So…
Doug: …pounds for an elbow.
Kelly: I, and this is not my wheelhouse, Doug, so you would probably know more than…
Doug: I think it’s something like this, like seven pounds of pressure to break an elbow. And not that I would advocate people learning this, but their point is size may not matter that much knowledge may matter more, and the ability to execute and apply that knowledge in a stressful situation.
Kelly: And for the listener who asked this question specifically, the carry the keys between the fingers, I want to quickly mention, I live in a state that has four seasons. So people’s clothing and exterior, like outerwear, that’s gonna be impacted. So think through those things as, okay, they’re wearing a thick canvas jacket, and the collar’s up.
Doug: Yeah, keys are irrelevant.
Kelly: Keys are not gonna do much. So that’s why it’s so important to think through, okay, where do I live? What do I feel comfortable with? Honestly, for me now, I have a fob. I don’t even have a key. I have none on my key ring, so to speak, anymore. So that’s just not an option because I literally don’t have them. The lipstick knife, my 2 cents on this unpopular opinion is I don’t like tools that have multiple uses, one that is every day and one that is potentially for self-defense.
Doug: My suspicion is that was not a tool with dual use, but was a tool disguised as something else.
Kelly: Okay, and that could very well be. I just always say, because my Murphy’s Law for myself is I would do the wrong thing at the wrong time and end up hurting myself. So I’m a big proponent of the tool has its purpose and I know its purpose, and then I have multiple options.
Doug: With the exception of your hair stays that I know you like, that you use so that you are not left unprotected while jogging, that hold your hair in place.
Kelly: But it doesn’t hold my hair. That’s what everyone laughs. They’re like, I have to have a ponytail up for my hair stay because otherwise, it doesn’t hold my hair up. I have such thick hair.
Doug: I felt like the tool she was talking about was more like a throwback to the OSS where they had things like these little coin knives that you could keep in your pocket and it would blend in with a group of coins, a regular coin. So for those listening and not, I don’t know, we don’t have this recording on video, but literally it’s the size of a quarter or maybe a nickel, and then there’s a little knife on one side that’s attached, so you can flick it open and have a little bit of a knife.
Kelly: Correct. Not that, to me, is even worse than the keys.
Doug: That was more for the OSS. It was an escape and evasion type tool to have when you needed to be able to get out of a situation where you might have been captured or whatever. But to me, any of those disguised tools like that are too slow to deploy and likely not a good self-defense option. And so it’s far better to keep it simple. Pick one of the major categories of things like a firearm, physical fitness, martial arts training, or some of the sprays and other tools like that. And then go get training on it and learn how to use it, and maybe get training on a couple of them and figure out what you like best, what you’re best able to use, and what you can use in your situation.
Kelly: One thing I like to bring up, it’s a little self-promotion plug. It goes in line with the training in every MACE spray that is purchased from my website from thediamondarrowgroup.com store. I send a free water trainer, so everyone who purchases a mace spray automatically gets a free water trainer and [00:51:00] what the water trainer is…
It’s the same shape, it’s the same size as the actual spray, but it’s water instead of the pepper spray, and it’s made by mace. So that’s why it’s very similar. And I say practice using it, see what the stream of spray looks like. See how far it reaches because again, I want you to practice using it.
It’s amazing to me how even with the water trainer, whenever I do in-person presentations, I usually have some sort of water fight with the trainers so that they can see. They can practice defeating the safety mechanism on the spray and pressing their thumb down to spray it. They laugh and it’s fun, but even with that, they still kind of glitch a little bit.
Like, oh, I’m gonna hurt myself. It’s water. It’s fine. You’re not gonna hurt anything. But that’s that initial, and it always reminds me, how many [00:52:00] people have bought or been given gifted a spray? They have no idea what the spray pattern is, whether it’s a mist or a stream, what/how far it reaches and that it expires and that some have UV dye.
All of these things we need to be talking about and bringing up. So, yes, training all for it. Any takeaways as we wrap up here, Doug, any big “aha’s” for you?
Doug: No, I think…
Kelly: Hey, we gotta remember this…
Doug: No, the big things for me are, you know, Stay Curious, right? Always be willing to learn. If you’re gonna deploy a tool, whether the tool is knowledge, whether the tool is a physical tool, make sure that you know how to do it and you’ve gotten comfortable, but through training.
And then make sure you understand your own decision matrix for escalation of response, too. [00:53:00]
Kelly: That seems like a very taoism response. Can you go a little bit more in depth on that decision matrix of escalation?
Doug: You’re back to that observe, orient, decide, and act. You’re paying attention to what’s happening. You have the knowledge and skillset set on which to apply a decision process. And you’re working through going, “Okay, I can, I need to escalate this, or I have other pathways to deescalate or extricate myself from the situation.”
And so that you have, but that comes through training and through working through that process yourself.
Kelly: No, I love it. That’s great. My takeaway is it depends and there’s no one solution for anything. No one solution for any scenario. No one easy answer for any question. No one perfect tool because it all depends on you as an individual, your comfort levels… I do think that the more comfortable you [00:54:00] get with any tool, no matter what it is, that’s gonna impact how you carry yourself as you walk down the street, which is also a self-defense move.
Doug: I would.
Kelly: Well, the way you carry yourself, and Justin and I in the last episode, talked a little bit about this is how you carry yourself. If you carry yourself with confidence, that’s also going to be a deterrent for a potential.
Doug: potentially people come into this world or into the questions, they’re watching this for the first time because they’re scared, right? And they’re afraid that going further down this path may make them paranoid. And in fact, I would argue that if they’ve worked through it the right way with the right trainers, that going down this path will give ’em greater confidence.
That confidence will reflect in how they carry themselves on the street in a real sense, that will reduce their threat profile to bad guys because bad guys are looking for the easiest threats. And it will give them confidence, not paranoia in assessing the world around them.
Kelly: as Justen said last week is make yourself a hard target. That’s what we’re trying to do is make you increase your confidence in your own personal safety skills so that you can go and do all the really cool things out there in life that you have available to you, and that’s why, a quick note to our sponsor again with Mace that just came on board so awesome is because that’s really what they’re about as well, is this, is, this is not about a singular tool.
This is not about a product. This is about giving confidence to individuals and why we’re doing this podcast is having the real conversations and discussing all different perspectives. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time. Again, thank you to our listeners for joining us. You can get all of the great takeaways in the episode keys on thediamondarrowgroup.com.
Make sure to go check that out, download that, leave a review on our podcast. Let us know what you think, and we’re always taking listener questions to discuss on the show. So if you have a question that’s been burning in your mind that you don’t know who to go to, go to the website and you can leave us a question.
We’d be happy to answer it. Make sure you follow the Diamond Arrow Group on Instagram and the Texas Spy Dad Doug’s Instagram handle so that you don’t miss out on any of the latest tips and tricks. We’re constantly discussing current events, situations happening. What we can do as society to be, or as individuals, I should say, to increase our personal safety and our day-to-day lives.
And with that, I will sign off. Thank you, Doug, for joining us, and we will see or hear on Talk to you all later.