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Body Language in Confrontational Situations

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Title: Body Language in Confrontational Situations


1
Body Language in Confrontational Situations
  • Adapted from a Doctoral Dissertation Research
    Project
  • Bachem Baruchbar (M.S. Communications) INIS
  • Margott Heinz-Chaffe (M.S. Clinical Psychology)
    FBI Ret.
  • Dennis Moon (M.S. Forensic Psychology) USMS Ret.

2
Definitions
  • Body Language - How you physically present
    yourself to others. Body language has been
    proven to be an extremely powerful viewer into
    the inner workings of the human psyche.
  • Confrontation - A stressful, generally unwanted
    combination of emotional, verbal, mental, or
    physical assaults upon a person or persons
    senses. Confrontation usually engenders human
    emotions such as fear, anger, disgust,
    superiority, inferiority, sexual aggression,
    anguish, and self -doubt to name a few.

3
Types of Body Language
  • Positive - Usually creates a non-threatening,
    bonded, mutual relationship between parties
    involved in a confrontational situation.
  • Negative - Usually intensifies the already
    present emotional negativity found in most
    confrontational situations.
  • Neutral - Usually has little or no effect on
    conflicted parties in a confrontational situation.

4
Body Language Top Ten Quick List for Sports
Officials
  • Positve Body Language
  • Head Level
  • Eye Contact
  • Hands Down
  • Palms Open
  • Feet Shoulder Width
  • Head Cocked
  • Arm fold with Chin Touch
  • Lean in
  • Nod head
  • Rub Hands to end
  • Neg Body Language
  • Look Down
  • Look Away
  • Step Back (Exception)
  • Touch mouth, nose, throat
  • Clench Fist
  • Cross Arms
  • Hands on Hips
  • Point (Exception)
  • Hands in front of chest
  • Hands behind back

5
Positive Body Language Details
  • Head Level I will not be intimidated - I will
    be treated as an equal or superior.
  • Eye Contact I have nothing to hide. I am not
    fearful. (Beware of prolonged eye contact. This
    becomes a stare-down and escalates into a power
    struggle. Maintain eye contact for a few
    seconds, then look at the nose or cheek then back
    to the eyes. Do not drop your eyes!!)
  • Hands Down I am not aggressive toward you at
    this time. I do not feel threatened by you yet.
  • Palms Open I am presently receptive to your
    concerns.

6
  • Feet Shoulder Width I am ready to take any
    physical position which is most advantageous to
    our confrontation.
  • Head Cocked I am presently interested in what
    you are doing and saying.
  • Arm fold with chin touch I am evaluating the
    physical and verbal comments you are giving me.
  • Lean In I am comfortable with who I am and the
    situation I am facing. I am not intimidated.
  • Nod Head I am interested in what you are
    presenting and understand that you have a
    concern. (Be careful here. Do not nod your head
    when the other person makes a false or accusatory
    statement.

7
  • Rub Hands to End Once you have made a decision
    and have decided to end the confrontation, state
    what your decision is while rubbing your hand
    softly in front of you in a non-threatening
    manner.

8
Negative Body Language Details
  • Look Down I am submissive to you and your
    confrontational attitude. You physically and
    emotionally dominate me.
  • Look Away I am uncomfortable with the
    situation. I cant look at you because you have
    more power. (Looking away and also looking down
    at the same time is also a sure sign of sexual
    dominance.)
  • Step Back I am afraid of you, the situation, or
    both. (Remember, there is an exception to this
    rule which will be discussed later)

9
  • Touch Mouth or Nose or Threat
  • Mouth I do not approve of you and I am afraid
    to speak openly. I am not sure of myself.
  • Nose I am nervous about this confrontation. I
    am not sure what is going to happen.
  • Throat I am frightened by you and the
    situation I am in.
  • Clench Fists I am very angry at you and want to
    punish you for placing me in this situation. I
    am more powerful than you. I am in control.
  • Cross Arms I am defensive. I have made up my
    mind. I resist any attempt by you to communicate
    with me.
  • Hands on Hips I am in authority here and you
    are subservient to my position. You have little
    or no standing with me. I am going to be
    confrontational to you.

10
  • Point I challenge you to disobey me. You are
    subservient and must do as I say. I am your
    master. (Remember that there is an exception to
    this rule which will be explained later.)
  • Hands in Front of Chest (Palms Out) This
    gesture is when the hands are close to the body.
    It is universally interpreted as meaning I am not
    responsible for what happened or is happening.
    Someone else is to blame. I do not have control
    since its not my fault.
  • Hands Behind Back I am angry and have something
    to hide from you. You cant see the real me.

11
Verbal Control of Confrontational Situations
  • Body Language and voice control must be in
    harmony with one another. Proper body language
    is rendered impotent when accompanied by poor
    grammar and loss of voice control.
  • Stress causes the following physical reactions
  • Face becomes red and flushed
  • Body becomes ridged and stiff
  • Breathing becomes rapid and shallow
  • Eyes widen
  • Sweat breaks out
  • Voice escalates
  • Sentences become very short
  • Teeth clench

12
Verbal Control of Confrontational Situations
  • Almost all stress related reactions can be
    controlled by breath control. You must
    consciously breath. When you see or feel a
    confrontational situation beginning to develop,
    immediately take 1 or 2 deep breaths and relax
    your diaphragm. Deep breathing tells your
    subconscious that the threat is over or lessened.
    This relaxes the muscles of the face and vocal
    cords.

13
Verbal Control of Confrontational Situations
  • When you speak, speak from the diaphragm rather
    than the throat.
  • Imagine yourself speaking in a calm, confident
    manner. Pause momentarily before you begin to
    speak.
  • The faster and higher the other person in the
    situation talks, the slower and lower you should
    speak. A deep, measured voice is interpreted as
    being in charge and capable of handling the
    situation.
  • Use questions to deflect anger and diffuse focus.
    Repeating a question back to the questioner
    often causes that person to rethink their
    statement.

14
Verbal Control of Confrontational Situations
  • Do not make iron clad statements
  • I know
  • Always
  • Never
  • Wont
  • Make conditional statements
  • In my judgement
  • I think
  • In my opinion
  • It is my belief
  • The rule does not allow
  • By rule
  • According to rule

15
Verbal Control of Confrontational Situations
  • Do not use slang. Slang usage is seen as loss of
    control.
  • Use command and control words when appropriate
  • Stop
  • You
  • Here
  • There
  • Emphasize the command with the point.
  • Never threaten
  • State the behavior you want stopped and leave the
    other person to imagine what the penalty might
    be.
  • State the penalty and then enforce it no matter
    what.

16
Personal Space
  • Personal Space in the U.S. is defined as approx.
    3 to 4 feet. Only you can determine if someone
    is allowed to invade your personal space. In
    confrontive situations where your personal space
    is invaded, especially when the distance is less
    than 1 foot, and body language and verbal usage
    indicate intimidation, ejection should usually be
    the result. No matter what, you should not
    retreat, turn sideways, or drop your head. Do
    not lean back no matter how close the other
    person is to your face. Once you have decided
    that the other person has had his say, do the
    following
  • Keep your head erect
  • Take two steps back
  • Turn 180 degrees and forcefully give the ejection
    signal away from the person being ejected.

17
Personal Space
  • Do not turn back around to face the person being
    ejected.
  • Walk toward your partner. He should now
    intervene and direct the person off the field.
    Walking away forces the other person to chase you
    and this is seen as a subservient position giving
    you control of the situation.

18
Bulk Up
  • In a confrontational situation, you must appear
    larger than you are.
  • Head and eyes level
  • Shoulders back
  • Butt and Gut sucked in
  • Elbows out 6 to 8 inches from the body
  • Feet shoulder width. (Wider than shoulder width
    shortens your height)
  • Lean forward slightly. This causes you chin to
    thrust out slightly. Chin thrust is one of the
    top 3 indicators of self mastery.

19
Slim Down
  • The Bruffmann scale clearly indicates that for
    each 10 pounds you are over weight, your STATURE
    is reduced by a factor of 10. If you are 40
    pounds over weight, your effectiveness as a
    leader and authoritarian figure is reduced to
    60.
  • Bruffmann also shows that if you are involved in
    a physical activity, STATURE is reduced by 15
    for each 10 pounds over weight. Remember that
    you are involved in an athletic contest where the
    participants spend many hours preparing their
    bodies to act properly. An over weight person is
    seen as incapable of Keeping Up regardless of
    the level of competition.
  • Note the attached BMI chart.

20
Pre Game
  • Bruffmanns 40 year study of authority figures
    and confrontational situations show some
    interesting results.
  • Your STATURE is determined in the mind of the
    Subject (Bruffman calls those not in authority
    Subjects) in the first 1.5 to 3 seconds of
    contact.
  • Once the Subject has mentally assigned a
    STATURE value to you it is nearly impossible to
    change that value upward. Confrontation only
    lowers the STATURE value. It cannot raise it.
  • This means that as soon as a Subject sees you
    he assigns a STATURE value to you which stays
    with you for a finite amount of time.
  • The danger for umpires and other officials is
    that they are often seen before their entrance
    onto the field and the STATURE value is assigned
    when the official may not even be aware of the
    evaluation.

21
Pre Game
  • Because STATURE is assigned upon contact, the
    following ought to apply to all officials
  • When you contact anyone involved with the game,
    be on your best professional behavior. If you
    contact the coach or administrator wearing
    inappropriate clothing, inappropriate
    accessories, use crude language or fail to use
    your body language in an appropriate manner, you
    lose your effectiveness as a field administrator.
  • When you walk onto the field, keep your head
    erect, eyes level and walk with a brisk motion.
  • If you go into the dugout and females are
    present, dont go in alone. Be completely
    professional in and around the dugout. Your
    STATURE is being evaluated.
  • Walk the field with your partner. Walk with
    head erect, eyes level and gesture as you walk
    briskly.

22
Pre Game
  • Everyone is looking for your weaknesses during
    the pre game. Signs of weakness are
  • Weak handshake
  • Looking down or away during the pre game
    conference
  • Stuttering or stammering while presenting the
    ground rules.
  • Forgetting or mispronouncing the coaches name,
    your partners name or the school name.
  • Fumbling with the lineup cards.
  • Not knowing how to end the pre game conference.
  • Not having the game balls
  • Fidgeting during the pre game conference
  • Inappropriate levity
  • Inappropriate comments

23
Pre Game
  • Signs of Strength are
  • Know the name of the coaches and assistants
  • Know the name of your partner and introduce him
  • Clearly state the ground rules
  • Have the game balls ready at the plate if
    possible
  • Clearly and decisively answer questions
  • Know how to end the pre game conference.

24
Tidbits
  • When behind the plate, dont groom yourself. It
    is a sign of nervousness and lack of confidence
  • Never chase a player or coach after a
    confrontation.
  • Try blocking the player or coach from the point
    of contention. If there was a close play at home
    plate, try maneuvering your self so that the
    coaches back is to the plate. Move slightly away
    from the base or situation where the controversy
    is located. (Do not appear to be running away)
  • Once you have made a call, you are only half way
    done. Finish up by keeping head up, eyes level
    and focus on the play. Once you are satisfied,
    hustle back to position.

25
Tidbits
  • If you drop your head or lower your eyes after a
    call you are asking for confrontation. You must
    hold your body language until the focus is no
    longer on you.
  • You must determine whether to meet a coach half
    way or make him come to you. Never go to a coach
    because he beckons to you or tells you to come.
    Generally you should not meet a coach half way if
    he has had a temper tantrum prior to his wanting
    to talk to you. Meeting him half way confirms
    his control over you. If you make the coach come
    to you, watch your body language as he
    approaches. This is the time to take the deep
    breaths and go over the play in your mind.
    Remember, head up, eyes level, palms open, hands
    down, and feet shoulder width apart.

26
Tidbits
  • Dont fidget while on the bases. This is
    interpreted as boredom and superiority. (Im
    better than this. Your level of play bores me.)
  • The most intimidating thing you can do as an
    umpire is wear sunglasses. We recommend it to
    everyone.
  • According to Bruffmann, the single most
    destructive act during a confrontation is the two
    hand dismissive, then turning your back. Dont
    ever do this. It may get you hurt.
  • Make mentally sure that you really dont care who
    wins or looses. Failure to be absolutely neutral
    will manifest its self physically at some point
    during the game.

27
DANGER! DANGER!!
  • Here are some signs that a physical attack is
    possible but not imminent
  • Head, neck, and shoulder go back. (The person is
    trying to make himself look bigger)
  • Face is twitching and/or jerking
  • Lips are pushed forward so the teeth are bared.
  • Breathing is fast and shallow
  • Beads of sweat appear around neck and face
  • Thousand mile stare
  • Finger pointing / head pecking
  • Giving excessive attention
  • Sudden change in attitude from confrontive to
    docile
  • Acts stoned or drunk
  • Directs anger at inanimate items.

28
DANGER! DANGER!!
  • Signs that a physical attack is imminent
  • Change of stance. Shoulder blades and body drop.
  • Hands closed into a fist. Knuckles are tight
  • Bobbing up and down or rocking back and forth.
    (This hides the initial strike.
  • Target glance. The person looks where he is
    going to hit.
  • Puts chin down to chest. He is protecting his
    airway.
  • Stops all movement
  • Drops center of gravity.
  • Shedds clothing
  • Goes from full sentences to one syllable words or
    non-sense

29
DANGER! DANGER!!
  • If you see any combination of the attack factors,
    the best defense is to ask the person if he is
    going to attack. Just say You look like you are
    going to hit me. Are you going to hit me? This
    solves 90 of imminent attacks because the
    element of surprise is removed.

30
You and the Law
  • If you are physically assaulted, you MUST press
    charges. You are setting up the next official
    for attack if you dont.
  • In Texas, if you commit unwanted touching it is
    at least simple assault.
  • If you commit unwanted touching on a girl who is
    under the age of 18 and you are an umpire on the
    field, you have committed at least 3rd degree
    sexual battery of a minor. This is a crime of
    moral turpitude and disqualifies you from public
    service for pay or volunteerism of any kind. You
    could never umpire again. If you touch a player
    and make a sexually suggestive remark, you are
    guilty of 2nd degree sexual battery of a minor.
    If it can be shown that you have had physical
    contact with the girl before, you are guilty of
    1st degree sexual battery of minor.
  • Simple assualt 30 days in jail, 250 fine
  • 3rd degree sexual battery of a minor 1 yrs jail
    time, 1,000 fine
  • 2nd degree sexual battery of a minor 18 mo jail
    time, 2500 fine
  • 1st degree sexual battery of a minor 3 yrs jail
    time, 10,000 fine

31
Conclusion
  • Always
  • Keep verbal language in harmony with body
    language
  • Keep head up, eyes level, hands down, palms open.
  • Act and be professional at all times
  • Never
  • Look down or away
  • Back Up
  • Instigate a confrontive situation
  • Hang you partner out to dry

32
Stature
  • Integrity This person will do what is right no
    matter what
  • Fidelity This person will be loyal to their
    cause
  • Courage This person will sacrifice in order to
    do what is right
  • Justice This person will defend my rights and
    the rights of others
  • Patience This person will not rush to judgement
  • Simplicity This person will not make things
    more complicated
  • Consistency This person will ALWAYS treat me
    and others fairly
  • Trustworthy This person will do what he says
  • Physical This person is physically capable if
    required
  • Knowledgeable This person has studied and
    trained for this situation
  • Wisdom This person knows how to apply knowledge
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