Recognising the 10 Most Common Physical Signs of a Potentially Violent Situation

Recognising the 10 Most Common Physical Signs of a Potentially Violent Situation

Being able to recognise the physical signs of a potentially violent situation may give you enough time to remove yourself (and your mates) before things get out of hand. If there’s not enough time to leave, it may at least help you determine how you will deal with the rapidly escalating situation.

The 10 most common physical signs of a potentially violent situation are:

  1. Body Language. Look out for body language that appears tense, agitated or restless.
  2. Voice. Shouting or muttering, changes in pitch and volume or abrupt replies.
  3. Eyes. Dilated pupils, glassy or red eyes that could signify drug or alcohol use, rapid eye movements, eye contact that becomes more intense or that is suddenly broken, closed eyes or continuously looking downward.
  4. Face. Increased muscle tension, grinding of the jaw, persistent swallowing, spitting or reddening of the face.
  5. Arms. Crossed or raised arms, rapid movement of arms, sudden change in position or flexing of bicep muscles.
  6. Hands. Clenching of fists, fast-paced tapping, banging a fist into the opposite palm or another object, picking up of objects and fiddling behaviour.
  7. Legs and Feet. Swinging of the legs, tapping of feet and kicking at objects.
  8. Posture. A rigid or overbearing stance, particularly when accompanied by heavy breathing.
  9. Surroundings. Be cautious if someone is in a place that they shouldn’t be.
  10. Activity. Pushing and shoving, attention-seeking behaviour, nastiness, being suddenly and unnaturally quiet, name-calling, swearing or being provocative in manner.

Not only is it important that you recognise these signs in other people, but it is just as important that you recognise them in yourself as well. If you feel yourself becoming agitated or you recognise any of these signs – remove yourself from the situation or person that is making you feel this way, before you lash out and potentially commit a life changing act.

We all get frustrated, angry and upset but it’s what we do with those feelings that matters. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting you are annoyed and need to leave the situation. It’s the responsible thing to do.