Monday, April 30, 2012

Show No Emotion - It's a Psychological Advantage

(This posting by Wayne Roy - C.Q.C. and I.P. Consultant)

It might seem odd that I've started this post with a photo of a cowboy (actor Sam Elliott), but what makes it perfect is the look in his eyes.  It's the primal look of a hunter-warrior.  It's cold and non-emotional.  He is focused on his prey, and he's prepared to kill. 

Compare that with the photo below.  Not only is the businessman expressing his extreme anger, he has raised his fist outside of his body-frame.  Together these features indicate that he's out of control (emotionally), and that he isn't really confident in his ability to physically carry out his threat. 

In fact, his aggressive display is simply meant to trigger fear and submission in his victim.

This display is something that's common in all primates - and that includes human beings. 

To understand what I mean, imagine a monkey jumping around, waving its arms about and screaming loudly.  The monkey doesn't really want to fight (in case it gets injured or killed), so it tries to avoid a confrontation by using big threatening gestures and lots of noise.

To give you another example, look at the militia fighter in the photo above.  He's firing from what's called a spray-and-pray position.  His face is full of emotion, and his weapon is raised up and outside of his body-frame. 

Together those features indicates that he's not confident in his ability to survive a fire-fight, so he's trying to trigger fear in his enemy... and hopefully make them turn and run away. 

Compare that to this photo of a soldier about to fire his weapon.  His face is non-emotional, and his firing position is inside his body-frame... indicating that he is deadly serious about hitting his target.

So why is a lack of emotion and keeping your arms inside your body-frame so threatening? 

Well there are three very important reasons :
  • firstly, extreme outbursts of anger indicate that the person is out of control... and on a primal level that is considered to be a weakness
  • human beings naturally fear the unknown... so if an opponent shows no emotion, we don't know what to expect from them
  • a lack of emotion can be an indication that the opponent is fearless, and therefore potentially deadly.

So if you want to create a primal psychological advantage, keep your gestures inside your body-frame (preferably stabbing forward with one finger), and show your opponent the emotionless face of someone who has a deadly serious intent.

"Avoid Making Contact"
 For another psychological advantage, click on the link below :

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