First, I’m a big believer in running away from a predator. If some whack job breaks into your home and wants to hurt you, RUN out the nearest door. But if you are backed into a corner or a loved one needs protecting, then you may have to fight.

Mom and Dad teach us not to hurt others. As children, we are taught kindness and manners. This is called civilized conditioning. Civilized conditioning is what allows us to inhabit a civilized society without having to worry every second about violence. .

But, as you know, violence is an everyday occurrence somewhere. The fact is, there are plenty of people out there who are uncivilized and capable of doing awful things to others.

Civilized conditioning is a double-edged sword. The good part is, it prevents us from being violent toward others for no reason. The bad part is, it prevents us from being physical with another person in the event we do need to protect ourselves. Civilized conditioning is known to contribute to making a person freeze up, stop breathing and panic when someone attacks.

What would you do if confronted by a bad guy? How would you respond? Freeze up? Run? Fight?

As a parent, if someone were to walk up to your child and put his hands on her, without hesitation you would respond with a vengeance—because the parental instinct to defend one’s child never goes away. So you do have it in you; your job is to access those instincts when it comes to saving your own life.

Tools to overcome civilized conditioning when necessary:

  • Realize that no one has a right to hurt or harm you at any time or for any reason.
  • Know that fighting back and offering resistance is the most effective way to remove yourself from a dangerous situation.
  • Ask “What if” questions like, “What if, as I rounded this corner, there was someone there to attack me?” to prepare your mind and body to respond in the event of danger.
  • Use visualization to see potential scenarios in your mind and act out in your head how you would respond.
  • Take as many self-defense classes as you can afford. Self-defense is a life-enhancing experience that gives you an enormous amount of perspective.
  • Develop an acute awareness of your environment (also known as situational awareness), no matter where you are or what you are doing. If something feels wrong, something IS wrong.
  • When attacked, always run to safety, such as to inside a store, someone’s home or any populated place. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
  • Incorporate technology like home alarm systems to give yourself an edge over predators.

Robert Siciliano, personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com, discussing burglar-proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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