“The best defense is a good offense.”
“The only real defense is active defense”
“The hand which strikes also blocks.”
What are these words of wisdom saying? We defend to attack. A real fight would not be exciting to watch on T.V. or in film. Why? The fight would be over within a matter of seconds. Martial arts in the movies where two people fight for four or five minutes is ridiculous. In real life, we want to destroy our opponent as quick as possible. If we only defend, our adversary will likely continue to attack us until we can no longer defend. If we are carelessly offensive, we leave ourselves open to attack, unless we are just that damn good. However, a strong defense should leave room to counter-attack. Or even a strong offense will leave our adversary preoccupied with defending themselves giving us the upper hand. In either case, offense is the name of the game.
My observation has shown me that society teaches people to be passive aggressive towards others. I can’t stand passive aggressive people. They just pisses me off. Now, there is a time and place for passive aggressiveness. I think it’s called being “diplomatic?” But I digress.
When you are being attacked, a defensive position is not always a good one. As stated above, being on the defensive leaves you preoccupied reacting to others. If you are preoccupied, you can not focus on your plan [of attack]. Sometimes you just have to be aggressive! Defense takes energy too! One can only take so much punishment before they give out. Think of any encounter with lawyers. They get paid to attack and you have to pay to defend yourself. That doesn’t add up! How long are you going to be a punching bag?
Everything being discussed not only applies to situations physical in nature, but in every other aspect. When dealing with lawyers, courts, cops, businesses, relationships, etc. The principles don’t change, only the manner in which the tactics take form.
For what we’re talking about, there are three (3) forms of combat not including the combinations thereof:
- Passive Aggressive
pas·sive [pas-iv] adj
1. not reacting visibly to something that might be expected to produce manifestations of an emotion or feeling.
2. not participating readily or actively; inactive
3. not involving visible reaction or active participation
Passiveness is really a non-combative strategy. By definition, passive people just let things happen, though they may wish for something else. Bottom line is that they themselves aren’t going to do anything to make things happen actively.
pas·sive-ag·gres·sive [pas-iv-uh-gres-iv] adj
denoting or pertaining to a personality type or behavior marked by the expression of negative emotions in passive, indirect ways, as through manipulation or noncooperation
Passive Aggressiveness is an indirect form of attacking akin to flanking (attacking from a side). It is the go-to option for many people. Certain cultures have mastered this skill. What looks to be passiveness may be passive aggressiveness in disguise.
ag·gres·sive [uh-gres-iv] adj
1. characterized by or tending toward unprovoked offensives, attacks, invasions, or the like; militantly forward or menacing
2. making an all-out effort to win or succeed; competitive
3. vigorously energetic, especially in the use of initiative and forcefulness
Aggression is the name of the game for some people. They are out for blood and you are in their cross-hairs. They are going to attack straight on and you better be ready. There are many forms of aggression but the point is that there will be no doubt that you’re under attack.
A “counter” implies that one has been attacked already.
count·er [koun-ter] verb (used without object)
15. to make a counter or opposing move.
16. to give a blow while receiving or parrying one, as in boxing.
With this, as I always tell people, read The Art Of War by Sun Tzu. Even if you don’t plan on using the tactics or strategies, it’s good to know what is being used against you…because war tactics will be used. But I digress.
As I studied and looked up the strategies, I realized something. From a Life Business standpoint, when countering either the same strategy applies: steadfastness!
stead·fast [sted-fast, -fahst, -fuh st] adj
1. fixed in direction; steadily directed: a steadfast gaze.
2. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., as a person: a steadfast friend.
3. unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.
There are small variations of steadfastness with each counter strategy. Let me explain:
Passive Aggressive Counter
With passive aggressive tactics, they will never attack you directly. If it’s a relationship, ignore their attempts to provoke you. If you react to them, they’re winning. If you attack them, you’ll look bad and feed into their game. It takes control and discipline to counter this tactic. If possible, get rid of this person/obstacle. Just avoid it. It’s not worth the stress. This counter usually pisses off the practitioner of this tactic. Think back to old shows/films like Inspector Gadget, Columbo, Naked Gun, Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther, etc. These characters were clueless [seemingly ignored] the attempts at their life or attempts to throw them of the trail of the bad guy [passive aggressive tactics]. When done correctly, your adversary will be livid!
Reflect and/or parry.
When I say reflect, I don’t mean with aggression. Reflect their actions to them as in, show them you see through the front of aggression, you see them. Some people are merely trying to intimidate you. Take debt collectors for example. They are extremely aggressive at times yet they can’t do much of anything.
This brings me to the second counter: Get aggressive right back. At times, aggression is just a front and if you allow it, they will continue. Test their aggression to see if it’s real. You can tell what people fear by the way they try and intimidate you.
Then you have parrying.
par·ry [par-ee] par·ried, par·ry·ing, noun, plural par·ries.
verb (used with object)
1. to ward off (a thrust, stroke, weapon, etc.), as in fencing; avert.
2. to turn aside; evade or dodge: to parry an embarrassing question.
verb (used without object)
3. to parry a thrust, blow, etc.
Sometimes you can completely sidestep certain actions, especially if you know it’s coming. How each tactic is executed will be determined by the situation’s environment.
“Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.” That’s latin for “If you want peace, prepare for war.” If you choose to stick with this idea of “peace” and remaining passive, don’t complain about what has, is being or will be done to you. Being passive is a contradiction to being the authority in your life. If you don’t want to fight…comply! If you want people to “go away” and you think paperwork alone will accomplish that, good luck. I’m not saying you always have to attack, just don’t always take the defensive position because it’s not very effective overall. An active defense or all out onslaught can be superior in handling your business. Ultimately you need to stand your ground…like a boss!