Always Be Polite
Video Transcribed: My name is Brian L. Jackson, and I am a Tulsa Dads Rights Attorney. Today I want to talk to you guys about conflict de-escalation and warning signs to watch for that a situation’s about to escalate. So, guys, I don’t think it’s any big secret, when you’re talking about the family court system, they’re not favorable towards us. They’re just not. And that’s why people like me, I’m here to stand up for your rights, and I’m here to defend your rights. That being said, there are some things you can also do to help make my job easier, and help me better stand up for you.
One thing to be aware of, and this is a good thing to know anyway because it has other applications, but in the context of dealing with your children’s mother, you should be aware of warning signs that anger’s rising and the situation may escalate. Some things to watch for are things like if she changes her stance if you see more of a fighting stance. Sometimes you hear the term squaring up.
It basically looks like the person will drop their dominant leg back and they’ll be standing in more of a fighting stance. That’s not a good sign. If you see the face turn color, if their face flushes, or if they get very pale, that can be a warning sign. Obviously, a rising voice, rising stridency, can be a warning sign. Pacing, anything that shows agitation or aggression.
A warning sign is for somebody who is getting angry and potentially could lose control or act in an impulsive manner. Other things to watch for. If you see blading, where the person is turned, particularly if they turn their dominant side away from you, that can be a potential danger sign.
A hidden hand, if you see someone approach you with a hidden hand, that’s not a good sign because typically if they’re doing that it’s because they have something in their hand they don’t want you to see. If you see this kind of warning sign, it’s a situation where you should immediately be careful.
How to react? Well, in the case of your child’s mother or someone else like that, the first thing you can do if you’re looking at a situation where there could be a verbal altercation, do not rise to the occasion. You should maintain, as much as you’re able to, a professional, calm, and reasonable demeanor. Be as polite as you can stand to be.
I know that’s hard, and it could feel really unfair to feel like you have to be the calm one if she’s being completely irrational, or she’s being disrespectful, or she’s cursing you, or insulted you, or said something nasty to you. I totally get that. Keep this in mind. If she’s behaving like a child and you’re behaving like an adult, then you are going to appear better if you do wind up in court.
And hopefully, that very behavior may keep you out of court to begin with, because if you have a situation where for example law enforcement is called and they approach, and you’re calm and reasonable, and rational, and she’s throwing a fit, then it’s going to make you look better and her look worse.
I mean the thing to keep in mind, no last word’s worth serious legal problems. Legal problems cost you a lot of money, and that snarky comment at the wrong time could cost you quite a bit. The other thing is, a calm, reasonable demeanor, an individual doesn’t rise to the occasion and can maintain that it has the effect of defusing angry people.
Very frequently if someone approaches you in a real angry manner and you continually react in a calm, reasonable, “Okay. I totally understand that. How can we come together and reason this out?” Most of the time that has a way of diffusing someone who is being irrational. Not always, but often. And of course, when all else fails, another thing to be aware of is, in most situations, you can always walk away. And again, I recognize that’s sometimes easier said than done, but walking away can frequently save you a lot of trouble.
If you are in a situation where any kind of physicality occurs, or anything that could be interpreted as physicality or threat occurs, even if you are 100% justified, if you were attacked and fought back, for instance, you should be the one to call the police first.
One thing to be aware of with the police, if you’re the one who calls first, you have the chance to communicate to the law that you are the victim, and the person who attacked you is the criminal. That perception is very important, especially for us guys.
Because the police will frequently, if they’re confronted with a domestic situation, assume the guy’s the bad guy and the woman is the victim. Anything you can do to dispel that is only going to help you. And of course, when you deal with the law you want to be calm, collected, and reasonable, and of course, be mindful of what you say to them. If you’re upset, you shouldn’t be talking about a lot of details.
Because if you misstate something, or you say something out of impulse, it can bite you in the backside. Obviously, if you find yourself in one of these situations, this is where it’s really important, you need a lawyer. If you have the police called on you, or even if you’ve had a really nasty fight with your ex that’s escalated and the police aren’t called, you should still consult with an attorney immediately to head off any potential problems and so that they might advise you of what your next steps are depending on specifically what led to the conflict.
I would encourage you in that situation to go to dads.law and talk to one of our attorneys. I would love to help you out with whatever facts and situations you have. I can assure you, there is always a solution. You do have rights.
The system is often not fair to men, but if you go have a good attorney on your side that can fight for you, and we will fight for you, then you can turn that around. My name is Brian L. Jackson, and I’m a Tulsa Father’s Rights Attorney