Most people, including me, want a peaceful life – one preferably devoid of fighting.
‘Bad guys’ however, are wired differently and usually have no compunction about throwing their weight around. Aggression is a tool that works very well for crooks and bullies.
I found myself toughening up over the years as I realised more and more that the little guys were getting trashed because of their aversion to conflict.
The typical response I saw was that the bully pushed & pushed & pushed until the little guy finally decided to stand up and push back. This seemed to give the aggressor a huge advantage – meaning that the defender started a war on the back foot. Not good!
Deliberately buying a fight however, is a technique I have developed as my investigative skills have matured. In the early days of my career I attempted to avoid conflict trying to seek cooperation from an aggressor in order to make the world a better place.
This approach is totally unrealistic however, because I cannot think of one case where the bad guy has ever changed his/her ways and gone on to do the honourable thing. Yes, I always give them opportunity to do this but I am always planning to ‘go in for the kill’ from the outset, preparing for war, because most crooks double down when confronted.
When I moved to Samoa I was a pacifist. The school of hard knocks taught me that being a Palagi, I was a natural target, and that when dealing with essentially physical people, I had to be prepared to kill to defend myself – literally. People who ‘live by the sword’ know instinctively when you are serious or when you are playing games.
We lived in open fales, essentially roofs on sticks so that the cooling breeze could waft through as we slept. Unfortunately having Palagi girls sleep in buildings without walls in a sea of young randy Samoan men made for a security challenge in our backpackers. One particularly troublesome lad had been returned to Samoa after a prison sentence in NZ for rape. He returned after being evicted but when told to his face five times (no less!) that he would be dead if he was ever seen there again, he finally learned to respect our wishes.
Never enter into a conflict that you do not know that you will win.
Conflict in a business or personal situation too is solved to the favour of the one who shows strength. That’s just the way things work. It’s got nothing to do with fairness, truth or justice. Good negotiators will engineer an engagement so that they have the important facts, then act in their clients’ best interest, be it a commercial negotiation, criminal investigation or family dispute . . . the one who has the greatest resolve; who not only has the critical information but uses it effectively.
Many clients know where the truth lies; they even know where justice exists . . . the question however is whether they have the resolve and whether they’re prepared to pay the price to obtain it.
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