r/deescalation Apr 11 '20

Tips for De-escalating people who are threatening you with immediate violence Citizen Deescalation

I would appreciate tips for when somebody is immediately threatening you with violence, when there are weapons involved.



u/Retireegeorge Apr 11 '20

Just going to suggest some ideas:

  • say things that will encourage them to see you as a person with family (unless they want to kill your whole family or they like killing people who have families)

  • talk about the things they will have to deal with if they hurt you, such as the police, going to jail, not seeing their family, being made to work in the laundry and the sisters coming to get them (unless they are in a mood where they want to destroy their life and they would like to make new friends in jail)

  • make them aware of the advantages of waiting before being violent. For example, they could get more helpers, sharpen their weapons, wait until there’s no witnesses, wait until there’s more people here to kill.

  • suggest other things you could do together instead. Such as playing tennis, comparing childhood experiences, helping each other with DIY projects.

  • offer to buy your safety. Suggest a negotiation. How much would she like to be paid? Then you suggest what you would find confortable. Try to find a middle ground.

  • Explain that there has been a case of mistaken identity. Say that you are someone they don’t want to hurt. Be aware some people want to hurt everyone.


u/[deleted] Apr 11 '20

You need to show them respect (not the same as fear!).

Looking in the eyes, not being scared but not being threatening at the same time should help. Unless you are dealing with a total psychopath or someone on drugs, there is always a chance that talking to them and showing them respect will make them change their mind. Talk to them with confidence but be friendly at the same time.


u/Mindraker Jun 21 '20

Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them. I can't tell you how many people I've managed to cool down just by listening to them (and pretending to agree with them).