Four Basic Principles
of Verbal Defense

Principle 1
Know that you are under attack
Learn the signs of verbal attacks. Just like physical muggers, verbal abusers go for the easy targets, those not able or willing to fight back. I have provided descriptions of 12 verbal attack patterns and suggested defenses. Finish reading this page and the next page dealing with Satir modes, before going to the attack patterns, or the descriptions will not make sense.

Principle 2
Know what kind of attack you're facing
Recognize and judge your opponents methods, skill, and strengths. Do not rely on obvious signs.

Principle 3
Know how to make your defense fit the attack.
Just like physical martial arts, different verbal attacks require different defense moves. The wrong defense at the wrong time may leave you more open to injury. Conversely, do not use more force than necessary.

Priciple 4
Know how to follow through.
Once you have chosen a defense, do it. Remember that we are discussing defensive moves, not attacks of retaliation. We are trying to prevent violence as much as possible, but if it cannot be avoided, then accept this and try to keep damage to a minium.

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