Threatening behavior is intentional behavior which would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities fear of injury or harm. It can include acts of aggression such as yelling at a colleague, pounding on desks, slamming doors, blocking or cornering, and sending threatening voice-mails, e-mails, or other written threats.
If you encounter threatening behavior:
If you believe that you are in danger, alert someone to the situation and report the behavior immediately using 9-1-1. You can also use multiple social media apps to notify Police in many cases if you feel that making a phone call may jeopardize your safety.
If possible, try to physically remove yourself from the situation without further upsetting the person.
When talking to the person remain calm and try to be as empathetic as possible.
Use positive language and encouraging words and phrases such as “everything will be ok.”
Refrain from physical contact and limit eye contact with the person.
Refrain from any behavior or movement that will further upset the person.
If the person’s behavior escalates, begin to move towards the closest exit.
Even if the situation ceases, report the incident using 9-1-1 and alert others that may come into contact with this person about their behavior.
If you believe the person may require further assistance, there are programs that can help prevent threatening behavior by dealing with the early onset issues that lead to these behaviors. It is important to tell people if you are concerned for your safety. You may find it hard to tell others about the problems you are having, especially if you are experiencing aggressive behavior, however it can escalate if you don’t.
It’s also important to understand aggression in the terms of how we individually react. Your own feelings of aggression can be varied by person and situation. Reaching an awareness of your personal experiences will help you to monitor and control your reaction to aggression in others.
People are both physically and emotionally affected by aggression. Emotions can alter their physical state, common physical and emotional reactions associated with anger – which may lead to aggression are:
‘Butterflies’ in the stomach
Legs feel weak and shaky
Clenched fists, teeth and jaw
Depression and/or anxiety
Feeling upset and/or starting to cry