We have discussed the effects of adrenaline in the first article of this series. I have picked certain easy-to-identify signs to elaborate on. Please note that these body signs must be interpreted in conjuction with the attacker’s anger.
Also in this article, I will advise you on not responding in a certain way if you want to live. And will show you how to identify a particular body language that almost certainly indicates the attacker is reluctant to fight.
The Face Changes Colour (Signs of Adrenaline)
When a person is embarrassed or moderately angry, his face would turn red. Once the red face loses its pallor to paleness, it becomes a highly dangerous situation. It indicates that the attacker’s body has released larged amount of adrenaline and non-adrenaline. Needless to say, the release of such hormones is to prepare the body to fight or flee (in the case of anger, the person would likely fight).
The Eyes Blink Faster (sign of adrenal stress)
The normal blink rate is around 20 times in 1 minute. A significant difference from the normal blink rate reflects a person’s emotional stress. A slow blink rate show calmness in emotions; a fast blink rate indicate stress.
Use your intuition to observe blink rate. It will be unwise to actually count how many times a person blinks.
Sweating In The Face (sign of adrenal stress)
The arrousal of stress causes sweat to appear on a person’s upper lip and above the eyebrows.
Pulsating Arteries (sign of adrenaline)
Look for pulsating arteries at the neck area below the earlobes, behind the lower jaw, at the cheekbones and around the lips. When arteries pulsate noticeably, it means the heart is pumping harder and faster; this is to rush more oxygen throughout the body in preparation for a fight.
The Later Indications of An Assault (aggressive body language)
The above few are early indications of an impending assault. When it gets increasingly serious, the angry person would clench his jaws and grind his teeth. This is a reflex action (the reflex to bite) from our primate ancestors. In addition, his fist would be clenched and eyes would be widened in rage. The clenched fist obviously indicates thoughts of aggression by the angered person. And the widened eyes is very much telling the ‘opponent’: I dare you to provoke me further.
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What Should You NEVER Do?
When it is obvious that a situation will escalate to an assault, do not smile or grin at the person. Some people would uncounsciously smile at an angry person out of fear. It is a habit from childhood; to smile out of fear. The attacker will interpret your grin as you mocking or challenging him. There was a situation where a person was shot, just because he smiled a nervous grin at the attacker.
The 1 Sign You WANT To See
Of all the signs of an impending assault, this is 1 sign you would want to see because it indicates that the situation has taken a turn for the better.
When the would-be attacker shrugs, it suggests that he/she is in no mood to fight. The shrug is a display of interrelated body gestures that indicates helplessness, resignation and uncertainty. Since the body is in a defensive position when shrugging, it is highly unlikely that a person will attack.
Yet, be alert to your surrounding, especially when there may be more than 1 would-be attacker.
For more information on what you can do to survive an assaultive situation, read part 3.