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Conflict Manager

COMMENTARY BY MARC MACYOUNG

"Someone asked me about Kate Mulgrew's rape after cooperating with a burglar. This goes into ideas by Peyton Quinn and Rory Miller.
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Using a model by Rory Miller you have social and asocial violence. Social violence is the overwhelming majority of the kind of violence you will encounter in the States. Again most of it is between people who know each other and for social reasons. This morning I wrote this about fighting (one form of social violence)
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Fighting is a participatory event between two individuals in conflict or dispute over a social issue (something that can't be put in a wheelbarrow). It usually about behaviors, rules, status, expectations, roles or territorialism (think about -- as a kid -- your sibling taking something of yours. Was the fight over the item or 'you don't touch my stuff'? How people are supposed to treat you is social.) Overwhelmingly this type of violence is not lethal, nor is it meant to be. In the same breath, it's not designed to be injurious although injuries are more frequent than death. The key thing about fighting is that it is participatory. You're part of the problem.
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On the other hand, asocial violence comes in two forms Resource and process. Resource violence is over things that can be put in a wheelbarrow. Robbers are resource predators. Self-defense (not fighting, self-defense) is about resource protection (you can climb in and sit in a wheelbarrow). When we do it outside our species, resource violence is always lethal (you eat meat). Oddly enough -- and having to do with the fact that if someone dies in the commission of a felony it is AUTOMATICALLY murder one -- robberies are seldom lethal (much less injurious). Like social violence, resource violence is very goal driven and when that goal is achieved the violence (or threat of violence) ends.
Now come the monsters that everyone is afraid of... process predators. With these individuals violence IS the goal. There's lots of reasons why, but the simplest to understand is they get off on it.
Just so you know, to the point of the exceptions are statistically meaningless, violence comes with instructions how to avoid it. A supermajority of the time, they're telling you the truth.
For the next part to make sense, you need to know the following. Social violence can be de-escalated. Asocial violence must be deterred.

This brings up Peyton's Five Rules AND how Peyton, Rory and I bounce off each other. Peyton's rule work for de-escalation. They are the most concise summation of common mistakes people make that get them attacked. But as Rory - who has lots of experience with predator s- pointed out they don't prevent asocial. An asocial predator WILL blow right through them. And on that point I totally agree with Rory. The five stages will NOT stop an asocial predator.

What they will do however, is escalate it. Now there's a chance, a good chance (like in what happened to Kate) that the predator will escalate things on his own. But if you violate these five rules I can almost guarantee you it WILL escalate. If you 'personalize it' it's going to get way, way worse. Unfortunately, breaking those five rules are EXACTLY how most people not only get into social violence but provoke asocial predators.

Here's something that Rory and I disagree on about his model. He says social and asocial remain pretty pure application. That you will be dealing with social or asocial violence that is pretty cut and dried. I say maybe. I've seen pure strains of both and at the same time I've seen way too many ugly hybrids. I've also seen where the potential is there and when the opportunity arises. So you can look at Kate's story as resource that turned process (despite her cooperation). But for that to happen, the tendency had to be there in the dude in the first place. Otherwise, her strategy should have worked. Resource is about things you can put into a wheelbarrow, after he got those, there was no resource or social violence reason to stay.

And that's the problem, there's no cut and dried answers in this business there are no, "You just do this and it works every time." There's an old operator's maxim of "The situation dictates." A tactic that works in one situation won't work in another because the circumstances are different. Circumstances that you won't know (if you ever do) until you are right there facing it. - Marc MacYoung
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