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Self Defense/Social Skills-is the general public's perception of it similar to how they view violence?


I didn't mean to CALL your response on my previous question BS AT ALL.

I REPEAT I never thought your answer to my question was BS AT ALL! In fact I asked because I am trying to learn more about "swimming into social waters" as you put it. Because I am tremendously confused. All my life I've never been outcasted as a nerdy loner misfit, I always had friends and gone to major local town social gatherings like prom and festivals.

In fact the way my psychologist friend and therapist responded to your answer is pretty much EXACTLY why I always thought I was a sociable person who can get along with people well.

But lke you said, I LACKED the social skills to avoid getting hit but just reading early chapters on Manwatching is making your response more confusing.

For example it says someone's subtle body movements will give off your true intent to people no matter how you "disguise it". But I seen so many people who are often considered "misfits".Yet they DO NOT display certain bodily awkwardness described  and in fact everyone from the pretty cheerleader to the nerds to the police think of such people as INCREDIBLY socially adjusted. Even though I know them outside of public and they are CROOKS (hell even using the bodily movements and subtle expression things aren't necessarily accurate in my recent experiments to test out the books' statement).

But my DAD pretty much matches everything the book in the chapters I read so far states as MATCHING the PEOPLE SKILL. Such as avoiding to stand up for himself in unnecessary arguments, "getting out of there" like your FB post states, and being well-mannered and keeping a restraint demeanor (bodily movement that REALLY shows a stern person of great restraint and manners, etc).

Yet he gets laughed at by many men in my town as being socially awkward and even a pussy. TO the point I even get a laughing mocking comment "you're so extroverted and social but your dad is such a pansy social recluse!" and stuff like that.

Going by the book's criteria, my dad KNOWS how to SWIM in social waters and has superb people skill. But he is literally a black sheep of sort in my town for not "standing up for himself" when insulted and not being "going to local parties and dances".

But my Mom (despite knowing well how to make lots of friends and get people to like her so well in an instant as well as having superb persuasive and talking skills) has a tendency of getting into verbal and physical scuffles when someone insults her (or at least she feels it). Manwatching's chapters I read so far state that she is a socially awkward person who won't be able to have friends for long and such stuff. BUT SHE HAS HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of friends in town and outside of strangers (WOW I am amazed its always among strangers she gets into verbal escalation that may get into fights alter) she is beloved by many, even being VOTED most popular women a few time in town polls.

I AM NOT CALLING your response BS but am genuinely confused. Because even my other friends and people I barely knew at school (we're talking about those other classmates who you ONLY shared one class with or seen at lunch but never talked before) CANNOT believe anyone would say I can't swim in social waters when I tried seeking advice about the beating I got at the store.

In fact hell that cashier girl- even the popular jock at my school (who was VOTED HOTTEST guy just before graduation) GOT Into PHYSICAL SCUFFLES as a result of trying to talk to the girl.  BY ALL LOGIC because he was a local town hero for doing well at sports and was so BELOVED by girls, I was FUCKING SHOCKED as hell that cashier girl got the same guy who beat me to attack the jock one afternoon (I was THERE and WITNESSED it). As opposed to me, the jock was MUCH larger than the guy who beat me and as friendly as he was, had a BIG TEMPER if you try to physically touch him with ill intent. So the guy who beat me got his ass KICKED hard (we're talking about bleeding nose, black eye, etc) and this jock even got pissed at the cashier and filled up some coffeee and threw it at her.

COME ON this JOCK was RUNNER UP to being the most popular kid at school after me in Senior voting polls and has a reputation for sex appeal and being charmy with the ladies. THAT IS WHAT CONFUSES me so much when you said I lacked the skill tos wim in social waters and lack general people's skill.

THIS JOCK even ACCORDING TO MANWATCHING's pointers SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ATTACKED by the cashier girl. He wasn't even trying to FLIRT with her but merely commented she has pretty eyes (and trust me I KNOW he's not flirting BECAUSE he already has a GIRLFRIEND who he loves so much and is completely devoted to).

I should have added that last night when I sent my question because it was an important point.

But seriously I am confused. Am I too enveloped by what the general public BELIEVES is "SOCIABLE and PEOPLE SKILL" that I am failing to see whats going on? You always said that all your life, you have been lied to about violence and the general public's perception of violence is all too simplified to the point of flatout BS. I have a feeling that my perception of social skills is the same.

I really ask for your help. I AM LISTENING.

Emotional Intelligence

A book on it

Now that is a foundation. Mix in Desmond Morris and you get some nuts-and-bolts ways to read the emotions of others.

Now mix in Ruby Payne's "A Framework for Understanding Poverty"

And you get how different social rules and attitudes apply to different social classes in the same culture. What is acceptable in one group is unacceptable in others (AND someone from a different background will react to different stimuli differently)

Here's an example of hidden rules that people can violate

Recognize the significance of this. You can be as friendly and smooth as snake shit IN A CERTAIN SOCIAL SETTING AND GROUP but that doesn't qualify you for functioning in another. It ESPECIALLY doesn't qualify you as adept at handling potentially violent people. It's like being really good at cooking Italian food. That doesn't automatically make you good at cooking Japanese food. You don't know the recipes, you don't know the tricks, etc., etc.

NOW we finally get around to how people from different cultures can react differently over something. If you think the hidden rules within different subcultures is complicated, there are way more cultural differences.

Then we get to how an individual  -- who might have mental issues -- will react in a given situation. You do not know what is going on inside someone's head. It could just be a bad day, it could be a reaction to past shit, the person could be in a situation where going off on someone might be a way to prove something to a third party, it could be the person just likes going off on people, or -- again, the person could have mental issues.

In short, accept one fundamental truth... you are NOT in control.

There are some situations that will go sideways no matter what you do. That's because there are factors going on that you will never, know, recognize or understand.  And this is made even more complicated by the fact that -- unless you are schooled in controlling your own bodylanguage and emotional reactions in potentially violent situations -- you could be throwing non-verbal signals. Signals that either are insulting or are perceived as such by the other person.  

That last line is something that a lot of people don't like to hear because it show that the world is an unpredictable place. For all you know, the guy who got assaulted by the woman reminded her of an abusive ex. Unless you know that, it's going to seem like she went off for no reason. Hey, there is a reason, you just don't know it.   And there are many times, that you'll never know.

I will also tell you another wildcard factor regarding violence. "Does the person think he can get away with it?"

For the record, I know a lot of psychologists and psychiatrists. Very few of them have first hand experience with violence == although I should qualify that as successful experience. Even the ones spent time interning in psych wards were instructed by administration that when a patient becomes violent to hide behind the orderlies.  That is to say they outsource their violence.

I tell you this because often they have a hard time understanding this paradox when it comes to violence. "The willingness to commit violence is the best deterrent from having to."

Every long-term violence professional I know is extremely polite and reasonable, right up to the moment that they go to town. Now whether that is to slam you on the ground and cuff you, shoot you in the face or something in-between depends on the goals of the situation. It is their ability to go from 0 to 60 in nothing flat that keeps most violence from happening. People look at them and know they can't get away with it. (Downside, is often when they decide to try, they increase the danger through ambush and weapons.)

This is often difficult to see because it seems like they are involved in more violence. Which at first glance is true. Except odds are they don't get in more violence than the people they're going up against. The few people who insist on becoming violent with them are much, MUCH more prone to become violent with other, less competent people. A lot people who would go off on others without hesitation, look at these guys and hesitate. That's the paradox.

Now it isn't as simplistic as this guy being big and brawny. There are a lot of women (especially in certain socio-economic levels) who have no problem going off on men because they rely on the man not hitting them back. So therefore they think they can get away with it.

There are other people who if you aren't willing to deck them immediately will go off on you knowing that they're the ones controlling the violence. If you try to huff and puff with these folks, they have all the advantage. That's because it's a signal to them that you aren't ready to go violent. As they are, they have the advantage. And again, they think they can get away with it.

Right there are two possible explanations for the situation that have you so confused. Is that the cause? I don't know, and you're going to have to accept the fact that you will never know yourself. You can tell yourself, it's this, that or the other thing, but that's self-soothing. You really won't ever know because you're not psychic. The best you can do is guess.

Now you may be personable and social as all get out, but this is a form of social scripting, consciousness and situations that isn't covered in Ms. Manners. So don't expect the skills and rules you normally get by on to work in this backwater swamp of human behavior.  

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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Too numerous to list here. My CV (for my expert witness work in court) is at

Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

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