Watch out for the eye contact challenge. In a volatile environment, eye contact can be construed as a challenge to fight. If you are aware, you can spot the signs of an eye contact challenge avoid a conflict. In a bar or club, the gratuitous attacker will stalk the dance floor with his elbows pushed out waiting for a bump and he will probably be verbally aggressive to anyone that moves within a few feet of him, let alone those who make eye contact. If he's walking down the street, he will have an over-confident, arrogant bounce. If in a group, he will be loud and erratic in his movements. In either scenario, he will be looking for eye contact. To him, the first person to hold eye contact with him is looking for trouble.
During pre-fight posturing, he will splay his arms, and exhibit finger beckoning, eye bulging, head nodding, neck pecking, and dropping his eyebrows. He will usually "stance up" and, if attack is his intention, try to get up close and personal, normally nose to nose.
Try to avoid these types of people, but if you cannot, walk tall and hold yourself confidently. Even if you do not feel brave, act as if you are. Confident people are very rarely chosen as victims for attack. Whenever possible avoid eye contact where you sense aggression, but do not bow your head and look at the floor. This may be seen as a sign of weakness
If someone stares at you, do not hold eye contact. If you get caught off guard and your eyes lock, then smile, perhaps even nod politely, then break the eye contact and put as much distance as possible between yourself and the aggressor, as soon as possible. If this doesn't work and aggressive words follow, do not retaliate, just walk away. A verbal counter could act as a catalyst. If you do all this and he still approaches aggressively, be prepared to either talk or fight.
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