Horripilation

Is the feeling you get when things are not right!

hor·rip·i·la·tion

n. The bristling of the body hair, as from fear or cold; goose bumps.

…When you have a hunch, a feeling, or a premonition that a situation or person is potentially dangerous.  Our evolution has equipped us with an “early warning system” that expresses itself as “the hairs on the back of your neck rising”, “goose bumps”, or a “something’s not right” thought.

Our minds are constantly processing a wealth of information delivered by our senses.  We are not always aware of that processing going on.  When all that input processing comes up with a DANGER condition, we get the feeling that “something is not right”.

Frequently we choose to ignore the warning.  Maybe we’re embarrassed, distracted, or we want to believe the best about someone, or the thought of taking action frightens us more.  Maybe we at some level don’t believe we are even able or “allowed” to recognize the feeling and act on it.  Or, possibly we don’t feel competent due to lack of training, or social norms.

Gavin De Becker develops this idea fully in the seminal book “The Gift of Fear“.

What should we do with this Gift from Mother Nature?  Train ourselves to recognize it, and train our responses to be effective about dealing with the Danger. Women’s Self Defense, Martial Arts Training, Weapons training, etc. are all part of training for effective response.

What we do “Left of Bang” determines the progression into Danger, or not. Our actions can break the chain of events that leads to the “Bang”. Choosing not to do foolish actions, learning about the color system, de-escalation techniques, and active response to active threat, can increase your safety and that of the people you care for.

Seek training now to improve your recognition of horripilations and the skills to defend against Dangerous people and situations.

Brian Dillon 3/10/17

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