Boundary Setting is fundamental for human success both on an individual and societal level. Societies that effectively use Boundary Setting create progress and advance civilization (think of Rome). They are able to build upon ideas and inventions. Societies with ineffective Boundary Setting descend into chaos and mayhem (think of barbarians). Individuals that utilize effective Boundary Setting in their private and public relationships live secure and productive lives. Those that are unable to effectively set boundaries endure lives of insecurity and constant threat of victimization.
Boundary Setting is central to human development and unfortunately most people are unaware of how it functions. In fact, when asked about Boundary Setting the most common response is that it “has something to do with personal space”, but that is about as deep as it gets.
Boundary Setting is based on the three inter-related concepts of Respect, Communication, and Enforcement. Boundary Setting begins with the establishment of rules. Rules are basically laws and regulations that govern and outline acceptable human behavior. Boundaries are Rules. These Rules can pertain to society as a whole. They can also pertain to the individual in the form of his or her view of acceptable personal behavior. In fact, every entity and organization in society has its own set of Rules that limit and control behaviors. Without these Rules, there is no order. There is confusion. There are misunderstandings and more. Progress is stymied.
It is not enough for the rules to be created. The rules must be communicated to everyone in society. In terms of the individual, the rules must be clear to those who interact with him or her. Clear communication of the rules is an essential part of effective Boundary Setting. The rules must be clearly communicated in order to avoid violations that are the result of a misunderstanding of the rules.
When the rules are understood, willful violations are the result of a lack of respect for the rules. Following the rules is a sign of Respect for the rules. Violations signify disrespect for the rules. Civilized societies are based on the majority of people having respect for the rules. Respect for the rules is also defined as the Public Trust, when the members of society have faith and trust in the societal institutions and government. When a personal boundary of an individual is violated, if that boundary was clearly communicated, the violation is a sign of lack of respect for the person and his or her boundaries.
A willful violation of the rules must be meet with appropriate Enforcement of the rules. Enforcement is designed to create Respect for the rules. Enforcement must be Just-Right in order to create Respect. When the rules are Under-Enforced, the result is contempt for the rules. Under-Enforcement is an action that is not enough (too little) to create Respect for the rules. Societies that create laws but don’t enforce them create contempt. Individuals that don’t enforce violations of their personal boundaries create contempt for themselves. Contempt is a destroyer of Respect.
When violations of the rules are met with Over-Enforcement, a Backlash against the rules is created. Over-Enforcement is a response that is too harsh (or perceived to be) in relation to the violation. When governments over-enforce the rules, they risk inciting a rebellion. When individuals over-enforce their boundaries they risk escalating the situation.
Clear Communication helps reduce the risk of Over-Enforcement. If someone violates the rules due to a misunderstanding of the rules, it is likely that he or she will view most enforcement responses as too harsh. Thus creating a potential for a Backlash. This is commonly seen in terms of violations of personal boundaries (space) that were not perceived to be a violation by the violator. But were viewed as an intentional violation by violated. The result maybe an upward spiral of perceived over-enforcements and backlashes that escalates a minor intrusion into a major confrontation.
On the other hand, an intentional violator may use the pretext of misunderstanding as a strategy to violate societal and personal boundaries. Their response to any type of enforcement is too claim a lack of understanding as opposed to a willful lack of respect for the rules. This ploy is highly successful against individuals that don’t clearly communicate their boundaries.
It is only when the enforcement response is Just-Right or perceived to be appropriate for the violation that Respect will be created. This is the rational about creating “respect for the rule of law” through the use of the court system. A punishment, fine, or a consequence is a form of enforcement.
Boundary Setting is a continual process. It can be done before, during, or after a violation. Prior to a violation, Boundary Setting is a form of prevention. During a violation, Boundary Setting is a type of intervention. The Use of Force as a means to limit and control unwanted behavior is Boundary Setting. Responding to a violation after is has occurred is also Boundary Setting. In this case, the Boundary Setting is typically some sort of punishment for the violation.
Boundary Setting relies on the inter-action of Respect, Communication, and Enforcement to create secure boundaries by limiting and controlling behavior. Boundaries are the rules of behavior. Boundary Setting is both communicating and enforcing those rules. Secure boundaries enable societies and individuals to systemically create environments of respect and to reduce violations. Respectful environments are fundamental for increasing growth, creativity, trust, and human progress.
The teaching of Connective Learning begins after the student
has acquired some basic “intelligence” from either Vertical Learning or
Horizontal Learning. At that point, the student needs to understand that he or
she is now developing connectivity as opposed to either a more complex skill or
an additional skill. Therefore, a key part of the Connective Learning process
is the basic understanding of these three types of learning.
What is the root of all human evil? Many claim it is money. But I think it is something else. A contagious behavior so insidious that effects all human beings to various degrees regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, presence of disability or lack thereof, social class, education level, political affiliation, and more. This behavior can be seen in the highest levels of education and the lowest levels of ignorance. It is exhibited by social justice advocates and the “Oppressors” alike. It occurs in society’s elite as well as the downtrodden.
This behavior is infectious. It spreads from one person to another like a virus. It causes a person’s thinking brain to become dormant while the person’s emotions take over. It breeds a vicious self-reinforcing cycle of hate, discontent, anger, paranoia, insecurity, revenge, indignation, righteousness, contempt, and loathing. Many times this behavior is blatantly obvious. Other times it is hidden in intellectual discussions and writings of educated advocates of worthwhile causes.
This behavior is responsible for incalculable human suffering. In its most powerful form, it has caused the deaths of millions and individual acts of unspeakable cruelty. In its milder form it crops up all over the internet in blogs, posts, memes, and commentary. The majority of those who exhibit and spread the behavior are unaware of it and the effect it has on them. They don’t see how this behavior feeds on itself. They don’t know that when you put out a little, you get a lot back in return.
This behavior is “Othering”. Othering is mentally classifying “others” of some group to be fundamentally different than yourself. Othering denies the basic humanity of the “Othered”. Othering combines prejudice, bias, objectivism, and more into a toxic mental process and supersedes rational thinking and balanced judgment.
But the true danger of Othering comes from its appeal. It has the ability to make those who use it feel be good. It justifies their beliefs. It creates camaraderie. It solidifies bonds. Othering bypasses the “thinking brain” and speaks directly to the emotional brain, thus it makes it easier to get your opinion across to susceptible listeners. Othering allows you to skip the need to use time consuming accuracy, facts, and logical statements. You get your supporters to agree with you because it “feels” right to them.
Your supporters in turn, spread your Othering message. Those with opposite opinions, react emotionally to the Othering. Many of them will have their thinking brains become dormant as they formulate their own Othering based response. Othering begets more Othering creating a feedback loop of emotional thinking. Othering creates a backlash. No matter how worthy the cause, the use of Othering provides short term satisfaction and long term harm to both your cause and humanity.
Othering can be hard to spot. But once you understand the concept, you will start to see it in many places and forms. Overt prejudice is easy to identify as Othering. It is the Othering that is hidden in the writings of the “educated” that takes a little practice to recognize. The easiest method to find Othering involves the Word Replacement Test. For example, start by using two groups in history that have been historically Othered, Blacks and Jews.
Start the Word Replacement Test
“Not all men beat their partners, but people who beat their partners are mostly men.”
Now, replace men with Jews.
“Not all Jews beat their partners, but people who beat their partners are mostly Jews.”
Next, replace men with Blacks
“Not all Blacks beat their partners, but people who beat their partners are mostly Black.”
More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals
There are many ways in which people try to solve problems in their lives and in the world. But, there are two widely used methods that take completely opposite approaches. The method used is usually a function of the person’s Locus of Control.
Assume the majority of Town X consists of Non-Spitters. Town X does not have a Spit Culture. It has a culture where the majority Non-Spitters don’t know how to handle and control the behaviors of the minority Spitters. And the Hyper-Advocates keep clouding the issue by claiming that Town X has a “Murder and Spit Culture” in the hopes that some government entity will pay attention and come to the rescue of the town.
In addition, when someone tries to accurately assess the factors involved in the spitting problem, which includes examining factors specific to the victim and his or her behavior, the Hyper-Advocates squash this study as “Victim Blaming” and label the person as a Murder and Spit Denier. These Hyper-Advocates have a very strong External Locust of Control. They fundamentally believe that other people’s actions and behaviors are the source of their problems. Thus, the only solution is for the others, not them, to change.
As a result of the activities of the Hyper-Advocates, nobody really knows what is going on. There is no accurate understanding of why the Serial Spitters spit and why the Non-Spitters don’t. But there are plenty of ideologically driven theories. There is minimal understanding as to why certain people seem to get assaulted why others do not. With little understanding and accurate data, problem solving methods are doomed to fail. The Hyper-Advocates in their attempt to show the problem is occurring everywhere, focus their attentions of Town Y and Town Z, labeling them also Murder and Spit Cultures.
While my example may involve some satire, the Internet has provided those who want to solve social problems with a means to band together and a delivery system for their methods. Those that combine ILPS with ELPS have the greatest ability to solve society’s problems. On the other hand, the Hyper-Advocates of ELPS are a huge part of the problem they claim to want to solve.
Google the term “self defense” and there almost 10 million results. Millions of people expounding on different ideas of what constitutes self-defense. Google “self-defense competency” and the results drop down to a couple thousand.
What does it mean to be competent in self defense? It doesn’t mean that you are safe. You could safely lock yourself in your fortress-like home and still be incompetent in self-defense.
Self defense competency is described in many ways by different people. I define it as a competency in three separate, but inter-related and inter-dependent elements of Environmental Knowledge, Rule Knowledge, and Domain Knowledge.
1. Environmental Knowledge (EK) is understanding the general makeup of a location/area/place/environment. For example, what the people do, when they do it, who they do it with, why they do it, where they do it, and how they do it. Having EK means you see the environment as it truly exists, not as how you believe it to be. EK requires understanding basic human nature as well as social norms and cultural motivations. And how these desires and attitudes effect the inhabitant’s rules and behaviors. (See Marc MacYoung for the original deeper description of this concept)
2. Rule Knowledge (RK) is understanding “how things work” in the specified Environment. The Environment creates the Rules. All human societies, groups, organizations, tribes, families, etc have some form of Rules of Behavior. These rules are specific to the Environment, but underlying them are universal principles and concepts (that are not so hard to understand). It is not enough to know the environment, you also need to know how the rules guide behaviors, allow people to function/work, and to reward and punish behaviors. You need to know who implements/enforces the rules, what are the rules, how the rules are communicated, how the rules are enforced, how compliance/respect for the rules is shown. Understanding the “rules” of criminal behavior is essential to RK.
3. Domain Knowledge (DK) is having the knowledge and skills to deal with/operate in the specific Environment and to be capable of protecting yourself and others (within reason). It is here that understanding criminal behavior is critical. A major portion of DK is having both EK and RK. It takes EK to derive RK. It takes RK to develop the competency of DK. DK is what most people think of as “how to do self-defense”. What they don’t “see” is the underlying knowledge of when to do something, what to do, why to do it, where to do it, and against whom, or not against whom, and when it works, when it doesn’t, and what to do next.
The opposite of Self-Defense Competency is Self-Defense Incompetency. Since Self-Defense Competency requires having all three elements of EK and RK and DK, incompetency means lacking any one of the three. Most Self-Defense Incompetency stems from not having a complete understanding of Environmental Knowledge. This partial understanding leads to insufficient Rule Knowledge and incomplete or entirely defective Domain Knowledge.
Despite being the foundation of Self-Defense Competency, Environmental Knowledge frequently is assumed to be common knowledge. It is viewed as simply occurrences of Bad Guys assaulting Good Guys in some manner. Environmental Knowledge is also separate from “situational awareness”. It is not enough to simply be aware, you need to know what you are looking for, and what to be aware of.
“How do I defend myself from X?” and “This is how you defend yourself from Y.”
Who are you? What are your physical, mental, and emotional strengths and limitations?
Who is the other person? What are his or her physical, mental, and emotional strengths and limitations?
Yesterday, I was in the middle of a crowded bike ride in New York City, I had just rode off a curb in order to get from the sidewalk to the street when my gears started to rattle. I quickly pulled over and inspected my gear wheel. Sure enough, part of the derailleur was sagging over the gears. As I peddled forward, the derailleur would rub against the gear teeth causing the problem.
As I was trying to determine how to solve this problem, my friend came over and asked me what was going on. I explained how I had gone off the curb and how the impact must have dislodged the derailleur from its correct position. The issue was that even though I knew what happened, I had no idea how to fix it. In truth, I am not a “gear head” and this repair was beyond my ability.
“Erik, what about the cracked plastic piece on the chain roller by the pedal?” my friend said. “No, that’s not the problem”, I responded”. “It’s the derailleur”. It was very clear to me what had caused the problem, I just didn’t know how to fix it.
My friend hands me his knife as says “Erik, cut that piece off”. I give him an annoyed look and took the knife. As I sawed away at the plastic, I was thinking how this cutting is a waste of time. I knew what the real problem was. Low and behold, once the broken plastic was removed, the problem was solved. I was completely and utterly wrong.
I had created an entire story my head about what had caused the problem. How going off the curb had dislodged the derailleur. And now it was rubbing on the gears. I could “see” it. I was both blind and resistant to new information. But my friend hadn’t observed me going off the curb. He came upon me on the side of the road. He had no theory as to what caused the problem. I was fixated on the derailleur. He wasn’t. He had a fresh set of eyes. My observation was hopelessly biased by my internal script of causation.
What are some other scripts of causation? How about “Male Privilege”. This is a central theory of how Male Privilege effect’s all men’s behavior.
Note that Male Privilege is seen to effect and influence ALL men, not just SOME men.
Here is an article forwarded to me by a female friend of mine. We were just having a discussion on how to deal with [some] men who don’t seem to get the hint that it is time from them to go away.
Stop Saying "I Have A Boyfriend"
Now, I agree with much of what this female author is saying. And I think it is very unfortunate that she has to deal with this issue. But, I want to focus on what she considers to be the root “cause” of the problem.
“Male privilege is “I have a boyfriend” being the only thing that can actually stop someone from hitting on you because they respect another male-bodied person more than they respect your rejection/lack of interest.”
According to the post author, the “cause” of the problem is Male Privilege. And the only reason why “I have a boyfriend" works is due to Male Privilege. Thus, Male Privilege is deemed to be as certain as the Law of Gravity. Its existence explains all men’s actions.
But how do Male Privilegists know what ALL men are thinking at ALL times? How are they able to determine how Male Privilege effects all men, especially given that most of them don’t live the lives of men? They see some men from their own prospective. Could it be that some women (and men) are fixated on blaming Male Privilege as being the cause of ALL men’s behaviors in relation to women?
Let's assume for a moment that there is some other force that directs some men's actions when dealing with women. Let’s call it Fear of Rejection. In this case, some men act in a manner designed reduce feeling the emotional pain of rejection. Instead of feeling the power and control of Male Privilege, they instead feel insecurity.
Therefore, when it appears they just have been, or are being, or are about to be rejected, they engage in a dysfunctional strategy to "save face". This strategy entails appearing to not really care about the woman, to treat her as an object, to dehumanize her, to engage in unwanted banter, to call her a lesbian, to argue, to ignore her boundaries, to threaten her. The man does everything he can to transform the rejection into something else. In his mind, he didn't care anyway. It was just a game. It's her problem. She's a bitch. All of these actions are designed to mask the fact that he has in fact been rejected.
To someone fixated on Male Privilege. The man’s behaviors can easily be explained as the result of Male Privilege. The problem is that the Male Privilege causation model leaves no room for any man to behave in a manner not consistent with its declarations. There is no male vulnerability or Fear of Rejection in the Male Privilege model. There is only actions resulting from male superiority, power, and control.
I am suggesting that SOME men behave in certain ways due to Male Privilege. And SOME men behave in certain ways due to Fear of Rejection. And SOME men behave in other ways due to other reasons. But, the belief that ALL men's actions at ALL times can be explained by Male Privilege is an example of fixation on an ideological theory of causation.
Why might the phrase "I have a boyfriend" work for deterring some men for reasons that have nothing to do with Male Privilege as outlined above? How about the simplicity of the fact that it provides a face saving exit? The man can tell himself that he hasn't been rejected after all. His ego remains intact. There has been no personal rejection. Or maybe, the man respects the woman. He realizes that she don't want to be romantically pursued and he drops the issue.
If someone, male or female, provides you with unwanted romantic attention, setting a firm boundary with clear communication, and escalating responses is an effective methodology. Saying you have a boyfriend when in fact you do not, is a lie, and as such is by definition not clear communication. It ingrains habits of non-assertiveness. The direct assertive response is most likely to be the most effective response in these situations.
The Violation Triangle is a model that explains the creation and existence of human violations in society both on an individual basis and also on a systemic multi-incident basis. And it shows the steps necessary to reduce the violations.
The Violation Triangle utilizes the same three element concept of the Fire Triangle. In order to create and sustain fire, there must be three elements present: heat, fuel and air. The combination of these elements in sufficient quantities makes fire and keeps it going. Knowledge of the Fire Triangle is essential to devising the most effective strategy to extinguish a fire. Depending upon the circumstances, fire-fighters will attempt to remove one or more of these elements to put out the fire. For example, water reduces heat, foam takes away air, and creating a fire-break denies fuel.
Human violations between a Perpetrator (s) and Victim arise from the presence of three essential (I) Elements. (1) Significant INEQUALITY of Relative Power, Control, and Status (RPCS) between the parties. (2) The Victim is ISSOLATED from protective resources such as family, friends, and policing agents and institutions. (3) The Perpetrator has INTENT to harm, i.e. wants to do something that violates the Victim in some manner. These three elements are the essential ingredients that occur during a singular incident of violation. They occur during multiple incidents of violations among different people or for a single person at various times.
The greater the presence of these 3I Elements in society, the more likely that violations will occur. The greater magnitude of the 3I Elements, the greater the rate of violations. The Fire Triangle analogy is: the more people that store gasoline next to space heaters in ventilated basements, the greater the rate of house fires.
Therefore, the most effective means of lowering the overall rate of violations in society or the number of violations to any one individual requires a three pronged approach that addresses each of the 3I Elements.
INEQUALITY of RPCS comes in many forms. It could be the result of a disparity in physical power, strength, size, and ability between the parties. It could be created by use of a tool such as a weapon. It could be created by a tactical advantage such as multiple attackers or the use of surprise. Inequality also arises from social hierarchies and from personal relationships such as employer to employee, teacher to student, or care-giver to patient.
Groups of people with higher RPCS in society tend to treat the “lower” tier of people as less than equal or subhuman to some degree. This is the process of “Othering” that maintains strict social classes in society. Nationalism, sexism, racism, and ableism are all common forms of Othering.
On bottom tier of society are the lower RCPS groups such as people with developmental and physical disabilities, the homeless, the LGBT community, the poor, minorities, and in many cultures, women. These groups as a whole have less RPCS than the higher tier groups such as the wealthy, celebrities, athletes, business owners, politicians, law enforcement, military officers, professors, and so forth.
While there are always exceptions, and people who can be described by multiple classes, the general rule of division of RPCS by societal social class holds true. In addition, RPCS can also be temporary, and it can be increased or lowered on a situational level. It is also relative to the other person involved. A person with low RPCS in society may have greater RPCS than a person with very low RPCS, for example abled-bodied homeless man vs. disabled homeless woman.
ISOLATION also comes in multiple forms. In today’s modern world, all people are dependent upon the overall smooth functioning of society for survival. People depend upon each other for basic needs such as food, shelter, and security in some form or another. When someone is isolated from these protective resources they become vulnerable.
Generally, the primary level of protective resources comes from the inner circle of family and close friends. The secondary level is the authority figures, policing agents and institutions of society. These resources serve to protect individuals from would-be violators.
When the perpetrator is a family member or “friend”, not only is this primary means of protection unavailable for defense, this person has close access to his victim making it easier for him to create isolation. A violator that has isolated his selected lower RPCS victim from the protective intervention of others now has the unfettered ability to manipulate his victim as he chooses.
Isolation can take the form of emotional control as well as a physical separation. A victim that will not report a violation has been effectively isolated from the protective resources of society designed to punish violators. Violators will use fear, intimidation, guilt, and other coercive means to limit reporting.
INTENT is the most variable of the 3I Elements. It defines the perpetrator’s motivation or desire to commit a violating act. As with all humans, the perpetrator’s motivation is transitory. It is subject to change. The magnitude of a person’s intent is a function not only of the individual’s emotional drive and hard wiring, it is also effected by the circumstances of the situation, and influenced by cultural norms.
The quest to change the “sexually violating” intent of men is the focus of some feminist “Teach Men Not to Rape” campaigns. The theory is that with proper education and social pressure, men’s sexually aggressive bad INTENT will be reduced. Thus resulting in lower incidents of sexual assault in society.
INTENT is influenced in many ways. The concept behind societal enforcement and punishment is a direct attempt to lower bad intent by creating a deterrence to committing future violations. Enforcement can also come directly from the actions of an individual as he or she uses force to stop and punish violations. Throughout history physical pain has proven to be an effective method to change a person’s motivation.
Intent may also vary depending upon the parties involved. A perpetrator who may have a low threshold of intent may be deterred by effective boundary setting. In this case, the perpetrator is risk adverse and is only willing to assault the most hapless of victims, i.e. someone with much lower RPCS in an isolated setting.
Intent may also result from having an anti-social personality. As with the case with psychopaths, these individuals by definition due not conform to the norms of society. Anti-rape education will not lower the violating intent of these people. The combination of this type of person with high RPCS along with the multiple opportunities to isolate lower RPCS people usually results in serial victimizations.
The 3I Elements work together to create a perfect storm of violating synergy. Each Element also has the ability to effect the other Elements. In the same manner that “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”, so does having high RPCS raise some people’s degree of violating intent. Being isolated with a suitable victim may encourage a potential perpetrator’s violating intent, i.e. creating a crime of opportunity. Having high malicious intent and motivation is a factor that leads to higher RPCS.
Once the concepts of the Violation Triangle are understood, it becomes much easier to find strategies to defeat it. The Violation Triangle allows specific methods of violation prevention to be examined for logical truths and flaws. For example, some claim that binge drinking on college campuses increases the rate of male to female sexual assault. While other’s claim alcohol is not a factor. The Violation Triangle clarifies the issue.
Assume a college party held on school grounds that is well policed. All the party goers spend the entire night in the same large on room with the lights on and there are no isolated locations. In this case, regardless of how drunk the women get, and even with the presence of some men with “rapist” intent, the lack of opportunity to isolate victims from protective resources makes incidents of sexual assault unlikely.
Or assume, the local Anti-Sexual Violence against Women chapter holds an invitation only mixed gender sleep over with an open bar at local guest house. Regardless of how much the invitees drink, the lack of guests with “rapist” intent and the general parity of RPCS will eliminate the occurrence of a sexual assault.
On the other hand, assume the party is held at a local fraternity with numerous bedrooms, private areas and darkened corners without policing supervision. This fraternity houses several men with high RPCS, and these same men have sexually aggressive tendencies or outright violating intent. A woman who is drunk has effectively lowered her RPCS. She now has impaired judgment and decision making, a parallel to the impaired judgment and decision making of the highest category of sexual assault victims – the development disabled. The more of these drunken women at the party, the more likely one or more of them will be selectively isolated by a high RPCS man with bad intent. The likely result will be a sexual assault.
The Violation Triangle applies to not only sexual assault. It applies to bullying, abuse, harassment, dating and domestic violence, and more. The Violation Triangle is a tool to understand and evaluate how to prevent violations from occurring both on an individual level and also on a systemic multi-incident basis.
Why we need to keep talking about ‘rape culture’
25 Everyday Examples of Rape Culture
Rape Culture Is Real
RAPE CULTURE DETRACTORS:
It’s Time to End ‘Rape Culture’ Hysteria
Rape culture’ fanatics don’t know what a culture is
Is America A "Rape Culture"?
RAINN comments and recommendations to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.
How Not to Talk About a Culture of Sexual Assault
Which type of self-defense training is best for you?
Type in “self-defense” in an internet search and you will receive a huge amount of hits. You will receive web links to all sorts of self-defense training systems. Upon reviewing these sites, you will notice that most make similar claims to be practical, realistic, and simple to learn and apply.
SMARTS stands for Smart – Mindful - Applicable – Reason-based – Tactics – Strategies
The universal concept is also a form of dehumanization. You are not viewed as an individual with behaviors and characteristics that influence your personal safety. You are just another potential victim of a Bad Guy. Everyone is made equally safe by the application of the instructed techniques.
Many times Universal systems can be identified by the uniform appearance and attitude of the practitioners. They all receive the same instruction regardless of their individuality.
Simplistic systems are closed to adaption and expansion. They don’t evolve to deal with multiple environments and multifaceted situations.
Smart – This word stands for using your brain foremost. It means using your innate intelligence to make critical decisions that combine good judgment and experience. It means learning about the root causes of violence as opposed to accepting “sound bites” and common knowledge. It means studying criminal behavior and human behavior.
Personal safety is a constant process not a singular event. Your body is constantly fighting off infection and invasive threats from bacteria and viruses. It is an ongoing process. But there are certain times, such as visiting a hospital or upon receiving a cut, that you give this process extra attention and take additional precautionary measures.
Realism also takes into consideration a person's true strengths and weaknesses. Realism allows a person to make accurate assessments based on his or her true capabilities as opposed to false confidence in one's ability to handle dangerous situations.
Strategies can be simple and not be simplistic. They can be complex without being complicated. Strategies use tactics to achieve their goals. For example, attacking the attacker is a strategy designed to put the attacker on the defensive. Using a flurry of strikes is a tactic that executes that strategy. An open handed strike is a technique than may or may not be part of the flurry tactic.
SMARTS can also use simple movement. SMARTS training encompasses a much wider variety of environments and situations than DUMBS systems. As such, the motto of SMARTS training is that “Violence is complicated”. And because violence is complicated, resolving violence takes more than just learning a DUMBS system.