Dr. Helen

Crime is not random. Victims are chosen.

So says Rory Miller in his new book on violence entitled Conflict Communication: A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication. From the book description:

This book presents a functional taxonomy to see, understand and manipulate the roots of life’s conflicts. You will have the background, the principles, and a collection of tricks to manage and ideally avoid dangerous conflicts.

You may not realize that your reactions to conflict are subconscious, scripted, and for the good of the group. Once recognized, you can take actions that will reduce your chances of being caught up in conflicts.

After reading this book, you can never go back. Even if you refuse to admit how often your monkey brain has controlled your life, escalations leading to conflict will never again be invisible to you.

The author served as a veteran corrections officer for 17 years as an officer and sergeant working maximum security, booking, and mental health. Predators, he says, choose victims who satisfy their needs at an acceptable level of risk. Some predators are working to get money or taking something from a victim that can be turned into money. Others are addicted to different types of thrills, and hence look for big men to beat up, women they can make cry or they need to hurt someone who looks like their mother.

The book gives the reader tactics, tools, and techniques to help manage conflict when in a dangerous or violent situation or just confronted with a difficult co-worker. But it is better to avoid violence in the first place. The book essentially teaches you how not to be that chosen victim but explains what to do if you are to deescalate the situation. He teaches how to set boundaries, work from common ground and build rapport.

I was a bit perturbed by Miller’s constant stereotypes about what nasty asses men were and how women seemed to be victims rather than perps in most examples, but overall, the book has some decent communication tips for those readers who want to have a few verbal tricks to use next time they meet up with unexpected conflict.