How to Avoid a Fight at School

Three Methods:Defusing A Bad SituationAvoiding Potential ConflictsFinding a Support System

Sometimes there are people at school who always seem to want to fight. You might even be the one who occasionally loses your temper. However, getting in a physical fight is not a good way to settle a conflict. You could get hurt and you could get in trouble. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to avoid getting in a fight at school

Method 1
Defusing A Bad Situation

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    Stay calm. If you find yourself in a tense situation, the best thing you can do is to try to defuse the situation. In order to reduce the tensions, keep your cool. Staying calm can have a calming effect on the people around you. [1]
    • Take a deep breath. If you feel yourself tensing for a fight, focus on your breath. Breath in slowly, and exhale slowly.
    • Take a moment to think. If someone starts teasing you in the hallway, your impulse might be to take the bait.
    • Instead, pause. Say to yourself, "If I fight, someone will get hurt and probably in trouble. I'm going to stay calm."
    • Make it a habit to breathe and think before speaking or acting. Your actions might result in others staying calm, too.
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    Shift the focus. A great way to defuse a dangerous situation is to draw attention to something else. For example, if someone pushes you in the cafeteria, don't respond to the physical aggression. Instead, look for a way to shift the attention.[2]
    • Try saying something like, "Didn't the bell just ring? I'm going to have to ignore you and head to Spanish."
    • You can also change the subject completely. If someone bumps into you aggressively on the way to class, turn to a friend and say, "Did you see that baseball game last night?"
    • Shifting the focus can help to ease tensions. By paying attention to something else, you are decreasing the likelihood of a fight.
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    Rely on humor. A good laugh can instantly lighten the mood. If you find yourself in a situation where a fight could arise, try to say something funny. Using humor to defuse a situation can be very effective.[3]
    • If you show that you are relaxed enough to make a joke, the person who wants to fight might back down. Say something funny to ease the tension.
    • Don't make jokes that will hurt someone else's feelings. Instead, try to just find the irony or humor in the situation.
    • Maybe someone is taunting you for studying during lunch. Laugh and say, "It may be boring now, but it will be nice to get into a great college!"
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    Be confident. If you are self-assured, you will be less likely to feel the need to fight. When you are confident in yourself, you will feel able to handle tough situations in a mature way. There are a lot of ways you can build your confidence and portray it to others.[4]
    • Focus on your strengths. If someone is teasing you about your clothes, think to yourself, "At least I'm awesome at soccer!"
    • Practice dealing with difficult situations. Take time to think about how you will respond if approached for a fight.
    • If you practice your response, you will feel much more confident in the moment. For example, you can practice saying something like, "I have better things to do than to fight."
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    Cope with insults. Not all fights are physical. Someone may be trying to pick on you by saying harmful things. There are some ways that you can cope effectively with verbal aggression.[5]
    • One way to cope with a bully is to ignore him or her. If someone is teasing you, just walk away.
    • Another tactic is to remain calm. Try saying, "You know, I can't think of a good reason to keep talking to you when you're acting like this."
    • Make it clear that you have no desire to fight. If you are not engaged in the situation, it will likely blow over.

Method 2
Avoiding Potential Conflicts

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    Trust your instincts. It's important to learn to defuse a bad situation. But it is equally important to take steps to avoid tough situations altogether. Spend time thinking about changes you can make to stay away from potential fights.[6]
    • Go with your gut feeling. If you are walking home and see a group of kids standing on the corner, you might feel like there would be a problem if you walked by them.
    • Avoid the situation by taking a different route home. It might cost you a few extra minutes to change directions, but it could also help you avoid a fight.
    • The same is true for when you are actually in school. If you see a group of kids that look suspicious, don't engage with them. Use a different route to get to class.
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    Make safety a priority. You could get hurt if you get in a fight. That is why it is important to always be conscious of your safety. It's a good idea to be aware of your surroundings.[7]
    • Try to travel with friends. If possible, walk with others in between class.
    • A bully will be less likely to approach you for a fight if you are with other kids. You should also try to sit with friends at lunch.
    • If you are worried about your safety, try to stick close to adults. In the cafeteria, sit at a table close to a lunch room monitor.
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    Set boundaries. You can make it clear that other kids need to respect your personal space. Setting boundaries is a great way to avoid getting in a fight. Establish clear lines that should not be crossed.[8]
    • If someone bumps into you try saying, "I would appreciate it if you could stay further away from me." Speak firmly and politely.
    • Maybe you need to leave the room and someone is blocking your path. You can say, "I would like you to get out of my way, please."
    • By setting boundaries, you are making it clear that you wish to avoid fighting. This is a better choice to make than shoving someone out of your way.
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    Use your voice. Your words are your most powerful weapon. You can use your voice to help avoid potentially dangerous situations. For example, if you see other kids fighting, you can use words to defuse the situation.[9]
    • Try using logic. Instead of getting physically involved, you can say "You are going to get in trouble if you keep fighting. I know neither of you wants to get suspended from the basketball team."
    • You can also use your words to get help. Tell an adult if there is a fight starting. This is a choice that can help you to stay out of danger.
    • Always try to speak clearly and confidently. You want others to know that you mean what you say.
    • Be respectful. Do not use your words to instigate problems.[10]
    • Instead of mocking someone, try saying, "I know you're better than this. I don't think you really want to fight."
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    Manage your emotions. One of the main reasons that people fight is because they allow emotions to get the best of them. Fights are usually caused by anger, stress, or fear. Learning to control your emotions can help you stay out of fights.[11]
    • There are several things you can do to manage stress. For example, you can concentrate on the positive things in your life.
    • Maybe you are stressed because someone in your family is sick. Instead of focusing on that at school, take a moment to be glad that you get to spend some time with your friends.
    • There are also effective ways to control your anger. For example, you can practice deep breathing techniques. Count to five while you slowly inhale, then count to five as you slowly exhale.
    • Talk about your feelings. If you are coping with some difficult emotions, speak to a friend, parent, or teacher.
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    Take charge of your life. All of us have bad days. Sometimes you might feel like snapping at someone, or you might feel like you have an especially short temper. Just remember, you can choose how you handle those days.[12]
    • It's normal to have bad days. But you can try to minimize those occasions by focusing on the positive things in your life.
    • If you find yourself about to say something mean, find something else to think about. Try saying to yourself, "Ok, I'm annoyed now, but I'm really looking forward to playing video games later."
    • Maybe someone said something hurtful to you at school. You can use the same coping tactics for dealing with someone who wants to physically fight you.
    • Take care of yourself physically. Make sure to get enough rest and physical exercise. These will help stabilize your mood and help you avoid the urge to fight.

Method 3
Finding a Support System

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    Talk to your parents. Maybe other students try to pick fights with you. Or maybe you feel the urge to fight with someone else. Either way, dealing with potential aggression can be a very emotional experience. Look for people who can help support you.[13]
    • Your parents can help you deal with this tough situation. Ask them if you can talk.
    • Be specific in your request. Say, "Mom, can I talk to you about a tough problem I'm dealing with?"
    • Be open and honest. Tell your parents exactly what the issue is. Work together to try to find a solution.
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    Ask a teacher for advice. Teachers are another very helpful resource. If you have a teacher that you are close to, consider asking that person to offer you some tips. You can ask to keep your conversation confidential.[14]
    • Tell your teacher your concerns. For example, you can say, "I have been arguing a lot with Jason lately. I'm worried that we might get in an actual fight."
    • You can also try talking to the school guidance counselor. Counselors are trained to help students deal with difficult situations.
    • Consider talking to a coach or an adviser of one of your after school activities. Any adult who knows you will likely be able to help you think of some ways to avoid fights.
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    Spend time with your true friends. You're likely busy with school, activities, and chores. But don't forget to make time to hang out with your friends. Friends are an important resource, too.[15]
    • Your friends can make you laugh. When you are more relaxed, you will be less likely to be tempted to fight.
    • Spend time with people who are genuine. You and your friends should be kind to one another. You should also be honest with each other.
    • If you're having an issue with a classmate, tell your friend about it. Say, "I'm worried I might get in a fight. Can you sit with me at lunch next week?"
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    Use online resources. Junior high and high school can cause stress. It is difficult to find a positive way to deal with changes as you get older. Just remember, there is always someone who can listen.[16]
    • Use the internet. There are lots of discussion forums and chat rooms devoted to helping teens.
    • Look for a site that offers advice for fighting bullying. You can learn to avoid bullies, and to avoid becoming one.
    • Consider going to a site such as You can choose to chat, text, e-mail, or talk on the phone to someone who understands what you're dealing with.[17]


  • Confidence is very important.
  • Don't worry what others think of you for turning down a fight.
  • Ask for help if you are worried about your safety.

Article Info

Categories: Self Defense