wikiHow to Walk Away from a Fight

Whether the fight just crept up on you or you provoked it, knowing how to walk away from a fight can be the most mature and responsible thing you have ever done in your life. It won't be the easiest thing to do though and you'll need to stay strong in the aftermath of letting go. However, walking away can ultimately ensure that you don't make an already bad situation worse than it already is.


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    Keep your wits about you. Anger, panic, fear, and frustration are all emotions guaranteed to cause you to fall apart and see red rather than think clearly about what is happening. This is all the more reasons walking away is the best option often, to create the distance needed to cool down.
    • It's highly recommended that you learn to avoid getting yourself into situations that threaten fights as an inevitable outcome. Keep an eye out for danger signs, like the building up of high tension, the presence of alcohol, a too-late night, or somebody who is upset over something/somebody else already, and stay away. Attempt to defuse the situation as soon as it arises.
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    Create physical distance. The other person is likely as riled and angry or afraid as you are and this makes things volatile. By stepping back or standing away, you make the first call to not engage any further in fighting. Keep your distance––if the other person comes closer, move away again.
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    Assess whether or not it'll work to talk. In many cases, the emotions are just too heightened for a discussion. However, if it seems that talking might work, throw some hooks as an invitation to talk instead of fight. For example: Say something like: "Hey buddy. I don't want this. You don't want this. Let's be reasonable and talk it out."
    • This may not be the right time to work out the deepest, darkest motives of the other person. But it is a good opportunity to acknowledge his or her anger or frustration in ways that show you are paying full attention to their grievance.
    • Avoid slinging shots, such as saying things like "this is all your fault", "you're gutless" or "you think with your fist, not your brain". These sorts of comments will just further inflame things.
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    Ignore the insults or negative comments your opponent is flinging your way. This is to be expected and you should be ready for it. You might hear yourself being called a coward, weak and all manner of angry and taunting things. These are the last offenses of the angry opponent who sees a chance for a fight deflating, the last ditch efforts to rile you into returning to the fight. Recognize them for what they are and don't personalize them.
    • You may hear taunts related to members of your family or other people you care about. Again, let it roll like water off the duck's back. Your opponent is trying all sorts of tactics and nobody's dignity is being maligned simply because this person says ridiculous things. Don't look on it as an issue of pride––look on it as an issue of an idiot straining to provoke you.
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    Avoid escalating an argument. There may be principles you want to stand on, points you wish to ram home and views that you think are irrevocably right. You may think that your opponent is all wrong. But none of these beliefs are either wholly accurate or helpful to you. The important thing is avoiding a fight, not arguing petty points about the disagreement you two have.
    • Don't insult your opponent or become angry with him or her. Just stay calm and do your best to convince him or her that a fight is a bad idea.
    • If necessary, acknowledge the other person has a valid argument for whatever it is that's instigating the fight, even if you're seemingly in the right. The rights and wrongs of the matter can be untangled later, when everyone has cooled down.
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    When trying to avoid a fight, keep eye contact and try to keep an eye on the hands. Discuss the problem and apologize for anything you have caused, even if you're right. While attempting to defuse the situation, it is important to keep your hands in a defensible yet non-aggressive position. Moreover, prepare to defend yourself mentally just in case, as follows:
    • Be ready to block sucker punches to your face/body, but not in a "fighting stance".
      • Use the "prayer position" with both palms pressed together, which looks non-threatening, but keeps your hands up near your face.
      • Use the "stay back" position, hands facing your aggressor palms outward.
      • Use the "I'm thinking" position, with a hand on your chin/head. Remember; try to seem natural while you do this. Keep protected at all times.
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    When all else fails, turn away and leave. Remember there is no shame in running away––you did your best. Walking away from a fight doesn't determine that you're a coward (no matter how much the other person screams this); it determines that you're mature and thinking responsibly, about not just yourself but about the other person too, and families and friends who will be affected by the repercussions. Above all, remind yourself the alternatives could be much worse: You could die, get crippled, or end in jail. Remember what's important to you and how a fight could impact your life.
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    Be careful when you try to walk away. If the other person is very angry, they may simply attack you from behind. When walking away, face the person who is causing your trouble, to prevent them from attacking you from behind, sight unseen. Back away, keep an eye on the person and only turn to actually leave when it is safe to do so, such as in the doorway or getting into your car, etc.
    • Glance back now and then while seeking to defuse the situation, to check for potential escape routes. Do not turn your head as you look back.


  • If you are in school, just walk away. If you are in a car, drive-off. Don't argue forever then lead things to fighting in the future. There is no worth in holding grudges. You only live once, so make the best and don't waste time doing what you don't need to..
  • Do not take the moral approach in your attempts to defuse the situation. For example, saying something like "I've got better things to do than fight on the streets" or "fighting is so childish" can cause your aggressor to go out of his or her way to prove you wrong. They'll do their best to make it as though you're scared and have others think that your opponent is better than you. The point of you walking away is so you know you're only yourself and that fighting won't help you solve any of your problems. Some arguments may start because you hang with a person someone doesn't like, so they'll take it out on you. You can't let anyone get to you no matter what. It's just another way to try to "win" the fight by making yourself seem better (in a superior and infuriating way); your objective is not to win, it's to not be a part of the fight, whatsoever.
  • For people unfamiliar with adrenaline bursts, walking away can be nearly impossible. You may under the pressure as if you have to fight. However, you don't. Preventing the fight is what makes you the winner. People who get their adrenaline pumping regularly in a peaceful manner have more control of themselves in a stressful situation. Regardless, try to keep a level and clear head. don't let words hurt you in any type of way. Anything that's being said towards you, just ignore it. You know what's true and what isn't. If you find this happens to you, it's time to learn self-calming techniques, and quickly. Ask for counseling help with this, as it can take a bit of work to undo fear habits that are ingrained. Just work as hard as you can to not reply to anything that's being said. Act like you can't even hear anything their saying. Be the bigger person.
  • In a truly dangerous situation, the most important thing is to leave your ego aside. Tell your opponent what he or she wants to hear.
  • Ignore the person you had a fight with unless it is your best friend in which case you should work things out verbally
  • If the fight already started, use your palm to hit the opponent's philtrum, but be careful, this is an extremely dangerous, don't use this in school' use it in street fights or things like these.
  • Call police if you find the situation is leading to violence.
  • If you're the one that gets to you're opponent's nerve(for example: being really annoying or you've been mistreating him or her for a long time), you should let them burst out all their complaints or disagreement first, then find a solution to the problem. Start to evaluate yourself, try to be a better person as well.


  • In some situations, the person might say something provocative. But again, be the better person and ignore it.
  • There are no rules or referees on the street and the person who ends dead could be you.
  • Always keep in mind there is no shame in turning down a fight. If you are around people, this is no different. People calling you yellow is not something to get into a fight over. Remember that it is what you think of yourself when a fight is about to start and when you turn it down that is important. Besides, there is more maturity in turning down a fight, and remember: "War does not make one strong."
  • Fighting is not a game and should not be used to resolve petty conflicts. Serious legal and physical consequences may result. The worst thing that could happen in a fight is that someone may end dead.
  • Sometimes the person who wants to fight you is looking for it and will hit you anyway. Your best option is always walking away, but if the person is a threat to you, and backing off isn't an option, you must defend yourself. Usually the first hit can be the strongest and can also catch the person off guard. A follow up can quickly end the fight if it is well timed and delivered.
  • When walking away, do not turn your back on the enemy. That makes it too easy to get jumped. Walk away to the side at an angle and keep them in your sight or head towards a crowd. Be mindful of obstacles because if you fall you can get jumped.
  • Of course, if there's authority around you, don't hesitate to alert them.

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