An Act of Intimidation -
Although not everybody has the traits to become an officer, others perform better than average because they have added an additional trait in their personality that can be helpful at timed during stressful situations or conflict. Some officers have learned how to intimidate people without the use of violence. In reality, this is something that everybody wants to be able to do but few have the testicoli to make anyone think twice of flinch, much less make them sweat or pea in their pants.
For those who possess the right qualities and characteristics to be intimidating (remember size is not always a factor) the art of intimidating someone can and will go a long way to getting what you want in the content and context of compliance. The best or most effective kind of intimidation style is the one that is implied. The best intimidation is the one that's implied. By saying ‘implied’ one needs to be able to present command presence without being armed with a gun or any other non-lethal weapon and get the job done with pure old fashioned fear.
In a sense, you want prisoners to fear you but you also want them to respect you. Therefore, you have to walk a fine line that shows you are approachable and reasonable as well as a little bit on the crazy side of life. Being a little bit crazy is never a bad thing and helps your position when matters get tense around you.
You want them to recognize your power – not necessarily a physical power but the power of influence, and the power to get things done your way. Although being someone of a large physique or standing six foot or taller makes a positive impression at times, it can also be a magnet for conflict if abused and combined with arrogance or abusive natures.
A fool with a weapon might get you to wet your pants, but you'll never be able to get the job done inside a jail or prison where guns are strictly prohibited and only carried and authorized on certain special posts such as transportation, tower, and court or hospital duty.
So let’s take the steps towards the art of intimidation without having to be 6'5" or 250 pounds as gender is not a factor nor is the size of the person in charge of compliance. Remember, you are being watched constantly so whatever you do, make a positive impression and use that perception to build a level of uncertainty and mystery about yourself to a degree, these predators will respect you at all times.
The best way to intimidate someone who doesn't know you from Adam is to remain upright and credible at all times and walk with an air of being as mysterious as possible. Be impossible to read or avoid being predictable. Sure, showing up at work unshaven, cuts and bruises and even wearing a cast along with having a scowl on your face, can help your look, but if you don't know how to carry yourself, whoever you are trying to intimidate won't know the difference between you and an easy prey for the predators around you.
The less someone knows about you, the more you leave things open to the imagination. The more blanks your opponent fills, the less menacing you are. It's that simple. Avoid telling your life story at work; avoid telling co-workers about your home life, your domestic relationships and your finances. The less they know about you, the better the uncertainty and mystery about you.
Fear feeds on the unknown and doubts in life. The more doubt you project about yourself, the better the act. Keep your emotions intact. Don’t show who you are and wear your heart on your sleeve. Everyone fears the unknown and uncertainty. If you don't know what to expect, you're more on guard. If someone finds out you cry during chick movies, well, guess what my friend? You won't even intimidate your blow-up doll.
The trick to present to the environment is to present a persona that he or she perceives to be unbalanced and unpredictable. The crazier the perception, the more wacko you act, the sweeter the pot is for delivering your Marlon Brando act of intimation.
Show your psyche to be strong inside and outside. Maintain a strong personality and avoid being ‘soft handed’ with people who deserve to be punished and not coddled. You are not a fatherly or motherly figure at work – you are the enforcer – the peacekeeper of the place – in essence, you are the gatekeeper. Be the intelligent one, yet show anyone who has doubts about you, you can come across as a barbarian or badass as well if the time comes to project such an image.
Intimidate by being unpredictable and show a fake unstable temperament or disposition. Be intelligent in mannerism but put on the normal MO people expect you to have and change it up without warning. Let people try to figure you out instead of thinking they already got you figured out. Be smart enough to toss a little doubt in the air and make some of your audience freak out – be cool and never lose your temper. You don't have to be violent to show the other guy you have a screw loose or that you're out of control.
Be a pseudo psycho, but be a scary psycho; let them fear your eyes. Take the emotion out of your stare and always make eye contact. Never, ever be nice or sensitive but remain professional and polite. This confuses them even more. You have to put it in your head that you are a cold, calculating machine and willing to execute your job to get the directives followed and obeyed without the use of force or disciplinary tickets.
In prison workplaces, there are always those prisoners who will try anyone to see how far they can get with their annoyance or their stupidity. For certain, there are certain guys that get tried on a daily basis and there are other guys who never get tried for whatever reason. It’s not always about looks because some of the biggest guys still get tried and get their asses beat and some of the smallest guys are avoided by literally everyone.
Why is this? It is suggested that everybody carries with them a certain command presence that is weak or strong or average. The more you work on your command presence, the stronger the aura that surrounds you and sends off vibes to the prisoners. What is important to understand is the fact that just because you haven’t been tried much, there will be times when we get checked therefore, you need to be aware and work on your image to keep it to a minimum while at work.
Building an intimidating look does not come from beating people’s asses, quite the contrary, keeping the air in an uncertain terms and doubt, keeps me a man of peace and honor but I do have a hidden demon within me. What does help is the willingness to participate in the craziness that gets going when the place jumps off and never hesitate to back up you fellow officers without any doubts. What it means is that you are a bit of an adrenaline junkie, you love when the heart starts pumping, the warm “kill” flows through your veins and the skin starts to tingle from that juice making it to the surface putting a smile on your face and making you look crazy or willing to jump in the mix without fear.
You have to be one of those odd individuals who enjoys a stinging blow to the nose or the after-fight cool down when that warm juice recedes and the heart is working its way out of the throat. You have to preserve your reputation that when it comes down to ‘fight or flight’ you will never flee and stand your ground.
Look scrappy even if you are not the scrappy kind; talk and walk scrappy and make them think you are in ‘mad dog’ status. If you don’t have it then let’s work on it. Remember these words - Intimidation starts with being unpredictable, if you are a short guy or gal, don’t let your shortness (aka Napoleon complex) get the better of you, people expect you to act that way so act the contrary.
If you stand tall and somewhat a muscular guy, don’t walk showing your guns on your arms. There is no need for that so be subtle about your big man tendencies, talk softly but directly, look into people’s souls when you talk to them. Stare beyond their eyes and force them to look away. When you get crossed and a fight can’t be avoided, turn instant animal and destroy that individual to the point where people have a “WTF” moment.
Don’t’ talk too much. Being a chatterbox is not the best tool at work. It may work for you at home but at work, keep the chatter down. Keep your speech short and relative. Listen a lot more than you contribute, this is the way of a predator, it will bring your closer to the psyche you seek. Kill emotion, a passionate guy is a weak guy, regardless of how sexy your girlfriend tells you it is when you jump in some guy’s face when he roots for another team, it makes you look like chump to the real sharks.
Never sit down when faced with a confrontation and never turn your back. Stay alert, remember you don’t want them to see you coming. Once you decide to get physical the rules change but if you can stare or talk them down, that is the preferred method at all times. Don’t get punked out and back off. Know your limits and where your back up is at all times. Once you decide to get physical go beyond ridiculous (slam them and slam them hard) and make them realize that pissing you off was probably the worst thing that they could have done at that point.
Make yourself the kind of person where they come to you as a last resort and positive interaction. This is accomplished by respect or in this case, mutual respect. Although you may be rolling deep in the ‘sanity’ department, you are still noticed and feared to be someone who can get things done. Another tool you can use it the buddy system and roll with a group or a single person who matches your persona or in some cases, parallels your demeanor but is easier to approach making this a ‘good cop bad cop’ situation to resolve problems. dare to walk beneath their personal or predatory zones, never walk away from your work area and show retreat.
Work on your self-possessed and self-assured talk and walk characteristics and keep it pseudo gangster-style but civil and never demeaning. Disrespecting someone sometimes has serious consequences and almost always done in an ambush style kind of revenge.
Don’t provoke a fight but always show the willingness to never run away from one. Imprint in your mind as well as those around you, if it comes down to ‘fight or flight’ you will fight. Just know that intimidation transcends the aspects of strangers more than anything else so transcend doubt, fear and uncertainties about yourself – the rest will work itself out.