Aside from ensuring the physical safety of the individual who is exhibiting aggressive behavior and others who are involved including other rescuers or healthcare providers, the other goal that rescuers need to achieve when handling aggression is to pacify the aggressive individual. This can be done by implementing first aid services basics or principles that can be learned by taking first aid classes. Here are some of the first aid services basics that can de-escalate aggression.
Remove environmental stimuli
Loud music or chatter and chaotic crowds are just some of the environmental stimuli that can cause or worsen aggressive behavior in some individuals. This is why turning off anything that makes loud noises as well as implementing crowd control and dispersal can greatly de-escalate aggression. Providing a quiet and generally peaceful environment will make it easier for the aggressive individual to concentrate on being calm. Implementing crowd dispersal also enables the rescuers to protect the privacy of the aggressive individual.
Approach and talk to the individual the right way
When talking to a highly emotional or aggressive person, the rescuer should not sound like he or she is trying to discipline or challenge the individual in any way. Exhibiting nervous behavior should be avoided as it may increase the anxiety of the aggressive person. Any sudden or quick movements should also be avoided as it may startle the aggressive individual which may push him or her to do something impulsive and deadly. Rescuers should speak to the aggressive individual in a calm yet firm voice. They should also approach the individual very slowly and avoid any hand gestures that may be misinterpreted. Avoid having any arguments with the aggressive individual as it may also stimulate them to resort to physical aggression.
Let the aggressive individual move freely
As long as the individual does not pose any obvious physical threat to himself or to anybody else, he or she should be allowed to move around. Inhibiting any type of movement or asking the individual to just stay in one place may send the wrong message and ultimately, stimulate further aggression.
Rescuers should maintain their distance
Whether it is to fluff the aggressive individual’s pillow to make him or her more comfortable or to touch the individual’s hand to show support, rescuers who are administering first aid services should maintain their distance and avoid touching the individual in any way. These gestures might be misread by the individual as an act of violence towards them.