The 4 Keys to a Successful Dragon Stop
If you are a parent reading this you can teach your children the technique. If you are a guidance counselor you can teach students the technique. If you are being bullied you can teach yourself, or email us: Info@stressisgone.com and we’ll teach you.
The Dragon Stop is a body language technique that sends bullies the message, “I am not afraid of you.” Human beings are always sending one another subconscious messages through body language. This subconscious communication can be more important then the words we speak, as it sets, maintains, and directs the underlying tone for the interaction. As you walk through your environment send a strong message with your posture. Practice walking confidently. Make sure your chest is slightly out, shoulders slightly back, spine and neck aligned vertically, and chin is straight. When moving through a crowd always lead with your right shoulder.
The 4 Keys to a Successful Dragon Stop are consistent and fearless eye contact, maintaining your stride, always keeping bullies off to your right side, and use an extremely loud confident voice.
The 4 Steps to the Dragon Stop are:
(1) The Dragon’s Eye
We begin with the Dragon’s Eye. It’s a sequence of eye movements you can use when you sense a recipient looking at you. Both of your eyes are open and alert during the entire sequence. Eye contact will naturally start with your right eye looking at the recipient’s right eye. Quickly scan across their face so your left eye is looking into their left eye. Then focus your right eye into their left eye until you have made a safe pass. This practice provides a brief moment to make a safe pass through the area. The goal is a Safe Pass without conflict. When dealing with any high-risk situation always have the right side of your body slightly turned forward towards the situation.
(2) The Dragon in the Mirror
The key here is maintaining the confident posture mentioned earlier while mirroring the recipients movements. Do exactly what they do. If they move closer so do you. If they increase their walking speed so do you. Maintain eye contact (your right into their left) and when the recipient is approximately five feet away slightly adjust your path towards the left keeping them off to your right, and make a Safe Pass around them. If the recipient aggressively turns toward you as you adjust your path immediately execute step three.
If a recipient continues to advance maintain the focus of your right eye into their left and execute step two, The Dragon in the Mirror. The key here is maintaining the confident posture mentioned earlier while mirroring the recipients movements. Do exactly what they do. If they move closer so do you. If they increase their walking speed so do you. Maintain eye contact (your right into their left) and when the recipient is approximately five feet away slightly adjust your path towards the left keeping them off to your right, and make a Safe Pass around them. If the recipient aggressively turns toward you as you adjust your path immediately execute step three.
The Dragon’s Command is used anytime a recipient is advancing within four feet of your space and you think the situation is going to get physical. With strength and speed turn directly towards the recipient, put your right arm straight out, with your palm facing them, signaling stop. Simultaneously yell the command “STOP!” as loud as you can. If the recipient is stunned make a safe pass. If they advance keep your arm straight out and yell even louder “(insert the school principal’s name here) just passed!” If the recipient is stunned make a safe pass. Make sure your delivery is extremely loud and clear. If you rush the words, the recipient may not understand what you said and sense fear. If the recipient continues to advance and the situation becomes physical continue yelling “NO!” and “STOP!” continue mirroring and maintain your posture the best you can. Typically, you’ll deliver The Dragon Command once and move to step four, a Safe Pass. If you are more comfortable initiating The Dragon’s Command when the recipient is 4 to 7 feet away, feel free to do so.
From this point forward, we refer to the ‘”bully”, as the “recipient.”
The goal is a Safe Pass without conflict. When dealing with any high-risk situation always have the right side of your body slightly turned forward towards the situation. When making a Safe Pass around recipients always keep them off to your right side. The entire Dragon Stop sequence should be completed within 4 seconds. You may be able to pass after The Dragon’s Eye. If you are still being approached use Dragon in the Mirror. If you are still being approached use The Dragon’s Command and keep moving.
A Safe Pass is your exit strategy. As you pass, you may slightly adjust your path to the left, if needed, while keeping recipients off your right side. Always lead your action with your right shoulder. Only break eye contact only after you’ve completely passed the recipient, and you feel the situation is diffused. If you are approached by a group of recipients, always address the most dominant, unless another quickly advances posing an immediate physical threat. When making your Safe Pass, keep the most dominant recipients off to your right (ideally keeping all recipients off your to right). If you are approached from behind and recipients are within four feet, immediately face the situation leading with your right side, and initiate the dragon stop sequence. In this situation you can start with The Dragon’s Command and attempt a pass that will be in the opposite direction you were originally walking (unless there is a greater threat of danger in that direction). If you are approached while seated, immediately stand-up, facing the situation with your right shoulder slightly forward, execute the Dragon’s Command on the most dominant recipient. Repeatedly yell the word “Go!” (not the word “stop”). Point over his or her left shoulder with your right hand while simultaneously executing The Dragon’s Eye on the recipient. Maintain confident eye contact (your right into their left), while pointing and yelling as loud as you can until they leave. You do not pass, they will. Notice the direction they leave in. Once they’re gone, gather your belongs and leave in the opposite direction.
After any interaction that gets to Step 3, locate the closest authority figure and let them know what happened. If they do not take some action, locate another authority figure until you feel secure that someone will address the situation properly.
Practice all 4 phases of The Dragon Stop with family members and friends until it’s easy for you to assert yourself. Feel the power in your voice increase as you practice; showing no fear is what’s most important.
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