Fight or flight?

If you are about to get into a fight and the other guy takes his shirt off should you worry or not?

Let’s think about why he might be employing this strategy?

He probably wants to intimidate you into not fighting at all. If he is doing this then he must not want to fight himself, if he wanted to fight he wouldn’t try to make you back down. If he doesn’t want to fight then he can’t be confident of winning. So you should fight!

Maybe he’s just worried about damaging his shirt? If he thought he was going to beat you easily then he wouldn’t be worried about his shirt – so once again it is a sign of weakness.

Taking off your shirt before a fight is a show of strength but probably hides a lack of confidence.

We find similar situations in negotiations all the time.

Today’s takeaway: Don’t take shows of strength at face value, is it really hiding a weakness?

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