A part of the job being a security guard means being faced with confrontation. This will come with a varying degree of threat, which with the proper training you will hopefully be prepared. However, sometimes the body will overcome the training and react in either two ways; fight or flight.
First, let us examine exactly what fight or flight syndrome is.
Fight or Flight Syndrome
In times of crises, our bodies have an in built mechanism that will automatically kick in. The danger can be real or perceived, it doesn’t matter – the point is, when a person feels threatened two systems are activated by the hypothalamus in the brain: the adrenal cortical system and the sympathetic nervous system.
This serves to make our muscles more tense and to give the body speed. At the same time our blood stream is injected with adrenaline and stress hormones. Our bodies react immediately, with increased blood pressure and heart rate, working in unison these physiological responses makes us faster and more alert.
Fight or Flight in the role of a Security Guard?
It is almost inevitable that at some stage in your career as a security guard you will find your self in a position of danger. As already explained, no matter your training the fight or flight syndrome will take effect. If you do not recognize the symptoms your response may be to take flight. In some extreme circumstances this may be the correct decision. The point is, although your body is responding to threat, you want your brain to make the right decision. If you can rationally evaluate the situation, (and remember, your brain is being primed to think more alertly), your training will come back to you in order to stay and fight.
The important factor here of course is that staying to fight does not mean physically “fighting”, it means staying to deal with the situation.
What is equally important is the fact your adversary will also be experiencing these same physiological responses. When confronting someone that may have committed a crime, you need to appear to be non-threatening in the first instance. They are likely to run, and if apprehended by you that are then likely to fight. If they are carrying any weapons or are spurred on by the adrenalin running through them, it could end badly for you.
Your best defense in all of these situations is knowledge. The more you learn about fight or flight and how it applies to your job as a security guard, the more likely you will be able to anticipate future confrontations.
- Mastering the fight or flight response
- Harvard Medical School – Understanding the Fight or Flight Response
- How cells communicate during fight or flight – Utah University