So, in our last post we mentioned two more "Fs" to add to the mix of "Fight, Freeze or Flight" and they were "Fronting" and "Freezing."
As promised I'm going to go over them both in a little more detail.
Fronting is also known by some as posturing and it amounts to putting on a show designed to intimidate the other side so they back down and leave.
Wild animals have been doing this for years. In the picture below is a harmless Australian frilly lizard but to look at the pic you'd think he was a spawn of Satan not to be messed with. I used to catch these things as pets growing up and, once you call their bluff and pick them up, they've got nothing. They do look intimidating to the uninitiated though.
Humans do exactly the same thing in response to potential altercations. You'll encounter chest thumping, loud vocals, spitting, hissing, threats of impending doom, the jutting of the chin and the chest, stamping and walking forward quickly et alia with no actual punches being thrown.
Here's a classic example in the picture below...notice the jutting chin I mentioned above (really bad idea by the way as it's a hell of a target to stick in someone's face.)
In many cases it works. The other side, usually fairly inexperienced or not very brave themselves, will assume the posturing/fronting is actually backed up by some powerful mojo and will make themselves scarce.
Sometimes, of course, it doesn't and the bluff gets called. That can only go one of two ways. Either the posturing one wins, or he loses.
Not all fronting has to involve appearing to know how to fight. Threatening to call the police for example can be a form of fronting. We're laying down a big enough threat in the hope that we'll intimidate the opposition so that they decide discretion is the better part of valor.
Should it be part of your toolbox is probably the bigger question here and the answer is "it depends." If you can fight and you're using it to dissuade somebody so you don't have to actually engage in combat (usually a bad idea) then I'd say yes. If it's because you don't have anything to back it up but you think by appearing to be a bad ass you'll be left alone then I'd say no.
One final thought...in a lot of cases this type of behavior is being used by the aggressor to work himself into a frenzy and build up his courage enough to launch his assault so beware...it's not always used for the purpose of bluffing.
next post we'll talk about "Folding."