Moderate Anxiety: Emotional/Behavioral Symptoms

Moderate anxiety, heightened physical arousal; increased defensiveness; scanning area for defensive alternatives; evaluating consequences of threats and actions; increased talkativeness (asking questions); aversion to physical contact (Don’t touch me!); tightening of muscles, clenching teeth; urge to move about; growing resistance to direction.

Moderate Anxiety: Appropriate Verbal Interventions:

Use diversion to redirect their attention.

  • Let’s go sit in the break room/cafeteria and ______________.
  • It’s difficult to cooperate with you when you _______, so please ___________.
  • This is a tough situation right now, so how about sitting down and discussing what our alternatives might be.

High Anxiety: Emotional/Behavioral Symptoms

High anxiety; assessing perceived adversary’s vulnerability; verbal threats; abusive language; personal threatening gestures; open refusal to cooperate; intimidation.


  • Set limits by consequences.
  • I know you are upset but you cannot continue to behave this way.
  • Either you calm down and discuss the problem or we will escort you off the property.
  • Either you calm down or we will help you control yourself.
  • Never give an ultimatum unless you are prepared to “back it up” and follow through.

Subject Contact

If physical force must be used to deal with a threatening person, always refer to and abide by your company’s “use of force” policy. Specific non-offensive physical maneuvers have been developed for security personnel. Specific training may be provided by your employer.

Once a decision has been made to intervene physically, security officers should respond without hesitation or guilt. Whenever possible security officers should plan the manner in which they are going to “secure” the disruptive person. Always try to use the minimum force necessary.


It is recommended that all personnel involved in handling a violent or potentially violent situation stay together for a short time to discuss what occurred and how in general the situation was handled. Debriefing is held for the purpose of making a team perform better. As part of the debriefing, written statements need to be taken from all security personnel involved in the confrontation as well as any witnesses to the event.