By Chris Simmons
- Does he/she abuse or torture animals?
- Does he/she engage in high-risk behavior with little or no regard for their personal safety?
- Does he/she bully weaker individuals?
- Was he/she ever physically abused?
- Does he/she harbor unresolved anger regarding their childhood, family/close friends, or a work situation?
- Has he/she already engaged in violence?
- Does he/she over-react to the slightest perceived slight?
The “Red Flags” listed above, while not all inclusive, are reliable indicators that an individual is inclined to react aggressively. Normally, I tell others that to accurately read people, look for patterns of behavior rather than a single act. Violent behavior is the exception to this rule.
One of the best predictors of future actions is past conduct. You should be very cautious and concerned when the aggressive or cruel behavior has escalated over time. If confronted with the above indicators, take steps to protect yourself first. Once you and those around you are safe, an intervention by a trained professional(s) may be appropriate.