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10 ways that situations can escalate to becoming completely out of control

This is been top of mind recently because of an individual health crisis. This also relates to politics and wars getting out of hand. A few years ago in the United States there was what seemed to be a rash of police officers shooting people over traffic stops. However, when you watch the videos of what happened You can see how the situation escalated well beyond any reasonable level until there were fewer and fewer choices available. 

10 ways that situations can escalate to becoming completely out of control

    1. Lack of communication between the parties

    2. Letting a (health/relationship) deteriorate gradually without intervention

    You can think of a marriage declining over many years, gradual weight gain until one becomes morbidly, obese, etc.

    3. Fear

    4. Unwillingness to back down from a position

    5. Wanting to maintain power at all costs

    6. Paranoia

    Paranoia is closely related to fear. However, sometimes paranoia, such as fear of being locked away and sedated in a mental health situation, can cause you to behave so erratically that you wind up becoming locked away and sedated.

    7. Complete disregard for authority

    This happens sometimes in classrooms in the United States. There are kids with no limits, and the teachers are completely powerless, and can hardly even defend themselves without disciplinary action. When one party feels that they can escalate forever without consequences they sometimes do.

    8. A feeling of an imbalance of power

    Whether it is a feeling of, or an actual imbalance of power, this can stoke feelings of fear, paranoia, and brinksmanship on both sides of a confrontation.

    9. A catalyst

    this could be something like a missile, strike, or the first Molotov cocktail thrown during a riot.

    10. No pre determined plan of de-escalation

    In a relationship, you could have an agreement with each other to stop the confrontation. For example, you could have a mutual agreement that if one partner asks for a break, you separate physically and cool off for at least 20 minutes other power structures have some versions of this, I would imagine in jails they have systems of isolating inmates. Without this in place, and without practicing it, trouble can escalate unchecked. 

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