Scare tactics are used to coerce people into doing the bidding of the person behind such tactics. For instance, debt collectors can use scare tactics to force debtors to pay their loans or credits. The government can use scare tactics to force the electorate to do their bidding, while the military can use scare tactics to handle societal ills. Scare tactics are primarily illegal in most cases, but people who use them often capitalize on the fear or failures of the victims to do their bidding. For this reason, scare tactics can be legal when the victim is into illegal kinds of stuff.
So, Are Scare Tactics Real?
Yes, scare tactics are real, and anyone can fall into such ploys.
What Is A Scare Tactic?
A scare tactic is intended to manipulate an individual or public opinion about a particular issue, thus arousing fear or alarm of likely dangers posed by such issues.
It is a way of achieving the desired result by frightening an individual or people so much that they do what they wouldn’t normally do. The victim of the scare tactics often overlooks the need to look at the other side of the issue once they are fully engrossed in the tactics.
Most Everyday Instances Where Scare Tactics Are Used
The following are the fields where scare tactics are commonly used for different purposes
1. Debt Collection
The debt collection industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry, no thanks to the scare tactics used to coerce debtors into making repayments for their loans much faster. These debt collectors are contracted by lenders for a commission. The debt collectors constantly remind their victims of apparent forfeiture of their valuable properties like cars and houses when they fail to meet their debt repayment. This often leads to a debt-reconsolidation agreement where new debt repayment terms are agreed upon for a more straightforward resolution of the issues. The victims may end up paying more interest with longer repayment terms.
2. Drug Abuse
Though, scare tactics are pretty legal when it comes to fighting drug abuse. Health authorities and even parents use all sorts of scare tactics to force people, mostly the younger ones, to desist from smoking and abusing all other kinds of drugs. Health insurance companies may impose higher monthly premiums on smokers looking to sign up for new insurance policies. Parents often tell their children how quickly they will die from smoking or abuse any kind of drugs. This area is one of the positive sides to scare tactics.
3. Computer Software Industry
There has been an increase in reports of malware infections and hacking into private and business computer systems lately. Many believe it is one of the scare tactics of anti-spyware and anti-malware sellers to get people to purchase premium computer system protection. We do hear about people getting arrested for financial scams daily, and no company wants to fall into such a huge mess. There are so many unsolicited ads from computer software these days making claims of some outrageous risks associated with failure to implement certain security products.
Almost everyone is under the scare tactics employed by government and health institutions to get vaccinated about fatal illnesses like Covid19. In some countries of the world, the government is wiping some, if not the debt of citizens who get vaccinated- who doesn’t want their debt canceled? Individuals who refuse to get vaccinated based on their religious and cultural convictions are being threatened with sacks and outright bans from using public infrastructures. Health institutions often give alarming figures on the potentially devastating effects of certain drugs that look harmless to help people stay off such drugs.
5. Sports and Competitions
In sports and competitive events, teams scare their opponents with various scare tactics to weaken their spirit and make them become fearful. In rugby, for instance, New Zealand recites the traditional “Haka” before the commencement of a match to scare its opponents. In this case, most opponents often think the New Zealand “All blacks” team invokes spirits to scare them. Flaunting muscles and making eye or face gestures against opponents are common scare tactics in sports.
6. School Bullying
Educational institutions, especially high schools, are the breeding grounds for bullies who force their opinions on other students. They may physically abuse their victims and threaten to do even more harm if they report such cases. Sometimes, bullying in schools may be accompanied by extortion from victims. Many bullying cases go unreported because the victims are scared of fallen victim to bigger attacks.
Scare tactics are quite common among couples, whether married or dating. In most cases, scare tactics are often used by women on men. A woman may threaten to report a man who fails to meet up with child support payments. A more financially stable man also uses scare tactics to force his partner to do his bidding by threatening to throw her out. Scare tactics in a relationship come to the fore when couples no longer trust each other or when one is trying to extort the other.
8. Businesses and Corporate Environment
Scare tactics in business and corporate environments may be hidden in some political play within the establishment. A superior staff may use scare tactics to force the junior staff under him or her to work harder through periodic appraisals. Similarly, a superior officer may threaten not to recommend a junior staff for promotion unless there is sexual gratification. Some business owners may use scare tactics like the court and the military to harass business partners who default on certain payments.
9. Government Control
The government often uses scare tactics in many ways. They may raise the level of concern in certain countries with alarming records just to stop the citizens of their country from traveling to certain places.
10. Social Media
Social media has become one of the largest places where scare tactics often come into play regularly. The government of certain countries, including China, India, and Nigeria, decided to place restrictions on certain social media to restrict the flow of information to the citizens. Social media network owners also threaten users with suspensions and bans if certain words or behavior are not avoided.
Dealing With Scare Tactics
It is important to learn the skills of dealing with intimidating tactics, and one of such is restricting such tactics immediately. The following are essential tips and ideas to dealing with scare tactics;
1. Deal with the Issue Immediately
Intimidation tactics can spread rapidly, but dealing with them immediately can help you curtail their negative effects. Fear tactics are like snake bites; the quicker you deal with it, the quicker you become stabilized. Dispel any rumor by countering it with facts so that people’s perceptions and fears can be allayed immediately. People want to hear about the other side of things and be re-assured.
2. Expose the Tactic Openly
Use your intimidator’s momentum and power against them by counteracting the rumors publicly. Originators of scare tactics often become scared when their rumors have been dispelled, and they may end up coming out to apologize and desisting from such tactics in the future.
3. Stick to Your Position and Don’t Back Down
You don’t have to be defensive about what you stand for, but try and emerge stronger by not being confrontational. The aim of the originator of scare tactics is to make you get angry and become defensive or get physical – You must avoid falling into this trap.
Though you should avoid being aggressive with your response, you still need to be bold about your actions. Be mentally prepared to face the person or group intimidating you with scare tactics.
4. Report to the Appropriate Authorities
Whether you are in an abusive relationship, school, or workplace, you must not be afraid of reporting scare tactics to appropriate authorities. This is particularly important if you know the person behind such scare tactics. The person or people behind such tactics will likely back down when you inform them that authorities know their identities, and they will soon be brought to justice.
5. Remind Yourself of Your Accomplishment in the face of Intimidation
When you are confronted by an intimidating person, and they get verbally abusive, you must remind them of your accomplishments and facts. While still maintaining your distance and physical altercations, you must remind intimidators of how your accomplishments and what you know supersedes what they want to impose on you. They will likely want to hear you out if they see that you don’t submit to their scare tactics.
Working on your self-esteem or personal confidence is one of the most important steps you should take to combat scare tactics. With high self-esteem, you can boldly stand against any intimidator and repel their antics. Your persistent will eventually make your intimidators yield to your rebuttal antics.