Maybe you have been in this situation: You are having a few rounds at a bar when another customer starts to get aggressive. He starts out by aggravating and insulting you, and his behavior keeps escalating. It seems like he is trying to start a physical altercation.

Some people would be tempted to take the bait and get into a bar brawl. This is the last thing that you want–after all, it could result in a broken nose and criminal charges. When you are at a bar, it is useful to have a few tricks up your sleeve that you can use to defuse a potentially explosive situation. These are a few tips that you can follow to avoid getting into a bar fight.

Drink responsibly

It is important to moderate your alcohol consumption on a night out. Enjoy a couple of drinks, but know your limit. Imbibing a few too many alcoholic beverages can lead to impaired judgment and aggression– two ingredients that do not mix well with a bar fight.

Keep calm

In the middle of a confrontation, one of the best things that you can do is remain calm. This may be easier said than done, especially if the other patron is ready to fight and there is a large crowd egging the two of you on. Still, you should do everything you can to keep your cool.

Back down and get away

The final tip for avoiding a bar fight is not always easy. If you are on the brink of an altercation, it is wise to back down and walk away altogether. Is it easy to be the bigger person and walk away from someone who is taunting you? No. Is the brief catharsis of a fight worth being arrested and charged with assault and battery? Absolutely not.

What to do if you have been in a bar fight

If the other party physically attacked you, you may be able to claim self-defense. However, in many situations, it does not matter who instigated the fight–both of you may face criminal charges. If your night out did result in physical violence, it may be time to hire an attorney.