Did you realize that one of your most effective and least used defensive tools is one you were born with? It’s called your “intuition” or “sixth sense”.
When it comes to danger, intuition is always right in two important ways: First, it is always in response to something you should pay attention to and secondly, your intuition ALWAYS guides you toward what’s in your best interest.
Unlike worry, intuition will not waste your time. Learning to “trust your gut” and not doubting it will be your top safety skill.
Some of the messengers of intuition are nagging feelings, persistent thoughts, humor, wonder, anxiety, curiosity, hunches, gut feelings, doubt, hesitation, suspicion, apprehension and fear. Have you ever used your “gut feelings” or intuition in your life? I bet you have many times even though you maybe didn’t have the rational evidence to support your feelings at the time.
Science has proven that the physical body you see is only .0001% physical matter and the remaining 99.9999% is energy. Isn’t that profound!?!
That’s why “thoughts become things” and the reason that we can pick up on someone’s good or bad “energy”.
In relating this to situational awareness, we get in trouble when we ignore our instincts and start judging on appearance or how nice someone appears to be. Once again, don’t judge somebody on how he or she appears or his or her esthetics.
In post attack interviews, victims report they had a “bad feeling” but then they judged the person and “thought it would be ok”. They all said in retrospect that they should have trusted their initial feelings.
I highly recommended reading The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. This is literally a book that could save your life where you learn about intuition and predicting human behavior. Humans ARE predictable, and we can learn to read the clues and behaviors to help keep us safe.
Our intuition knows more about the situation than we are consciously aware of. Intuition, based in our super powerful subconscious mind, can record far more than we can consciously be aware of. It can record details of an encounter that we don’t even realize. It can also pick up on energy that scientists don’t even fully understand and try to communicate the unseen and unknown to us in a very subtle, but effective way.
An exercise in the book, The Gift of Fear, is to help you predict human behavior by using what’s known as “contrasting options”. This is a very powerful assessment tool that you can use in nearly any scenario. “Contrasting options” is when you force yourself to not only assume the good, but force you to assume possible bad as well.
Here’s an example: You are in a parking lot and approached by a stranger who offers to help load your groceries.
Try to come up with predictions about the man offering to help you with your groceries in your head using “contrasting options”. Lets see how this mentally plays out:
Is he A: A member of a volunteer group whose mission is to patrol parking lots in search of women to help? Or B: A man who has some sexual interest in you?
Another example is this: A man is walking slowly on the sidewalk, but then he sees you and picks up the pace and walks straight at you. He asks you for the time because… Option A: He doesn’t have a watch or phone and no one else on the sidewalk can help him with the time, but YOU. Or Option B: He is just asking you a question to distract you before he takes your purse. Remember this is called the “interview” and helps him test the waters of your awareness.
I know there are a lot of nice people in the world who do like to help others and that’s great, but just know that this is a common tactic used by a predator. It is better to assume ill intent and be safe than it is to be nice and a victim. Just think about it? Who has time to loiter in parking lots just to help people? Why did he pick you? Do you look like you can’t pick up your groceries?
Remember to use the “contrasting options” on assessing human behavior and it will really help you see the truth.
The knowledge of common tactics used by criminals will help reduce risk by learning what risk looks like. The common criminal is an expert at keeping his victim from seeing survival signals and uses common tactics such as forced teaming, charm and niceness, too many details, typecasting, loan sharking, the unsolicited promise, and discounting the word “no”.
Forced teaming is an effective way to establish trust by someone relating to you. The detectable sign of forced teaming is the projection of a shared purpose where none exists. “WE can get this done faster if I help you.” “WE’RE on the same team.” “Let me help you with your groceries so we can get out of this bad weather….
Charm and niceness is another tactic used and to charm is to compel and control by allure or attraction. Is the person trying to charm you or is the person charming? There is a huge difference. One way to charm is with a smile. Remember what the famous Voltaire said: minds differ still more than faces.
People who want to deceive you will often use too many details. When people tell the truth they don’t feel doubted so they don’t feel the need for additional support with more details. When people lie, it doesn’t sound credible to them, so they keep talking.
Typecasting is when you feel compelled to prove an opinion is not accurate. For instance, if someone says to you, “You’re probably too pretty to talk to a person like me.” It’s just a slight insult that makes you want to answer the person and it disproves their comment. It is a way for the predator to get your attention to start talking with him.
Loan Sharking is when someone helps you and then you feel like you need to help that person in return. Remember, he or she approached you and offered help and you didn’t ask for any help. Don’t let them guilt you into anything.
The unsolicited promise is used quite often and helps gain trust. “Let me help you with those big packages. I will just carry them in your front door and be gone. I promise!!” Why does he need to use the word promise? Watch out for this one if a stranger ever says promise to you.
Anyone that discounts your “no” at all is someone that you do not want to deal with. If they ignore it even once and try to talk you out of it then beware of what lies ahead.
Take the time and learn to spot the danger signals and it might just save your life. Please read The Gift of Fear and learn the difference between true fear and unwarranted fear. True fear will save your life and unwarranted fear is a curse and will cause undue stress in your life.
You too can become an expert at predicting violent behavior if you use your brilliant internal guardian that stands ready to warn you of dangers and guides you through scary situations.