Are you a victim-in-waiting? Do you give out all the wrong signals? Is your body language precisely what predators are looking for when hunting for easy prey? No matter how well trained you are it is far better to never have to use your self-defense skills. Knowing how to present yourself as a bad target could be enough to save yourself from a life-threatening attack. These three quick tips can greatly reduce your chances of being singled out for unwanted attention from the nastier people out there.
Tip 1: Your body language. Studies have shown that those who start confrontational situations look for certain types of people to be their victims. Like predators searching for prey, they seek out the easiest targets. The bar bully will not usually pick a fight with someone who looks like they will give them a hard time. The mugger in the street will not select a confident person who looks prepared and equipped to handle any situation. Your goal in everyday life is not to present yourself in a manner that makes you appear like an easy target for trouble.
Your body language is crucial in the victim selection process. You give off signs of your general demeanor without being consciously aware of it, and a typical bully or attacker will be looking for these signals. Your walk should be confident and smooth, your posture one of authority, your head should be up and you should appear alert and aware of your surroundings. You are looking to project an outward image of self-belief and zero fear. No matter how concerned you are, or how fearful, projecting a positive persona at all times could stop you from being selected as the next victim.
Tip 2: Awareness. Sometimes just being aware of your surroundings is enough to avoid a potential attack. Attackers frequently use surprise tactics to gain an advantage, knowing that the shock will aid them in their mission to inflict misery and damage. By being alert and aware of potential danger you can often dodge trouble. If you have to walk near potential hiding places for attackers then do so with outward confidence, but with inward caution. Use your eyes and ears to locate any threats. Cross the street to avoid people who you think may cause trouble for you. Try to stay away from darkened areas and stay close to groups of regular people as much as possible. Listen to your instincts - if you think somebody is following you then do not be afraid to seek help from shop owners, club door persons, passing couples, whoever. It's far better to make a mistake than take a risk.
Tip 3: Giving help. A ploy often used by attackers is also one they use to assess your victim potential - they initiate one-to-one contact with you in a seemingly innocent way: Asking you for the time. Asking you for cash to help them. Asking you to help somebody who is hurt. Asking for simple directions. Asking if they've seen you around. There are endless possibilities for an attacker to engage you in conversation, and human nature means you will respond, but how you respond is very important. Are you easy prey? Are you a victim-in-waiting? Again, it's confidence that is the key here. Be polite, be firm, and be fast. Make confident eye-contact, and if you are walking try not to break your stride too much as you answer with a non-confrontational reply. A simple and confident, "I can't help, sorry", will often be enough to deter an attacker. Your brief encounter in this situation needs to give off signals that you are not weak, you are not easy prey, and you're more trouble than you're worth.
In everything you do and say, you should try to exude an aura of being able to take care of yourself. No attacker wants a hard time from their chosen victims and they will usually avoid anyone who appears to be a tough target. You can be that tough target with the right forethought.