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The Surprisingly Simple Way To Avoid Being Robbed

The Surprisingly Simple Way To Avoid Being Robbed

Image source: Pixabay.com

Let me start this out with a bit of a test for you. Try to answer the following questions:

  • The last time you stopped for gas, how many other cars were getting gas?
  • What color socks was your boss wearing today?
  • What did the people in front of you and behind you at the grocery line look like?
  • How many of your neighbors left this morning, before you did?
  • Were there any unusual cars parked on your street when you got home today?

If you can answer any of those questions, without it being pure guess work, you’re doing good. The truth is, though, that most of us can’t. We become used to the situations around us and then just stop noticing them. Then, when something new or different comes along, we don’t even recognize it for what it is.

Instead, we’re looking at our smartphones — checking email, texting friends, or posting pictures to Facebook.

“So, what?” you might say. “Who cares about my boss’s socks or the other people stopped in the same gas station?” If that’s your reaction, trust me, you’re not alone. Most of the adults on this planet would say more or less the same thing. But then, those same people would step on a land mine, without even realizing it until it went “boom.”

The thing is, not being aware of what’s going on around you can be deadly. Just about every dangerous situation we can find ourselves in has some sort of warning. But like the intelligence before the attack on Pearl Harbor, ignoring those warning signs can have grave consequences.

What we need is situational awareness. Situational awareness is nothing more than being aware of what is around you and what the people or things around you are doing. It is being so aware of your surroundings that when something changes, you notice it. It’s knowing what to expect, so that the unexpected stands out. More than anything, it’s seeing things that could be a threat, and analyzing that threat before it can manifest.

Without situational awareness, we’re more likely to get mugged, to get carjacked, to get pickpocketed.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

I recently re-watched one of the Sherlock Holmes movies, starring Robert Downey, Jr. At one point in the story, his female companion asked him, “What do you see?” To which he responded, “Everything. That’s my curse. I see everything.” That’s part of what made Sherlock so successful. He saw things that others didn’t see. Had he been a real person, rather than just a character in a story, his situational awareness would have served him well.

Ask any soldier who has been in war, and they’ll tell you how important situational awareness is. Seeing things that can be a threat, before that threat manifests itself, can be the difference between life and death, especially in the close environment that is urban warfare.

The Surprisingly Simple Way To Avoid Being Robbed

Image source: Pixabay.com

But situational awareness goes totally against our nature. We are creatures of habit, and we normally go through life without noticing things around us. Few of us can remember details of what happened in the television shows we watched last night, let alone tell what the person in front of us ordered at our favorite coffee house. Thus, we’ll never be a Sherlock Homes and if we are ever put into a position where seeing is survival … we might not make it home.

Developing Situational Awareness

So if situational awareness is so important and is against our nature, how does one acquire it? What can we do, to make ourselves more aware of our surroundings, than we are today?

To start with, we must make a decision to become more aware — not a wishy-washy decision, but a firm one. That, in and of itself, will make a huge difference, simply because we’ll be thinking about the need to be aware. We’ll open our eyes and start looking around us, just because we know that we should.

Still, that isn’t enough. It’s just a start. Building situational awareness requires practice. We’ve got to train our mind to pay attention to what our eyes are seeing. So, we need to develop a series of exercises, which will help us to see. Things like:

  • Make a habit of knowing how many people are within 100 feet of you, where they are and what they are doing.
  • Count the number of cars of a particular color as you drive somewhere.
  • Look at what a co-worker wears to work every day and try to remember it. See how many days’ worth of attire you can recall, and if you can recall the last time they wore a particular shirt or outfit.
  • Learn what cars your neighbors drive. Then, make it a habit to look for new or different cars, every time you step out of your home. Look for patterns, to see if certain cars show up at certain times.

Once you are more aware, it’s time to start putting that awareness to use. Start looking at people to see what they are doing and try to evaluate how much of a threat they are. Use a scale from one to 10, with one being no threat at all and 10 meaning it’s time to draw a gun to protect yourself. Rate each person, even if there are many people around you. Then, keep track of those with a higher score, updating your score as you go.

Ultimately, that’s what situational awareness is all about — finding threats. Once it becomes a habit, it will help you in countless ways.

What advice would you add on becoming more situationally aware? Share your tips in the section below:

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7 comments

  1. All good points, but missing a few. Where are exits located, are there barriers, did you look at the fire evac map in the hotel room, make note of fire extinguishers in the restaurant? Also note and make mental plans for cover and concealment. Dedicate the cognitive resources to hat matters and whats important, and mentally ork through probability assessments, what’s the biggest threat (including fire) and what are your best options.

    • And what is handy to use as a weapon in case one (or more) is needed. Crazy world we all live in now, but knowing what can be used to defend and facilitate exiting to safety is Job1 in my mind when I’m out and about these days. Especially if I’m with my grandchildren – I’m their gran and if they’re with me when something kicks off, it’s my job to get them home to their Mum in one piece!

  2. I’m aware of and use situational awareness daily, but was pickpocketed Sunday in a large crowd. Sometimes SA is not enough and avoiding placing oneself in those situations is the best choice.

    • Real predators, whether thieves or murderers, are quite adept at defeating the normal level of awareness most people have and if you are not familiar with the techniques of professionals it is extremely unlikely that you will catch one in the act. Situational awareness is not only being aware of things around you it is also based on your level of experience/training. What I see and recognize will not be the same as what you may see and recognize. It’s not just “what” is going on but “why” is it going on.

  3. The only issue with this (coming from my own perspective of having PTSD, is that the mentality of always being vigilant wears even the strongest most resilient people out….and that is why you have mental disorders….no…it is not always good to worry that the person next to you could if they wanted on a whim, pull out a knife and stick it in your neck and you would be dead long before anyone realized there was anything wrong. That is reality….so, you can either choose to live life and not worry….or you can be a Capital BBBBB 1*itch …in the latter case (being afraid of lack of control of your surrounding and the possible death that might ‘happen’….. ONE MIGHT AS WELL shoot him or herself in the head, because life is not worth living in that case IMHO.

    • DAMN DUDE! Sounds to me like you’re looking for an excuse to “clock out” anyway. Being aware is not being paranoid. Do you walk out in the street without looking for traffic? If you do then you have a death wish and just want someone else to do it for you. Situational awareness is just the same thing; Don’t walk out in the street until you are sure nothing is going to hit you. This kind of safety awareness is as old as mammals it’s just that in today’s world we face far more dangers than our ancestors did. People on top of people gives the predators a target rich environment especially with so many people being so stupid with their lives. Well, it’s their life they can do as they want, I don’t care about sheeple. Those who say, “I just don’t want to live like that”. Rest assured, you won’t for very long. Leaves more air for the rest of us.
      Get a grip! COWBOY THE FOCK UP! Everybody’s had their day in the $hit and we make it everyday one day at time.

  4. I have been diagnosed with ptsd and find that practicing situational awareness makes me feel more in control and safer overall. When you are in the deep throes of ptsd, however, it does feel like everything is a threat and in that case, you are not accurate in your assessment, unless you happen to be in a war zone or other threatening environment. Counseling was invaluable for my ptsd, and no one with that problem should forego it. My advice is to do what you can to make yourself feel safer at home first so you can rest and be calmer when you go out in public. A grain-free diet and supplements like 5-htp have helped immensely with that paranoid feeling that is the crux of the disorder. My heart goes out to anyone who is suffering with this type of hypervigilance as it can be devastating. Take care of yourself first, then s.a. will feel like a game you play, not paranoia.

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