You have no idea who you’re dealing with. Photo by sebastiaan stam on Unsplash.
If you watch TV or movies at all, you’ve likely heard the trope, “You have no idea who you’re dealing with.” Awkward grammatical structure aside, it’s true for most daily encounters.
Almost anytime you’re in public — when you walk into a restaurant, get on a bus, attend a concert, or go grocery shopping — you’re quickly surrounded by people you don’t know. This doesn’t mean you should treat everyone as a threat. You have a wealth of knowledge and experience at your disposal, and every day you make dozens of assessments about the behavior of people around you that ultimately will affect your safety. Continue reading →
I see you. Trying to act casual and fade into the background, hoping nobody notices you. I watch you checking things out, looking at groups of people talking and laughing. In this massive swirl of humanity, you stand out. You don’t belong. You’re alone, out of place. You don’t interact with the people around you. You’re not engaging with your surroundings, only waiting.
Who are you waiting for? Someone who perhaps isn’t paying enough attention? A young woman who is preoccupied with her smartphone, has her arms full, or seems dejected and is walking alone? You probably have the perfect woman in mind.
What will you do when you see her? Will you offer her your assistance? Will you flirt with her in an attempt to lure her to a more private place? Will you ask for directions, tell her your child is lost, ask her to help you find your elderly parent, offer her free concert tickets…or will you tell her that she’s beautiful and you’re looking for models just like her? And when your ruse works, what happens next?
It doesn’t matter what you’re planning. It doesn’t matter, because I see you, and I’ll take action. Law enforcement, security personnel, vigilant parents, and “watchdogs” of all types…we all see you. And you won’t leave here with a victim. Not today.
Stay safe! Contact the author directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t do it. You could wind up in the hospital, the court system, or the morgue. Use every available means NOT to fight. Apologize. Make it right. Draw attention to yourself and the situation. Clearly state that you don’t want any trouble. Call the police.
If you must fight, fight like your life depends on it. Commit fully, don’t hold back, and stop as soon as the threat is neutralized. No one who picks a fight plans on losing, and you never know what advantages they may have.
Finding the right martial arts school doesn’t have to be hard, if you ask the right questions.
A lot goes into choosing the right martial arts school, so start by asking the right questions. Those questions differ somewhat by age. Younger students do not have their own funds or transportation, and must depend on parents or guardians for guidance. This post will deal with choosing the best martial arts school for adult students, with a follow-up post for finding the right studio for kids, or helping young students participate in selecting a good martial arts school for themselves.
How far are you willing to travel to take a martial arts class? Be honest and practical; if you’re time-crunched and will be hurrying across town after work to train, that may not be a viable long-term solution. Convenience is a plus, and certainly increases your ability to participate in special events, arrive early, or stay late if need be.
How much can you afford to spend on a class? Note that “more expensive” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be receiving more value. Continue reading →
What’s worth fighting for? Each person’s answer may be different, but that decision should be made before a confrontation ever occurs.
Know yourself and what you’re willing to fight for. This can’t be a game-time decision…it must involve some soul-searching and personal inventory well before you’re faced with an attacker, an intruder, a mugger or any potentially life-threatening situation.
If you’re suddenly accosted by someone who is trying to take your wallet or purse, you need to know whether to toss it away (YES, in almost every case), or potentially risk your life and personal safety by trying to keep it. If someone you don’t know knocks at your door, will you open it? What determines your answer? And if an intruder tries to force his way into your car or home, how will you react?
My friend was talking about a man who had stalked, restrained and physically attacked a woman we knew when she said, “But he’s basically a good guy.” Shocked, I clarified: “No, he’s a nice guy. Definitely not a good guy.”
A nice guy, or a good guy?
We both knew this person. He had been a guest in both of our homes. He was attractive, charming, likable and a great conversationalist, making him very pleasant company. However, beneath the surface, his niceness paled in comparison to his aggression, threatening behavior and willingness to put others at risk.
Yes, we all have bad days. We all have triggers that can cause us to behave unlike our better selves. But someone who deliberately intimidates, terrorizes or attacks another person? That’s not a good person.
When someone shows you who he is, believe him the first time. Don’t wait for him to show you again. If we’d all actually believe our eyes and ears and listen to our gut feelings, we’d avoid a lot of pain and heartache. From business relationships to dating, and from online communications to in-person meetings, you can believe what people tell you…if you know how to listen.
I met someone recently I liked and felt comfortable with almost instantly. This is rare for me, and was almost a “red flag” in and of itself. However, when I considered what I knew about this person, that added context increased my comfort level, as did his willingness to answer questions directly and share relevant historical, professional and personal information. We discussed appropriate topics, he respected my personal space, and allowed me to set the pace of our meeting.
What’s the context? How long have you known this person? How did you meet? Do you have shared business associates or friends, or did you simply meet by chance or through a shared activity or common location? Continue reading →