There’s a huge difference between being “book smart” and “street smart.”
You gotta be smart out there in the real world or you might get scammed…or worse.
AskReddit users shared the most useful street smart advice someone ever gave them.
1. Don’t become the prey
“If you’re in trouble (I.e. lost or searching for something specific) in a foreign country, decide who is going to help you.
Do not let someone random approach you and start leading you off to some random location just because you were looking lost. By merely looking like you know where you’re headed these people that prey on tourists will completely ignore you.”
2. Stranger Danger
“Teach your kids how to effectively draw attention to themselves if they are in danger. A screaming child gets nobody’s attention. I was taught, if a stranger ever grabbed me, to scream at the top of my lungs, “LET GO OF ME! I DO NOT KNOW YOU!”
3. Trust your gut
“If you don’t feel like you should be somewhere, believe yourself and leave.”
4. Always meet in public
“If you’re meeting someone on one of those exchange apps like OfferUp, Close5, or even Craigslist, ALWAYS meet in a PUBLIC and WELL LIT area, preferably one with cameras. McDonalds and Starbucks are safe bets for me. Never bring strangers to your house. Even if nothing goes wrong, they might remember where you live and something bad could happen in a few years from the meet up.”
5. Be on guard
“If a person is invading your personal space in an aggressive manner, create some distance and keep a guard up.
I’ve witnessed countless, clueless people get knocked the hell out with a sucker punch because they wanted to appear non-threatening to a person who is clearly trying to cause them great bodily harm.”
6. Eyes forward
“Don’t walk while staring at your phone. Stop somewhere, pop inside a store or even a doorway to answer that text. Also turn down the brightness at night, you’ll preserve your night vision.
Just watch your damn surroundings. 99% of the stuff that’ll happen to you is NOT a stand-up fight where the attacker makes them self known to you and challenges you to your face. No, usually it’s more than one person attacking you from different angles, none of which you expect.”
7. Keep moving
“If strangers walk up to you asking for money or a moment of your time especially if they are fast talkers your answer should be sorry man I don’t have any cash or I got to run man and keep moving, don’t stop in place, keep the interaction as short as possible, play stupid.”
8. Get out of there
“If you’re in a sketchy part of town and a group of 3-4 dudes politely say “excuse me” or some crap to ask you for a lighter or the time or call you over for literally any reason, get the hell out of there, you damn idiot.
Recently i keep hearing about dummies walking over like hOw CaN i HeLp and getting robbed. i don’t understand why this needs to be said, but it clearly does.”
9. Act like you belong
“When in a dangerous neighborhood walk with your head up and don’t walk too fast. Be polite and say hello if necessary but just focus on your own tasks at hand. It will make you seem as though you belong and aren’t out of your element. When you’re out of your element you become a prime target for would be “hooligans.”
10. Don’t respond
“Don’t EVER answer to someone yelling “Hey” from across the street. I tell my kids to NEVER turn around or acknowledge anyone who refers to you as “Hey” because if they know you, they will call you by your name. If they don’t know you, they (especially a grown man) have no business asking anything from a young kid, teenager of even an adult.”
“Split your money/ cards up on different areas of your body when you’re traveling. Shoes, inner pocket, pants pocket, sock, etc. Also, leave a security method of payment whereever you are staying. If you get robbed you’ll then have a way to pay for things and not be stranded.”
12. Don’t be meek
“Walk with purpose and like you belong, people tend to get out of your way.”
13. Act crazy I guess?
“Don’t present yourself as a potential victim.
Walking alone and not feeling safe?
Clench your fists and start talking to yourself like you’re angry. Maybe try to bite the side of your face. People tend to avoid people they think they are already unstable or emotionally volatile.”
14. Don’t be complacent
“After a while in shitty neighborhoods, your situational awareness will be dialed up so much that it’s almost like you can see around corners. And if something doesn’t feel right, GTFO. You pick up all kinds of subliminal cues that your rational mind might not be able to articulate. Sometimes you’ll be overly paranoid, but the consequences of that are nothing compared to being overly complacent.”
15. Good thinking
“2002 Red River Riot.
Shootout between Hells Angels and Mongols in a Laughlin NV casino.
I was in that bar as they started to congregate. Looked up from my beer, Hells Angels on my left and Mongols on my right.
My gut followed my brain and I got the hell out of there. Nothing good comes out of two notorious gangs being in the same bar.
3 dead and several injured.”