Learning how to be street smart is one of those things that comes with experience.
I remember when I was a teenager and I’d visit a big city, I felt kind of lost and overwhelmed. I didn’t know exactly how to handle myself and it was a bit intimidating.
Nothing bad ever happened, but as I got older and eventually moved to a big city, I learned how to carry myself better and how to ignore certain people so there wouldn’t be any kind of drama or weird situations.
So what are some basic street smarts that everyone should know?
Here’s what AskReddit users had to say.
1. Alone on the street.
“If you’re alone on the street and you think you’re being followed, immediately call someone, forget about conversation starters, and give away your location. You should add ” I think I’m being followed”.
Speak loudly enough so the person you think is following you hears you doing it. If you’re right and they were following you, that will be a big turn off. If you’re wrong you have nothing to lose.”
2. Phone scams.
“It might sound harsh, but if anyone approaches you and asks to use your phone for anything ( especially emergency-related ), don’t fall for it.
They will usually tell you what the “emergency” is, so walk away, tell them you don’t have a phone/whatever, and for your inner peace call the emergency and give away that person’s location. Tell them exactly what the person told you.
Either they really needed help and you’re sending it their way, or they tried to trick you into something horrible and will most likely try it again with the next passerby.”
3. A bad idea.
“Please, for the love of God, stop using your earphones while on the street. At least try to only have one earbud in if you can’t help it.
It’ s not healthy (ear fatigue, potential risks to your hearing,etc.) but at least it won’t completely cover the background noises.”
4. Keep moving.
“If you’re walking and someone approaches, don’t break stride. You can carry on a conversation while walking, but people who are looking to proselytize, sell you something, or mug you will want you to slow or stop to address them.
If they want to chat, make them keep up with you. You can even tell them that you’re in a rush but would love to talk and walk.
They’ll likely find someone more stationary, because if you can make a person slow, you can make them stop. If you can make them stop, you’ve already adjusted their priorities and placed yourself at the top.
It’s a subtle power game. Keep going where you’re going, and you retain your power. Stop and cat, and you’ve given it up and opened yourself to possible problems.”
5. Bad drivers are everywhere.
“Pay attention when you cross the street on foot, no matter who has the right of way.
Vehicles will destroy you!”
6. It works!
“Walk fast and look p*ssed off.
This is how I deal with people on the street trying to market stuff to me.”
7. I belong here.
“Be aware of surroundings, look like you belong either through body language, attire, or occupation (without being oblivious to things around you).
The moment you look lost, out of place, or unsure is the moment you can look like a good target. If someone is looking at you with an expression questioning why you are there, be prepared to answer it with confidence and give an answer they would accept, or be prepared to leave before they can ask.”
8. Just walk away.
“Shut your f*cking mouth.
It doesn’t matter how angry you are or what they said to you. Shut your f*cking mouth and walk away.
Bruised ego is better than shot dead.”
9. Keep it hidden.
“Never flash your whole wad of cash in a public place while paying for something.
Keep a few bucks loose in one pocket for spending. Keep the majority of your cash in a separate pocket.
Don’t open a wallet full of all your money where other people can see you.”
10. I see you.
A lone assailant will often use the element of surprise to their advantage. If you’re walking alone and someone is following you, make eye contact to let them know that you are aware of them. This will often dissuade them from attacking.
This tactic has worked for me in the past.”
11. Might work?
“This reminds me of a comedian who was saying the best way to stay safe in a rough neighborhood is to fake a Russian accent cause Russians are terrifying.”
12. Beware of pickpockets.
“Here are a few of street smarts that makes it harder for pickpockets to steal your stuff:
Do not keep your wallet in the back pocket of your jeans. This is a super easy place for pickpocket to take it from.
When in crowed touristy areas it sometimes is better to wear your backpacks or purses to the front of your body. If you sit down in a restaurant, keep your backpack in front of your feet.
Be especially aware of your belongings when there is a bit of pushing, like when entering a subway or metro wagon.
Be alert in situations where a potential group of thieves try to distract you for example by asking you for directions on a map. While you are distracted by showing the person the directions another thief will open your bags and take your stuff without noticing.
Another thing to lookout are people in European cities asking for cash donations for the blind, deaf or handicapped. The huge majority of them are not for real charities but just to A) get some money from me and B) more importantly for an accomplice to see where you store your wallet.”
Do you think there are certain street smarts that everyone should know about?
If so, tell us what you think in the comments.
Please and thank you!