People Share 17 Key Tips for Being Smarter on the Streets

We all want to think that we’re pretty savvy when it comes to avoiding the less desirable elements out there – the people out to pick our pockets or worse – but the truth is, most of us are probably at least a little bit unprepared for what it would be like to have something happen.

Preparation is key, and so are these 17 tips – they’re a great place to start, or good reminders even if you’re feeling confident, so give them a whirl!

17. Because zombies.

Not me but one of my employees. We dress casually on Fridays and call it “flip flop Friday.” He never participates.

I asked him why and he said “I can’t run in flip flops. You ALWAYS have to be ready to run.”

16. Some people are so literal.

There are 146 street suffixes acknowledged by the U.S. Postal Service. Alphabetically, the first is “alley” and the last is “yard”.

These are also bad places to duck into if you’re being followed, because there’s only one exit.

15. That kid had seen some things.

I had a friend years ago who, when a car approached to ask for directions, she slowly removed her sandals as she answered. When the car drive away I asked why she did that.

She said that you can’t run in flip flops, and that although it would hurt, it’s easier to run barefoot. She warned me to always be prepared to run whenever necessary. We were maybe 12 when she said that

14. No one wants that.

Ear buds or head phones signal that you’re not aware of your surroundings. Staring at your phone indicates the same. Make you an easy target.

13. Don’t look lost.

Always tell my kids to walk with a purpose.

12. Silence is underrated.

Don’t talk if you don’t need to.

It’s so hard sometimes but the right thing to say in so many situations is nothing.

11. Assume the worst.

Don’t hug the walls, walk a bit towards the center especially near corners.

Keep your ears open, notice things. Footsteps, shuffling, metal clanging, anything.

Basically be aware of your surroundings and anticipate critical situations.

10. Face forward.

Never turn your back to someone who you don’t trust or is aggressive. YouTube is full of videos of people getting sucker punched from behind.

9. Trust your gut.

trust your gut instinct, if your gut is telling you somethings off then treat it as such – a really good book about this is “the gift of fear” by Gavin de Becker

8. Slippery when wet.

The most dangerous time to drive is right when it starts raining, cause any oil on the street has mixed with the water, making it slippery, but hasn’t had enough time to wash away yet.

7. No such thing as a coincidence.

Coincidences are rarely that. Pay attention to people’s hands. They will give you a split second heads up to ill intent. Watch your f-ing back.

Also watch their left foot. Most people are right handed. If they inch their left foot closer to you they are setting up to take a swing.

6. Or just don’t?

This is a niche tip, but if you ever suspect something to have an electric current, do not touch it with the palm side of your hand. It can cause your muscles to contract and not let go. Always use the backside of your hand or even better, use a blade of grass or something not too conductive.

If there is downed powerlines or some other high voltage source on the ground: don’t walk away, don’t run but edit: look above. There can be a potential gradient on the ground, you are just fine where standing feet close to each other but taking a step may cause the feet to be at different potential. This may cause current to travel thru our legs. The worst solution is to go on all fours as that will cause the current to go thru our body which is much, much worse. If you are in a car with powerlines on top; don’t step out unless there is a risk of fire. Jump out, don’t step out.

Also, be aware of chainlink fencing etc long metal objects. You can in theory get shocked miles away. Electricity does not follow paths that are intuitive to us.

5. If you have to fight…

And most untrained right handed fighters will instinctively try to hit you with a right cross or hook, very rarely a left jab.

Conversely, you can rock people’s sh%t with an unexpected left jab.

PLEASE DO NOT FIGHT ON CONCRETE IF YOU DO NOT HAVE TO. A little fight can turn into manslaughter charges real quick when a head meets concrete.

4. An excellent life rule.

Don’t f*ck with people.

Even the skinniest, nerdiest Steve Urkle lookin motherf*cker might be crazy with a knife under his sleeve, might stab you soon as you turn around.

But don’t be scared of people either. Mutual respect.

3. Never go to the secondary location.

If you’re being attacked and someone is trying to get you into a vehicle to take you to a secondary location, fight as much as you possibly can to not get in the vehicle.

If they kill you while fighting it will be quick and your murder will be easier to solve, but if they take you to a second location they can keep you alive as long as they want doing whatever they want to you and your disappearance will be much much harder to solve.

Better to go down swinging and make it easy to catch your attackers than end up tortured for God knows how long.

2. A small test.

My friend came round after I had dropped a fiver on the floor on the way in.

I went to change came back and she said ‘you dropped a fiver on the way in. I’ve put it in your wallet and put it on the table for you.’

Lo and behold wallet on table with all my cash in it. Nothing even looked like it’d been moved.

Needless to say on nights out where I feel too drunk to realize if I may lose my wallet. It goes in her bag. If I wander off and make it home she’s not gonna touch it until she’s giving it back to me.

1. A few words to the wise.

As someone who grew up in some tough parts of the Bronx and Yonkers in New York City, and has been around Queens as well, my biggest tip would be….. Nvm, this needs a list.

• Walk like you know where you going. If you look like an easy target, chances are folks around you are thinking the same thing. Most bad areas are infested with poverty stricken people looking for an easy come up.

• If you ever hear a door slam shut, followed by “AYO HE RIGHT THERE, THAT’S HIM” Run for your life. Even if you did nothing. People die from strays and misidentified targets regularly.

• If a stranger compliments you on your new kicks, or says something along the lines of “What size you wear? insert size. Word? those is my size too.” do not entertain this conversation. Keep it short & sweet, and the first chance you get, check your surroundings. This usually is him essentially implying he is about to book your sneakers. If he is smart, he will usually have people waiting for you on your other side, or if you are on the train, he will have goons posted up at the nearest stop knowing you will probably try to dip.

• KEEP YOUR HEAD ON A SWIVEL, NEVER GET CAUGHT SLEEPING So many lives could have been saved had the victims had a little more environmental awareness or street smarts, most notably 15-Year Old “Junior”. , who grew up around where I spent most of my time as a kid and as a teenager. Not to be a dickhead but had he had a little more street smarts and recognized the setup beforehand, he would have known to not come out.

• Please don’t buy anything from anyone who is trying to bargain with you on the block or corner. Whatever the shit is expect it to have poor quality and it was probably illegally obtained

• If you feel unsafe with a chain on, tuck your chain and any other jewelry

• Lock your car doors, Mfs WILL key your shit if they notice you leave it unlocked every day.

• Do not engage with anyone who isn’t there alone. Mfs will Jump in and stomp ya ass with big ass timberland boots.

• Lastly, walk with confidence. Look confident, not cocky. Cockiness can and will get you killed depending on where you at.

Some of these are definitely things I need to be reminded of regularly.

What other tips would you give someone looking to brush up? Share them in the comments!