At Mossberg.com, Karen Hunter explains four ways to sharpen your situational awareness, writing:
- Gut Instinct: One of the most vital strengths we have is our gut instinct. We cannot ignore that still small voice telling us when something or someone “feels off.” We often dismiss this feeling as paranoia or over-reacting. If you sense anything that seems abnormal, acknowledge this, and do what is necessary to avoid them or the situation.
- Don’t Be a Soft Target: Many people think that only women or children are easy targets–this is not the case. Right now, the number one identifier of a soft target are people on their cell phones. Being on our cell phones, either walking or sitting in public keeps us zoned in on our phones and unaware of what is happening around us. All our senses are focused on our phone making us an easy target and oblivious to our surroundings. If you must be on your phone, stay aware, look around and pay attention. Stand with your back against a wall while scanning your surroundings as much as possible.
- Body Language: Demonstrate confidence. Walking with your head down or shuffling your feet for example, gives the appearance of a timid or weak person. Walk with your head up, look around and make eye contact. It is ok to look someone in the eye in a non-threatening manner. This is not a stare down or scowl of intimidation. Making eye contact simply lets people know you are aware that they are there. It allows others to perceive you as non-submissive and prepared
- Scan your Surroundings: Pay attention to people, entry and exit points, possible escape routes, potential obstacles, etc. An example would be where you position yourself in a restaurant. Is your back towards the door? Do you know where all the exits are if there is a threat or emergency? It can seem overwhelming but one way to really start making this a part of you and possibly fun for your family is to turn it into a game or fun quiz afterwards. Ask questions like: Where were we sitting? Who waited on us? Where were the exits? What were the people like around us? Doing this, or something similar is a great way to develop critical thinking skills and situational awareness in others. This can be done for restaurants, the grocery store, parks, basically any type of public place or atmosphere.
Action Line: Don’t get lost in tunnel vision. On the micro and macro level, you need to see what’s around you. If you’re serious about seeing the big picture, click here to sign up for my free monthly Survive & Thrive newsletter. But only if you’re serious.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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