People With ‘Street Smarts’ Are Sharing Advice That Can Save People In Dangerous Situations (40 Tips)
Growing up downtown as opposed to a quiet suburb is a vastly different experience. We could spend hours debating the pros and cons of urban life but let's leave that discussion for another time and focus on something different instead. 'Street smarts.'
We at Fashion Life discovered a few posts on Reddit (one by u/breadedsnake and another by u/ForcupinePucker) with a very similar angle: both OPs asked users to share tips that can help people stay safe in the city. And since some of the entries are so useful, we thought why not combine them into a compilation? You never know when you might need them!
Street smarts to give your kids: if you get lost, find the closest adult with kids.
I saw this in action once at Disneyland when a 4 year old kid approached me and my kiddos while we were eating. She joined us very calmly, introduced herself, and said her parents gave her the above advice. I heard her parents shouting her name not long after, and the relief on their faces was a sight.
If I'm in an unfamiliar city, I'll explore freely every neighbourhood as long as there are women and kids around. Most mums don't hang outside with their kids if the street/area is unsafe.
This worked very well for most throughout Latin America, Europe and Asia.
From the first day of his presidency to his campaign for reelection, Donald Trump has been shouting about crime in the United States. Trump vowed to end “American carnage” in his inaugural address in 2017 and in 2020, he ran for reelection on a platform of “law and order.”
But according to the Pew Research Center, it's difficult to say for certain how much crime is there in the U.S. The two primary sources of government crime data – the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – both paint an incomplete picture.
If the situation doesn't feel right, it's not right. Trust your spidey sense.
u/breadedsnake, the author of one of the above-mentioned Reddit posts, told Fashion Life that, "Before I made the post, I was actually thinking about sneaking out at night to walk to one of my friend's house and then I realized that I would probably get kidnapped considering that I don't really know how to act."
"I guess you could say I made the post so I could get to know some stuff and also get some free Reddit karma."
The main thing that u/breadedsnake took away from all the answers is to stay alert whenever you're in a dangerous area. "[People stressed that it's important] to look around you and focus on more than what's in front of you; someone can run up from behind! And don't try to be a superhero—if you're seeing someone being attacked, just assume they started it and don't get involved with anything you don't have to."
If you have a random cop come to your house on The night before you leave for Europe with your family, don’t tell him your going away until you call his superior to make sure he’s a cop.
Your welcome you filthy animals
In u/breadedsnake's opinion, everyone should have at least a little bit of street smarts.
That's true. But luckily for our health, property crime in the U.S. is much more common than violent crime. In 2019, the FBI reported a total of 2,109.9 property crimes per 100,000 people, compared with 379.4 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
The most common form of property crime in 2019 was larceny/theft, followed by burglary and motor vehicle theft. Among violent crimes, aggravated assault was the most common offense, followed by robbery, rape, and murder/non-negligent manslaughter.
You might be "correct" when you have the right of way, but you're still the one that's going to be dead when you get whacked by the car if you're walking or on your bike.
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.
Having good manners, and speaking with respect, will keep you from getting in trouble you didn't know was there.
Just because someone is friendly with you, doesn't mean they have a good heart.
Always ask for only one scoop of ice cream first because they make single scoops bigger, then act like you changed your mind and ask for a second scoop. They will be pressured to match the size of the first scoop, providing you with a massive amount of ice cream.
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.
Carry a fork with you. if someone approaches you, say “lord, thank you for this meal I’m about to have” and charge at them with the fork
If you are walking alone at night and you feel like you’re being watched/followed. Start talking to yourself.. loudly about crazy shit. Make it a conversation even.
Omg did you SEE her dress?
That dress was so crazy long. Like how could she walk? Let alone walk in that grocery store!!
And those cheap plastic shoes!!
I own those cheap plastic shoes!! Are you saying I’m Cheap!!
If the cheap plastic shoe fits honey!
I’ll admit to doing this. I used to work graveyard shifts and you gotta be aware. Most people no matter how bad try to avoid crazy. Crazy will hurt you back.
If you are forced to walk through a bad/dangerous neighborhood, keep your chin up and maintain a confident and comfortable look on your face.
Nothing screams “abuse me!” more than an out-of-place person waking around with their chin down, looking at the sidewalk.
I learned this after visiting a new girlfriend many years ago in a bad section of Philly. I was walking down the street towards her house and a local female walking by my said, “keep that chin up around here, white boy.” The more I considered that advice, the more logical it sounded.
Eye contact. 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.
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.
Let's say a kidnapper throws you in the back of a trunk. Don't panic! Once you get your bearings, find the carpet that covers the taillight. Peel back the carpet, make a fist, punch the taillight out the back of the car, thus creating a hole in the back of the automobile, then stick your little hand out and wave to oncoming motorists to let them know that something hinky is goin' on.
Never post vacation information on social media until you’re back. You’ll most certainly get robbed at some point if you’re not smart about it.
Also, don’t put expensive product boxes (TV, computer, appliances) outside before trash day. People will see your new toys.
If you're driving and hit black ice just take foot OFF GAS BUT DON'T BREAK until the slide stops.
Don’t ever tell the cab driver you don’t know where you’re going.
Before using any ATM, tug hard on the plastic card reader. Scammers often put a fake one on top that steals your info.
Carry an extra wallet with $50 in it and throw it if someone tries to rob you. STREET SMARTS!
Don't tell even close friends the amount of money you have on you. I was set up by an 18 year old female coworker this week. She seemed like a sweetheart and was giving me rides to work for a few days. I asked on the Monday if we could go to bank as I needed to cash a check for roughly $4500. Minutes after dropping me near house I was robbed at gunpoint of everything by 2 guys. They knew how much they were looking for. The robber said he watched me leave bank but the police saw on camera near home that they had been waiting for me for an hour. One of the robbers was her ex/current boyfriend it turns out.
Everyone respects true crazy. I once was approached in downtown by a man asking for all my money. I looked him square in the eyes and blurted out something like "blahblubvlahhhhhh". He walked away and I kept my monies.
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.
Look up and notice if street lights have been shot out or smashed.
If so, avoid those areas at night - there's a reason they've been disabled . . .
You won’t get mugged if you look like you’re going to mug someone.
Nobody approaches you on the street because they want to do something for you. It's always because they want something from you.
The only people who ever truly "win" fights are those who successfully avoid them.
When it comes to knife fights: The loser dies in the street; the winner dies in the hospital.
Don't fuck with that dude with cauliflower ears. He can take more and harder hits than you think.
Get those stickers off your car identifying you as a female. ("Girls just wanna have FuNe!"). It makes you a target.
If you live in an urban area with high transient population, regularly check locked gates and rare use access points. Look for things like small pieces of tape on locks. You are being target and tested for for access to your home that you do not regularly use.
Carry two wallets. One is a honeypot, you hand over if getting robbed. The other is you real wallet. (Pro tip: put a little cash and expired credit cards in the honeypot. This will help it look more real.)
If you’re going to be away on holiday or somewhere you’re unfamiliar with for any length of time, it’s a good idea to try to always make sure that someone knows roughly where you’re going to be and what you’re going to be doing on a given day. Even if you’re like me and you don’t like to plan out a full itinerary, a rough indication of what your plans might be can help work out your movements if ever there is an issue.
Always know where the exits are in any place that you enter so that you don’t get lost in an emergency.
Also, never place yourself in a “hole” in public where there is only one entrance and exit and no other people around. These are often crime hotspots
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