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The Street Smart Handbook: 15 Essential Street Savvy Skills to Keep You Safe

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Peril can lurk in the most unsuspecting places and situations. While the world is generally a safe and pleasant place to live, it does house a few individuals who can introduce an element of fear into our daily lives.

Essential survival skills necessitate a certain level of street smartness. Here’s a guide to help you steer clear of potentially dangerous situations.

1. Relax When Lost In Unfamiliar Surroundings

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If you lose your bearings in an unfamiliar location, standing still while looking around confused makes you a target. Find a place to sit and look relaxed, then slowly recalibrate your internal compass.

If you’re a tourist, try putting Google Maps to the last place you’re familiar with, and try again.

2. Don’t Tell A Can Driver You Don’t Know Your Destination

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We are fond of modern taxi services because of their convenience. Nevertheless, there have been instances of rogue cab drivers engaging in criminal activities, particularly when they sense a passenger’s uncertainty about their destination.

Don’t make that fact obvious, even if you aren’t sure where you’re going.

3. Adopt A Grumpy Look

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Walking in a new hood? Put on your most mean mug look and walk like you own the hood. This is particularly helpful if you’re walking through “the wrong side of the tracks.”

An online user says, “I always tell people to walk with determination like you know exactly where you are going and have every right to be there. Also helps to look slightly pi**ed off.”

4. Don’t Leave Visible Things In Your Car

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Sometimes people steal, not because they wanted to, but because they saw something they could easily nip.

Leaving your valuable possessions visible inside your vehicle might tempt someone to break in and take them or wait for your return and stage an ambush.

5. Don’t Leave Out Empty Boxes for Expensive Items

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Exposing your expensive purchase feels like an open invitation for people with ill intent to pay you an unwelcome non-courtesy call.

A user says, “If you put the box for a big expensive item out on the curb, you just broadcast to everything that you now have a brand new “big expensive item.””

6. If People Leave Suddenly, Follow Suit

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Being your own person and not following the crowd is an admirable trait. However, to be street smart is to know that if you’re in a place and people suddenly start leaving, don’t linger. If it’s kids that start leaving, bolt.

7. Have Situational Awareness

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With all the screens, music at the press of a button, and bass-busting earphones available today, many people are always engrossed in their own little world and becoming less aware of their surroundings.

One online contributor says this is a recipe for disaster.

8. Always Read The Room

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Check for the signs when the mood in a room changes or you accidentally walk into a situation that may hurt you.

Checking people’s behavior helps you make quick decisions to avoid trouble.

9. Disengage

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When a situation or conversation appears or sounds peculiar, the best course of action is to gracefully disengage while showing respect.

Talk your way out of the social awkwardness if the other party doesn’t get the hint.

10. Trust Your Gut

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Oftentimes, we fall into dangerous situations because we refuse to listen to our intuition. If a place or situation gives off an unsettling vibe, it’s likely for a good reason.

Trusting your instincts in such cases is often the wisest choice.

11. Watch Body Language

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Observing the non-verbal cues in a room or conversation can be instrumental in detecting shifts for the worse.

By paying attention to someone’s facial expressions and actions, you can often discern when someone is harboring malicious intentions.

An online user says, “I’ve seen a fair few clips online of people who clearly missed out on the body language of the person who was getting ready to punch them in the face.”

12. Avoid Bragging Publicly

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While you might own a high-end item, broadcasting its cost to everyone who will listen can attract unwanted attention from potential thieves.

It’s wise to keep the price tags private and avoid flaunting all your designer purchases.

13. Avoid Tailgating

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If you don’t leave space between you and the car in front of you, you will not have enough time to escape in case things go south.

An online conversation contributor says, “Leaving space between you and the car in front of you for an escape.”

Someone adds, “Especially in drive-throughs, one of my family’s friend[s] got boxed in at a jack-in-the-box drive-through and got shot up multiple times.”

14. Lend or Borrow Money Cautiously

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Don’t let just anyone get you out of a fix, you may not predict what they will ask for in return.

On the other end, someone says, “Never lend. Ever. Give away to a select few… be surprised if you get it back… expect to fall out over it.”

15. Run

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Sometimes, all you need to do to remove yourself from inexplicable situations is to run.

Run as fast as you can, even if running is not your thing, you do not have to win a marathon, it’s to get to safety.


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