Your best tool for self-defense is a proactive mindset. When you are scanning your environment, evaluating threats, and looking for people who are acting unusual, then you can anticipate a problem before it starts.
That anticipation can help you to create a plan. With a plan, you can keep yourself and those around you safe should the unthinkable happen.
A proactive mindset can be difficult when you’re in a busy environment, like walking through a shopping center or down the street in a large metropolitan area. It is still possible to keep yourself safe in these busy environments, however, if you keep these options in mind.
#1. Limit Your Belongings
The less stuff you take with you, then the better off you will be. Not only does fewer items mean less weight, but it means less of a temptation to identify you as a potential mark. Leave items in your vehicle if you must take them with you, but your best option is to leave everything you don’t need at home.
#2. Get Active About RFID
Did you know your identity can be stolen with a simple scan of your purse or wallet? Chip technologies in identification cards and credit cards emit a low-level RFID signal that a scanner can pick up. Someone would just need to walk by you to capture your information. That’s why carrying your items in an RFID-blocking product is a good idea.
#3. Stay Together
Do not allow yourself to be separated from your group. Should something happen, being apart will create a deeper layer of fear that can cause your brain to shut down. Stay together at all costs when you’re in a crowd. Link arms together with every person in your party and then move perpendicular to the crowd so you can get out of it as safely as possible.
If you do get separated, having a secondary meet-up location can help to reduce the fear of separation should something happen as well.
#4. Have Self-Defense Tools
There are numerous self-defense tools that you can carry with you to protect yourself should something happen when you’re in a busy environment. Some self-defense keychains can be used as a bladed weapon. Others provide blunt force assistance.
Sprays, such as a hot pepper spray or mace, can help you stop a potential attacker in a busy environment as well. Spraying in a crowd will cause it to disperse as well, which can help you to get away safely.
#5. Look for Discarded Items
Packages, suitcases, briefcases, backpacks – they should all be attended by someone. If they are not, then it is a potential threat. Get out of there as soon as possible and then alert the authorities to what you’ve seen.
If a discarded item does explode, your best option is to seek cover. Many initial explosions are designed to cause panic, funneling people toward a second, much larger explosion that can inflict mass casualties. Link arms and seek immediate cover until law enforcement can remove you from the area safely.
Busy environments can invite trouble. If you’re proactive about how you approach this type of situation, however, it is much easier to remain safe. Some of the best self-defense weapons are not guns. Your best weapon is your mind. Use it, then trust your instincts, and you’ll increase the chances of coming home safe every evening.