Self awareness is ALWAYS know your surroundings

The first step in protecting yourself from becoming a crime victim is being aware of your surroundings.  Self awareness is the most critical element to self defense.  It is impossible to react to a situation or an attacker if you are unaware of them.

Understand the Psychology of a criminal

Criminals are extremely selfish individuals who do not care about the harm they cause to others.  They are skilled at blending into the crowd and appearing nonthreatening.   Blending into the crowd makes it easier for them to seek crimes of opportunity.

Self awareness is important for protecting yourself from criminals.
Self awareness is important for protecting yourself from criminals.

Imagine yourself as the criminal and look for opportunities to take advantage of others. Watch the actions of other people as you go throughout your day.  When would be the best opportunity for you to steal from someone or attack them?  Think about your daily activities and consider areas of vulnerability in your own life. 

Each situation requires different levels of self awareness

We cannot become excessively relaxed in today’s world and every situation requires a different level of self-awareness.  Someone who is sitting at home does not need to be as cautious as someone who is traveling through a dangerous neighborhood.     

There are three basic levels of self awareness:

  • Low self awareness:  An example of low self awareness is someone in their own home relaxing with their family.   It is a known safe environment that has virtually no danger to the individual. Home security is also important to have.
  • Medium self awareness:  Public places require increased caution and more attention given to your environment. 
  • High self awareness:  The most attention should be given when you are in unfamiliar areas or around strangers.  Areas with a lot of criminal activity require special attention also. 

Avoid distractions

Cellphones are very useful in emergency situations, giving you the ability to call for help.  However, they can also be a distraction that keeps you from focusing on the world around you.  There are numerous videos on the internet showing people walking into walls, doors and other objects because they’re focused on a cellphone. 

Criminals sometimes work in teams with one person distracting the victim.  Once the victim is distracted, the other criminal has an opportunity to attack.  Criminals want easy targets and use the element of surprise to take advantage of their victims.  Anything that distracts you gives them an advantage and an opportunity to attack. 

Protect yourself by knowing your environment and reacting to any changes in it which happen.