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8 Ways to Be Your Own Bodyguard

 What does it take to survive a dangerous situation, possibly death? According to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a former West Point psychology professor, who interviewed thousands of people who've survived life-and-death situations, the one thing they had in common was a game plan. They decided ahead of time, what they were going to do. At the moment of truth, this enabled them to not be paralyzed.
 
 
Rather than being consumed with fear, Grossman suggests being smart. For instance, if you're in a car chase, the smart thing to do would be to program police stations or hospitals into your GPS, guiding you directly to safety. Here are more tips for avoiding, defusing and escaping threatening situations. 
 
1. Maintain a circle of awareness
be your own bodyguard

Criminals are on the lookout for easy victims, people who aren't paying attention. When in a crowd, keep an eye out for anyone who separates himself by his behavior, his dress or his manner. Ask yourself, 'who here catches my attention?' And listen to your intuition.  Be on the lookout for suspect types like:

The Organizer: Somebody who is reaching into a bag or coat pocket. This may be something a robber would do right before pulling out a weapon. 
The Secret Team: When two or more nonadjacent people signaling each other through  gestures or eye contact.
The Grouch: Someone other people in the crowd are avoiding because of behavior, smell or style of dress.
The Inspector: Someone who is watching security instead of the event.

2. Carry 'mugger's money'

Sometimes, the best way to defend yourself in a crime such as this is to not defend yourself. If you're in an environment where robbery is possible, carry mugger's money and keep it in a wallet separate from other valuable items. Such as an outside pocket which you can access quickly. That way, when approached, hand it over. Once you've handed over the money, they'll likely run. 

3. Getting attacked? Yell fire
be your own bodyguard

Most bystanders become weary when someone yells help. They may be thinking - I don't want to get close to that because it sounds bad. Using the word 'fire' triggers a different response. Most people think they can do something about that, or will check the situation out. 

 

4. During an attempted break-in, don't turn on the lights

Woke up in the middle of the night by a strange noise? Keep the lights off, dial 911 and press the panic button on your car's remote entry device (most have one). The device is capable of triggering the alarm from a distance of 30 to 60 feet. The loud noise may frighten the intruder away. 

5. When a stranger is at your door, demand ID
be your own bodyguard

Most criminals use a ruse to gain entry into a home. They may wear a uniform or say they have a delivery, so always demand identification. Ask to see it through a peephole or a window. 

6. Kidnapped? Resist smartly

Abduction is one of the most dangerous situations as you're dealing with a much more organized type of offender. At the outset, react with maximum resistance, not allowing him to gain control of you. It will probably occur in a public place, the most vulnerable time for the criminal, your best chance of survival. So at this stage, scream, fight and do whatever it takes to get away. If he is holding a weapon, weigh the risk of using it against the importance of acting fast.

If on the other hand, you're in the car, cause an accident. And if you're in a situation where you can't fight back in the car, create a minor accident on a busy street. You have an immediate audience when you hit another car and the guy will usually flee. If you're locked in the trunk, look for the release, newer-model cars have a safety handle inside the trunk that unlatches it. If you can't find it, break or kick out the rear taillight and wave your hand or foot to attract attention. 

7. Practice dialing (and speaking)be your own bodyguard

Wonder why people's faces go white when they're scared? This usually occurs because the body's defense mechanism redirects blood flow from its periphery to its core, causing a loss of fine-motor skills, so your fingers and tongue may not operate as smoothly. For this reason, it's important to practice dialing for help in an emergency, rehearsing what you'll say. Practicing will make the whole process more mechanical and less susceptible to stress. 

8. Trust your instincts during an attempted rape

In a situation like this, it's important to trust your instincts. But there are a couple of tips you may want to consider too. If he's wearing a mask, he'll probably keep you alive because you won't be able to describe him to the police. If he's not, the situation may be a little more dangerous and for this reason, consider taking on more risk to escape.

Resist passively with body language by keeping your legs together and arms crossed. You could also destroy his idealized girlfriend fantasy. Some guys have a fantasy about the rape that you need to destroy by bringing them back to reality saying things like, 'your girlfriend wouldn't like this, I don't like this, you're hurting me'... anything that will change his perception of what he thinks is a passionate situation. 

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