Blending into a crowd can be a very easy self-defense strategy to help you stay out of danger. There are many resources out there with tips and tricks to master and we wanted to share a few tips discussed in the article, “The Art of Blending In: 5 Tips from a Counterintelligence Special Agent.” For more information on the subject, the author also lists several books that expand further on surveillance and blending in.
Blend in with Demeanor
The best way to avoid being noticed is to act like you’re supposed to be there. If you “walk with a purpose” and look like you are in the middle of something important, people will glance over you. If you end up in a neighborhood that you don’t normally walk in, observe what people are doing and imitate their behavior.
The article also points out some guidelines, such as “If you’re a guy walking alone and want to stop in an area to get a good look, find the least-threatening person to sit down and strike up a conversation with as you carefully and naturally scan the grounds while you look like you’re recalling some old memory.”However, be careful not pick out the person who has a routine in the park or area. Sitting by the old women who feeds the pigeon’s every day by herself will make someone in the area suspicious.
Looking at the demeanor of others is a great self-defense strategy for finding someone who may be targeting you for a crime. Does someone not fit in the scene? Scanning your surroundings and watching body language is a great way to pick up on someone who doesn’t belong. When someone is tracking a person, they tend to become hyper-focused on their target. They may not be aware that they are sticking out. If everyone is walking and you notice someone standing in the middle of the sidewalk, this could be because he or she is focusing on his target.
As good self-defense strategy take the time to learn and pay attention to what you are doing and what is normal for your surroundings. This can help you gain the upper hand over even a seasoned criminal.
Don’t Dress in an Extreme Disguise
Unlike the movies, dressing in an extreme disguise may make you more of a target. Blending in doesn’t mean to look different, it means not being noticed or remembered. Going without expensive jewelry or designer brands will prevent anyone from picking you out of a crowd. Like your demeanor, your clothes should help you blend in with your surroundings. The article suggests grey clothing, which doesn’t draw much attention and can help cover up more obvious clothing.
Don’t Look Vulnerable and Keep Alert
Looking like you are not paying attention can make you a target for criminal activity. The biggest distraction is probably your phone. Using your phone while you walk is an easy way for criminals to decide that you would be an easy target. Other common ways to look distracted are:
- Wearing headphones
- Wearing expensive jewelry
- Wearing the hood up on your sweatshirt or jacket
The list above makes it harder for you to blend in. It also sends the message to potential criminals that you may not hear or see them. Whether they are consciously looking for the signs above or not, these items show that you aren’t focused on your surroundings.
These are only a few of the tips covered in the article–click here to read the full article and suggestions of other books to read for a more in-depth guide to blending in and surveillance self-defense strategy