Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tips To Be Confident and Safe When Going out Around

Going out by yourself can seem intimidating even frightening. There are definitely dangers to be aware of but you can go to places on your own. You can overcome your anxiety about such things and learn to differentiate between real danger and irrational fear or paranoia. This article assumes you are a woman but if you're a man, there's plenty of useful information in here for you too.
follow this steps
1. Think about where you are going. What section of town is it? Will there be others there whom you know (friends, acquaintances)? If your destination is in a better section of town - i.e., one that is well-lit, not known to be run down or rife with crime - then you're in much better shape, going alone. If it's in a not-so-good section of town, think again. Overcoming your fears and anxieties is one thing but taking foolish and unnecessary risks is another. There are some places, it's just better to go with others.There really is safety in numbers.

2. Dress to impress, not to seduce. If you're going out with pals, you can wear more risque or daring outfits than if going alone - it's just a fact that with others to watch your back, you don't need to worry as much. So instead of dressing in that very low cut, slinky black sheath, wear something more demure. Choose a fabulous cashmere sweater or business attire dressed up with a great scarf or elegant necklace. Calling the wrong sort of attention to yourself when you're on your own is not smart. Be more modest and less sexy.
3. Make sure your car is in good order. Sounds silly? Not if you have a leaky tire valve. The last thing you need is to come out at 2AM and find you have a flat. If you're hanging out alone, have a AAA or other roadside emergency service card with you as well as a charged cell phone. Fill your car up with gas before you leave. Just checking to make sure everything is cool before you get going is a great step to give you peace of mind before you head out.
4. Tell someone where you are going and how long you plan to stay. You are not "putting yourself on a leash" or "cramping your own style." You're being smart by letting a family member or friend know where - and when - to start looking for you, worrying, etc. One good way to go about it is to tell your (for example) mom that you are "going to a party at Steve's house in Agoura this Saturday." You don't need to provide a GPS tracker, but it's smart to leave a MapQuest or Google map of your planned route. Tell your mom you will call when you're on your way home. Call Steve and tell him you're on your way as you are leaving the house. This way, if you don't arrive at the party, hopefully Steve will remember that you called to tell him you were coming, and will call your mom. Now, both parties realize that you left and never arrived at your destination - it gives them a faster start on finding you. If you left a map of your route, Mom can alert the authorities to search along that route - your problem may be as simple as a flat tire or as serious as a crash, with you and your car in a ditch, and a dead cell phone battery - telling someone where you planned to be will help them find you much quicker. Conversely, if you call Mom and tell her that you are in your car and leaving the party at 10pm, she will know that if you have not arrived by midnight, she should begin to worry. Cell phones have taken a lot of these worries away, because it's a simple matter to call most of the time. But consider this: If your cell phone dies, or if you leave it at the party, or it is stolen, lost, or otherwise does not work, you have left word with people who will definitely become concerned after only an hour or two if you don't show up - it won't be half the night before someone even realizes you never showed up where you were supposed to. Knowing you have taken these simple precautions can boost your confidence significantly.
5. Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Before you get out of your car, think about where you have parked. Is it well-lit, easy to see from the street? This is the best place to park if alone. Avoid parking in dark alleys or very far away from the door of your destination. Remember where you parked - very important. Mentally map your path to the door of the place you're going, take note of anyone on the street, and gather your things quickly. Upon leaving your car, check carefully that it is locked and you have left nothing enticing (like a laptop bag or an iPod) in plain view. Walk purposefully - do not meander - directly to the door and enter immediately. Lingering on the street is not a good idea, it allows potential attackers to see that you are alone. Keep anyone you noticed out on the street in your mind, and in the corner of your eye, if possible. Being aware of the people around you is key to your safety. Do not talk on your cell phone, it will distract you.
6. Get inside quickly, and once inside, relax and enjoy yourself responsibly. Remember there is no designated driver, you're it. Don't get drunk! If you do get drunk, don't plan on going home without calling a taxi or relative to collect you.
7. Avoid sharing too much information with any stranger. Don't be naive and trust someone you do not know. The people you meet may be very nice people or they may be not very nice.It's impossible to make an accurate judgment in just one meeting. Do not mention you came alone. Say you are waiting for friends to arrive or someone is picking you up soon. If you meet someone you think is nice so far, make plans to meet in a coffee shop, at a restaurant, or at an amusement park, rather than giving out your home address or place of work. Giving out your cell phone number is okay if you want to. The main idea is that you take time to really know this person and get a feel for the real guy or girl, not just that first impression.
8. Remember that good people are like sunny days - there are LOTS of them. Just because you're being careful doesn't mean you need to be afraid that everyone is out there thinking about how to get over on you. Be prepared - not paranoid. Remembering that there are more sunny days than days when lightning strikes is useful. Lightning is dangerous, maybe deadly - but rare.
9. Relax and be yourself. You won't have a good time if you don't relax. Once you've reached your destination, settle in and resolve to have a good time, no matter what. Most large gatherings turn out to be groups of small gatherings - people tend to group together in smaller clusters, even if there are loads of people in one place. Hang back a bit and "lurk", listening for the kinds of people you would like to know as you overhear their conversations. Try not to be obvious - just hang there, looking like you are interested in someone outside that group (so that they don't get that you're listening in.) Once you're sure you'd like to meet these people, wait for an opportunity - one of them says something like, "I LOVED _______ movie." (Assuming it's one you also loved) Quickly turn and say, "I hope you'll excuse me, but I couldn't help overhearing - I loved that movie, too - wasn't it great? I love (actor/actress/director) - I'll see anything s/he is involved in." This is a little feeler, a way of seeing if you will be welcomed or rebuffed.
10. Feel welcomed. The response you get from your little "barometer reading" (a way to sort of test the weather in the group - are they warm and welcoming, or cold and aloof?) will tell you everything you need to know: If the response is, "Yeah, wasn't that great? I loved every minute of it..." or something to that effect, you're in. You can now just pick up and chat about that, and hopefully, stick with them for a little while, making conversation as it flows naturally. Be sure you get an email address or a MySpace address so that you can stay in touch. If you do this, you can wait a day or two, then send an email or a MySpace message saying, "It was great to meet you the other night - maybe we can go to a movie sometime!" Keep it short and leave it at that - don't stalk them. On the other hand, if you are not welcomed ...
11. Feel unwelcome. Some cliques are pretty tight and hard to penetrate. That's okay, don't take it personally. If you try to interject and get in on the fun they're having, but they give you a bad look or say, "Uhhh... yeah." and then let it drop like a bomb, just shrug it off and move on - they may look like fun, but if they're not nice people, they're not what you wanted anyhow. Blow it off and try again somewhere else.
12. Brush up on your conversation skills. And while we're at it, it doesn't hurt to have interesting things to talk about - if you don't know about anything, can't talk knowledgeably about a variety of subjects, it makes you pretty dull. There's not a lot to say if you don't know anything about current events (news, politics), pop culture (movies, TV, books), or other interesting subjects. Inform yourself about things going on in the world, and find ways to discuss them without seeming like a boring know-it-all. It's a fine line - nothing to say = dull, no personality. Too much to say = obnoxious, overbearing conversation hog. Remember that conversation is an art - you say something, then let them say something.
13. Leave knowing you made a new friend or acquaintance. It's a good feeling to leave having had a fun conversation with someone new, or with someone's phone number in your pocket. But if you don't, never fear - you can always try again! The more times you go out and try, the better you will be at fending for yourself in these social situations, and as your skills grow, so will your contact list. Give it time.
14. Preparing to leave, take a close read of the street and then go straight to your car, then home. Alone. If the guard or bouncer, or a group of other women you have met, offer to walk you to your car, take them up on it. At the very least, let someone know that you're going home now, and ask them to watch you till you get in your car. Take a look around - know who is on the street with you, and if you see an alley between you and your car, walk in the middle of the street if necessary to give yourself plenty of room to move if you need to. Walk purposefully and confidently to your car, and when you get there, have your keys ready and unlock the car as you are taking your last steps toward it. Get in, and lock the doors immediately, buckle up, start your car and drive away. Don't sit in your car fixing your makeup or fiddling with your iPod - get going.
15. Congratulate yourself - you did it! Being aware of your surroundings and acting confident will help you feel confident. You've just realized you can go places on your own and survive - you can meet new friends, and have great times without waiting to tag along with others. It's a great feeling!

some tips for you
* People who have the intent to rob or assault others often look for easy targets - nervous types, retiring types, or people just wandering and not really paying attention to their surroundings. Standing tall and walking with purpose, being obviously aware of who and what are on the street with you makes you look confident - not an easy target.
* Many assaults, carjackings, robberies, and homicidal attacks are carried out on women sitting in their cars fumbling with money, makeup, or their radios. Often, the doors are unlocked and the attacker just slides right in. Don't make yourself this kind of target. Instead, have your stuff together, get locked in, buckled up and on your way. You can fiddle with your iPod at the next red light.
* Attract the right kind of attention - not the wrong kind. Dressing in sexy, provocative attire, or wearing a lots of jewelry may be cool once inside, but before you get to your destination, it's not going to attract the kind of attention you want. Cover it up, girl! Once you're in, you can let it out, but remember to cover it again before leaving!
* Be smart - don't insist on going if there's an obvious problem. If your car is hard to start or makes you feel nervous, if you aren't feeling all that well, or if your mind is very focused on a problem, don't go. You want to have a good time, not put yourself in a dangerous situation. If there is an obvious trouble sign, stay home with a book. Go out once the problem has been addressed instead.
* Don't count money or check ID's on the street - that's an invitation to rob you. Stay alert and don't distract yourself while out on the street.
* Don't space out when you're alone. Remember there is no one to depend upon but yourself. Stay alert and keep your wits about you at all times.

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