I want to offer up 7 Safety Tips that SAFE International teaches that cost absolutely nothing, but could save you or your loved ones from harm or much worse! Okay, here we go!
1) Trust Your Intuition
Nevermind all the different safety gadgets available on the market when you have the most valuable safety device built right in! Every person we have ever taught has experienced a moment when they feel like something is wrong, but they do not know what! Take as an example, getting on an elevator. The doors open up, you see someone on the elevator, and you immediately feel uncomfortable, but you get on anyways. The doors then open up, you walk away without incident, and you chalk it up to paranoia. Far too often, people dismiss it as paranoia, which is risky. If you dismiss it as paranoia, the next time your Intuition cues you, you are less likely to trust it, possibly finding yourself in not so pleasant a scenario. Just because nothing happens does not mean your Intuition wasn’t trying to protect you. That person may only have been in “bad guy” mode at the time, but you were right to feel uncomfortable.
2) Identification on Dashboard
Over the past 25 years of teaching, I never really paid much attention to but learned that you never know the impact one tip or bit of advice might have on someone else. I have one high school teacher who shared with me that she has told hundreds of her friends this tip I gave. Most of us have left a package or letter on our dashboard or car seat, but if left with the address up, we may be providing some personal information we do not want to share. How do we resolve this issue, turn the package or letter over, plain and simple. You never know who may be watching from a distance, and if they were to walk past your vehicle, they might know where you live, your marital status.
3) Back Into Parking Spots
The majority of people give this little to no thought. Imagine yourself in your car after leaving work. Many people tell me they check their texts, emails or make calls before heading home. If someone was to smash on your window or force their way into your car, the ability to start your car, put it into reverse, then back out successfully is virtually impossible with the stress and adrenaline running through you. How do you remedy this? First, when you get into your car, lock the doors, have the keys in the ignition and car started. Moreover, if you have backed into the parking spot, you will have a much easier time leaving the scene successfully.
4) If You Are at Fault, Say “I am sorry”
How often have you found yourself in conflict and even though you were in the wrong over whatever the other person may be accusing you of, you still argue or fight cause your ego just will not let it go? If the person genuinely has an issue, they want to be resolved, and it is your fault, own it and say, “I am sorry.” It is incredible how often the conflict ends right then and there, allowing you to go home safely.
5) Lock Your Friggin Doors
This one, if you can’t tell, I find frustrating. So many people leave their homes or car doors unlocked. When I ask why they don’t lock their doors, most often tell me that they do not want to live in a state of paranoia. That makes absolutely zero sense. When I close the doors to my house, I feel safer and sleep better! I can promise you that the “bad guy” is looking for the most uncomplicated target, and just having your door locked or unlocked could be the difference between life and death or, at a minimum, robbery. It takes zero energy to turn that little lock knob, and if it does, you might want to get to a gym and work on your finger strength. Interestingly, people who lock their doors have no clue how close they may have come to have their homes broken into. When I teach, I share stories of horrific attacks where, sadly, just having some simple safety measures in place may have prevented the violence. So LOCK YOUR DAMN DOORS!
6) Ignoring the Word “NO”
As Gavin DeBecker teaches in his book “The Gift of Fear,” the word no is a complete sentence. The moment you tell someone No for any reason, if they persist, they are trying to control you somehow. As an example, I often ask women if they have been in a scenario where they might need assistance and someone offers to help, but they say no thanks, but the person persists or insists on helping. I tell particularly men who think they are chivalrous by forcing their help on the person that they are making them very uncomfortable, and they should move on. Pushing your self on someone is not helpful; it is often downright scary if you can put yourself in their shoes for a moment.
7) Kicking the Groin Will Drop a Guy
Okay, sure a kick to the groin is not a pleasant experience, and it may stop a threat, but assuming it will always end an attacker is one of the biggest misconceptions perpetrated. Some self-defense systems are obsessed with teaching people to strike the groin in the event of an attack. As we explain, there are many targets on the human body, some better than others, but never have any assumptions when it comes to defending yourself.
Managing Director, SAFE International