How To Spot A Predator
Have you ever been somewhere and just get that gut feeling that something is not right? Just a weird vibe you get when walking to your car or while walking through the isles at the store.
Do not ignore this feeling! Consider it a special gift you have, be thankful that you have it, and listen to it. Here are a few tips on how to spot a predator.
First things first. You must be aware of your surroundings in order to spot and avoid a predator. Situational Awareness is of the utmost importance whenever you are out and about. Living your life being tuned in and aware of what’s happening around gives you the baseline of your environment. When something doesn’t feel right, you have this baseline to compare it to which helps to confirm something is “off”. Read my article Situational Awareness: Why, When, and How to learn more about being aware.
Am I Being Watched?
Some predators will gather information on their person of interest first. They are watching how you act, what you are looking at or taking interest in and assessing how aware of your surroundings you are. In extreme cases, they will watch for weeks at a time to nail down your habits and schedule. Take a mental note of the people around you. Have you seen the same person in the last two stores you have been to? Is the person you walked by in Isle 2 now checking out at the same time as you? You may wonder how can I possibly keep track of everyone? It is possible and your ability to do so improves the more you practice your awareness skills. These little things may be nothing but when you take these mental notes, you are on alert and will be prepared.
That Creepy Vibe
Let’s face it, some people just give off that creepy, not-so-right feeling. Do not ignore this feeling. Yes, this person may be harmless and just passing by, but what if they are not? If you get this feeling trust it and get away from them. Leave the store or if you are walking, go into a public place and call a friend for an escort. If you are home, lock your doors and call the police and explain the situation. Being able to know how to spot a predator and prepare yourself is key, this is exactly what this feeling does for us.
If you are approached, look them straight in the eyes and tell them no thank you in a stern confident voice and move on quickly. Do not let them engage you in conversation. It is ok to say no and leave. This is not a time to worry about pleasantries and politeness. So what if this random person thinks you are mean? Your security is your number one priority, so put your emotional, and relational feelings aside and end the contact.
Are You Following Me?
As I mentioned before, take note of the people around you. While in the store if you feel someone is following you, keep walking and find the store staff. Ask for an escort when checking out and have someone walk you to your car. When walking or driving, have you noticed a person or a car behind you for a little while? Take an alternate route and do not lead them to your home. If they continue to follow your every turn, keep walking or driving and call the police. Transitional Safety Tips is a great read and talk about the vulnerable times you are transitioning from place to place.
The main point is, do not chalk it up to coincidence. If you notice someone following you, heighten your awareness, keep an eye on them and figure out your next move.
Age Or Gender Does Not Matter
This last point is one a lot of women overlook. A predator can be a teenager, middle-aged, older, male, or female. There is no singular definition and look of a predator. It can be anyone. As women, we tend to think of predators as males. But a predator can be anyone, male or female, young or old. The sad truth is women and young adults can and do perform predatory acts. Those teens may just be “acting like teenagers”, but either way you need to be sure you are aware and prepared for anything.
Wrap Up On How To Spot A Predator
The main point here is to trust your gut feeling. We are given the gift of our intuition for our self-protection and we must learn to trust it and rely on it. I am sure you have been approached by a stranger in a parking lot and just got that bad feeling in your stomach. Please trust it! Being prepared for the worst is not being paranoid, it is taking measures to protect yourself in a world that requires it. You do not have to be on high, fight alert at all times. but you should know the levels of awareness and know when to enact each one. Learning and training yourself on how to spot a predator will help you pay attention to what your gut is telling you. Personally, I welcome and am grateful for these moments of intuition and the red flags they raise. I literally say to myself “got it, thank you” when they come.
Stay safe out there and always be aware of your surroundings.