Situational Awareness and avoidance with friends

I went with a friend to the bar and I guess this guy has NO SITUATIONAL AWARENESS OR CONFLICT AVOIDANCE AT ALL!

I have this friend that I’ve known for maybe a year, and we usually hang out and play halo together. I talked a little about situational awareness with him, like condition yellow and condition orange, and when you’re in public and somebody you don’t know approaches you, you yell STOP GET BACK!

He always asks me who do I say it to?
And my response is somebody out on the street you don’t want to talk to.

He’s like so what about the pizza delivery driver?

No you don’t say it to him he’s the one giving you the pizza.

He’s 29 and I’m 24.

So one day we go to the bar and I’m the one drinking and he’s the designated driver, and after the night at the bar I get into the car, and I look around and I see 2 people staring at us hard core.

“Uhh Stan we got two people staring at us hardcore” this is my signal to him to get out of here.

What does he do? Gets out of the car and says “What’s up?” And the 2 individuals approach us, asking if it’s okay if they can lean up against his car and he’s saying yeah it’s cool, and they’re asking us if we’ve been drinking because they noticed we’ve been there since they’ve been there, and if we’re okay to drive.

In my mind I’m referring back to my USCCA training, two guys have been paying attention to you the whole night, and now asks if you’re okay to drive, what is he going to do if he doesn’t think we’re okay? Call the cops? Also I’m thinking at this moment, and if we say I was drinking that gives them the idea oh these 2 people are ■■■■■■ up not paying attention so 2 easy targets.

And after this incident I realized my friend thinks he should talk to anybody and everybody.

So the next day he tries talking me into going to a place where there’s different games at different tables and we could have different people join us in a game of monopoly. So I was cool on it.

We get there it’s a cafe/library for college students and tried getting me to talk to a woman in the most isolated part of the library, to get me to talk to some women he doesn’t know, I don’t know, and she was looking really worried. I didn’t talk to her, cause obviously she was studying and wanted to be left alone.

On the way home he was like “I tried getting you to talk to that one girl.”

I replied “I know.”

He goes “Well when I saw her she was smiling”

And I replied “When I saw her she wasn’t”

How would you address this with your friend? He hears and understands a little of what I say, but doesn’t apply it to anything, or knows anything about how to read a room.


I know someone like that and he’s not one you would call dumb but there’s something lacking about him. I decided I don’t need his company.

Just curious, since you’re a USCCA member, we’re you carrying at the time?


I’d start by not going to bars, least of all with this individual. I certainly wouldn’t give up my carry gun and ability to drive, and trust in this individual to be the designee.

Probably I would drive everywhere we went, and only go places I knew, for starters.

I’d also be concerned that somebody with such a lack of, IDK, social awareness? knew I was armed while we were out. Sounds like the kind of person that lends themselves so the whole sunken ships saying if you catch my drift


The way I DO address this with friends and acquaintances is this.
I say “I’m looking at everything, I’m watching everyone, I’m feeling the environment. When you see me move, follow me, when I stop you stop, if that offends you I’ll do what I can to help you when things go south…”


I learned situation awareness in my CCW permit class. Maybe you could get him to take a CCW permit class.


I’m sure I mentioned this somewhere here before but there is a fairly well documented phenomenon among herd animals. About 85 to 90% of the herd will spend the vast majority of their time eating while the remaining 10 to 15% will spend a significantly larger percentage of their time being aware of their surroundings. That barely aware majority of the heard actually has a survival advantage because they are focused on fattening up for leaner times. But the health of the whole heard relies on the vigilante ones to see the danger approaching. As long as the majority notices when the vigilant ones start running and follow suit then their survival odds are pretty good too. It is usually the sick and the completely oblivious munchers who end up getting eaten by the predators.

Everyone falls somewhere on the scale between oblivious muncher and hyper vigilant to the point of starving themselves out of fear of predators. I think the majority of people here on this forum obviously fall more into the vigilant minority end of the scale in the human heard.

Not everyone has or needs those situational skills. But it is wise for those without them to hang out with those that do and start paying attention when you notice them go on alert.


If you want to learn about herd/flock vigilance watch a flock of geese.


I used to watch the snow geese a lot when they would migrate through VT. That was back in my photography days before I developed my equally expensive bullet shooting habit:)

I actually got paid one summer to study animal reactions to human activity in Teton NP. Got to watch the elk, deer, bison, pronghorn, moose, bear, foxes and occasionally wolves. One of the most interesting jobs I’ve ever had.


I have been watching wildlife all of my life as a hunter. sounds like a fascinating job. :slightly_smiling_face:


We watch the homeless camps, it’s the same with them. There are always a few of them that are alert and watching out for the others that are loaded or sleeping…


Nope was not.


There are a multitude of great situational awareness videos in the Protector Academy. Good viewing no matter your experience (or lack thereof).


The reality is, no one can force another individual to look at the world the same way. As much as I wish EVERYONE had the same level of awareness as I might have, some people actively choose to be unaware of what’s going on around them and some just don’t realize the things they are missing. I do applaud your efforts to have those conversations with him on what to look for but also as be sure to ask him questions so that you can understand his thought process as well.

I have found that by asking more questions, it allows me to understand what others are thinking, and at the same time it makes them more susceptible to opening up and telling you more information. When people feel like they are being lectured, they can sometimes get defensive for fear of judgment.

Pro Tip* Try to make games out of it with your friends, such as asking questions about things going on that you observe happening (ex; What was that man doing back there in the green shirt?) or “Scenario-based” questions about what he would do if “X happened right now” That may help get his mind thinking more and it would be a fun way to do it, without him feeling forced into to doing it.


Good book to read and share with friends: “Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life”. Contains excellent practices that although obvious and engrained to some (sometimes to a degree one wishes they could dial back, but that’s the cost of a life of being a ‘sheepdog’) it can introduce teachable/trainable skillsets and protocols. So if a group of people are practicing them together, then they will be able to articulate and communicate their SA awareness in a meaningful way with each other.


Left of Bang is an eye opening and enlightening book. Took it on my last vacation and read it twice. Dear Bride thought I was nuts. She read it now she knows I am. Great read though.


Ah okay I ordered 2 USCCA products. That I know would help him out.


You can lead a horse to water…


Have you ever been to a bar and felt the vibe was all wrong? Like tension that was so heavy you would need a knife to cut thru it. How about at work? Like when the boss is in a bad mood and everyone is on edge. I trust my gut. If it feels wrong it is wrong. How often am I right? I dont know but I also never got placed in cuffs or taken to the ER due to a fight.


Yes, trust your gut whenever it says something is off, don’t go/leave/avoid. That’s exactly right.

“The Gift of Fear” and similar books are good here.

The important thing to remember, IMO, is that you don’t have to be able to articulate why you felt things were off. Sure, maybe you will be able to explain why, but, even when (especially when?) you can’t quite ‘put your finger on it’, trust it anyway.

People get weird hangups sometimes. Like, their shopping cart is half full they’ve been shopping for 15 minutes, they don’t want to just leave the cart and walk out of the store. But, if your spidey sense or whatever tells you it’s not right, by all means…just leave. As an example.


i doubt I would ever yell at someone STOP GET BACK, that’s a provocation and if you are carrying while you need a designated driver that is not situational awareness, it stupid.

I you need a designated drive you also need a designated armed guard.

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