When Situational Awareness IS the Problem

Today, while walking down Main Street in downtown Salt Lake, a rather seedy looking little guy walking towards me, baggy shorts, way oversized wife beater, Air Jordan’s. As he walked past, maybe 3 feet from me I studied his body language and behavior. He got about 3 steps past me, turns and yells “What the Duck Are You Looking At!”. I had to turn around and face him, not letting have my back. He paused when I turned around and yelled “Yes You MFer!”. I slowly backed away and replied “I’m looking at you brother.”. He double flipped me off and walked away talking some kind of I’ll get you smack. Whole thing lasted 30 seconds give or take.
Thinking back on it, had I not looked at, studied his behavior he may have simply walked on without being an 'A’Hole. I dunno, I wanted to know what this guy was up to but maybe I could have done something different?


Dress up like a homeless citizen, argue with yourself loudly, and have a streamer of crime scene tape stuck to the bottom of your foot. :+1:


I would have done the same thing. I usually make eye contact and try to get in peoples head. I try to read the situation. I think he was afraid of you but didn’t want to show it so he tried to act tough. I think you accepted his challenge and all ended well. If it happened to me I would think of it as a learning experience. I was there so I don’t know if I was reading the situation correctly.



Gangbangers are always looking for a reason!

Never give them one. I remember the days they used to walk around with a baby pacifier in their mouths! Just waiting for you to glance at the spectacle!
Or just a good old Biden illegal looking for an easy mark!

Sometimes an earpiece works and talking into the hand!

Disclaimer, do not attempt while wearing casual attire!


I have read different recommendations about this. Various recommendations have included

*A quick up and down, forehead to toes, then look away, to get an overview and establish the “I am aware of you” aspect

*Brief eye contact to establish the same thing, though any eye contact is controversial as too many people or cultures may take it as a challenge, though some may respect it/you more and walk on vs trying…opinions and experiences on eye contact seem to vary

*Nothing more than a quick side glance at them in general, no overview, no eye contact, super passive and quick and casual to attempt to make it aware you see them but not in any way appear any kind of a challenge.

The core principles from everyone are that being noticed in noticing them is generally considered good, but somewhere there is a too-far point where it’s “you got a problem”? or a challenge.So, gotta figure out how to balance that depending on all the variables at play

I have no recommendation on how to do that or how to figure out which is best when, but…trying to figure that out seems pretty, well, complicated and variable lol experience probably dictates more than anything else

Actually, I do have a recommendation…do something so anyone who makes themselves a blip on your radar for any reason or no reason somehow becomes aware that you are aware of them


As I’ve been told here a cpl times; if your spidy senses go off or the hair on the back of your neck goes up, listen to it. Your subconscious is telling you something. Just be prepared to take action.


100% that.

The Gift of Fear is the most recommended book to explain that sentence out in full book form but that’s basically the book explained in a sentence^


I believe Mike you did just fine
Acknowledged the idiot and he moved on
You survived without a fight/incident Bravo.
What you did was the correct example for that encounter.
Plus, Plus.
Every time will be different. There is No one set way
Once, when I saw a suspicious character approach
I pulled my spare mag and showed it to him. Cupping it…
His eyes got wide (Lots of white) he raised both hands like saying ‘Easy Easy’
and walked by. I had stopped and put my back to the closest store front so no one
could get behind me. Was that the right thing? Who knows? I didn’t Brandish.
I let him know I was armed and he backed off. In that instance it worked
No 911 or expenditure of lead required, I considered it a success.
You Sir are more prepared than a lot of us in Physical self defense GOOD FOR YOU.
We may be in for a bit more ‘encounters’ Be prepared folks.


Eye contact can be a very tricky thing depending on cultural, group or individual beliefs. For instance, traditional Navajo find eye contact to be a very aggressive behavior. When they have conversations with people they don’t know well they look at their feet and anyone not doing the same in return will likely be viewed as a threat and/or rude. It took me awhile to realize this since my natural habit is to look at the eyes of the person I am talking to in order to make sure what I am saying is coming across the way I mean it.

I personally try not to let others know that I am watching them. I don’t want to get on anyone else’s radar. Unless I see or feel that they are focusing on me. In which case I let them know I have noticed them noticing me usually either with a polite nod or by watching them a little more intently depending on the situation.


“You bro, why you looking at me?

You see me put eyes on you, why you putting eyes on me?

Keep stepping.”

And that’s why I avoid public places.


Brace yo selve! :rofl:


Ima bust a cap in yo ass!




“You. Isn’t that why you dress that way? To get attention?”


:rofl: You’re killing me @Karacal !


I am very much a practitioner of the “gray man” ethos, which includes my situational awareness.

  • Be dangerous without seeming dangerous.
  • Be armed without appearing to be armed.
  • Be watchful without looking like you’re watching.
  • Be ready while appearing unconcerned.

That ones tough. This little :poop:heads walking around here look for that, it’s a que for them. What I have found out is, for the most part, they are cowards. Face them and say “I’m looking at you.” and they fill their baggy shorts with yesterdays dinner.


“Nothing. Nothing at all…”


Pretty much Sun Tzu Lite.