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Strategic Living Seattle

Step 4 of Five Steps to Take When Walking Home Alone

Step 4 of Five Steps to Take When Walking Home Alone

Step 4 of Five Steps to Take When Walking Home Alone

Today everyone seems to want more focus and fewer distractions. Did you know that
distraction is a deliberate assailant ploy?

Step #4: Stay Focused.
The young man who followed me down the Brooklyn street tried to
get me to let down my guard. He made small talk as if we were
acquaintances getting to know each other better. He tried to get
me to relax.
Even when his comments became less inappropriate, he phrased
them as “invitations” to enjoy a special “juicy and
luscious” treat. He framed his request as though we were out
on a date together.
But here’s the reality: We were strangers. He was soliciting
me.
I kept my priorities clear. My safety was first. His feelings
were not my concern. And this was not a time for good manners.
Today, I tell my clients that potential assailants often try to
distract their target. One verbal technique, which the man in
my story used, was to converse like we were getting to be
friends. Another, opposite, verbal technique is to barrage the
target with threats and profanity (like “trash talk” in sports).
In both the aim is the same: to take your focus off your
safety.
One way to lose your focus is to get in your own way.
Catch yourself when you find that your self-talk is beating you
up. We usually are our own worst critics! Change phrases like
“that was so stupid of me to let him get that close” to “he got
too close for my own comfort and safety, how can I better
enforce my boundaries in the future?”
Today, I tell my clients that studies show the majority of women
who’ve successfully fought off attempted rapes focused not on
the problematic situation, but on possible ways out. Their attitude
was proactive, and they tended to see themselves as effective in
other areas of life. Women who fight back successfully escape
traditional gender stereotypes are less likely to fight back.
Remember, assailants alone are responsible for their actions,
Point to Ponder: Think of a time and place when someone
deliberately distracted you. What did they do or say? What
buttons of yours got pushed? Create a strategy to counter that
attempt if it happens again.

Joanne Factor
Strategic Living

Joanne Factor Strategic Living

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