I would be lying if I said that I was not afraid of being raped or kidnapped by a predator. Maybe I’ve just seen too many horror movies, but I think about stuff like that from time to time! I am also fearful of an intruder breaking into our home and causing serious harm to my family. Nothing will bring these fears to the surface like encountering a suspicious character in a parking garage or when I’m out for a run. Have you ever been in the situation where you looked around the parking lot to assess your safety and suddenly felt a little uneasy?
My heart breaks and my stomach turns every time I hear a story about a predator that has harmed someone. There is no reason that we should sit by and allow these things to happen. There is also no reason that we should not prepare ourselves to prevent an attack. There are times when an attacker will strike without warning, but more often than not, there are signs that we can notice. Call them red flags or clues; there are certain types of body language that can be detected to alert us to potential danger. So how can you decode body language? Well it might be easier than you thought.
We all use body language. From the shoulder shrug to the eye roll, we use our bodies to show pleasure or annoyance. Many times we will share our emotions subconsciously through our body language. Maybe it is the way we stand or the way we hold our arms and hands. There is no doubt that the way we carry ourselves speaks volumes about who we are.
The reason that we need to care about body language is simple. Body language can give us a clue about the intentions of a person or a group. Body language also serves as a window into the emotional state of a person. It allows us to see what they might be thinking. Further, body language is an early warning device that we all have. It is built in.
Basically, the way that a person carries him/herself gives us a clue as to whether or not they pose a serious threat to our family or us. So here are a few things to be on the lookout for.
The face is the most often looked at part of the body. And while we might think the face is the best place to start, keep in mind that the face is easily manipulated. Some predators might throw a slight grin and even look joyful, but there are other areas of the face that you should pay close attention to.
Pupil Dilation – As a person prepares for an attack there body will begin to dump adrenaline into their blood stream. As the adrenaline increases the pupils will begin to dilate.
Sweat – As the heart beats faster and harder the body will begin to produce excess perspiration.
Increased Pulse – You might not be aware of this but you can see an increased/rapid heart beat. Typically when the pulse increases it is noticeable in the neck.
Open Mouth – Mouth breathers are often joked about but there is a reason that many people breath through their mouth. As the pulse increase the person will need more oxygen.
The upper torso area is a great place to look for clues of an impending attack. There are two primary areas to study. The first is the shoulders. Most people typically stand with a relaxed posture. The shoulders hang in a relaxed way as well. Look for a tense stance that has the shoulders raised higher than usual.
The second place to study is the chest itself. Men and women are different in that most men typically breathe from their stomach whereas women breathe from their chest. This simply means that when a man breathes, typically, his stomach will move in and out. Women, on the other hand, will breathe from higher up in their chest. In an attack situation this role will typically reverse. Be on the lookout for short breaths.
Arms And Hands
The arms and hands are the most often used body part in an attack. Look for aggressive posture such as crossed arms or hands in the pockets. Hands that stay around the waist are a clue a weapon could be produced at any time. Clenched fists are never a good sign.
Legs And Feet
Have you ever heard of blading? Blading is a combat stance where the dominant foot is placed behind the non-dominate foot. The stance is generally shoulder width wide. This is very common with people who have a concealed weapon. It is also a stance that allows for a person to explode into action very quickly.
The Bottom Line
Overall you need to be aware of the whole package. Look for clues such as stance, hand placement, and even twitching. If you feel unsure or uneasy, then get away fast. If you are in a position where you are alone, do whatever it takes to get away. Be smart and be perceptive and never hesitate to call for help.