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25 tips from street-smart online community to help keep you safe out there

In a recent social media post, people shared hundreds of street-smart tips and tricks that will save you from suspicious or unsettling situations.

25 tips from street-smart online community to help keep you safe out there
Cover Image Source: Pexels / Elijah O'Donnell

Finding yourself in a sketchy situation at night or at a bar is something we all have faced at some point. These experiences teach you more than life itself and sometimes you have to endure some unpleasant situations to learn to be street-smart. For those unfamiliar, to be street-smart means to have situational awareness to navigate sketchy situations. You can quickly assess your environment, who is in it, and what motive or angles it holds. You harness the capacity to swiftly apply sound judgment and creative ideas to challenging situations and problems. There is a distinction between being street-smart and book-smart. On the street, it is you, and you are the center. Whereas, with books, you absorb someone else's take on the world.

As Scott Berkun once succinctly put: “There is no doubt in my mind street smarts kicks book smarts’ ass.” To be street-smart means you have been tested, put at risk, survived, and have a bank of courage to depend on when you are tested again. It comes with experience, and what better way to teach you about such instances than the professionals themselves? In a recent Reddit post, people shared hundreds of street-smart tips and tricks that will save you from suspicious or unsettling situations the next time you find you are in one. 

1.  Wear the right pairs of shoes, ladies 

Wear your sneakers for the commute, wear your work shoes at work. It's not for fashion or comfort, it's so you can maintain speed or run if you need to. Having the right shoes and walking with purpose is so important. - u/imtchogirl

2. When in Rome, do as the Romans do

If you are in another country & the locals are running, you run too. Example: Indonesia & the tsunami. - u/boxoffingernails

3. Know your surroundings

I learned this from a guy who did a lot of prison time. When you are walking in uncertain areas, stop randomly and look around if someone is following you you'll put them on notice that you see them and it unnerved the predators when you act like one yourself. - u/Independent_Boot8834

4. Be mindful of your actions

Don't flash your money especially in bars. - u/theplacewiththeface
Image Source: Pexels / Chan Walrus
Image Source: Pexels / Chan Walrus

5. Leave when you feel uneasy

Know when to leave. Is friend getting too drunk? Leave. Is the room getting too crowded? Leave. Are you feeling too intoxicated? Leave. Someone bothering you too much? Leave. Anything that doesn’t feel right, just leave. - u/lithiun 

6. Got a search warrant?

Never consent to a police search of your vehicle or your home. If they have to get a warrant, they are much more limited in where they can search and what they can take as evidence. Giving them consent to go on a fishing expedition can only hurt you. Don't do it. - u/CA1900

7. This isn't Rocky Balboa, go home

If you find yourself in a street fight the point isn’t to win, but to escape. It only takes one nasty fall on concrete to f***up your entire life. Do whatever it takes to get out. - u/TwistedMemer

8. Coward > Dead

No matter how well you think you fight, you NEVER know if the other guy has a knife. Being stabbed is indescribable. The pain lasts for weeks and you can still feel it in the cold months later. Walking away, or running away is always your best form of self defence. Some may call you a coward. I'd rather be a coward and smart than dead and stupid. - u/Sigmaine

9. How about don't do anything illegal at all?

Never do more than 1 illegal thing at a time. - u/aceshighsays

10. Lock your house doors too

Keep your car locked always. And Lock your car as soon as you get inside. -u/Anns_

11. Careful with your words

99% of fights start because someone said something offensive to the wrong people. Be careful to not just run your mouth around people you don't know. Real life doesn't always play out like social media. - u/Original-Pineapple18

12. No lawyer? Zip it

Innocent or not, do NOT talk to cops without an attorney. - u/NotAnotherBookworm

13. You're one of 'em

Even if you are a tourist, don’t look and act like a tourist. - u/davesnotonreddit
Image Source: Pexels / Bas Masseus
Image Source: Pexels / Bas Masseus

14. Especially white vans

Don't get in the van I don't care how many 10mm sockets they say are in the van ITS A LIE. - u/Asylum_Creeper

15. Know your streets, and let streets know you

Get in-get out. The folks on the streets know faces , if they’ve never seen yours you become a target real quick. - u/theRealHalIncandenza

16. Listen to that gut. It's there for a reason

There’s always a reason for a gut feeling. Avoided a handful of life threatening situations because of that. - u/Danny_Phantom15

17. Stay in until it's over

If there are kids playing in the street when you walk into a shop, but the street is empty when you walk outside 5 minutes later, go back inside. - u/Beautiful-Page3135

18. Even if you don't know, you know

Never look down at your phone for walking directions - do not have an obvious look, pause, look at street sights, look again. Check it in your watch or stop at a store to “check your phone”. Makes you stand out otherwise. - u/twilighteveningsun

19. Don't panic 

If you think you’re being followed, never go straight home. Have heard of being told to make 4 consecutive same-direction turns (if driving). If they’re still behind you they’re following you. - u/LaL1T0

20. "No thanks, dude."

If a random guy says “Hey man you want to see something?” You don’t. You don’t want to see something.- u/MunchieMofo

21. Don't instigate anything

If someone arguing with you is standing close to you and they look away from you, you are about to get sucker punched. -u/inkseep1

22. Stay low-key

Get a new TV or a computer in a big box? Don’t let anyone else know you did. Cut down the box or throw it out on trash day before they pickup. Don’t let the neighborhood know the kind of life you’re living. - u/massivestds
Image Source: Pexels / Tima Miroshnichenko
Image Source: Pexels / Tima Miroshnichenko

23. Be ready for anything

Keep a dirty sweat shirt in your trunk for when you need to blend in. Act like you've already spent all your cash on your addiction. Act crazy or confident. Don't sit around with your dome light or headlights on. - u/NietzscheKeen

24. College/high school parties are the most dangerous

Got a bad feeling at a house party in college when I was underage. I just straight up walked out of the place and my friends luckily decided to follow, because as we were leaving 2 cops were walking through the front yard and asked me if I lived there lol.  Nope see ya! - u/ Pulze_


25. Use that RBF

For women: this is a given, but if you are walking alone in a sketchy area: ignore anyone that speaks to you; look a little pissed off and unapproachable; don’t look at anybody and just concentrate on where you are going. - u/Eastern-Technology84

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