“Thanks but did you not hear me say fuckoff the first time?!”
Instead, you enter into a potentially deadly dance between the politeness you’ve been conditioned to offer, instead of paying attention to the warning bells you’re receiving.
You know the feeling…
that your heart is in your mouth,
feeling like it’s hard to breathe and holding your breath,
or noticing the hair on the back of your neck is standing up.
It’s vitally important to know how to avoid violent attacks by learning about the early warning signs and clues- from deadly men and women.
– before it’s too late…
So here are your 7 potentially life saving clues that will help you know how to avoid dark personalities.
Two people miss the last train or bus for the evening. Both of you are now facing your own predicament on how to get home.
The stranger asks “How are we going to get home?” The emphasis here is on the use of the word ‘we’.
Most women are too polite to say “Um, what do you mean ‘we’, I don’t give a damn how you’re getting home”. Predators understand, and use against us, the social norms that keep us from being rude.
Far from being a coincidence, forced teaming is one of the most covert forms of manipulation. The predator prematurely forces trust when moments ago none existed. It’s an extremely subtle violation of your personal space, and the predator uses this technique to test how easy it will be to gain control of the potential victim.
“The detectable signal of Forced Teaming is, the projection of a shared purpose or experience where none exists” – GDB
Charm & Niceness – To Control By Allure Or Attraction
If total strangers appear intensely charming, ask yourself, “Why are they so hell bent on trying to charm me?”
Because, just like establishing trust prematurely, charm is no accident.
Remind yourself that charm can be a form of control because people don’t think “charming" and "bad guy” in the same moment. It’s easier to let down our defense, and turn off our intuition, when we think someone is charming. Which is exactly why they use it, the intention is to disarm you.
Always heed the feeling that “they seem nice enough but they’re trying too hard”.
Too Much Information (TMI!) – A Sign of Deception
In some cases, that person (for whatever reason) may just have needed to find some way to connect on a human level.
However, someone volunteering too many details can be distracting you from what your intuition otherwise might have picked up on. So, pay attention to what your gut is telling you.
When people are telling the truth, they don’t feel the need to back up what they are saying with additional details.
Even though you might actually be buying into their story, liars aren’t convinced, themselves, that they sound credible. Hence they add additional details to support their lie.
A stranger who magically appears, and happens to be heading to the same floor of the building that you are, strikes up a conversation.
Although something feels off to you, she appears to be “nice” enough as she tells you how bad she feels that she is hours late, having promised to feed her sisters dog.
While polite exchanges between people are common, a stranger volunteering too many details about why they are heading to the same floor should be a warning bell.
Typecasting – Criticisms That Win Compliance
Basically, no one really cares to be “labeled”, as it’s a bit of an insult. So with Typecasting, the manipulator purposely says you are one way, so that you feel compelled to prove otherwise.
“You don’t seem like the type of person who’s afraid of trying new things.”
The prey, wanting to rid herself of the label, then sets out to show the predator that she is not afraid of trying new things.
Or, a scammer might sway you with, “You don’t come across as someone who is boring, do you ever do anything spontaneous?”
In both examples the slight insult is designed to compel you to engage.
Sadly, even when people feel creeped out by such highly manipulative questions, we are conditioned to answer politely. And in doing so, we send off a signal that we are susceptible to being controlled.
Loan Sharking – Luring You Into Obligation
If the sleaze can create a situation where we feel like we owe him something, we are less likely to tell him to take a hike.
Great examples of this are forcing help on you when you didn’t ask for any help. The emphasis here is on forcing help!
An extremely important point, that differentiates dangerous people from those who are genuinely offering help, is respecting boundaries.
As you will read in clue number #7 ‘NO’ is a complete sentence. If a stranger attempts to ‘negotiate’ your refusal for unsolicited help – get the heck away asap!
Whether he noticed you are struggling to reach the 2nd floor with your shopping bags, or she sees you juggling the stroller out of your trunk, pay attention to their insistence on helping you.
If the first attempt to manipulate the prey doesn’t work, it is often followed up with Typecasting.
“Come on, I’m just a nice guy trying to help a pretty lady – are you going to fault me for that?”
Your response - "Go away!"
The Unsolicited Promise – Signals Questionable Motive
It means that someone is trying to convince you of something. Honestly, how many people do you know who’ve actually gone out of their way to not promise anyone anything? It’s a big and personal commitment to make a solemn promise.
But… They need to convince you because they sense your doubt.
So if someone says, “I just wanted to be able to help you”, followed by “I promise”, the purpose is similar to offering too many details. It’s yet another attempt to get you to trust.
The emphasis here is on:
There was no legitimate reason for the person to promise you anything.
A stranger's promises are easy to fall for because we normals see them as hard-won signs of trustworthiness. Beware of strangers with promises.
Discounting The Word ‘NO’ – A Word That Should Never Be Negotiated
Rape and violence are about power and control, so if a complete stranger is trying to control you by negotiating your "no", let this be an alarm bell. Many women don’t understand how important a refusal to hear the word “no” is, as an indicator of someone whose intentions are to harm you.
After interviewing Gavin De Becker, best selling author of The Gift Of Fear, Oprah summarized her understanding perfectly: “When you say no and the other person discounts it, you should think, immediately, why is this person trying to control me? Because NO is a complete sentence.”
SEE ALSO: The Gift Of Fear – By Gavin De Becker
One of the most dangerous things a we can do is say no, and then weaken our stance by relinquishing it. A "helper" with sinister intent is looking for any foot in the door they can get. So by saying “No thanks, I don’t need any help” and then caving in a few moments later, you send a signal that you can be controlled.
Predators are persistent. The word ‘no’ is not negotiable.
Bringing The Potential For Violence Into Context
While many of these tactics are often used without harmful intent, your situation and surroundings are what brings them into context. If you’re alone and isolated and approached by a stranger, you are vulnerable.
If he is overly friendly, remind yourself that his charm and niceness likely has a motive. That motive could be as simple as a lame attempt to chat you up for a date, or it could be much more dangerous.
If something feels off, it probably is. Hesitation and doubt are gifts from your intuition. Listen to them!
And please share this post to help others to better understand the warning signs. You could help save someone’s life.
Photo courtesy Xpanda.co.za