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Sunday, January 9, 2011

20 Ways to Look Like a Victim

Sometimes random bad stuff just happens to people, more often, however, people are targeted because they behave like a victim and make the perfect prey for someone looking to take advantage of them/assault them/do other nefarious things to them. Here's 20 ways to look like a victim (and, by doing the opposite, not to look like prey to a potential attacker):
  1. They don't pay attention to their surroundings. They may be cut off from the outside world by their iPod, paying attention to their kids, or chatting on the phone and not realize what is happening around them.
  2. They behave irresponsibly. Whether by hooking up with a loser (mostly women do this but men do this as well), absently leaving their wallet or other expensive things in clear view in their car, or becoming intoxicated with no one to watch their back.
  3. They become too trusting too soon. This is how people get taken advantage of and the perpetrator is usually gone before they realize what happened.
  4. They jump at offers that seem too good to be true. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Find out what the catch is before determining to move forward with the offer.
  5. They present themselves like a victim. They way you walk, talk, and act can mark you as someone to be well regarded to someone that looks like easy prey. Be the first one.
  6. The look like they are advertising to become a theft-in-progress. They dress inappropriately (ie: wearing a Rolex in the hood, or any other high value item for that matter), flash wads of cash in public, brag about their massive handgun collection, etc.
  7. They take stupid risks such as walking alone at night, leaving a bar with a stranger, or hanging out in locations where shootings are the rule rather than the exception, etc.
  8. They are afraid to stand up for themselves. Whether as a woman who never learned how to speak up and defend herself or a man who is afraid to get his ass kicked, sometimes you have to swallow your fear and act. At the least, it may throw your attacker off guard.
  9. They doubt themselves. Many people look back in hindsight after a bad situation and say they thought something was wrong with the fill-in-the-blank (stalker ex-boyfriend, mugger, Ponzi scheme) but they talked them self out of reacting to the problem because they doubted what their common sense or sixth sense told them was true.
  10. They are afraid to not be nice. It is common courtesy to be nice to people automatically, however this can get you in trouble. It is better to be cordial but distant (literally and figuratively) until you have assessed possible outcomes of the situation.
  11. They are too consistent. If your co-workers or neighbors can set their watches by your actions, you are too predictable and consistent which can lead to problems.
  12. Their attitude is either meek and submissive or arrogant and cocky, both of which inordinately attract bad guys to them.
  13. They provide too much information. It is a good thing to be a bit mysterious. These days people think that is is perfectly fine to put their every last personal detail or thought out to the public, which can make them excellent candidates for identity theft, stalkers, and more.
  14. They don't do their homework when it comes to travel. Most other countries are not like America and people either aren't aware of this or don't care which can result in all kinds of problems from theft to kidnapping to scams to worse.
  15. They don't prepare ahead of time to avoid being a victim. Whether it is taking a karate or assertiveness class, buying insurance, or getting vaccinated against the latest flu virus, it often takes less effort to be proactive than to be reactive.
  16. The don't guard their possessions, their home, and themselves then wonder why something bad happened. Insurance is a good idea, so is a sturdy lock on your door, and the habit of locking car doors.
  17. They hang around with losers. You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Similarly, if you hang around losers, thieves, or other unsavory people, you can't be surprised when their nature makes them act in unsavory ways, even towards you.
  18. They don't do the right thing. "Codes of secrecy", knowingly allowing others to participate in fraudulent activities, and other behavior just to "go along and get along" doesn't do anything to improve their situation and usually creates even bigger problems.
  19. They become emotional victims. Which allows them to be controlled by their significant others, obliterate personal boundaries with those they are close to, and otherwise become a doormat to others who will take advantage of them.
  20. They make it too easy for the random criminal. Being nearly passed out drunk in the subway, forgetting to lock your doors, or setting a purse down in a shopping cart and walking away make it too easy to become a victim of crime.
The bottom line is to not be a victim. Yes, you may offend someone, miss out on a great deal, or get your ass kicked but the alternative is to open yourself up to victimization.