How do I act tough on the street?
June 22, 2009 7:10 PM Subscribe
How do I reduce the amount I'm threatened on the street in an urban environment?
posted by wastelands to Human Relations (47 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
I am a tall, young male, but about one a month on average, I get hassled by people on the street. No one has outright attacked me, but enough people "test" me by blocking my way, lunging at me (pretending to attack), yell at me and challenge me, etc. that it bothers me and makes me nervous.
I'm not so much interested in "how to defend my self"; there's plenty of that kind of material out there. I'm interested in how to not look so weak and nervous -- how to head off attacks before they even begin by projecting a tougher attitude.
For me personally:
* I definitely have some agoraphobia; I feel uneasy when first going out, especially after being cooped up for awhile. I tend to be a hermit on weekends and evenings unless I have something social planned or the weather's especially nice
* I wear glasses (i.e. nerd association)
* I dress nicely, yet sometimes walk through areas that have street people who probably resent the fact that I have money
* I enjoy walking fast, just naturally, but maybe that can be interpreted as being afraid.
* I'm bad at making eye contact
But I hope this thread is useful for people in general who live in rough areas, so please, any general tips are great too.
Things I'm doing or plan to do:
* I am trying to not look down at the ground so much, trying to look straight ahead more
* I really want to get into better shape and join an MMA gym (not just for self-defense, but because martial arts is fun for me, just haven't done it in ages)
* I'm trying to stand up taller and not slouch or hunch my shoulders so much
* Eventually want to get contacts, to look less nerdy and just because glasses are a PITA sometimes