Being street smart means knowing how to keep yourself safe from strangers. Whether you're just riding your bike in the neighborhood or coming home from a friend's at night, there are things you can do to protect your valuables and even your life.

To learn more about them, a now-deleted Reddit user posted a question on r/AskReddit, saying "What are the best 'street smart' tips you can give?" Within just 3 days, people have submitted hundreds of answers, providing valuable insights to those who might be exposed to dangerous environments.

#1

Street-Smart-Tips If you feel things are about to take a turn for the worse, leave.

boyfromcountyhell , Les Anderson Report

Johnny Rodriguez
Community Member
3 months ago

I needed this advice much higher in this list..now #26

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#2

Street-Smart-Tips If you get arrested, shut the f**k up. Ask for a lawyer, and then shut the f**k up. And when a lawyer shows up, shut the f**k up

inkseep1 , Office of Public Affairs Report

YouDontLikeMe?
Community Member
3 months ago

Good advice. Initially frustrated with this post, but it isn't wrong. Maybe try not to get arrested to begin with.... but I can't argue with it, it is sound advice. Don't talk yourself into something.

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#3

Street-Smart-Tips Always walk on the side of the road that opposes traffic. This puts distance between you and a car that might be trying to follow you

kannakantplay , Nathan Rogers Report

Ola Pe
Community Member
3 months ago

Good tip!

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#4

Street-Smart-Tips Trust your gut. Your subconscious can notice details your conscious mind doesn’t. Don’t be afraid of making a scene to keep yourself safe

usually_just_lurking , Mark Pan4ratte Report

Viva Patata
Community Member
3 months ago

It definitely works. I started screaming at a guy who was stalking me, calling him a perv, and he backed off- he didn't expect that. :-)

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#5

Street-Smart-Tips I am female, these are tips to make you appear stronger as a female on the street (walking home, nighttime subway, etc):

If you think you are being followed or if you hear somebody behind you - feel free to turn around and look directly at them because it shows you are not afraid to be aware of your surroundings.

By the same measure, don't be afraid (generally) to meet people's eyes. Not in a confrontational "yeah? WHAT!?" sort of way, but in a "I am seeing the people in my world" sort of engaged and aware way.

This shows you do not fear engaging your surroundings.

Again - this is to show you are capable, this is not to provoke or antagonize - that's a different, defensive posture.

UnicornPanties , diaper Report

Dark_flame
Community Member
3 months ago

This will also make sure you get a good look at the person and might be able to describe them later if need be

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#6

Street-Smart-Tips Do not engage with crazy.

If they address you directly, still don’t engage

NicNac_PattyMac , Victor Rodvang Report

Jovita A
Community Member
3 months ago

That's why I wear headphones.. I can't hear you... No, seriously headphones are a good way to stop people from engaging in conversations with you. Though as mentioned before, you shouldn't listen to music to loud so no one can sneak on you.

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#7

Street-Smart-Tips Basically, just be aware of your surroundings. A lack of situational awareness can lead to some bad things.

tommytster , John Fornander Report

Gandalf the Pink
Community Member
3 months ago

I don't know if this counts as street smart or just generally a good rule. Don't be wandering deep forests without situational awareness, don't pilot an airplane without situational awareness.

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#8

Street-Smart-Tips If someone is attempting to take you to a secondary location by car or something, fight like your life depends on it, because it does. Poke their eyes out. Punch them in the testicles. Bite them, scratch them, anything you can think of, do it to get yourself free. There are no rules when it comes to this situation. Some specific things you can do are screaming 'Fire!' Or 'Help my child!' This will catch more attention than just plain 'Help.'

Spook_Fuzz , Alexandre Brondino Report

Biljana Malesevic
Community Member
3 months ago

This is true. Once they get you into car or van you are in much more difficult situation. Don't let them get you in, use whatever you got!

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#9

Street-Smart-Tips Use windows as mirrors to see your blind spots or to check behind you. Literally every window you walk past, you should take a quick glance to know what’s going on in your blind spots. You can almost completely get rid of blind spots altogether because of windows.

jjb8712 , Tim Gouw Report

Deal _Anneal
Community Member
3 months ago

Lol i just check myself out when i pass a window ヾ(⌐■_■)ノ♪

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#10

Street-Smart-Tips Don't walk into the street texting, tweeting, meme-ing, etc. I've seen people walking straight into traffic because of this

rip_andtear , Brian Evans Report

Johnny Rodriguez
Community Member
3 months ago

What about commenti

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#11

Street-Smart-Tips Cops will take the side of anyone that speaks calmly every time no matter the circumstances

NicNac_PattyMac , Steve Baker Report

SydneyP
Community Member
3 months ago

My goodness every single suggestion on here has a snarky comment underneath it. It leads me to one conclusion: there are A LOT of miserable, self conscious, know it alls around. Show some kindness, compassion, and love. It doesn’t hurt you at all. If one doesn’t like or approve of these stories/suggestions then don’t read it. These things could potentially save a life one day. Not everyone thinks the same way so this could help someone. Or you folks can go back to being miserable nitpicks. It’s your choice 🤷🏻‍♀️

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#12

Street-Smart-Tips Seriously, you should swing wide around corners, it’s no joke. Five or six ago, I was walking home from the bar. I lived two blocks away. At the time, I was 6'1" and probably weighed 280 pounds. I came around the corner about halfway home and BOOM, I went down. Some kid that didn't even look 18 nailed me in the face with a skateboard. I went down so fast and didn't even know what hit me

rusty_L_shackleford , Priscilla Du Preez Report

Lucy Skinner
Community Member
3 months ago

So true! This could have helped me avoid so many awkward situations!

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#13

Street-Smart-Tips If you are a woman in a public place a guy is giving you the creeps walk up to a big dude and just go “John! I can’t believe it’s you!” Then go into a hug and say “let me sit next to you, please.”

Most guys will get what’s going on and go with it and the chances that they themselves are creeps are slim.

NicNac_PattyMac , amir appel Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

No. Just go into a well lit crowded place, and alert an employee—-especially a female employee—-to the situation. Believe me, if you come up to me while I’m at work, and tell me someone’s following you, I will let you hide in the employee breakroom, have a trusted make employee walk you out, or let you slip out the back door to get away from them. If they follow you into the building, I will walk by them and make a scene like they touched my ass or something, because I love to embarrass creeps who are relying on their victims being embarrassed and quiet. I’m also 60 now, so it’ll make them look like pervs who grope old ladies (I will laugh my ass off about it afterward). I put up with this s**t for decades myself, and older women were usually my first defenders. Now that the harassment doesn’t happen to me anymore (what a relief), I want to pay that favor forward.

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#14

Street-Smart-Tips Shadows can also be useful to pay attention to when you’re trying to peek behind you or see if there’s someone around a corner

jannabanandroid , Martino Pietropoli Report

Matheus Oliveira
Community Member
3 months ago

This is great! Too bad it doesn’t work on my place’s dead alleys, though.

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#15

Street-Smart-Tips Walk confident on the street. Thieves often target people who lack confidence, appear nervous or walk irregularly.

AgnosticPrankster , Clem Onojeghuo Report

Gandalf the Pink
Community Member
3 months ago

Imagine going through this list in your head, trying to recall all the details, and simultaneously thinking "don't appear nervous, don't appear nervous, don't appear nervous"

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#16

Street-Smart-Tips DO NOT WEAR HEADPHONES!!!



You make yourself an easy target by making it so even the most clod footed mugger can sneak up on you.

LinuxPariah , Marco Lastella Report

Hans
Community Member
3 months ago

There are headphones with "awareness mode" these days!

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#17

Street-Smart-Tips Always get your keys out before you leave a building to go to your car, and have them in hand as you exit it before you go into your house. Not only are they a great weapon if needed, but you aren't distracted while searching for them.

notthesedays , Abbie Parks Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
3 months ago

Grip your keys in your fist, with keys sticking out between your fingers. Like a spiked knuckleduster. I've done this a few times. Never needed it thankfully!

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#18

Street-Smart-Tips Be weary of women who approach you at a bar and immediately try and get you to go to another bar.

Those people are called “pullers” and they are paid to do it.

NicNac_PattyMac , Elevate Report

Miguel justino C
Community Member
3 months ago

Pullers set up a situation where the man thinks he has a chance with a pretty woman. Then they get robbed by her cohorts.

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#19

Street-Smart-Tips If you drive an SUV and you're in a parking lot, beware if you get in and notice there's a flyer under the small wiper on your back window. Many people get in and look in the rear view mirror as they start to back out; that's when they see the flyer blocking their view. They pop out to grab it, leaving the engine on and the door open for the second it takes, and that's when someone jumps in and car jacks you.

BodySnag , William Krause Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
3 months ago

Be mindful of vans with sliding side doors parked next to your vehicle also. Someone could open the door, pull you in the vehicle, while their accomplice starts the van and drive away with you.

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#20

Street-Smart-Tips When you're at a bus or train stop at night, with nobody else around, and you hear young guys talking where you know they go in your direction, quickly disappear before you get in their sight.

They may be harmless, but as long as the probability they want to start [things] as soon as they notice you is there, don't take a risk. Learned that the hard way several times.

myhamsterisajerk , JimsFlicker Report

Monty Is Fiennes
Community Member
3 months ago

So incredibly sad....

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#21

Street-Smart-Tips Avoid gawking around. It screams 'tourist,' which screams 'money on them' and 'no idea what to do in a situation

NicNac_PattyMac , Lala Azizli Report

Gurnox
Community Member
3 months ago

See also 'staring at Google/Apple maps', which also tells an assailant you have something worth stealing. Know your route.

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#22

Street-Smart-Tips Walk like you know where you're going, make eye contact with strangers, and don't wear fancy clothes/purses/backpacks when walking around the neighborhood or using public transport

Lulu_42 , Alicia Steels Report

Winston Smith
Community Member
3 months ago

And dont leave anything with your name in it sitting where people can see it. They call your name in a parking lot and you stop, thinking its someone you know. Then they spring

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#23

Street-Smart-Tips Putting a chain on your wallet shows a thief exactly where your wallet is and a chain will not stop an experienced thief.

ILoveLampRon , Reuben Strayer Report

Pungent Sauce
Community Member
3 months ago

Wallet goes in the front pocket, always.

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#24

Street-Smart-Tips In most cases, dressing and acting like you belong where you are goes a long way to blending in.

Whether it's breaking into an office building or walking by yourself at night, your appearance goes a long way towards making you just another blotch of white nois

The_Quicktrigger , Marc Kleen Report

Iapetos
Community Member
3 months ago

I like to think I appear as an NPC to people.

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#25

Street-Smart-Tips Don’t fumble through your pockets.

If you think your being followed go into a store calmly and chat with the workers.

Carry a loose dollar bill or two if your someone that likes to give money to people. Less likely to target the dude that handed a single dollar than the guy who pulled a dollar out of a wallet full of 20’s

Spawn95 , Mike Schmid Report

Wendillon
Community Member
3 months ago

Pffft, please! I'm a woman! You don't honestly think my clothes have pockets do you?

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#26

Street-Smart-Tips Pay attention to your surroundings at all time but mind your own business. Depending on the neighborhood someone screaming for help from an alley isn't really the one in danger

Zkenny13 , Adam Birkett Report

Gurnox
Community Member
3 months ago

Still call the cops though, just in case.

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#27

Street-Smart-Tips Surround yourself with people who make you feel safe. There’s a difference between feeling comfortable and feeling safe. You could be comfortable with strangers— maybe you just met them and they’re nice. You might not be safe around those people, i.e. would those people help you if someone had a gun to your head, or run for their own safety? Find the people who you know would take a punch to keep you safe

badgerfishing , Oscar Chevillard Report

Lea S.
Community Member
3 months ago

This one is a little weird....I'm supposed to judge my friends and the people I surround myself with on whether or not they'd take a bullet for me? Excuse me, mother with two small children, if we are going to go this movie I need to know you'll throw yourself in front of a bullet for me first.

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#28

Street-Smart-Tips Realize the difference between someone trying to hurt you and trying rob you. Act accordingly.

NicNac_PattyMac , Cooper Report

Grant Barke
Community Member
3 months ago

Learn a martial art like origami and turn your assailant into a harmless paper flower.

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