Being perceptive and alert can save you from getting into unwanted trouble. Hypothetically speaking, if you are ever in the situation where you are walking home alone in the city at night, your chances of avoiding confrontation will be much greater if you increase your level of perception. This is not a self-defense guide, but instead a guide to help you be more aware of your surroundings so you can preemptively spot danger before it spots you and to get a head start in order to avoid a possible unwanted confrontation with thugs, muggers, rapists, kidnappers or murderous madmen.
Eyes in the back of your head
If you pay attention to your surroundings you will find reflective surfaces everywhere. The most common reflective surfaces are business windows, the shiny surface of windows (even the car’s paint job), as well as most types of metal or plastic. You can casually walk around anywhere and have eyes in the back of your head by looking into these reflective surfaces to see who is behind you and estimate how far away they are without making it too obvious that you are turning your head around. You will be able to tell if someone is behind you or following you if you pay attention to reflective surfaces. This will help you detect them and you will be more prepared to either make your escape or defend against them.
Pay attention to the big picture
A narrow view sees further, but a wide peripheral view sees more. Imagine your line of sight as a moving picture. When you are walking, you can capture every aspect of your surroundings by focusing on the big picture instead of allowing yourself tunnel vision. Most people tend to look down or in one direction when they are walking, and if you do this, you limit your line of sight greatly and you will not be able to see the rest of the picture, which will cut off your odds of seeing someone approach you from the side. You will be able to spot an ambush before it even happens if you pay attention to all of your surroundings. Even if they spot you first, you still have a head start and can better escape or prepare to defend yourself.
Watch out for shadows
Unless you are in a pitch black area or in a place where the light hits straight down, then you will most likely notice shadows. Even in the middle of the night, flickering shadows are easy to spot and you can tell right away whether or not someone is behind you. Shadows can also stretch out, giving away someone position if you pay attention, which is why you need to develop your sense of visual perception and learn to look at the bigger picture instead of tunnel vision. Shadows are a dead giveaway that someone is near or behind you. Pay attention to these and you will be more prepared to defend yourself.
Listen for any type of foreign noise
When people walk, their footsteps can be heard within the silence. If you are alone, pay attention to any type of foreign noise and sounds that disrupt the natural sounds of nature and the night. Once you have a feel for what the natural. Unnatural sounds include foots steps, the breaking of leaves, labored breathing or anything that may be accidentally dropped. As soon as you recognize an unidentified noise, you will be able to either escape or prepare to defend yourself.
Listen to your gut feeling
If you believe a certain route is dangerous, do not take it. Often times the longest way around is the fastest way home. When in doubt, take an alternate route. A strong sense of intuition is not something that everyone has and honestly it may not be something which can be developed, but as long as you are able to think clearly and consciously, then you can enhance your perception and learn to avoid dangerous situations easier.