Original article posted at https://www.wishtv.com/indy-style/how-your-body-language-can-protect-you/
It seems like becoming a victim of a violent crime is a random occurrence or just bad luck, but science tells us otherwise. Studies have shown that perpetrators actually gauge a victim’s potential by reading their body language and nonverbal cues prior to deciding whether or not to attack them in many cases. Predators want an attack to be as easy as possible so they carefully select victims that they perceive as weak, submissive, lacking confidence or that could be easily overpowered.
Lisa Mitchell, Communications Expert and Founder of Power Body Language tells us more: In interviews with violent offenders, they disclosed that there were certain cues that looked for to decide on who they would choose to become their victims. Those cues include:
- The pace and coordination of your walk: predators are more likely to choose someone who walks at a slower, less intention pace and someone who takes abnormally small or long strides, or is dragging and shuffling their feet
- Unusual or disjointed arm movements,
- Submissive posture including slumping or having head downcast
- Avoiding eye contact
How Using Your Body Language Can Help Keep You Safe
Knowing that predators look for victims that they perceive to be weak, lacking confidence, and unaware, you can use your body language to send them the message that you have no intention of making it easy on them should they choose to try and make you their victim.
- Be intentional and purposeful with your stride: Walk like you know exactly where you are going and that you are determined to get there quickly. Don’t meander or be distracted by looking through your purse or at your phone while you walk.
- Mind your posture: keep your head up and your shoulders back while you walk. Maintain an open posture with your torso that conveys confidence while you are walking. Again, avoid looking down at your phone which puts in you in a low power position.
- If you suspect that someone may be sizing you up, make strong eye contact with them to let them know that you see them and that you know what they look like. That signals to them that you have awareness and could be trouble for them.
Use these body language tools, along with following your “gut” feeling about people, letting friends or family use location apps to know where you are and where you’re headed, and don’t feel obligated to answer a stranger’s questions or respond to a request to help if you are alone and in a location that is not secure. It’s not worth the risk!
About Lisa Mitchell, Founder of Power Body Language
Lisa Mitchell is the premier Indianapolis-based communications expert specializing in Body Language and Non-Verbal Skills training. Lisa loves coaching Executives across many industries to help those leaders achieve their professional and personal goals. She creates customized corporate training programs to help leadership teams communicate more effectively and drive greater results across their organizations. She also offers keynotes that are not only educational but a whole lot of fun for the audience as well!
In addition to Executive Coaching and Corporate Training, Lisa is also a featured communications expert on numerous media outlets where she provides commentary and analysis on a number of topics including human lie detection and political body language.
Learn more about Lisa Mitchell and Power Body Language: https://www.powerbodylanguage.com/