Be Prepared to Leave

By on July 17, 2012

Always have an exit strategy.

A couple of months ago, my wife finally started catching on to what I do.  We were out walking around downtown San Antonio and I grabbed her by the arm and crossed the street without thinking about it.  At this point in my life, I’ve been paying attention so long that I don’t even question my intuition.  I don’t even know why I crossed the street.  There was just a little message in the back of my head that said move, so I did.  My wife asked me if it was because of the person walking toward us on the sidewalk.  I told her I didn’t know, I just did it by instinct.  But the weird homeless looking guy staring at my wife was a good reason to cross the street.  There was also construction on that side and a fence was sitting on the sidewalk, cutting off half of our maneuver space.

When I talk about being prepared to leave, it needs to be that fast and easy.  Last week, I was in a convenience store and a cop walked in.  I asked how he was doing just to be friendly and he gave me the quick fine without looking at me.  He was there looking for someone and I was out of there.

Any time you go out, you should be looking for danger indicators and be ready to leave.  You have to be prepared physically and mentally to leave.  Start with the mentally.  You have to be able to swallow your pride and move across the street when a group of gang members comes down the street in front of you.  Yes, you have a right to be there and shouldn’t have to move for a group of criminals, but there is right and there is safe.  They aren’t always the same thing.  When it comes to my family, I’ll suck up my pride (and us Marines have a lot of it) and keep my family safe.

You have to be able to suck up the embarrassment.  When the group you are with says let’s go down the dark alley where you see a couple people hanging out looking at you, you have to say no, we aren’t going.  A couple weeks ago, I was with a group of friends that said we needed a beer run but all of us had already been drinking, so I said no (we all had rooms to stay the night).  At first I was laughed at, but I held my ground and we drank what was there (and didn’t run out).  So you have to have the internal fortitude to stand up for what’s right even when ridiculed by your closest friends and family.

Once you get through the mental, the physical becomes easy.  Just always know where an exit is and don’t be afraid to use it.  If you cross the street, you can always cross it back.  If you leave a convenience store, there is another one a mile down the road.  Even if you have to leave a restaurant without paying, you can always go back and pay later.  The physical part just has to be fast.  Do it without a second thought.  As soon as you get even a thought that something is wrong, leave.  Do it quickly and quietly without a second thought.

Stay Safe,

Ben

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Comments

  1. Phil Stead
    July 18, 2012

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    Good advice Ben. This is all part of a ‘natural’ thing related to Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP). Your gut reaction is rarely wrong! As human beings we DO have a sixth sense that we have lost much of the ability to understand. Animals still have it. How many times in your life have you said, “I knew I should have done that?”. Because there are not necessarily enough signs that we normally react to, such as the other five senses, we often ignore that sixth sense and it all goes ‘pear shaped’. Believe your gut feelings and you will find you screw up less times than if you ignore it. Just the way a person dresses can tell you much about the person inside the clothes. No? Is that being judgemental? Perhaps, often than not, the way a person chooses to dress is a strong indicator of their personality. How long do you need to know someone before you can trust them? The fact is, you CAN judge a person by their non-verbal behaviour and their appearance pretty accurately and, as the saying goes, “You can always find trouble if you go looking for it”! Amen.

    • Ben Branam
      July 18, 2012

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      Thanks for the quote. I think you can judge a person almost instantly if they are going to be a threat to you by the way they are dressed, carry themselves, and the way they act.

      I haven’t heard it called NLP before but think you are totally right. Our minds work so much faster and better then we realize. I love the book “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker about the sixth sense. It truly is a gift that we all posses, we just need to listen to it.

      • Phil Stead
        July 18, 2012

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        Ben, thanks for the reply. To clarify, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), or simplified, Non-Verbal Communication, is the way living things communicate without speaking and that obviously includes human beings. The way a mammal, bird, fish, insect, plant or reptile appears, or presents itself, tells another, of a different species, whether or not it represents a threat or an opportunity. It’s taken me ages to define in my words – hope that makes sense?

        • Ben Branam
          July 18, 2012

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          When you say “Non-Verbal Communication” I understand a little better. It’s my lizard brain getting in the way of my intellect. Sometimes I’m still a Marine Grunt. Thanks for the explanation.

  2. J.bradbury
    July 18, 2012

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    Intuition is vital and like anything else the more you use it, the more natural it becomes.

    Thanks for the post and keep up the great work!!

    • Ben Branam
      July 18, 2012

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      I never thought of it that way, but you are totally right! The more you trust and use your intuition the more natural it will become and the better you will get at using it. Nice! Thanks I’ll probably use that in the future.

  3. Mary
    July 17, 2012

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    Good info as usual. I learn from your blog.

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