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Being a "Grey Man"

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by Gliderguy, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Gliderguy


    May 14, 2012
    And no, the subject of this post has nothing to do with "50 Shades of Grey":

    There has been some discussion going around various boards about trying to just totally blend in when in public, Just not doing anything to call attention to yourself, and how it might be the ideal self defense tactic. If you look too clueless, it is a neon sign saying "rob me" and will draw the less adventuresome, efficient muggers and thieves. If you swagger around like Macho Incorperated, the basic thieves will see you and say pass, and all is well until you meet that unbalanced person with a really big chip on their shoulder and something to prove. It is almost the old debate "concealed vs open" carry - the light version. The point is to be paying attention and alert to what is going on around you, but not being obvious about how aware you actually are.

    Has any of your casework led you to hold an opinion on this train of thought? I can see it might be viable in a crowded public setting, and wonder if it has any value when you are the lone person walking after dark to your car. I suppose this topic is actually large enough for its own book once you set upon it and dig in...
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    To me, the "gray man" thing means don't stand out as a particularly inviting target.

    Obviously, you don't want to look like a head-down shambling sheep, either. Clint Smith is absolutely right when he says, "If you look like food, you will be eaten."

    What works for me is keeping the head on a swivel, obviously alert to surroundings but not making aggressive eye contact. (But not avoiding it, either.) Walk purposefully, but don't swagger. You get the drift.

    There are ditches on either side of that road which are easy to fall into, bro. I've found the middle ground is generally the highest, and safest, ground.