As a petite woman, I have always felt a bit vulnerable in the world. I have taken self-defense courses for years and years. I know that being confident is a key component of keeping safe space. My husband's military background in predictive profiling (looking for signs of a possible threat) has added another level of awareness to me and my surroundings.
Today I got a chance to practice. I noticed the car behind me didn't like the way I went over speed bumps. You can just tell when someone is annoyed when you take the speed bumps slowly so you don't bottom out. I have a Prius, I don't drive fast anyways, so it is something I am used to.
When that same car followed me to my office side street, I thought, how odd and coincidental that we were going to the same area. However when the car pulled up next to me in the parking lot, my red flag went up. My heart beat faster, I locked my car doors and I fumbled for my phone. I called someone, and when they didn't answer, I came up with another plan.
I drove off. I left the area. It ended up being an innocent situation, I learned later. But it had all the signs of ill. My inner nice person feels a bit bad about suspecting foul intentions. However, my husband's voice in my head is telling me that it was better safe than sorry. The signs were there, and I acted on my gut.
As women, this is a hard lesson to practice. My daughter has an especially hard time with this. She wants to believe the world is full of great people - and she is right! I am grateful today for the opportunity to remind myself that it is okay to say No to rolling down my window and to not get out of the car if I don't feel safe.
If you are interested in taking a Self Defense course, I recommend connecting with Sensei Toni at Arts of the Samurai. She is an awesome instructor!