Street smartness according to the Free Dictionary is, “…having the shrewd resourcefulness needed to survive in an urban environment…showing mental alertness and calculation and resourcefulness”.
1. Dress to blend in any given locality. It will be easy to move about freely and will be much safer as well if you will look like the rest of the folks.
2. Be knowledgeable about the neighbourhood: You don’t need to be a Google Map, but should have a general knowledge about the general neighbourhood to skip quickly to a safer area when the need arises.
3. When you dress like them, be like them : Look natural, don’t look people in the eyes on the streets, don’t smile at any one, don’t look at anything in awe and in wonderment, which others may ignore, don’t answer to people’s queries, if they look threatening, don’t be friendly with any strangers, well, look natural!
4. Someone follows: When some one follows you or tries to talk to you and when you feel uneasy about it, try to blend in with a group which is walking close by you and where women are present and walk with them, asking casual queries about something, anything. If not possible, seek out a senior person or some one with a child and start talking to them. Leave as soon as you can without attracting the attention of your pursuer. If a guy is chasing you or passing comments on you, its better to ignore.
5. Life threatening situation: If any one threatens you with a knife or a gun for your bag or wallet, just handover the things to him while raising an alarm. Run away from there. You can always file FIR for your things and block your mobile number, credit and debit cards etc later.
6. Street Fights: On the onset of any street fights, strike or violence, leave the locality immediately and reach a safe place to safeguard your own interests.
Q What is the difference between being street smart and having a common sense?
Street smartness is an unsophisticated type of common sense; rather common sense is the sophisticated form of street smartness.
Q I sometimes feel awkward, gawky and it is not easy for me to start a conversation or to participate willingly into it. I am a highly qualified person and still it happens. How to avoid things like this?
There is no basic connection between being street smart and being highly qualified. Rather uneducated people are more street smart than the educated people, because for them being smart is their means of survival. However, learn to work beyond your education and keep your mind open to the others. A broad smile on your face, a courteous call to someone, helping other when there is an emergency, talking in such a way not to cause pain to the listeners etc. shall help you to gain the confidence of others and you will soon be in their friends’ map.
Being street smart is realistic with an unbeatable knowledge and an experience in the worldly ways whenever there is a need. . It’s an important skill for women and cannot be learnt from formal education.
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