OKAY THIS IS AWESOME. I have talked to SO many girls/women about this and no one seems to believe that some of the tricks that you mentioned — and tricks that I have up my sleeve as well — actually work! I am lucky enough to have never been followed or bothered too bad, which I understand is partly luck but also partly the attitude and aura one gives off! I’ve lived in or near big cities my entire life, and have definitely been put in places where unlucky or horrible things could have happened, and have lived to tell the tale.
These tips are all great. I especially love #3–6 because putting on an act is totally your friend! WHO CARES if you actually are any of the kind of person that you put off — they don’t know that, and most people won’t take the chance. In elementary school I learned the trick to standardized narration essays. I don’t know if y’all had to do those, but they were the WORST and I never knew what story to tell and what was actually compelling! My life as a ten-year old just wasn’t that exciting! But after one particularly difficult essay, I was complaining to my friends while my teacher listened in and she leaned in and said, “Who says they’ll know if it’s a true story?”
*ten-year old mind blown*
It’s remarkably similar to walking down a street of a big, scary city. Who says they’ll know whether or not you actually have pepper spray? Who knows whether or not you actually have the police on speed dial? Who knows if you’re not actually crazy and there’s hecka no way I’m getting in on that? You have to create a fierce, Karate Kid of a character that no one in their right mind would touch — and whether or not you really are that character just doesn’t matter, they won’t take the risk.