You already know that you work better when you’re in a good mood. Buy, you probably haven’t considered the notion that projecting a calm, positive outlook helps to protect you from crime when you’re out and about on city streets.
In one study, law enforcement officials interviewed convicted muggers and asked them to select a prospective victim from a group of random photographs taken of people walking down the street. Most often, they chose someone who seemed preoccupied, dejected and/or not alert to their surroundings — explaining that such a victim offered a greater opportunity for a surprise attack, and a lower probability of resistance.
Other studies have also supported the theory that people who are angry or depressed are more vulnerable. People who are in a bad mood are:
- More likely to take chances — like cutting through an alley
- Less alert to what is going on around them
- More likely to skip ordinary security measures
- More likely to appear weak or vulnerable looking
- More likely to provoke others with antagonistic remarks
- More likely to drink to excess
It’s not just criminals you need to be careful of. Ordinary citizens who are angry may become violent at the slightest provocation. One such man was arrested after he violently attacked someone who wouldn’t move their vehicle.
So, what are the rules these days? First, whenever possible, remove yourself from any hostile situation, whether it’s with a family member, a friend or a stranger. Excusing yourself because you feel ill can take you away from danger. When confronted with a robber, try to stay calm and be polite. Violence increases when you act belligerent or sound antagonistic.
If you must go out when you’re upset, remember that you may be at a greater risk — but, if you make a serious effort to put on a happy face for safety’s sake, maybe you’ll be lucky enough for your mood to actually take a turn for the better!