Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Second, in our Guard Yourself series is Presence. Presence is the way you carry yourself and interact with those around you.
If you keep your head down, your shoulders are fallen, and you move at a slower pace than others, you are more likely to be the target of ne'er-do-wells. You are viewed as weak and an easy target. You aren't paying attention to your environment and are simply ambling from one thing to the next.
If, however, you don't want to be the target of thieves and other nefarious people, keep your head up and be aware as we discussed in our last blog. Keep your shoulders back, chest out, and a smile on your face (the smile is important). Make eye contact and acknowledge the presence of others. Be confident, yet unassuming. Move as if you are on a mission.
In doing this, others will believe you know how to handle yourself. The smile lets them know you aren't looking for a fight, and the eye contact shows them you care that they exist. As General James Mattis said, "be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet". It seems harsh, but better to have a plan and not need it than need a plan and not have it.
Be alert, be aware, stay safe.