What to do if you realize you are being followed: a complete guide
At some point, you may find yourself in the situation of being followed by someone, for various reasons.
Your breathing becomes labored, while every step you take seems to resonate in the echo of your anxiety.
Someone’s shadow chases your movements, clutching your heart in a grip of terror. Every moment is pervaded by a palpable tension, as if the danger could be triggered at any moment.
Your mind is a whirlwind of thoughts, trying to decipher the dark intent of those who follow you. Every furtive glance, every accelerated step feeds your paranoia. You wonder if it’s just imagination or if there’s a real threat around every corner.
Adrenaline rushes through your veins, amplifying every sensation. Your eyes nervously scan your surroundings, looking for a clue, an escape route. You feel the need to keep calm, not to panic, but the tension is palpable in the air.
Every movement becomes a studied action, a calculated step. Your heartbeat seems to mark the time of a race against fate. Every breath is full of determination, fueled by the fear that snakes through your mind.
Your confidence hangs by a thin thread as you try to extricate yourself from this distressing situation. Your mind works frantically, trying to find a solution, a way out. Every choice could be the key to escape this nightmare.
The conclusion is still far away, but you can’t afford to give up. Your will to survive merges with the tension that pervades every fiber of your being. You don’t know what awaits you, but you know that you have to fight, because your life depends on it.
The tension is palpable, enveloping every moment of your struggle for survival. You can’t let your guard down, you can’t let terror take over. Tension makes its way inside you, pushing you to overcome your limits, to resist until your last breath.
In this duel with the darkness that surrounds you, you must find the strength to move forward. Your determination becomes your shield, as you venture into the labyrinth of uncertainty. The tension grows, but you can’t allow it to crush you.
You must find the strength to overcome every obstacle and achieve salvation.
The conclusion is still uncertain, but the tension that permeates every moment fuels your will to survive.
It is important to have an action plan in mind to maintain your safety.
Many people feel uncomfortable and insecure when they perceive that they are being followed, often not knowing how to react or if they are really in danger.
However, several “pre-attack indicators” can be spotted before aggression occurs. If these indicators are not noticeable, you can force them.
Prevention, make yourself a difficult target
The main goal is to avoid situations that could put you in a position to be followed.
- Unpredictable time and place: Avoid establishing predictable routines that others might notice. Predictable behavior makes it easier to become a target.
- Security in numbers: attackers tend to spot lonely and easily approached people. Try to surround yourself with witnesses or people who can offer help.
- Be vigilant and responsible: Make it appear that you know and are aware of your surroundings. Avoid distractions such as excessive cell phone use. Don’t reduce your attention by wearing headphones. Move with determination, be confident and aware of your actions.
It is essential to obtain concrete information on which to act.
It is imperative to understand the intent of the person who is following you.
To begin with, consider the following:
- If you see someone once, it could be a coincidence.
- If you see someone twice, it may not be a coincidence.
- If you see someone three times, it could be a threat.
Once you are sure that you are being followed, it is time to confirm that you are in danger and act accordingly.
Observe and try to understand if he is alone.
Pre-attack strength indicators
People are rarely attacked without warning.
The problem is that many people do not recognize the warning signs.
Almost always, before an attack, there are several warnings or pre-attack indicators.
These can include behaviors such as hidden hands, clothing not suitable for the situation, or furtive looks.
If there are no pre-attack indicators, or if you need confirmation that you are in danger, you can force those signals.
For example, if you walk down the street and suspect that you are being followed, you can force the following two pre-attack indicators to determine the individual’s intent:
- Distance closure: increase your pace. If the person who follows you also accelerates their pace to stay close to you, chances are they are following you.
- Motion correlation: Once you’ve established the approach distance, you can check if you’re being followed by forcing another indicator. Cross the street. If the person following you also crosses the street, there is no doubt that you are followed and you must act immediately.
Get to safety
The main goal is to prevent or interrupt contact with the aggressor and put yourself in a safe place.
Before the attacker gets too close and can stop you from escaping, you need to determine the intent.
Safety can be ensured by the presence of other people, your locked vehicle or entering an occupied house where you can knock on the door.
If you are alone and there are no other people around, take your phone and call the security services.
Familiarize yourself with the emergency features present on your mobile device, every smartphone has these systems on smartphones such as Apple iPhone or Samsung Android.
Make noise and do everything you can to create space between you and the attacker.
To further increase your security
Also consider these additional tips:
- Communicate with others: If you suspect you’re being followed, let someone you trust know about your concerns. Sharing the situation with someone can provide you with emotional and practical support in case the aggressor gets too close.
- Stay calm: It’s understandable that being followed can trigger fear and anxiety. However, try to stay calm and don’t let emotions prevail over your rational thinking. Maintaining clarity will help you make more effective decisions to protect yourself.
- Take advantage of surrounding resources: Try to locate public places, shops, police stations, or other landmarks that could offer you a safe haven in case you feel threatened. Be aware of the escape routes available in your vicinity.
- Vary routes and schedules: Avoid always following the same route and being predictable in your habits. Changing routes and exit times can make it harder for a potential attacker to monitor you or plan an attack.
- Learn self-defense techniques: Consider taking self-defense classes or gaining basic knowledge on how to protect yourself in dangerous situations. These skills can increase your confidence and your ability to react appropriately in an emergency.
- Bring tools with you to defend yourself: Consider that you have legal tools with you to defend yourself and learn to use them, each state has its own legislature so consider what you can or cannot have with you if you want to comply with the law. Keep them in a location that you can easily access under stress, such as pepper spray, kubotan, umbrella, etc. Firearms, knives, cannot be legally brought into many states.
Remember that your personal safety is paramount.
If you feel you are in serious danger or if the attacker approaches you, seek help immediately from local authorities or people around you.
Being alert and aware of your surroundings is crucial to detect if you are being followed.
Practice good situational awareness and always look for an escape route and a way to ask for help.
If the pre-attack indicators are not obvious, learn to force them.
Remember that the goal is not to face the aggressor and get involved in a physical confrontation, but to create an escape route and avoid confrontation at all costs.
Your safety is the top priority.
Street Fight Mentality