Man walking on street
Unsplash | Mad Rabbit Tattoo

People With 'Street Smarts' Share Their Most 'Street' Tips

Street smarts are the kind of thing that can only be learned through experience. If you want street smarts, though, and lack the experience, here's the next best thing: a curated list of Redditors' responses to the question, "People with 'street smarts', what is your most street tip?"

After all, if you can't trust words of wisdom from random people on the internet, what can you really trust?

Fighting is never worth it.

Lego men fighting
Unsplash | Stillness InMotion

"Fighting is not like the movies. Many people wont fight fair even. You never know what a person’s got in their pockets like a knife or any deadly weapon for that matter. Also seen people go back to their car and get a piece."


My driver's ed teacher taught me this one.

Cars parked on a street
Unsplash | David Martin

"When you stop your car, always make sure you have enough room in front of you for an escape route. It's impossible sometimes, but do the best you can."


Don't give away your secrets.

Man wearing wristwatch
Unsplash | Andrea Natali

"Never show your watch, wallet or phone in areas known for pickpockets.

"Also don't touch your pockets if you see warning signs, because a good thief will be watching to see which pocket your valuables are in."


Hands don't lie.

Hand holding a knife
Unsplash | Kyle Johnson

"If you are involved in confrontation pay attention to the hands. 2 things:

-If they reach into their pocket and/or under their shirt you are likely going to be hit with something, stabbed, or shot.

-If they are tucking their hands by their hamstring and/or clenching their first while looking you up and down you’re about to get punched."


Turns out exercise pays off.

Feet running up steps
Unsplash | Bruno Nascimento

"Exercise your legs. Although in a bad situation they'll probably feel like wet noodles, if needed you'll be able to run. It will also show in every day life that you are capable of moving effortlessly. Most people are sluggish and it's not hard to notice."


The ol' reverse psychology trick.

Silhouette of a gun
Unsplash | Maxim Hopman

"If someone approaching you says 'hey man, I ain’t gonna rob you' - they’re probably gonna try to rob you."


Watch crowds part like the Red Sea.

Man wearing a hoodie
Unsplash | Sander Meyer

"More casual and less dangerous: look through people, and they will get out of your way.

On the sidewalk, the streets, etc. Act like you can’t be bothered to even acknowledge that other people exist and most people won’t bother you, including the crazies and those with bad intentions."


Get the money up front.

Counting money
Unsplash | Niels Steeman

"And count it there and then. If it's wrong, if they underpaid you, you don't want to go back later when they can deny it and accuse you of trying to rip them off. Count it, and if it's wrong, tell them they made a little mistake so they can save face."


See the signs.

A row of houses
Unsplash | Avi Werde

"If you're in the hood and you see kids playing outside, you're probably safe. If there are a lot of people outside but no kids, be super cautious and walk with a purpose. If it's empty or only teenagers/young adults, get out asap."


Confrontations are rarely worth it.

Two people arguing
Unsplash | Afif Kusuma

"If someone is blatantly violating social norms, such as blasting music on the subway or taking a phone call in a movie theater, keep in mind that if they are willing to violate one social norm they are probably willing to violate others, including prohibitions on violence. You don't have to be meek in the face of obnoxious people but you do have to factor in the increased likelihood of violence."


It's all about body language.

Feet walking down a street
Unsplash | Alejandro Luengo

"Walk with intent. Dont look meek or unsure. Even if you have no idea where you are going. Head up, body posture up like you got business some place. You are a less attractive target if it looks like you might fight back."


Keep an eye out for scams.

Security cameras
Unsplash | Victor

"If an attractive woman asks for directions, look for her partner behind you or going into your car to take what they can grab.

Typical vacation area scam."


Sometimes the sidewalks are more dangerous.

A sidewalk
Unsplash | Jon Tyson

"Walk on the road if you’re in a real shady neighborhood and it’s late at night. Not in traffic but away from alleyway entrances."


Good to know.

A security guard
Unsplash | Obi - @pixel6propix

"Security guards, doormen, food cart operators, and blue collar workers in general are well-versed about the location of the nearest restrooms."


Lock your doors as soon as you get into your car.

A car door handle
Unsplash | Timothée Mägli

"Had a friend who got into this habit. She hopped in her car one day and there was about a .5 second difference between the lock activating and a random guy yanking at the passenger side with a knife. Stay safe out there."


Just keep walking.

Man walking on sidewalk
Unsplash | Cole Keister

"Never yell back at a group of guys verbally harassing you. Just keep walking. Don’t make a face, don’t change your walking pace, keep going as [though] they’re not there."


Don't get pickpocketed.

Man putting wallet away
Unsplash | Clay Banks

"Put your wallet and other important stuff in a zippered compartment deep inside. Pickpockets only got my makeup bag instead of my wallet when they pickpocketed my purse. The makeup bag served as a decoy."


Let there be light.

Car pulled over by police
Unsplash | Erik Mclean

"If you ever get pulled over at night, immediately turn on all your lights inside your car. In my experience it tends to relieve what ever tension the officer may have since they can see you a little bit more clearly. Plus it's better than having a flashlight shined in your face."


When they do the quick look-around...

Hand wearing googly eyes
Unsplash | Franco Antonio Giovanella

"If you're talking to a stranger and they start looking around (as if checking for witnesses) you gotta leave, quickly."


Act like you belong.

Man walking on street
Unsplash | Mad Rabbit Tattoo

"If you feel like you’re in an unsafe area, keep your head up, look angry and look like you know where you’re going even when you don’t. You’re much more likely to be a target if you’re looking around or showing signs that you’re lost."