We all want to have a great holiday with our loved ones, and that means making it through the sometimes crazy, shopping season. There is an increase in auto accidents as well as personal crimes during this time, so I thought I'd share a few common sense reminders to keep you safer.
1) Drive defensively. People aren't paying attention to traffic but are instead thinking about where they have to go next. More people knowingly run red lights this time of year and justify the recklessness as "they have somewhere to be."
Don't trust another driver with your life. Drive defensively to make sure you make it home to your family every night. Courtesy to another driver, even if they're rude, could save your life.
2) Say NO in parking lots. Never under any circumstances allow someone to approach you in a parking lot. If someone is approaching call out to them, "stop right there, what can I help you with?" It attracts the attention of others and puts the person approaching you on notice that you don't want them any closer. I've done this many times during the holidays when people try to approach me for money by my car.
A) Don't open your purse, your wallet or even hunt in your pocket for that spare change. It's all a game, and could get you mugged, even in broad daylight.
B) Have your keys in your hand when you leave the store rather than hunting for them in your purse or pockets. Inattention is dangerous.
C) Your purse isn't worth your life. If the worst happens, please remember that everything in your purse can be replace, your life can not be.
3) Trust your instincts. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If someone sitting in their car makes you uncomfortable, return to the store. We often tell ourselves that we're being silly for being creeped out, but it may be just the opposite.
4) Eye contact. Lastly, I mention eye contact because when people are uncomfortable their natural reaction is to look down and away. This is a universal expression of weakness. Eye contact is powerful. When we look directly at another person, we express fearlessness and strength. This is what you want to project to others at all times.
I hope these tips help you stay safe. If anyone has additional tips they'd like to add in the comments, please feel free to do so. Happy shopping to all!
I'll be back to chatting about books, and writing next week.