Projecting Assertiveness

Criminals prefer and easy target.  Easy targets give them a greater opportunity to commit a crime successfully without being injured or caught.  They become expert in looking for clues that will help them do just that.  You can develop habits in your behavior that send clues that you are not an easy target.  It’s not difficult.


Project confidence.  When you’re transitioning from your car to a store, walk with a purpose, head up, aware, vigilant.  Put your phone and any other distractions away.  Your job is to cross the parking lot and into the store.  Focus on that one thing.  These simple actions will project a presence that speaks volumes – you are not an easy victim.


If you come face to face with a threat it’s important that you project confidence in a powerful way.  Stop whatever you’re doing and focus on the individual that’s confronting you.  Make direct eye to eye contact.  Do not look down.  Do not look away.  Step back with your strong side foot (right in you’re right handed) into a ready stance.  Put your hands up at chest level, palms down.  Don’t make fists but don’t surrender.  Your hands may slightly gesture “calm down”.  From this position, your hands could quickly raise to block a punch and  you’re ready to strike if you need to.  Your feet should be wide enough so that you have a very solid base.


Your stance projects a solid foundation.  It screams, “I will not be moved”.  Your hands tell the story, ” I don’t want trouble but I’m not afraid of it, either” and your eye-to-eye contact is powerful.  It tells him you’ll never forget his face and you’re willing to meet him head on.


Your voice and the words you use are incredibly important.  Expect adrenaline to cause vasoconstriction and your voice to sound squeaky.  You don’t want that so you’ll have to project, expelling the words from deep in your stomach.  Practice that.  Keep your words few and the meaning direct.  For example “I don’t have change.  Go somewhere else to get it” or, “I can’t help you.  Go away.”  You should be firm and direct, not angry or antagonistic.  Tell him what to do and repeat it until he does.  If he’s trying to decide if you are an easy target or not, your stance, eye contact and words will send a very strong message that he can find a much easier target than you.


This is the moment of truth so it’s important to get it right.  Imagine various  scenarios and practice your response.  Try it with a friend.  Practice with your husband, boyfriend, father or brother.  Get their feedback.  Practice until you feel confident that you could project assertiveness in a stressful situation.



This video is provided as one example of how to project assertiveness in a way that should discourage a would-be attacker.  Use the principles and experiment to see what works best for you.  There are no guarantees.  If you think you’ve got a better way to do it, great.  Drop me a line.


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