It sounds a little weird to prepare for a scenario where a stranger might be following you. We think ‘it is never going to happen to us’ until it does! With all the crimes against women increasing, it is better to be prepared, just in case.
We all think that we would never be followed. But there is a chance that an angry ex, old colleague, or someone else might be holding a grudge against you. In such a scenario where someone might be following you, it is common to panic and go blank. But being prepared will help you act swiftly and be safe.
Why would anybody follow me?
The thing about dangerous people is that they live among us. They look like you and me and behave normally until something sets them off. We are not trying to make you paranoid, but a little awareness will help you in case something happens. Take a look at the steps mentioned below. They will help you know if you are being tailed.
1. Stay aware
If you take a look around, you will notice that the majority of people are on their phones. They are either making calls or scrolling away. It is evident that their undivided attention is on their phone screen and they are not aware of what is happening around them. Staying aware of your surroundings is quite essential. Put your phone down, keep your head up, and just soak everything around you. If something is out of the ordinary, then your mind will pick it up.
2. Slow down
If you see any unusual person or vehicle, take note of it. If possible, just write down the appearance of the person, the number plate of the car, etc. Another important factor to keep in mind is that a slow person and vehicle is harder to trail. If you walk or drive slow, the person who is following you might risk exposure by coming too close to you.
What to do if someone is following you?
Now that we have gone over the steps that will help you figure out if you are being followed, the next steps will help you take action if someone is following you.
- Go in public areas
If you feel that you are being followed, it is better to stay in crowded areas. As long as you are around people, the person following you will not make a move to harm you. You can even head to a crowded restaurant and grab a seat. When you get the chance, call someone you know and trust. Tell them your location and ask them to come to get you. If the person tailing you looks aggressive, call the police without any delay. You can also inform the staff that you might be followed so they can keep an eye out for you.
- Change your behavior
If someone is following you, there are chances that the person is already familiar with your routine. If you make any changes in it, it will throw them off. For example, if you are in a car, take the next exit and get on the main road. Also, trying to make four left or right turns is an excellent way to tell if someone is following you.
Whatever you decide, don’t panic in a situation like this. As long as you are calm, you will be able to think rationally and keep yourself safe. Even if you are not 100% sure that someone is following you, but you have a feeling about it, inform someone. Trust your instincts.
It is unfortunate that being followed is something that people have to worry about, especially women. But knowing what to do in case of danger can save our life. The more aware we are, the safer we will be.