All right. So, here's the situation. You're walking home after a night out with friends—that's when you hear footsteps behind you. You turn around to see someone walking toward you. You think to yourself, "Are they following me?" If you're ever in this scenario, here's what you do.
Start walking slightly faster. If you hear the person's footsteps catching up with you, then your suspicions are correct.
Try to make turns. Three or four right turns are enough to bring you back to your starting position. It'll confirm that the person is after you since they have no reason to circle the area. And you'll get a chance to disappear. The moment you make a turn, start running until they lose sight of you. If some people are walking by, you can loudly say "Hey!" and pretend they're your friends. Tell them someone is following you, and ask if they can walk with you to a more public area until you find another way home.
Don't go to your house or apartment when you're being followed even if the group of people is offering to help you get there. This pursuer will then know where you live and might come back later or wait for you to leave the house.
But let's assume nobody is on the street, and this figure is still behind you. If you're wearing a hoodie, tuck the hood into your sweater to hide it. If your hair is up in a ponytail or a bun, let it down as you walk. It'll be harder for your follower to grab your entire set of hair or pull your clothes if they have nothing to hold on to.
Now you must lose them. If you've turned off a busy road earlier, you can pretend you've forgotten something by patting your pockets. Say out loud, "Ah, where is my wallet?" As you do so, start walking even faster in the opposite direction. This person will be less likely to pursue someone who is running toward a busy street. And they probably won't run after someone who doesn't have their wallet.
Never say you've lost your keys; they'll come in handy later.
Don't take your phone out and start browsing or texting. The light from the screen will make it harder for your eyes to adjust in the dark. That and looking through your phone will slow you down.
Observe your surroundings, and learn your exact location. As you walk, find out the street name. Look at the house numbers and what stores or buildings are around. You'll need these details later.
If you can't get away, and the side street or alley you're on seems endless, turn around and look at your follower. Look at their clothes, eyes, height, and age. Hmm, black hoodie, navy blue pants, green baseball cap. Got it. Then, you can give an accurate description to the authorities. Doing that will also send a clear message to this person, "Yep, I see you." People with bad intentions rely on the element of surprise. With a long, hearty eye contact, you'll take that away from them. It'll catch them off guard, and they won't see you as a target.
Stand confident with your shoulders back, chin up. Don't look like you're lost or nervous. You'll give off a "I know what I'm doing" vibe. They don't like that. Let's say the green-hat guy is brave and decides to approach you and ask for something. Keep consistent eye contact.
If they ask you for directions, don't look down or away from them to reach for your phone. You'll become distracted. Just tell them you don't know the way. Their asking is suspicious enough. Who doesn't have a phone with maps these days?
If you're carrying books or shopping bags, be ready to drop them as soon as you feel something's off. Holding onto heavy items will slow you down. Now you'll need your keys. Place them in your palm with the key's teeth sticking out through your fist. If worse comes to worst, you'll have something pointy to defend yourself with so you can get away.
Don't stay quiet. Make a fuss as you try to leave, and yell "fire" instead of "help." People react to that word more often than a call for general help. Plus, nobody wants to chase someone screaming at the top of their lungs and drawing attention to themselves.
If they're following you from a further distance, then get your phone out and call the police. That's when you need to know all those details about the street you're on, your location, and the buildings. Stay on the phone with the dispatcher, and follow their instructions.
Another possible scenario is someone following you in public. If that happens, try to get to a grocery store or anywhere you can lose yourself in the crowd. If your jacket is a different color from your shirt, take your coat off. It'll be harder for this person to identify you.
If you walk into a restaurant or a coffee shop, and your follower is determined, they'll walk in and wait for you. One option is to go straight to the bathroom and stay there for five to ten minutes. They might get tired and leave. If you get out, and they're still there, get in line, order something, and casually let one of the staff members know you are being followed. They'll probably do something and keep an eye out for you. Grab your order and sit down.
Get on your phone, and let your family or friends know where you are so they can come and pick you up or keep you company.
While you wait, try these tricks: Yawn. If the person yawns too, it means they've been watching you. Yawning is visually contagious. Pretend to look at your watch. If they check theirs too, they've got their eyes on you. We instinctively mimic the person we have our attention on. To trick them, leave the cafe, and walk a little bit down the street until they lose sight of you. Then as soon as they come out, walk back into the coffee shop. They'll have no reason to walk back in with you unless they were following you. When someone comes to pick you up, ask the staff to guide you to the back exit just to be safe.
Avoid walking alone. If you do, keep to busy streets and always be aware of your surroundings. You know, all that stuff that lies beyond your phone screen... Haha...just messing with you.
Hey, bottom line, I hope nothing like this ever happens to you. But being prepared for it gives you confidence like nothing else. Hey, if you learned something new today, then give the video a like, and share it with a friend. And here are some other great videos I think you'll enjoy. Just click to the left or right, and remember: Stay on the bright side of life.
- 「使某人措手不及」- catch someone off guard
It'll catch them off guard, and they won't see you as a target.
- 「覺得不對勁、不舒服」- feel off
If you're carrying books or shopping bags, be ready to drop them as soon as you feel something's off.
- 「 要是逼不得已、最糟的情況下」- if worse comes to worst
If worse comes to worst, you'll have something pointy to defend yourself with so you can get away.
- 「 大呼小叫、大驚小怪、表達不滿」- make a fuss
Make a fuss as you try to leave, and yell "fire" instead of "help."
- 「大聲地」- at the top of one's lungs
Plus, nobody wants to chase someone screaming at the top of their lungs and drawing attention to themselves.
- 「觀察、注意某人」- get your eyes on someone
If they check theirs too, they've got their eyes on you.