A few days ago I was having a discussion with a school psychologist that had come to test a few students to see if they qualified for services. Our conversation turned to the study of people and their behaviors and how that relates, in some instances, to their intellectual abilities. The psychologist mentioned that in a recent testing situation, a student, that
was very manipulative, tested with an IQ of about 135, which is in the superior range. But the behaviors of this student included avoidance of classwork, and trying to manipulate everyone into letting them do anything they wanted, or to avoid anything they didn't like. This was happening at school and at home. The psychologist's concern for this student is that they are well on their way to working the system, and that these behaviors would continue to escalate to the point that they would end up incarcerated. The concern was that all of this intellectual ability would be used in a negative or destructive way.
Later on, as I thought about this conversation, it reminded me of the things I have read about people that say they don't need to prepare, they will just go take what they need from someone else. I really think many people that say these kind of things are the braggarts that say things to get attention and to make others think they are tough or cool. All blow and no go, was a common phrase when I was a kid. But there will be those that will expect to be able to bully and take what they want, especially if they can do so as a group or mob. Look at the flash mobs that are happening in many places, that for some reason, are not publicized very often. It is becoming more and more common for large groups of people to go into a fair, a carnival, a mall, anywhere there is a relatively large gathering of people, create havoc, utilize violence and expect to get away unscathed. The psychology of these people does not fall within the normal realm of everyday folks, at least it didn't used to.
More and more instances of intimidation, ridicule and violence are being employed by large groups of people, and in some places, unbelievably, it appears to be okay. The ability levels of these people varies. In my opinion, the more intelligent a person is, the more sophisticated the tactics are when it comes to manipulation, coercion and stealth. The ability of a criminal mind to 'read' the people around them and pick a likely target, given enough time and practice, can be finely tuned until they are very effective at what they do. The study of psychology doesn't necessarily only happen in a classroom with textbooks.
Now, apply these thoughts to your survival situation. Do you have the skills to 'read' the people around you and determine if there are any immediate threats, possible threats or not? As the world becomes more aggressively dangerous, we all need the tools to go about our business in a safe manner. Frank has been reading
'Ol Remus for quite some time. 'Ol Remus has a comment he makes regularly that we think is very, very good advice. "Avoid crowds." Not a very long statement is it? But it is extremely good advice. Have there been problems in the mall where you live or shop? Don't go there. There are other places you can shop that will not expose you to that possible danger. Are there problems at your local county fair or carnival? Even though an outing to these events may have been a family tradition for years, is it worth the risk to life and limb for your loved ones?
Taking this a step further, in a collapse situation, will you be able to 'read' the people coming up the driveway or to your door? Will you be able to tell if they are friend or foe? Opening your door to 'check them out' may be the worst decision of your life. We occasionally read about a home owner that either shot and injured, shot and killed, or shot and scared away an intruder. Occasionally. More often than not it turns out that the intruder wins and is never caught. Did you notice that the homeowners that survived an intruder were the ones that 'shot'?
As I think about survival situations, I wonder, "Will I be able to tell who is planning or thinking about harming me and who is not?" There are some that are so obvious that anyone can see their intentions. These are not the ones that belong to the intelligent category I spoke of earlier. The people that use their God given abilities for evil, these are the people I am most concerned with. For when the SHTF (stuff hits the fan), there will be those that will be looking for weak targets that would make easy prey. What kind of target are you? What kind of target is your house or retreat? What kind of enticements do you project to those that are looking for something they need or want?
No one can be right all of the time. That goes for me, you and for the criminal mind. But we can all do things to make our side of the 'game' stronger and more effective than that of our opponent. The ability to read people is a skill and for some people a gift. Do what you can to increase your ability to 'see' others intentions. Pay attention. Avoid crowds. There are many people out there that don't pay a lick of attention to anyone else but themselves. There are others that are constant people watchers. Realize that even if you are not watching the people around you, some of
them may be watching you to see if you would be a weak, easy target. In a collapse situation, people may be watching your place to see if it would be an easy target with some possible 'loot' available. Keep a low profile. Don't create an environment or appearance that always says "Look at me! Look at what I have!" Sometimes I feel sorry for what I call the "Look at me" crowd. They will be the first targets hit because they obviously have stuff someone else will want, because they have been advertising what they have for a long time.
Develop or refine your mindset so you will have the psychology of a survivor. When times get tough be ready to put the skills you have gained to use. There will be people that you may be able to help and that may be able to help you. Then, there will be the ones that will test you and see what you are made of. Be ready.
Until next time - Fern