He was tall, with grey hair, middle-aged, and every time he finished a sentence his mouth was left slightly open and I could see his tongue shaking inside of it, just like a snake. Spooky. “Maybe it’s just a slight disability,” I said to myself, ignoring the cold iron fist I felt in my guts. I looked at his hands – you can tell so much about a man from his hands. My father, for example, has beautiful hands. They are rough and you can see he lifts weights (at the age of 65!), as they are full of calluses. He has tattoos on his fingers that he did himself – mementos of his motorcycling days, and of the day he met my mother. His fingernails are always clean and trimmed. His hands are those of a strong man, a working man, a good husband, a great father, and someone who cares about his body. I looked back at the “Snake’s” hands. They were clenched into fists, full of scratches, and from the thumbs I could see he was biting his nails until they bled. A nervous guy. Uh oh. I looked down; his toes, exposed in his sandals, were also dirty and neglected. “Nice to meet you,” he said. “Pleasure to meet you too,” I replied.
I remember thinking that night that I shouldn’t be judgmental. There’s more to a book than its cover, I told myself. He’s probably a very nice guy, and I’m just being paranoid.
Two months later I was calling the police daily. That guy became the worst nightmare I’ve ever had – and believe me I’ve had my share of horrors. He tried breaking into my house, cut the tires of my car, followed me, disturbed my peace and haunted my dreams. I won’t go into details here, other than to say that thankfully the story has a happy ending. But what I will tell you – and this is not only based on this scenario – is that you should judge a book by its cover. You need to be discerning when it comes to your safety and your life.
I’m not talking about skin color, gender, religion, or economic and social status. What I’m referring to is the first impression you have from looking at someone. Before they open their mouth. If you had to buzz “Yes” or “No” the first second you saw someone (“No” means “not safe”), what would that be? And show no mercy, because this is important.
To put it very simply: most criminals are born criminals. Science has proven that there is a part of their brains that is slightly enlarged, promoting sociopathic behavior and decreasing their empathy. This affects the person physically (like my “Snake”), and our subconscious mind picks up on these subtle signals immediately. We can detect fake empathy; we can feel danger coming, just like animals. As humans, we have grown apart from our animal instincts and intuition, but they are still there.
Let me give you a quick exercise: ask someone to show you pictures of two different people, one a criminal, the other not. Test your “Yes/No” split-second reaction. You will see that the more attuned you become to your intuition, the more accurate your answers will be.
Now tell me: is there any better self-defense method than a detector to avoid danger in the first place?
P.S. If this subject interests you, follow the crime psychology lectures and workshops on my website. I will be talking more about this subject in a lecture this weekend in Nice, France, and am happy to share my notes with you.