Survivor Psychology

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


8 thoughts on “Survivor Psychology

  1. Thank you very much for the information about the book. It sounds interesting. There are so many things to learn and read about that will increase our ability to survive. Thanks again for sharing and for reading.Fern

  2. You might be interested in \”The Gift of Fear\” by Gavin de Becker. It's one of the few books I will flat out give to any friend or family member that expresses interest. The title seems to suggest that it's a book about constantly looking over your shoulder, but it's more about learning to recognize and listen to your instincts. It has lots of anecdotes and one of the more chilling observations he makes is that all of his clients (victims of violence), before being attacked had a \”bad feeling\” about the attacker, but ignored it for social reasons – didn't want to seem rude, strange, etc. It's a fascinating read and I'm sure you'd be able to find it through inter-library loan. Some of the first chapter can also be read for free on Amazon.

  3. All are very good points, Alex. A few years back, Frank quit wearing hats and t-shirts that had any type of advertising, be it local school or commercial. It seems someone always has a bone to pick. So, now, everything is 'gray'.

  4. Thank you for your comment, Felecia. We have found over the years that it is much better to be very forgettable in our appearance. Having a nice stylish piece of clothing that draws attention is just not worth the attention it gets sometimes. Our police training taught us a lot about situational awareness. The level of awareness we focus on our environment is dictated by what is in that environment. Large crowds just leave too much to chance, especially when a pattern of danger or problems has been established.We all need to pay more attention to what is happening in our world, our towns and our neighborhoods. It could mean life or death.Blessings,Fern

  5. Hi Fern. I love your website, with concise articles such as this and those of your gardening and animals.. I agree with Remus of avoiding crowds. I also suggest, people to be alert when walking, exercising and such. Leave your ears open, your eyes up and the phone in your pocket. I remember also a very important item I learned from my father, \”Do not show your NRA sticker on your car, this tends to telll others of what you may have in your car\”. This was also followed up on an article in of people need to be gray. The unidentifiable person gets over looked for targeting. Take care. Alex

  6. Hi Fern! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. It's sad that we have to have such a mindset, but in today's society it's necessary! I was just in WM the other day, not many shoppers, and as I was heading for a check-out lane, a hearing-impaired guy approached me. He wanted change for a dollar. I politely told him I had no change, sorry, and he walked on, patting my shoulder saying it's ok. I felt bad for not helping him, but at the same time I was being cautious. He may have wanted to take my wallet! Who knows? But I feel like I did the right thing. Maybe it's time to get rid of the leather jacket! He may have thought I had money! I don't want to be a target for the bad guy. Thank you for helping us to be more aware of our surroundings! Blessings from Bama!

  7. Outstanding read!This was a good one Fern…my Father had what he called a 'feeling' about some people. I used to shrug it off as an Old man talking…Now I am the age he was and I notice I get 'Feelings' about some people too. Just something that tells me there is a reason to avoid contact with this person. I think we have to pay attention to our senses. With all the noise and gadgets of modern society…listening to our inner self has become hard to do.Live a less cluttered life, quieter and more basic, it should help hone skills we are going to need.Thank you and God Bless

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