Mundane Interactions and Self-Protection

Pumping gas. It’s a pretty mundane interaction that can easily be taken for granted when it comes thinking about self-protection at the same time. How often are you at the pump thinking about self-protection?


Do you scan the station for something out of place for the environment on your approach and getting out of your vehicle? Do you assess environmental spatial relationships, interactions and the proximity of people, etc? Do you position to decrease the number of avenues of approach? Do you position in a way that you don’t box yourself in? Do you lock the far side of the vehicle? Are your keys on your person? Do you identify and/or create barriers? Do you identify exits? Do you observe the interactions going on inside the store while you’re at the pump? (Don’t become so hyper-focused on assessing something in the distance that you aren’t aware of what’s near you.) Do you use reflections of your vehicle (or other reflective architectural elements) to help identify movement of someone lurking obstructed by built environments? Are you using all five senses to inform your perception of safety?

What else have you done?

Hopefully you aren’t distracted by the integrated video screens and commercials played at the pump. (I seriously hate those things.)

Does the above list come naturally without being overwhelmed?

As an exercise, the next time you have a task or to-do (driving, shopping, traveling, etc.), before you leave, map out the interactions within the total experience in relation to what you need to get done (to and from) and how to retain the highest level of awareness and safety as possible. Pick a simple task (like pumping gas) and practice.

Live long and prosper 🖖🏻