How to Blend into Your Surroundings for Safety

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

While looking out a window one day I witnessed this lizard change color three times right before my eyes.  It started out with a grayish tinge while sitting on grey cement; then it jumped on a mossy pavement and turned green.  When it jumped on a brown brick and turned brown, I lost sight of it.  I was quite fascinated with the skill and got to thinking we can learn from this.

Many animals use camouflage as a defensive mechanism.  They keep themselves safe by changing their color to match their surroundings.  We can apply this ourselves for our own safety.

Some call blending in being “the grey man.”  It just means you remain inconspicuous to avoid drawing attention to yourself and becoming a target.

Why should you care about blending in?  This is actually opposite to the predominant attitude of getting attention and trying to stand out in a crowd.  Advertising appeals to our vanity and sense of style to try and be unforgettable.  People try to dress and act a certain way so they can be noticed and feel special.  There is nothing wrong with that.  But in certain situations, blending in and not calling attention to yourself can be lifesaving.

“Normal” times 

Many crooks choose their targets because something about that person catches their attention.  It can be a shiny piece of jewelry, an expensive watch, a designer purse or a flashy car.   In many home invasion robberies reported in our city, the victim is usually chosen ahead of time, followed home from the gas station, grocery store or ATM.  Staying under the radar by looking unobtrusive will cause them to keep looking elsewhere.

Looking like the “grey man” can also help you get through bad neighborhoods because you escape unwanted attention.  If no one notices you, no one will bother you.

Crisis and Disaster Situations

In a SHTF scenario, you definitely would want to stay as inconspicuous as possible.

If people were desperate and starving in your neighborhood, and you have food, you’d best keep as low profile as possible or you would get beaten and robbed.  You would not want to have the smell of cooking wafting from your home.  If you went out looking and smelling fresh while everyone else wears dirty clothes and hadn’t showered in days, you would stand out in the crowd and people would know you have supplies.  In that situation you would need to look like everyone else for your own safety.  Giving an impression you have supplies and food would endanger yourself and your family.

How do you blend in?

To successfully blend in, you must not have anything that allows you to stand out.

  • Wear neutral colored clothing that matches what people in the area are wearing.
  • Do not have any scents or smells on yourself or your clothes.
  • Avoid jewelry and other accessories that make you stand out.
  • Your demeanor should be mild and unassuming.

The point is to move about unnoticed by anyone.  Learning how to blend in is also a result of being observant of your surroundings.  By observing your surroundings – looking, talking and acting like those in your current environment, you will look like you belong wherever you are.

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  1. Interesting . . makes me think. . . in my area people all pretty much dress the same. . Jeans /jean skirts and basic shirts . . There are flashy people too and rich people ~ both groups stand out!!

    1. Hi Karen, Observing groups of people is a great step! You can really tell what details make people stand out and catch your attention. Thanks for the comment.

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