Going about your day without attracting attention can be difficult. Life isn't like the movies and we're not gifted with superhero-like abilities to disappear at will.
But we don't actually need to turn invisible to disappear. There's another technique you can use, and it's something we all can learn. It's the art of blending into your surroundings.
Once mastered, you'll be able to hide in plain sight, without getting noticed by anyone.
Understand basic psychology
The first thing you need to understand about people is that we're wired for efficiency. Our brains have so many inputs coming at us from all directions, we'd be overwhelmed if it didn't start cutting down the information flow for us. That's why we tend to drive the same way to work every day, and have casual comments loaded ready to go. Have you ever been in a situation when a cashier said "Hello" instead of "how are you?" and you responded "fine thanks." Awkward right? But it was an instinctual reaction, that we've been programmed to do.
This is what I'm talking about.
We're conditioned to block out noise, and live our lives based on our perception of it. Buy a house near a train station and I guarantee within a month or two you'll only ever hear the trains if someone points the trains out. Same goes for your house by the beach. Soon you won't even hear the waves anymore. Today, I'm going to teach you how to take advantage of this technique and use it to create a low profile for yourself.
It's also remarkable simple.
Blend into your surroundings
The first step is to ensure you blend in with what people are expecting to see. A businessman in a suit would stand out on a beach, much like you would if you were only wearing a pair of swim trunks on Wall Street.
To blend in, you've got to think ahead, and craft a look that allows you to merge into the crowd you'll be in. Think about everything from the colors to the brands, any accessories, and even your shoes. When you nail this technique and look like the "average" of everyone else in the crowd, you're much less likely to have anyone paying particular attention to you.
Of course, blending in often means you're not able to take your usual weapons with you, as a rifle strapped to the back of a Wall Street banker is probably going to cause a disturbance. In this case, I'd recommend a more easily hidden self-defensive weapon like our StrikeLight tactical torch.
Go with the flows of the crowd
But really blending in does require a little more than clothes. When fitting in with a crowd is your goal, you've got to "follow the crowd" to ensure you're not the one creating a disturbance.
People will notice what's out of place, so be careful when you're wanting to cut through a crowd or need to head in an opposite direction. If you've got to cross the crowd to get to your destination, do it at an angle and as smoothly as you can manage. The trick is to pay attention to what everyone else is doing, and do your best to fit in with the flows.
Walk with a distinct purpose
In addition to not creating a disturbance, another little hack that you can leverage is known as "acting with purpose." And it's a simple technique. All you need to do, is act like you know where you're going. Do this, and people will assume you actually know where you're going.
But that's not even the best part. Once you master walking with a purpose people will actually assume you belong wherever it is you are headed.
This is a fundamental skill, that many trained operatives use to their advantage when they want to get somewhere fast or access a restricted area. Just focus on looking busy, and that you've got something "important" to do and many people will often leave you alone. Especially if you've got a clipboard or a uniform that identifies you as a maintenance worker.
You've got to act natural
Just because you look the part and you're walking with a purpose, it doesn't mean you're safe yet. You've got to act natural. Being skittish with your head on a swivel will make you look suspicious, and will definitely draw unwanted attention your way.
Much like how people say "You smell like a cop," it's actually their demeanor that's given them away (and not their smell). Perhaps it was their posture. How they walk. Their level of confidence. Or even the way they talk. So be careful, and always act natural.
Pay attention to those around you
This final section is geared towards raising your own awareness. Once you start being able to recognize these traits in others you can take advantage of the knowledge to help you blend in.
So go sit at a coffee shop and do some people watching. Using only what you see try to determine where they're from, what they're doing, what training they have, any particular hobbies, or anything else you can determine. Perhaps it was their college jacket that made you assume they were a sophomore, or their haircut that screamed military. These giveaways, also known as tells, can be manipulated, and knowing them will better serve you when you're trying to hide yourself in plain sight, in case you need to use them yourself.
When you want to disappear, the only real way is to blend in with the crowd. Once you're an average face, in an average crowd, doing nothing out of the ordinary, you'll truly blend in, and people won't even give you a second glance. That's how you can become invisible and hide in plain sight.