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SheridanB 07-12-2007 04:15 PM

Eye Contact and Attacker Psychology
Does anyone have any ideas on the effects of eye contact on attacker psychology in situations in which one would need personal protection?

Some say they will attack when you look away for instance, some say they won't approach you if you make eye contact, and others say that they will approach if you make eye contact because they have an inner instinct that tells them to, there are alot of theories, what are your experiences?

robocop10mm 07-12-2007 06:14 PM

eye contact
We are animals, predators. We have binocular vision to give us depth perception for taking down prey. In the animal kingdom there are predators and there are prey. The predators do not eat the other predators. The criminal element are the worst kind of predators. They are wolves. The wolves do not attack the sheepdogs. They attack the sheep. One of the typical behaviors of the sheep is to look away from the predator, refuse to acknowlege his presense and get into the herd for protection. The wolf can only kill one of us, I hope it is not me.

I have been a cop for nearly 25 years. I have seen my share of wolves. They will make eye contact. When you lock eyes with them you are telling them you are not a sheep, you are not food. You may kill me but, you cannot eat me. Wolves are looking for an easy meal. If you are going to put up a fight they will move on to another flock looking for sheep.

Open your eyes and be a sheepdog.

FALPhil 07-13-2007 12:59 AM

I don't think it matters. You have to understand the criminal mindset. They are strictly looking for targets of opportunity for the most part. Very rarely do street thugs plan a specific encounter. They are the ones that decide whether or not to engage. Whether you make eye contact or not, they are simply waiting for the right opportunity.

allmons 07-13-2007 01:48 AM

robocop10mm is correct
Make eye contact to let them know you are in condition yellow. Predators understand strength - they want to attack the weakest.

I let them know right up front that I am willing to dance - and I have rarely seen a perp who wanted trouble. They want to hit someone fast and hard and get away before they can be caught. Getting into a tussle is a good way to end up in jail - or worse.

Unlike many "tough guys" I've met, most crooks are smart enough to understand that you never know who you are up against - so they pick victims based on instinct. Do you look scared? Will you meet their gaze? Are you wearing clothes that would restrict your movement?

Do you have long hair or a pony tail they can grab and use to control your head? Expensive watches or jewelry that say, "Rob me"?

Or, do you look competent and unafraid? Sturdy shoes and loose clothing that will let you give as good as you get?

Believe me, these guys and gals size you up in an instant. If you look like another predator they automatically seek another victim.

Caveat: if they are on drugs, all bets are off. You will need to be prepared to defend your life.


Spartan 07-13-2007 04:03 AM

eye contact
not to poke fun at a bad situation...but hopefully you are making eye contact, or at least focusing in the general direction, when the time comes to pull the trigger.

Jay 07-13-2007 10:28 AM

.... not being an expert in anything......

I feel like would-be attackers seek anonymity, and surprise. If one meets their gaze ..... not long enough to challenge, but long enough to indicate, " I see you, I know what you look like, and I know you're there." ... I think they'll move on.....

Yes, there's always the exception

Bidah 07-13-2007 09:56 PM

In me and my wifes experience as a citizens, yes it does make a difference. There have been several situations that were avoided because we were paying attention, and we did let them know that we are not an easy target.

allmons 07-14-2007 12:42 AM

On target, bidah!
Once you decide that you are responsible for your own life and safety, you start to pay serious attention to people and situations.

Once you start to observe life in a higher threat level, your eyes will literally be opened! You will be amazed at how many other people are "heads up". Many are LEO or military trained and will meet your eyes without hostility. Some of the alert predators you see will be up to no good.

Much to your dismay, you will find most people are paying no attention at all.
These are all future victims. It is always better to be a predator than to be prey.

Never forget to watch your 6 - and be prepared for action.


FALPhil 07-15-2007 05:56 AM


Originally Posted by allmons (Post 4400)
Make eye contact to let them know you are in condition yellow. Predators understand strength - they want to attack the weakest.
Caveat: if they are on drugs, all bets are off. You will need to be prepared to defend your life.

I must respectfully disagree. I have been studying two phenomenon:

1. Mohammedan militancy, AKA 'jihad', and
2. MS-13.

They are both pretty indiscriminate in their victim selection. MS-13 often uses the same tactic that US police use - overwhelming force. Mohammedans pretty much don't care at all, since their own life has no value except in death. Heck, they attack victims who are locked and loaded. Its almost as if they get 'extra points' if the victim is strong.

Now, granted, encounters with these two groups in the USA are pretty rare right now. But over time, that will change, because the USA has no coherent border control strategy. Also, when the common street thug realizes how successful these two groups can be, the street thugs will begin to emulate them.

Varro 07-15-2007 09:46 PM

Not sure there is a definite answer since I'm sure situations will vary if you're in a dark, Wally*World parking lot or inside a shopping mall.
I've learned through my life-experiences that eye-contact displays a sort of confidence in your demeanor.
As stated earlier, you want to be in the right color-condition when conditions dictate.
But, in brief, I don't think your eye-contact will trigger aggressive action. If anything, you might prevent it...There is a difference between being alert with your eyes and "mad-dogging"....While I'm carrying, I do feel comforting & confident....:)

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