How Do Predators Pick Their Victims as Targets of Violence Using Body Language EP19

Updated: Sep 22

Your Body Language Affects Your Safety In Public


Predators do not play fair. They choose their victims based on physical condition, preferring young, old, sick or injured, and stalk their prey, using ambush behavior.

How Do Predators Pick Their Victims as Targets of Violence Using Body Language

Human predators are wild animals, they look for weaknesses in the heard. Predatory behavior is associated more with criminal violence such as strong-arm robbery not just random acts of violence. Watch CCTV crime videos and you can see predators choose, target, and stalk victims while bypassing the hoards of potential targets around them.


How do criminals select their victims?

Crimes such as robbery require victim selection. Selection is a necessary step for predators as they first must choose who they are going to attack. We have learned from criminal psychology that predators are able to make instant predictions on who to target for violent crime.

The nail that sticks out gets hammered down

This is a Japanese proverb regarding conformity. If we don't conform we will be the nail that stands out and become the one that often gets hammered on the head! This is quite painful for many (speaking metaphorically). In contrast, you can argue blending in is urban camouflage.

Exploring the predator thinking process allows us into their minds to ask questions on how they choose their targets. Asking the right questions allows you to change yourself from a soft target to a hard target. The following body language variables affect predators' decision-making process.

  1. How you walk tells predators a lot about you. If you're not keeping up with the rate of movement in a crowed, there's a greater chance that you'll stick out in the crowd. These physical signs give the impression that you're not confident or you're distracted.

  2. How you stand - Are you leaning? Do you look unbalanced? Are staggering or wavering?

  3. How you look around - Have you had a few drinks? Do you look lost? Do you look tired?

Do you look like you can defend yourself?

The physical signals you put out into the world will answer these questions and make a difference in whether you're going to be chosen as their victim. These signals tell predators if you have the fortitude and ability to defend yourself. Criminals are selecting targets of opportunity, the easier the better.


Studies have suggested that the way that you move gives some indication to predators, whether you are capable of defending yourself. The way that you move gives an indication of your coordination and your ability to defend yourself. So by judging your rate of movement and strength they can predict whether or not you will fight back

. Spasmodic, twitchy, or shaking movements demonstrate a lack of coordination, which suggests to predators that you are less likely to be coordinated enough and able to stop them from taking what they want.

When your body movement suggests you are uncoordinated, then you are judged as being an easy target. Many predators have intuitive skills for processing and predicting information. It's a form of behavior that looks for weaknesses. The decision-making is automatic with very little thought and is instantaneous.


Understanding what makes you a target for violence by predators is an important part of self-defense. Body language is critical to your self-defense. How you move, walk, and awareness can position yourself as a hard target and decrease the likelihood of being selected.


This is not to say that you should walk around cocky with a rooster chest. Look comfortable in your own skin. look alert, awake, and aware.

Be sware of the physical messages you are sending out to the world. It may be reveling to predators that you are not paying attention or you are distracted by your cell phone. These types of signals would characterize you as a soft or easy target.

If you are elderly or disabled or part of a vulnerable population, you may have a hard time alternating your body language. If that's the case you may want to introduce measures for your own safety.


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