What kind of relationship do you have with your intuition? This question might sound foreign to you but think about it for a few minutes. When you have a gut feeling, it is best for you to listen to it. Let’s look at a familiar scenario that most of us have experienced. A good friend invites you to a birthday party celebration downtown at a lounge, and you accept her invitation. Parking near the venue is $25, but you park ten blocks north of the location and save $15. You are enjoying yourself, and after checking your watch, you realize that it is getting late.
A few hours before you decided to exit the party, a gut feeling told you to go with some of your friends that left a few hours earlier because they parked their car at the same underground parking lot. As you leave, your mind starts to think about how far to walk to get to your car and instead of asking a few of the remaining friends to come with you, you leave alone. As you walk outside, you either can walk down a secluded alley to save some time, or wait for a bus for 15 minutes that will take you the ten blocks. Because you’re cold you decide to start going home through the alley, but after a few steps a man with a gun tells you to lay on the floor and takes off with your wallet.
A scary situation, but this is a nightmare moment that you can do your best to avoid if you had taken the necessary steps to put yourself in a safe space.
Start your New Year off right by reading these 15 scary situations that can severely impact your life and learn how to try and avoid them. Worst case, we’ll also talk about what to do if you are caught in them!
15. What To Do If You’re Held For Ransom
Christmas is a time to connect with your family, eat delicious food and relax. As we notice our neighbors putting up Christmas lights around their house, we remember that there is a long list of presents to buy. Your niece might be expecting a new Barbie doll; your mother keeps talking about a fancy ring, and your girlfriend has been eyeing a Coach purse since the summer. You wake up early on a Saturday morning and start to your car to head to the closest mall. As you leave the first store, you see three men with guns wearing ski masks yelling at people to stay in the food court. What is a man to do? The long hours of playing the PS4 video game Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End isn’t going to help because the masked men are huge like Dwayne Johnson.
In no way am I suggesting you avoid shopping malls this season. The truth is criminals holding people at banks and shopping malls for ransom is common around this time of the year. Protect yourself with these tips:
Remember to stay calm and tell the people around you to be calm.
Follow the captor’s instructions and instead of trying to be the hero don’t challenge them.
If you hear shooting, keep your head down.
Be prepared to be in the same place for a period. These criminals are trying to get money or something in return.
14. Accidentally Moving To An Unsafe Country
I must admit, after watching a few episodes of International House Hunters the idea of moving abroad looked exciting. Most of the people in the show move to the place that their parents were born or to a vacation spot that they grew to love. No matter how familiar you are with a new country, make sure you do your homework. Never listen to a travel agent or an employment agency. Most of the time they want to earn a commission for booking your flight. The best way to learn is to pay attention to the travel advisory alerts provide by your local government.
Research the political and cultural news of your country of interest. Become familiar with the surrounding countries or islands and if you know someone that recently lived there, ask them about their experience. Speaking to a travel connoisseur has many benefits, and remember your livelihood is more important than the idea of moving to an exotic place. As the wise man once said, the grass is greener on the other side. You can also make a choice to live half of the year where you currently live and the rest of the year in your new city. This rule also applies to moving to a new location in your country. After all, you deserve to live the life you always wanted.
13. Buying A House That Is Haunted
Wendy Williams has made the joke a few times on her television show that she will never buy a house unless she finds out from a realtor if a person has died in the house. With life comes death; it is a reality that none of us can control. Most salespeople know the history of the previous homeowners if they live in the area or it is a location they have been selling homes in for a long time. The sad reality is that there are realtors that are focused on making a commission and will not tell you about the negative factors about a property. There are times when a home inspection will not give you all the answers that you need to keep your mind at ease after the closing. In some cases, the realtor may not know. It is ultimately your responsibility even if you think your realtor should have your best interest at heart.
If you get a chance to meet the previous owners, ask them if they are familiar with the reason why the previous owners sold the house. Go to a library in the area and find out all you can about the neighborhood. Whether it is your personal vacation or rental property, it is an investment. A horror movie might be fictional, but you will be surprised how many horror films are written based on life events. When you think you are buying the perfect home in a quiet subdivision far away from the city; there might be a deeper reason why the history of the house isn’t openly available to the public.
12. Finding Out Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend Is Married
The two of you caught eyes at a festival, and after getting to know each other, she asks if you want to become exclusive. It has been a long three months, and you already feel like you have known her for your entire life. She met your friends, and your coworkers have told you that she is better than the last person you dated. A year passes and as you reflect on what you thought was an exclusive relationship you are confused about her. She continues to make excuses about giving you her house phone number; you haven’t met her parents, and the out of the country trips that she takes every holiday is starting to make you wonder.
Have you ever found out that the person you are dating is engaged or married? Here are a few things to look out for in the world of dating to avoid being duped:
Your date might not be wearing a wedding ring but if you notice a tan line on the first finger, ask her about her relationship status.
Your partner asks you to meet him miles away from your city.
You never get a chance to go to their place, or they refuse to give you their address.
When you are out with your date and she answers her cell phone she always leaves the room.
He doesn’t introduce you to his friends after months of dating.
11. How To Survive An Earthquake
There is no place on the planet that we can escape to avoid a natural disaster. When mother nature is ready to release itself, all we can do is prepare in advance to protect our homes and find a safe place to prevent injuries or fatalities. There are locations on the planet that frequently have earthquakes and for some, being prepared every single day is a way of life. Most of the earthquakes that take place around the world are close to the Pacific Plates. The Pacific Plates is in the Pacific Ocean near Japan, Philippines, Australia, certain parts of the Caribbean and California. The additional hot spots where earthquakes typically occur are New Zealand, Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, China, and Indonesia. If you are planning to move to any of these countries, have no fear. There are ways for you to keep yourself safe:
Find a table or a desk and hide under it while holding onto the piece of furniture.
Avoid running outside when the floor starts shaking and stay indoors.
Move away from furniture or bookcases where objects can fall on top of you.
Being near a window is unsafe because glass and debris from outside can land on top of you.
If you cannot find a place to stay indoors, drop to the ground as you stay away from trees and power lines.
10. Being A Victim Of Cyber Bullying
Around 56 years ago the internet was a tool only used by the military, but that is far from the case anymore. It is now a regular part of our everyday lives. We all use the internet (and social media in particular) for different reasons, but at the same time, we can use our discretion to avoid being a victim of cyberbullying. Remember that not only do teenagers experience this but adults can too. Here are my tips on how to do this:
Don’t make videos or take pictures that you will later regret. Before you take an uncompromising photo or a video ask yourself, if my friends, family, and neighbors got a hold of this would I be embarrassed? If the answer is yes, press delete. Online pranks may be on the rise but if you’re not ready to share a moment of your life with others be confident in saying no.
Try not to respond to a cyber bully because it will give them the power to continue to ridicule you online if they know that what they are doing hurts you.
Store the evidence of abuse if you decide to report it to the police one day.
Block the person that is giving you a hard time and set up your privacy preferences to protect you.
Don’t become defensive by using cyber bullying tactics for the person to stop bothering you.
9. A House Guest Overstays Their Welcome
At one point of our life, calling a person that we care about for help will happen. It does not necessarily have to be financial assistance; it can include speaking to an older person to get life advice or asking a family members tips on how to raise your children. It can be difficult to tell someone that we care about “No” when they ask us to sleep on the couch or in an extra room until they get their life together.
Picture this scenario. Your house guest tells you they only need three months. Three months turns into six months or a year, and when you can remember the last time you had privacy in your home, you decide to have the conversation with them about their plans. I listed a few ways to help you if you are in this situation:
Make sure that you make time for yourself. You are helping someone with getting back on their feet not becoming their means of entertainment every single minute of the day.
On the day that your house guest is supposed to leave, look busy and politely help them pack their belongings.
Ask a good friend to stay with you a few days before your house guest is leaving. When your friend leaves, kindly make it visible to your guest that it is time for both to leave.
Be tactful and mindful of these examples. The last thing that you want to do is come off rude and ruin your relationship with your house guest, but if they are overstaying their welcome you have the right to your space.
8. Losing Your Identity To An Online Thief
As individuals, our personal identity is everything. Many of us spend most our lives trying to establish credit to get approved for student loans, a mortgage, a credit card, etc. A credit card with a small balance at a retail store or a student credit card is designed to help students establish credit. After you graduate, the credit standing that you built can contribute to purchasing a new house if you get approved for a mortgage. I can continue to describe the benefits of building your credit history, but there is one situation that you want to avoid. That is being a victim of identity theft. There is a misconception that identity theft revolves around credit when in it also includes a thief stealing your full name and social security/insurance number to file taxes or get medical services. Here are a few ways that you can prevent identity theft:
Hide your keypad when typing your password at an ATM or a public computer.
Place a credit freeze on your credit card to stop thieves from stealing your personal information
Ask your local post office to hold your mail if you decide to go on vacation.
Use a firewall with virus-detection software on your computer(s).
Avoid keeping your social security/insurance card in your wallet.
7. How To Avoid Being Stranded While Camping
Your best friend invites you to go camping with mutual friends for the summer. It sounds like a great opportunity because you had a fun time camping last year. The tent is set up; the food is on the grill and the night is still young. The evening before the day of camping your best friend asks if you are interested in finding a cave in an unmarked area that is not available on your hiking map. One side of you wants to say no, but you decide to join the fun and follow the group. As you are on your way to the cave, you tell your friends that you want to take pictures of a beautiful lake that you notice along the way. After you are done your friends are gone and you are stuck in the middle of the woods by yourself.
The likeliness of you getting lost in the bush is small but if you take the wrong route, using S.O.S. strategies might be your last resort. When people are having fun on a camping trip, the last thing that crosses some of their minds is how to protect themselves if faced with an emergency, don’t be caught unprepared. Here are a few pointers to help you on your next camping trip:
Learn more about the area you are camping in by studying landmarks, the terrain, the location of ranger stations and bodies of water.
Go to a ranger station before you begin your trip for information on avalanche warnings or forest fire risks.
6. How Not To Regret Your Entire Life
We have all heard someone older than us say, “If I was young again I would.” At times living the life you’ve dreamed seems easier said than done. The number one tennis player in the world Serena Williams admitted that when she was growing up in Compton, she did everything in her power to avoid being a statistic. What are the chances of a woman born in a ghetto becoming one of the world’s best athletes? You may not be a professional athlete, but you hold the power of creating a life that you deserve. Surround yourself with people that will hold you accountable to your personal goals. Set small goals and after you accomplish them, shoot for the stars and continue to aim higher. Attend personal or financial development events to meet accomplished people that can help you get ahead in life. Although it can be expensive, hire a life coach to figure out ways to improve. If you fail, remember that it means that you left out an important task or a better opportunity awaits.
Living a great life often comes with making sacrifices. Depending on what you want this can mean watching less television every day, going to the gym more often, distancing yourself from negative people or saving more money. One wrong decision in life can have a domino effect in other areas of your life. The helping hand always starts at the end of your arm. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t become who you want to be. Most of the time they are speaking from a place of fear, jealousy or low self-esteem.
5. Being At The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time
Unless you are a Marvel Comic character or have a premonition, the ability to make a different decision than the one that will get you into trouble is unlikely. However, it doesn’t take too much effort to figure someone out by the things that they say, the way they live their life or what matters to them the most.
Paying attention to your surroundings rather than getting caught up at the moment is very helpful. I remember a few years ago I walked into a bank and had a gut feeling that something bad was going to happen. I ignored it, and after 10 minutes of being in the bank, I walked outside and noticed police cars and a crowd of people at a strip plaza across the street. Later that evening, I watched a story on the news that one of the stores in that strip plaza experienced a robbery.
There are many decisions that I could have made on that day. The good news is I am still alive to tell this story but what if the bank I was in had a robbery? The best advice that I can give is when a new person comes into your life, watch them like a hawk. You don’t have to do anything crazy but pay attention to everything. When you go out with your friends, pay attention to exit signs. If you are a single woman, check your municipal laws to confirm if you can use bear spray or pepper spray for protection. People that live alone are encouraged to take self-defense classes. If you work late at night in the office by yourself, ask the security guard on duty to check in every hour or so and ask him to walk you to your car when you are ready to go home.
4. Finding You Have A Roommate From Hell
If you are one of the adventurous people that decided to move away from home to attend a University of your dreams, sharing a dorm room with a roommate was a part of the package. After you graduate, you might realize that there are more benefits to living by yourself. To pay off debt or lower your expenses, the idea of a roommate crosses your mind. After placing a rental space advertisement, conducting interviews with prospective applicants, and reviewing credit reports, you finally found the right person that you feel comfortable with inviting into your home.
People have always told me that you must be careful who you let into your house. When you give someone the key to your place, you are taking a risk. Living with a roommate can be a positive experience, but if you let the wrong person into your home, you might regret it for the rest of your life. The challenging part is it is not always easy to get them out of your home if the situation gets sour. In the first few days of a roommate moving in, sit down and talk about house rules and include loud parties, being neat, overnight visitors and who will be responsible for household bills. If a negative situation happens, sit down and speak to your roommate to see if the both of you can resolve your issues. There are many ways to make money without having a roommate that includes teaching piano lessons from home or reviewing your personal expenses and cutting down on unnecessary expenditures.
3. How To Get Out Of An Avalanche
Winter is finally here, and people are planning to visit Banff in Northern Alberta and Colorado in the United States to take advantage of outdoor activities. If you are a pro at skateboarding, learning how to snowboard or ski will be an easy transition. Plan your trip, pack your luggage and get ready for a weekend of fun with your friends or family. Kick your feet up, warm up the hot chocolate and get your board games out to have a fun time.
Before we get carried away, let’s not forget about the fact the avalanches happen in the spring and winter seasons. All it takes is sliding snow on a mountain and within a few seconds, the tide can reach 80 miles per hour. About 150 people die from avalanches every year. We encourage you not to take this natural disaster lightly. The snow in an avalanche is made up of a combination of rocks, trees, sharp ice, and debris. This snow beast is the aftermath of explosives, snowmobiles, animals or skiers. A popular myth is avalanches happen when people are making loud noises or shouting, but this kind of sound pressure is not enough to cause one.
Sign up for an avalanche safety course and learn all that you can.
Avoid going to side country or back country areas where avalanches have a higher chance of occurring.
Check avalanche forecasts in the area that you plan on visiting.
Remind your guests to bring a shovel, beacon, a compass, and wearable avalanche airbag systems.
2. What To Do If Stranded Out On The Sea
Caribbean cruises and fun boat rides are a good way to relax. Hire a certified boat driver and throw a party on a boat for a reasonable price. Jump on a party cruise and dance the night away for New Year’s Eve. There is no harm in having fun out on the sea. If you believe that statement, you have a lot to learn. As mentioned above in this article, when mother nature wants to stir things up, there is nothing that we can do to stop her. Fishermen get caught in sea traps all the time often stranded without food, drinking water, and a means of communication to call someone for help. Don’t let the sad news stories stop you from getting on a cruise ship. Take these pieces of advice with you on your next trip:
Use a vessel that has a plastic tarpaulin to gather rain drops. After all, rain is mainly fresh water. Drinking seawater can make you feel dehydrated and can make you sick.
At night, look to the stars for answers. Find the Polaris which is a sign of a northerly direction to identify where to travel to get back home.
Use a fishing rod to catch fish to keep you full until you find help.
Swim in an area where coral reefs are not present. Coral reefs are a food source for sharks.
1. You Overshared Online And Were Robbed
You are enjoying life and want to share your accomplishments with the world. The easiest way to do this is by using social media. Your friends encourage you to be more active online. They like your videos on Facebook, and your coworkers motivate you to keep posting more of your personal life. Without trying too hard, you have become a human television box for people to watch, admire and follow.
You tell your neighbors about the new entertainment room that you built in your basement, and people that aren’t close to you heard through the grapevine that you are planning to have an over the top Sweet 16 birthday party for your daughter. The keeping up with the Joneses lifestyle is fun, but when you begin to expose yourself to the public, you are putting you and your family in danger.
The headlines of Kim Kardashian were a surprise to many because we never thought that she would be a robbery victim. We might use social media as a form of entertainment, but her livelihood depends on showing people the most entertaining and private parts of her life. Kevin Hart felt the wrath of reality when he shared too much of his personal life on the internet after a thief entered his house in West Valley and stole clothing, jewelry, and watches.
Leaving a bit to the imagination is better than everyone knowing all your personal business. Rather than posting dates, locations and dollar amounts of your purchases, share fewer details. If a few people begin to disappear from your friend’s list, you will find out who your real friends are.