So last night I had dinner with my sister. We stayed out fairly late, and when we walked back to our cars, we walked along a street where there were a small group of men who looked to be up to no good. They fit the typical mugger profile. Hoodies, sitting in front of an office building not doing much of anything. Needless to say they made my SA kick up a notch. That said, not looking for trouble, I continued walking at the pace I was walking at. Did not make eye contact, and did not change my mannerisms to give them the impression that I was concerned.
My sister, however, reacted quite differently. She's been mugged once before, and she immediately picked up her pace and looked visibly nervous about the situation. As we passed, she continued to glance nervously over her shoulder and... From my perspective "showed fear".
Now to be clear, I wasn't ignoring the situation. I knew where they were, I was aware, but the key for me was that I'm of the impression that showing fear in those circumstances can actually bring on an attack, so my goal was to be calm, collected, confident, and not show fear.
Nothing happened, but it struck me how the two of us handled it, and I even mentioned to my sister that she was clearly showing visible fear and that maybe that wasn't a great idea. I wanted to get the forums opinion about whether one should show fear in such a circumstance or try hard to act as if nothing is wrong. Does showing fear.... Visibly accelerating your pace, glancing over your shoulder and so on actually increase the likelihood that an attacker will target you? Do the bad guys smell fear and pick you out as someone who is weak?