Can situational awareness be taken too far? - Page 4

Can situational awareness be taken too far?

This is a discussion on Can situational awareness be taken too far? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; frgood: I agree completely. I do have a counterpoint, though, about how SA can actually enrich your life. I'll give just two examples that are ...

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  1. #46
    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    frgood: I agree completely. I do have a counterpoint, though, about how SA can actually enrich your life. I'll give just two examples that are important to me. When I'm driving, riding my bike or just walking, I'll notice animals like deer, raccoon, groundhogs, snakes, etc. inside the tree-line. Sometimes they are still, sometimes moving. If I'm with someone, I'll point the animal out to whoever I'm with and they still can't see them until the animal moves or I can say something like, "See that big tree? Look just about three feet to the right." I'm never looking for these animals. I just see them, often out of the corner of my eye. If I'm walking my dogs, I often see the animal before my dogs notice them. Not being an outdoors person, I get a kick out of seeing animals in their habitat like that and I feel good that I notice them where others can't.

    Second example, apropos of your family celebration. We hosted a Christmas party at my house once. My teenage niece had gone upstairs to use the bathroom, because the one on the main floor was in use. Those stairs were unusually steep and had a hard wall just a couple of feet in front of them. I was about five feet away from the bottom of the stairs, off to the side, talking to someone. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my niece start to come down the stairs and although she looked like she was doing OK, something just seemed wrong: She was overbalanced forward. I leapt toward the stairs just as she tripped and went tumbling. I was able to block her body with mine and we became a "pile" at the bottom of the floor. There were a lot of people around. No one even noticed anything until it was over. She and I had no doubt I saved her from an injury, possibly serious.

    These are just two examples, there are more. SA has more uses than just SD.
    Renaldow, frgood and Mar2007 like this.
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  2. #47
    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmf552 View Post
    frgood: I agree completely. I do have a counterpoint, though, about how SA can actually enrich your life. I'll give just two examples that are important to me. When I'm driving, riding my bike or just walking, I'll notice animals like deer, raccoon, groundhogs, snakes, etc. inside the tree-line. Sometimes they are still, sometimes moving. If I'm with someone, I'll point the animal out to whoever I'm with and they still can't see them until the animal moves or I can say something like, "See that big tree? Look just about three feet to the right." I'm never looking for these animals. I just see them, often out of the corner of my eye. If I'm walking my dogs, I often see the animal before my dogs notice them. Not being an outdoors person, I get a kick out of seeing animals in their habitat like that and I feel good that I notice them where others can't.

    Second example, apropos of your family celebration. We hosted a Christmas party at my house once. My teenage niece had gone upstairs to use the bathroom, because the one on the main floor was in use. Those stairs were unusually steep and had a hard wall just a couple of feet in front of them. I was about five feet away from the bottom of the stairs, off to the side, talking to someone. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my niece start to come down the stairs and although she looked like she was doing OK, something just seemed wrong: She was overbalanced forward. I leapt toward the stairs just as she tripped and went tumbling. I was able to block her body with mine and we became a "pile" at the bottom of the floor. There were a lot of people around. No one even noticed anything until it was over. She and I had no doubt I saved her from an injury, possibly serious.

    These are just two examples, there are more. SA has more uses than just SD.
    You have excellent peripheral vision.
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  3. #48
    VIP Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    The more people learn about awareness in general and how to incorporate awareness into realistic risk assessment, they begin to stop imagining outlandish, fringe or spectacular scenarios. A person who is overwhelmed by constantly scenario chasing or overly distracted by the process of [awareness] is probably suffering from a lack of training or knowledge. Calm down folks.. life is not a spec op mission and everything isnt some nifty sounding acronym or tactical speak. There are 6 or 7 general domains aka elements of SA.. if a person is interested in SA, they probably need to take the time to take some training in those domains. There are plenty of people parroting information all over the internet but it doesn't really mean they have a clue. Information overload can be one of the primary contributors to awareness failure.. SA training can help identify what to exclude as much as it is what to pay attention to. It all become easy once you realize that 80% of what you were previously paying attention to are the first things you needed to dismiss. I have always consider the concept of SA to be more of a team tactic and not really something to be achieved alone. I strive to pay attention but I don't get all caught up in the mission mindset of the big picture that some call Situational Awareness. My "situation" is likely much larger than I can realistically assess alone, I focus on my own little bubble and simply call that "paying attention". Enjoy life and keep safety considerations within proper perspective.. if you are one of those people who make a big production about always having you back against the wall and always facing the front door.. you have probably been watching too much TV. Relax
    G-man* likes this.
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  5. #49
    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    The more people learn about awareness in general and how to incorporate awareness into realistic risk assessment, they begin to stop imagining outlandish, fringe or spectacular scenarios. A person who is overwhelmed by constantly scenario chasing or overly distracted by the process of [awareness] is probably suffering from a lack of training or knowledge. Calm down folks.. life is not a spec op mission and everything isnt some nifty sounding acronym or tactical speak. There are 6 or 7 general domains aka elements of SA.. if a person is interested in SA, they probably need to take the time to take some training in those domains. There are plenty of people parroting information all over the internet but it doesn't really mean they have a clue. Information overload can be one of the primary contributors to awareness failure.. SA training can help identify what to exclude as much as it is what to pay attention to. It all become easy once you realize that 80% of what you were previously paying attention to are the first things you needed to dismiss. I have always consider the concept of SA to be more of a team tactic and not really something to be achieved alone. I strive to pay attention but I don't get all caught up in the mission mindset of the big picture that some call Situational Awareness. My "situation" is likely much larger than I can realistically assess alone, I focus on my own little bubble and simply call that "paying attention". Enjoy life and keep safety considerations within proper perspective.. if you are one of those people who make a big production about always having you back against the wall and always facing the front door.. you have probably been watching too much TV. Relax
    In counter sniper training, they had us play the KIM game [ Keep In Mind ]. 5 objects on the table, you get 3 minutes to look at the items, then 3 more minutes to write down what you noticed.

    Some people could only remember the 5 items, others could tell you the penny was heads up, while others could tell you the date on it, and even fewer still remembered seeing the mint mark [ and that was one of the 5 items ]. With practice, one can learn to "observe" more than just the general scenario, like the color of their shirts/boots or shoes; approx height/weight/age etc.

  6. #50
    VIP Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    mental acuity training is about fostering a practice of detailed observation, its a 101 introduction to the subject matter. Observation is simply information input...Filtering is discarding the benign and Awareness comes from processing what remains. I do not consider a person more aware simply because they are imputing tons of benign information.

    Here is my list of 6 things which are really a sub category or only (2) domains of awareness but its my automatic go-to method of paying attention.

    1. general knowledge of the venue you occupy. I have lived in the same area and have patroned the same barber, diner, grocery, petrol station for at least 40 years. Every little thing out of the ordinary stands out and this is a substantial aid toward detecting trouble.

    2. Relationships... who is with who, who knows who and what are their relations ( friend, relative, romance, employer, national compatriot etc) Having formed a baseline status of people near you can help you detect what is normal and abnormal within that group

    3. body language and emotional cues ... happy, glad, nervous, mad, despondent, zombieish, sullen, bizarre, manic and those specific body gestures/movements that forecast intent of action

    4. Paralanguage/Meta Language cues.. tones and inflection which relate to emotion , speech disruptions and other stress indications, specific verbal subject matter( what are they talking about)

    5. focus and proximity... what are people focused on and is it normal within this circumstance.. what is happening closet to me

    6. Purpose.. what are people doing in your area? do they seem to have a normal and easily identifiable purpose.
    Last edited by Fizban; April 23rd, 2017 at 07:05 PM.
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  7. #51
    VIP Member Array Kennydale's Avatar
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    A little sidenote: For about thirty years I drove a BIG RIG. I was really good at it. My best friend on the road (Besides the Big Guy Upstairs) was my SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. Even now, having been away from truck driving for five years. I can tell what drivers around me are going to do, even before they know (Ask my wife, she thinks it's uncanny when I predict stupid people and what they do on the road). That level of awareness I hope translates into my EDC.
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  8. #52
    Ex Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frgood View Post
    One thing I have not heard (seen? read?) is a Quality of Life factor. If this activity takes away completely the enjoyment of life (the very thing we're protecting), then our behavior should be modified.
    A few people have:

    Quote Originally Posted by alabamaguy View Post
    On the flip side, situational awareness also caused me to smell more roses along the way, to see not only the potential bad but also the obviously good... like young and old lovers smiling, kids playing, people going about their daily affairs. It has had the unintended but very real and positive impact of opening my eyes to everything, not only the negative.

    I used to live in my own bubble without any surrounding awareness. I missed so much of the world that way.

    Life is a series of days strung together with a beginning and an ending. Living with one's eyes wide open will make it a far more enjoyable, and potentially safer, journey.
    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post

    My suggestion is get a life, enjoy it, have a plan, but don't get caught up in the negative.
    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare View Post
    I live my life and it doesnt revolve around carrying a gun. I dont all the time, it depends on my activities.
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  9. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennydale View Post
    A little sidenote: For about thirty years I drove a BIG RIG. I was really good at it. My best friend on the road (Besides the Big Guy Upstairs) was my SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. Even now, having been away from truck driving for five years. I can tell what drivers around me are going to do, even before they know (Ask my wife, she thinks it's uncanny when I predict stupid people and what they do on the road). That level of awareness I hope translates into my EDC.
    12 years here, same experience with the SA. The Smith System works very well regardless of means of travel.
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  10. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerJ View Post
    How many people, knowing that an out-of-control vehicle could impact your car, sit at stoplights watching the rear-view mirror? You might do it occasionally, but will you be watching when it matters?

    I tend to watch if I'm sitting in the outside lane of a two-turn pattern for cars coming at speed, knowing that it would be easy and catastrophic to be clipped by an inattentive passing driver. Because of this I tend to go to the inner turn lane. There's still some risk, but I think it's less.

    You read of people who think they are being SA aware sitting -inside- their car. But that's foolish. If you -really- needed to be SA you'd step out of the car where you can really view their surroundings.

    FWIW
    It got my wife, my two sons and me out of the path of a big rig who never even slowed down as he blew the stop light on US 23 doing about sixty miles an hour. We were at a dead stop when I saw him coming in my rear view. Honest question--where else are you liable to get clobbered from while sitting at a stoplight? Why would you not look in your rear view as a matter of habit?
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  11. #55
    VIP Member Array Libertywheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    It got my wife, my two sons and me out of the path of a big rig who never even slowed down as he blew the stop light on US 23 doing about sixty miles an hour. We were at a dead stop when I saw him coming in my rear view. Honest question--where else are you liable to get clobbered from while sitting at a stoplight? Why would you not look in your rear view as a matter of habit?
    while driving I am looking around checking behind me and to either side and continues to do so while stopped. I do the same in restaurants, etc. aware but not on high alert. I have been on high alert when it is "go time" and understand there is a difference between aware and alert. Aware is observation: taking in the world around and being aware of things that are strange or out of place as Fizban wonderfully laid it out. alert is seeing something and entering the OODA loop. Living constantly alert is not living well IMO. That's when it becomes hyper-vigilant like Mike has been saying.
    Mike1956 likes this.
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  12. #56
    Distinguished Member Array dben002's Avatar
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    As has been proven many times....bad things can happen anywhere at anytime...and yes one should always be aware of their surroundings but common sense is the rule of the day and night.........We all know where the area's are we have no business in....we all know not to go to out of the way ATM's (at bank or anywhere else late at night or alone)...There is one bank where I live that is set back off the main drag with nothing around it but wooded area and the drive thru ATM is on the side next to the wooded area. It's a great spot to be trapped in your car while using....So be smart, alert and don't go where you have no business going..I also do not go to Gun-Free zones unless I absolutely have no choice like the DMV, Court House, etc..etc...etc.....
    Hipcocked-45

  13. #57
    Ex Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libertywheel View Post
    while driving I am looking around checking behind me and to either side and continues to do so while stopped. I do the same in restaurants, etc. aware but not on high alert. I have been on high alert when it is "go time" and understand there is a difference between aware and alert. Aware is observation: taking in the world around and being aware of things that are strange or out of place as Fizban wonderfully laid it out. alert is seeing something and entering the OODA loop. Living constantly alert is not living well IMO. That's when it becomes hyper-vigilant like Mike has been saying.
    Esp. if I'm alone, I always do that stuff. In airports, traffic, waiting for someone at a restaurant, in line at a store...When I'm bored it's a good way to occupy my mind...examining people, exits, cover, imagining scenarios, etc. Good practice but not stressful.
    CommonCents likes this.

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