How to Be Confident and Safe when Going Out Alone

Three Methods:Getting ThereHanging Out at Your DestinationGetting Home

Going out by yourself can seem intimidating, even frightening. Many people feel insecure, or unsafe when they go out alone, whether it's on a trip or just to a party. Feeling unsafe can deter you from having a good time, or even stop you from going out at all. So, how do you go out by yourself and feel confident and safe the whole time? Read on to find out.

Method 1
Getting There

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    Tell someone where you are going and how long you plan to stay. This doesn't mean that you're cramping your own style. You're being smart by letting a family member or friend know where - and when - to start looking for you and worrying, if it comes to that. You don't need to provide a GPS tracker, but it's smart to leave a MapQuest or Google map of your planned route for your friend or parent so they know where to look for you if you don't show up. Knowing you have taken these simple precautions can boost your confidence significantly.
    • Before you leave to meet your friends, call or text them to let them know you're on your way so they'll know something is up if you're not there.
    • When you get there, tell your friend or parent that you've made it safely.
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    Make sure your car is in good shape if you're driving. If you're driving somewhere by yourself, you need to make sure that you have a spare tire in case you get a flat tire and that nothing on your dashboard is lit up before you go. You should also have a AAA or other roadside emergency service card with you as well as a charged cell phone. Fill your car up with gas before you leave.
    • Just checking to make sure everything is cool before you get going is a great step to give you peace of mind before you head out.
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    Park your car in a safe location. Before you get out of your car, think about where you have parked. Is it well-lit, easy to see from the street? This is the best place to park if alone. Avoid parking in dark alleys or very far away from the door of your destination. Remember where you parked - this is very important. Mentally map your path to the door of the place you're going, take note of anyone on the street, and gather your things quickly.
    • Upon leaving your car, check carefully that it is locked and you have left nothing enticing (like a laptop bag or an iPad) in plain view. Walk purposefully - do not meander - directly to the door and enter immediately.
    • Lingering on the street is not a good idea, it allows potential attackers to see that you are alone. Keep anyone you noticed out on the street in your mind, and in the corner of your eye, if possible.
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    Walk down a well-lit path when you're on foot. Even if you're in a relatively safe neighborhood -- and especially if you're not -- you should find the most popular, well-lit street. If you're walking down a dark alley, or find yourself in the middle of a dim residential street, you're more likely to get robbed if there's no one around. A well-lit path will make it easier for you to see where you're going and it will keep criminals from coming your way. Here are some other things to do if you're on foot:
    • Don't listen to your head phones or keep checking your text messages. Stay alert.
    • Walk in the opposite direction of the flow of traffic so an abductor is less likely to put you in his car.
    • Know exactly where you're going to leave the house. If you check your phone's map app every few minutes, you'll be making yourself an easy target.
    • If you're out alone in the dark, it's not a good time to stop at an ATM.
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    Learn how to defend yourself. It's important to remember that you do not have to suddenly earn a black belt in karate or carry a knife around with you - but if you're generally confident when you go out alone, knowing that you can take care of yourself can reassure you greatly. Train your senses so you will feel like you can look after yourself - be more observant, so that you will know if something is about to happen.
    • If you travel or live in risky or dangerous areas, learn how to block punches, or think of how to avoid harmful incidents.
    • Developing a more street smart attitude may seem silly, or pointless, but the simple knowledge that you can protect yourself will increase your confidence.

Method 2
Hanging Out at Your Destination

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    Don't share too much personal information with a new acquaintance. Though making new friends is part of the fun of going out, you should avoid giving too much personal information to someone you just met, unless that person has been vouched for -- like if she's the best friend of one of your best friends. But even then, be on the look out. Do not mention that you came alone. Say you are waiting for friends to arrive or someone is picking you up soon.
    • If you meet someone you like, make plans to meet in a coffee shop, at a restaurant, or at an amusement park, rather than giving out your home address or place of work.
    • Don't mention exactly where you live, even in passing.
    • Giving out your cell phone number is okay if you want to. The main idea is that you take time to really know this person and get a feel for the real guy or girl, not just that first impression.
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    Be careful -- but not paranoid. Remember that good people are like sunny days - there are lots of them. Just because you're being careful doesn't mean you need to be afraid that everyone is out there thinking about how to get one over on you. Be prepared - not paranoid. Remembering that there are more sunny days than days when lightning strikes is useful. Lightning is dangerous, maybe deadly - but rare.
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    Let people see you having a good time. If you want to stay safe and not make yourself a target, have a blast, whether you're with girlfriends or by yourself. People will be less likely to take advantage of you if you look like the life of the party instead of hanging out by yourself in the corner. And remember to relax once you're in a safe environment -- you won't have a good time if you don't. Once you've reached your destination, settle in and resolve to have a good time, no matter what.

Method 3
Getting Home

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    Take a taxi home if you're drunk. Remember that there is no designated driver - you're it. Be aware of what you are drinking. Do not leave your drink unattended for any reason. If someone buys you a drink, make sure you watch the bartender pour it. If you suspect your drink has been compromised, do NOT drink it. Don't get drunk! If you do get drunk, don't plan on going home without calling a taxi or relative to collect you.
    • Just a reminder: if you're out completely alone, it's not not a good idea to get too drunk or someone will take advantage of you. But if you're walking out to meet friends, that's okay.
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    Quickly walk back to your car if you can drive home safely. Take a close read of the street and then go straight to your car, then home. Alone. If the guard or bouncer, or a group of other women you have met, offer to walk you to your car, take them up on it. At the very least, let someone know that you're going home now, and ask them to watch you till you get in your car.
    • Take a look around - know who is on the street with you, and if you see an alley between you and your car, walk in the middle of the street if necessary to give yourself plenty of room to move if you need to.
    • Walk purposefully and confidently to your car, and when you get there, have your keys ready and unlock the car as you are taking your last steps toward it. As you approach the car do a quick visual check that nobody is inside of it. Get in, lock the doors immediately, buckle up, start your car and drive away. Don't sit in your car fixing your make-up or fiddling with your iPad or texting someone - get going.


  • People who want to rob or assault others often look for easy targets - nervous types, retiring types, or people just wandering and not really paying attention to their surroundings. Standing tall and walking with purpose makes you look confident - not like an easy target.
  • Or make a fake wallet with a few bills and old cancelled credit/debit cards and throw that instead of your actual wallet.
  • Don't forget to bring your pepper spray. It is legal in most states now, and easy to purchase on sites like eBay. It is available in a size that clips onto your key-chain, too.
  • Think about making an emergency kit for your car. Having some Fix-A-Flat, some motor oil, brake fluid, and automatic transmission fluid (which can also be used as power steering fluid in many cars) can save your whole night.
  • Many assaults, car-jackings, robberies, and homicidal attacks are carried out on women sitting in their cars fumbling with money, make-up, or their radios. Often, the doors are unlocked and the attacker just slides right in. Don't make yourself this kind of target. Instead, have your stuff together, get locked in, buckled up and on your way. You can fiddle with your iPod at the next red light.
  • When the bad guy ask for your wallet, simply take out your wallet and throw away a little bit far from you and at the bad guy blind side, chances are the robber will turn and take a time to get your wallet and use this situation to quickly escape from the scene.
  • Dressing in sexy, provocative attire, or wearing a lot of jewelry may be cool once inside, but before you get to your destination, it's not going to attract the kind of attention you want. Make sure to cover up before you reach your destination and after you leave.
  • Other great items for an emergency kit include an emergency blanket, survival knife with a good-sized blade, windshield smasher, seat belt slicer, hand crank flashlight, and a few light-sticks.


  • Glance into the backseat of your car as you approach it - it's highly unlikely anyone can be inside the locked car, but it'll make you feel more confident when you're alone to KNOW you're alone.
  • Avoid carrying items you cannot afford to lose.
  • Don't space out when you're alone. Remember there is no one to depend upon but yourself. Stay alert and keep your wits about you at all times.
  • If you feel like someone is following you, don't go back to your house. That will let whoever is following you know where you live. Walk to a police station or an area with a lot of potential witnesses if something were to happen.
  • Stairs, elevators, and parking garages should be avoided altogether if you're getting a bad vibe from the neighborhood.
  • Don't count money on the street - that's an invitation to rob you. Stay alert and don't distract yourself while out on the street.

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Categories: Keeping Safe | Self Defense