Survival has many facets and one of them is the ability to remain untargeted. Possessing the ability to make your way through any place and appear inconspicuous is a skill that can take you a long way in your quest to survive. When things become more stressful and people are on their guard in all moments, the challenge of staying neutral will be much more difficult. Practicing the gray man concept in personal security could mean the difference between life and death.
What is a Gray Man?
You’ve probably heard of the gray man concept in personal security before and wondered exactly what it referred to. The idea is to be in between, in terms of appearing as someone who there’s no real reason to attack, without looking like a weakling. You don’t want to be a target for potential predators.
The Gray Man concept is essentially the adoption of a mindset that will keep you safe in all situations and allow you to survive. Be careful not to get hung up on the idea of being able to step in and out of situations without being noticed. This is a lofty goal, which is more realistic for trained professionals. You don’t need to worry about whether you are noticed, but rather how people perceive you when they notice you.
The mindset of the everyday Gray Man needs to be that of minding your own business, so that you can seamlessly flow through environments and circumstances, avoiding confrontations and returning back to your base and family.
Tips for Succeeding as a Gray Man
Developing the Gray Man mindset takes some practice, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about it from now. Invest the time to integrate this concept into your identity in order to be protected in survival situations.
Here are some helpful tips for becoming a Gray Man:
- Think Like a Local: the ultimate Gray Man never looks out of place wherever they are. Be sure that you know your surroundings. Adjust your clothing and grooming style to fit in with the norms of the area you find yourself in. If you vary ethnically from the locals, there’s no need to panic. Just take more care to adopt the behavioral customs of the society. In general, focus on appearing comfortable and sure of yourself in any location.
- Strategic Avoidance: you are a single person, and as a Gray Man, the main goal is to remain neutral. Avoid putting yourself in the path of any confrontation, or difficult routes or structures. Always stick to taking safer, well-lit routes, even if they take longer.
- Part of the Crowd: whatever you do, try not to find yourself isolated, as this puts you in a more vulnerable situation. Gravitate toward bright areas with businesses and people. Whenever possible, keep yourself among crowds of people.
- Be Aware of ‘Choke Points’: you are unlikely to be the target of an attack in a highly populated, public area. The places that present the most likelihood of danger are the in-between areas. Think dark roads or alleys. If you find yourself leaving a place at night and needing to catch a taxi down a dark road, wait until another small group of people leaves and walk near them.
- Look All Ways: remember when you were a little kid and you were told to look both ways before crossing the street? When you’re trying to live the Gray Man concept, being hyper-aware of your surroundings is key. You need to be assessing each direction and its potential. Look as far down each turn as possible and think about which direction is the safest route.
- Street Smart: pay attention to what is going on when you first walk out onto any street. It’s easy to leave a building and simply let yourself go into the flow of things, but if you’re not careful, this could cause problems. Read the energy of the street for any signs of trouble and know what you’re walking into.
- Cab Rules: if you need to take a cab, be sure that you have a planned route ready ahead of time. Many cab drivers have routes they prefer to take, but you can ask them to follow your path. If they insist on their route, be sure you’re aware of the roads it takes. Check into the vibe of the cab driver and assess whether they’re trustworthy. If you get an uncomfortable feeling about the driver or the route, you can pretend to be sick and ask to get out of the cab.
Gray Man EDC
Another important part of the Gray Man persona is your everyday carry gear. You need to make sure it is inconspicuous. Investing in a reliable bag that is sufficient for carrying all your EDC gear without standing out is essential.
Think about what you need to carry with you and choose accordingly. Colors like gray, black, or other natural tones are logical as they don’t draw too much attention. If you carry your laptop, invest in a laptop bag with other compartments. Another convenient style is the sling bag, as it’s comfortable and easy to run with if necessary.
Adopting the Gray Man concept is a useful behavioral code for survival. You will be able to avoid being targeted and make your way through situations without trouble. The ultimate Gray Man is one who has integrated the neutral way of living into their character.