Girls Night Out – Wrong Woman™ Style

Girls Night Out – Wrong Woman™ Style


When my “over caffeinated, highly stressed, checklist dictated, self employed, single mom “ world has taken me to the brink of craziness, I can think of few things that I treasure more than meeting some of my closest girlfriends for some downtime at our neighborhood pub. After all, it can be a refreshing “recharge” to share a few laughs with some of my closest friends after a long week of constant responsibility. 

 Just this morning I ran into a good friend at Starbucks who made a point to express that she is ready for “Girls Night!” Translation? Her “over caffeinated, highly stressed, checklist dictated, parent and professional” world  has apparently taken her to a breaking point where only the relaxed and fun presence of friends will help.

SO, why write about this in the Wrong Woman™ Power Play? Well – simple. The women who tend to enjoy “Girls Night” with friends can very often be described as confident, 25 years+ , professional, educated, intelligent and personable. With a specific level of success in their world, many of them (myself included!) tend to forget that, in the midst of their secure, established, and successful lifestyles, somebody could be sizing them up as a potential victim. It isn’t a large stretch to make the connection. If someone wants to prey on women, what better place to study their behaviors and/or habits than a social setting where the women are relaxed, unsuspecting, and jovial? Girls Night – especially an established one – is a prime opportunity for someone who has bad intentions to make a connection under the guise of “just happened to bump into one another”.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I will continue to go and have fun with my “sisters.” While doing so, however, there are a few rules that I live by and I want to pass them on to my readers!  This is my “Girls Night Out” Safety Code:

 Don’t use Social Media Locators & Social Media outlets to Announce Specific Details.

I cringe when I read my Facebook newsfeed. I cannot count the times that I have read an over detailed status update and wanted to contact someone and say, “Do you know how dangerous that is!?” For example, it is fine to say “Fun with the girls tonight!”. It is reckless to post “Just us girls heading to Fado’s at 9:00 PM! Pour the wine ladies!” (Yes, that is an actual FB update). Couple this with the popular use of locators such as Google Latitude and the potential for someone to follow your every move increases substantially.

Mix It up! Use Varying Locations!

 Be unpredictable! Check out different restaurants or pubs on different days of the week! No need to go to the same place every 2nd and 4th Thursday evening of the month! Keeping it fresh will help keep you safe.

Watch the Alcohol Intake….and Watch the Alcohol.

While it is an opportunity to relax with friends, remember that your judgment will be altered with the addition of any amount of alcohol. Sure, enjoy a bit – but keep it reasonable and know your limit. Most importantly, when consuming drinks anywhere, ALWAYS keep your eye on the drink itself. Though the chance is small that someone could slip something into your drink, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that it has happened.  While friends may be at the table and could keep an eye on it, my advice is to take it with you if you need to step away from the table. Just think of it as Pub Luggage. Where you go, it goes.

Walk in Like You Own The Place!
As silly as it seems, when you walk into the location that you are meeting your friends, do so with strength and confidence. When you enter, pause for a moment and look at those that are there. Scan the building. Identify exits, look at the patrons. Remember, being the Wrong Woman™ begins with the manner in which you carry yourself. Once you are comfortable, pick a seat with your back to the wall, allowing you continual observation of other folks who are in the building as well.

Single Ladies, Learn to Vet with Social Safety Nets

For our single gals enjoying a fun night on the town, it is fair to assume that you may want to have conversations with individuals that are of interest to you. Understandable! There are a few easy steps that you can take to ensure your safety at any point when you are meeting new people.

The easiest step to take  utilizes a theory I refer to as the Social Safety Net. If you are having a conversation with anyone that you do not know, attempt to vet them through your social safety net. By asking a few questions, you can easily discover any connections that they may have to your world already.If they do have a connection,  ask your source for more info. Think of your inquiry as a safety net for feedback.  Be leery of the  individual who has no connection whatsoever and, yet,  suddenly “shows up” and attempts to strike up a conversation.  Remember, many predators are highly intelligent and can easily make it appear as though you have many “coincidental connections.” In the event they have no connection to your world at all but you would still like to continue a conversation with them , just proceed with caution. If you can’t access a safety net reference, think of it as a huge yellow warning light reminding you to be  especially cautious of the information you provide. And, THAT, brings us to number six!

Stop the TMI Overload!

 Never give out your phone number, email, full name, or where you are employed to someone you are not highly familiar with. Even as I type that, part of me questions why I need to? Doesn’t everyone know that already? Well, no. I sat and watched an incredibly successful and intelligent friend of mine pour out details of her life to a stranger last week. By the end of the conversation, he knew where she worked, lived, her relationship status, and even connected with her on Facebook while we were sitting right there. By evenings end,  he had her phone number. When I inquired about her willingness to pour out personal info, her reply was that she thought he was handsome and harmless. If you are interested in someone and don’t have a safety net connection to them, then get their details. If they are worth their weight, they will never question why you were unwilling to give them yours.

Get Your Keys Out and Put Your Cell Phone Away Before You Leave.

So easy! Just be observant and aware when exiting the building. Put your cell phone away for the 60 seconds it takes to walk to your vehicle. Have your keys in hand, items secured, and above all else…know where you parked. ALWAYS leave with a friend.

Pay Attention to Vehicles Around You as You Exit

As you pull out of the parking lot, pay attention to any car that pulls out simultaneously. I pay special attention to vehicles behind me as I pull into my neighborhood. If another car makes a similar turn, I usually go a different route until they drop off. Remember, while you may not have  intended to pick someone up at the pub, they may have decided to pick YOU up. Don’t lead them to your home.

Easy on the Details…

Was it a fun night? Good pictures, good times? Excellent! Share them on Facebook or Twitter – or wherever you like! Just go easy on the details and don’t discuss future  plans. (example of what NOT to do: “Great time girls! Can’t wait to do it again next week! Same time, same place!”)

So, go, enjoy your sister time! Remember that choosing to be the Wrong Woman™ begins by preparing before you go out, paying attention during the evening, and then being cautious on your way home. Make sure your Girls Night Out is full of safe, and uninterrupted, fun!

When someone is looking for their next victim, make sure YOU are the Wrong Woman™!

Comments

  1. julieloeffler says:

    While I may agree with you that some of this information may seem elemental, in this day and age there can NEVER be enough reminders. I’ll admit that I’m not the best at using social media, but when I ‘pop’ on ever now and then I’m amazed at what information is freely given. What’s more, I think the younger generations are oblivious to the dangers online. Couple that with constant texting and calling, I think you’re dead on! I really like the overall message of AWARENESS. So much can be avoided if we’re only aware of our surroundings. Thank you!

  2. Great post Kelly!!

  3. Thank you Julie! You are right. While some of it is very basic, even the simple things can be overlooked in the midst of our busy lives! By the way, I am looking forward to having you in the class next weekend!!!

  4. Thank You Peggy! I am sending you a personal email so that we can connect!

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