A great many criminals, like the famous literary character, depend upon the kindness of strangers. Human beings have a natural tendency to be friendly to one another, to want others to like them and to go out of their way to help someone in need. The fact remains, however, that one must sometimes be necessarily rude for their own protection. Knowing the difference between being obnoxious and being smart starts with understanding the concept of boundaries.
There’s an old adage about treating strangers with kindness. In general, this is something to be followed. However, the instant one gets a “bad feeling” is the very instant they should dispense with that time-worn advice. A stranger may be a friend one hasn’t met yet or they may be a threat that hasn’t revealed its full scope yet. The stranger at the front door may really just be a salesperson wanting to make a living but, then again, they may be something far more dangerous. Boundaries have to be set early to make sure that those individuals who do present a threat quickly understand that they’re outmatched.
When opening a door to a stranger, always leave the chain engaged. The chain will only stop one or two blows, at most. If there is any trouble or if the stranger attempts to push the door in, one should shoulder their weight against the door and push with their legs to close it and lock it. If the stranger sticks their foot in the door, consider it to your advantage and don’t hesitate to give them a good bruise to mark the occasion. Make certain that there is always a porch light on an that there’s nowhere to hide on the porch. If one has a peephole, be sure there is a blocking shutter so that one cannot look into the house using a peephole-reversing device.
If someone shows up at the house or yard, it is always okay to politely ask them to leave the moment one feels they’ve outstayed their welcome. “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to ask you to leave” is a good start. “I’m calling the police” is the only other statement that should be made and one should be calling the police as they say it. Never negotiate with a pushy individual on one’s own property. If they fail to adhere to basic manners, they’re likely up to something and should be treated as a threat.
A home security system provides a device that requires no electronics to function: signs. If one has a system on their house–and one should, they’re very inexpensive–make certain the alarm company puts signage on the windows and in the yard. The company usually offers this as it gives them advertising space while enhancing security for their client. For anyone looking for a chance to take advantage of the homeowner, it means that someone is always on alert, even if the homeowner happens to be caught unawares.
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