Do you know the commercial “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” Those two guys are uber polite, “But of course!” (It’s hard not to sound polite with a British accent.) Well, from a personal safety perspective, this is a good example of what not to do.
We are raised to be polite. Please. Thank you. Excuse me. Consequently, bad guys have you right where they want you. They know that people inherently want to help others. So, they’ll ask for the time or directions or where the closest coffee shop is. You pull out your phone (because who wears a watch or carries a map anymore) and while you’re not looking…BAM! Crime!
It’s called a distraction technique. Attackers aren’t necessarily smarter than you, they just play dirty. It’s lame and unfair. But life is un-frigginlutely-fair.
A more relevant example might be Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. If you haven’t read the book or watched the movie…
<<<SPOILER ALERT àSkip down past END SPOILER >>>
The killer asks Mikael to join him inside. And even though Mikael knows he’s the killer, he follows him in there because he doesn’t want to appear rude. Then the killer makes a poignant remark about his incredulity toward how people would rather appear polite than look out for their own safety. So, true!
[For those of you who skipped over the spoiler alert, get with the program already. You’re like the only one who hasn’t read the book. At least watch the movie. I digress…]
Have you ever sat next to someone who smelled like a contestant on Survivor and tortured yourself because you didn’t want the stinky cheese to think you were rude by moving seats? Or maybe let an unfamiliar someone into your dorm building, even though they gave you the heebee-jeebees, because your mom taught you that holding the door is the friendly thing to do? We, as humans, are concerned about what other people think of us. And that can get us into some sticky situations.
Be rude! It’s your life, optimize your experience. So, the answer to “Do you have any grey poupon?” should be “I can’t help you.” And then keep trucking along in your Rolls.Like the saying [sorta] goes, you won’t make a criminal out of a stranger by being rude, but you could deter a bad guy…or at least enjoy the fresh air.