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How to become truly invisible by behaving like the man in the background.
In the last episode of the Gray Man series, we reviewed what the Gray Man should look like – how to find the local base look, and then use one of the global Gray Man archetype styles like the curious tourist, the emotional student or the bland man. But it’s not enough to just look like the Gray Man. The next step is to behave like you belong, like you are part of the local environment, so you can fade into the background.
Think about it, say you are dressed up as a common bland man, and walk about, but you keep a stiff figure, keep looking nervously left and right, and act jumpy every time someone passes you by – not only will you attract a lot of attention, you might even frighten the locals who may even call the authorities on you. In an active shooter scenario, I call this type of behavior “the hero complex” – the people who try to act at the wrong time, who don’t have the patience to blend into the background, and who are likely to be the assailant’s next target.
Our goal as the Gray Man is to behave like the innocent people running for help, until we are ready and decide to act on our plan to either neutralize the threat or escape the Active Shooter arena.
Important Note: The Gray Man concept is the name depicted for it, but it is directed to both men and women. I sometimes used the masculine form in this post for simplicity sake only.
Click the image below to watch the Gray Man Behavior video:
Just like we learned the importance of determining the norm for our situational awareness, as the Gray Man, we have to notice the culture around us. The local baseline is what everyone around us consider as normal behavior.
For example, in Rome, Italy, when there’s a lot of traffic, it’s considered normal to drive with half of your body outside the car and shout at other cars and people.
In India, it’s common for wild cows to walk the streets, and for some of the locals to wear colorful drape like cloths.
Every place is different, and the codes of conduct are different. You have to be aware of the local culture wherever you go, so you can blend in as much as possible.
The Reticular Activating System (RAS)
The RAS is the part of our brain that helps us regulate our attention – it basically separates the important things from the unimportant things in our everyday lives, basically so we don’t go mad from over stimulation. Its responsible for deciding what is “Foreground” and what is “Background” information.
All of the behaviors discussed here are aimed at keeping us in the background and not triggering other people’s RAS response.
Since our objective is to attract as little attention as possible, here are the basic behavioral guidelines for becoming the Gray Man in every environment:
An “Active Shooter Scenario” is any time someone either threatens to attack or is actively attacking people around you, and can range from a mugger on the street, to a full blown, coordinated terrorist attack. In case you are being attacked, you can refer to the self-defense chapters in the books Prepared and Advanced Preparation. But if the worst happens and you face a single or multiple armed assailants in a crowd, follow these guidelines so not to attract attention to yourself until you are ready to execute your plan (to either neutralize the threat or escape the arena):
If you do not have numbers superiority, i.e. your team is smaller than the assailants’ team, your goal would be to escape. If there is no option to escape, wait for an opportunity to engage each assailant separately, when the other assailants are out of visual and audio range.
If you plan to neutralize the assailant, follow these steps:
If you plan to escape the arena, follow these steps:
In order to behave like the man in the background you’ll need to:
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In the following episode, we’ll review how to mentally prepare for any situation – not only have your tools ready, but know when and how to use them if necessary, while attracting as little attention as possible.The right state of mind will also allow you to stay calm and calculated during any event, which in turn will attract much less attention to yourself.
So, until then – Stay Safe!
Your friend always,