What are you looking at fool?
The Greyman isn’t just about dressing in a way to blend in (or to not draw attention to yourself as a “prepared person”) – it is also about your mannerisms.
Most cops, cons, spies, CO’s* and martial artists can spot a colleague almost instantly just by the way they carry themselves. But one of the most blaring “I am a cop/military/prepared person” physical indicators a person can have is what I call the “Cop Crazy Eyes”.
Here is a little field trip for you guys: Go to Applebee’s for lunch and get a seat close to and facing the front door. Now watch the eyes of everyone who enters – right when they enter you can spot the off-duty cops and experienced tactical/mil guys and gals less than a second after they walk in by their zig-zagging eyes scanning the room.
The “Cop Crazy Eyes” thing was not only pointed out to me by UC* cops – I have heard several ex-cons say the same thing about spotting plainclothes cops. So you sure as shit don’t want some guy fresh out of the joint to recognize you as a threat, especially if they are just about to knock-over the place.
I has cheeseburger crazy cop eyes
You can still be observant and scan your environment without looking like someone watching a tennis match. Some of the best techniques for this come from the Tradecraft* world.
Most of you have probably seen spy movies like Spy Game where people scan the room by using reflective objects. This is a great way to nonchalantly check out people without burning a hole through them from staring or doing the zig-zagging eyes scanning thing.
You can also use your peripheral vision, this takes a bit of practice to master without giving yourself a headache. One of my favorite peripheral vision techniques I learned from an ex-SEAL I was working on an EP* gig with.
All you do is bend your head down (about at the same angle as if you were looking at your watch) and you will instantly have about 30% more peripheral vision. You can test this by holding your hand out to your side until you can just barely see it – then nod your head down, bam, 30% extra field of view.
By using the above techniques along with just being aware of your eye movements when entering a room you can rid yourself of the Crazy Cop Eyes.
*UC = Undercover
*CO = Correctional Officer
*Tradecraft = Skills used by people in the Intelligence Community
*EP = Executive Protection
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James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns and writing poorly written articles.