Top Stories

People With Street Smarts Share Their Best 'Street' Tips

People With Street Smarts Share Their Best 'Street' Tips
Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

All knowledge is good knowledge.

Book knowledge and "proper" education are not all the knowledge we need to know.

Street smarts, trusting your gut, understanding human basics... that is all knowledge, that is all power.

Every simple fact can be a powerful tool. Time to start thinking outside the book.

RedditorJamestusk007wanted to hear all about everything it takes to keep going in life, they asked:

"People with street smarts what is your most street tip?"

Street smarts aren't about fighting and hustling, it's about the day to day survival. Lessons sorely lacking in our school systems.


Looking I See You GIF by michael a. salterGiphy

"If you're in an argument with somebody and they get in your face and then look away, there's a good chance they're about to try and knock your head off." ~ personpickerupper


"I'm my experience the first 60 or so seconds of this clip from Atlanta are the most realistic media depiction I've seen of how a real life mugging goes down: The distraction throw is something I've seen irl. Most muggings I've seen the mugger will hit you in the face with as little warning as possible to throw you off balance and make you compliant."

"The rules of the road are 'friendly conversation to enter their personal space, then an explosion of unexpected violence, then take their stuff.' If you've never been mugged you should know there's not usually people going around telling people 'I'm mugging you, give me all your stuff or get hurt.' They're going to hurt you first and then take all your stuff."

"If you are walking alone and someone says something to you you its a good idea to respond politely but do not stop walking. Allowing a stranger to control your actions with only a word is as good as painting 'mark' right on your forehead. If you stop you're vastly increasing the likelihood of getting mugged or worse. If they follow you, start running. Don't worry about your pride, run." ~ 5Volt

Eyes Open

"Keep an eye on their hands. This might sound obvious. But they start telegraphing their intentions way earlier than swinging an arm. Stretching their fingers or balling and unballing their hands are a not so subtle way of telling you they are planning to take a swing and not just talk crap."

"Edit: a couple of people pointed out that they do this behaviour regularly anyway. And yeah that's a thing, I've got a wicked case of PlayStation thumb from my youth and do it a bit too. Don't punch someone just cause you see them do this. It's really just an indicator that something might be up. Not something to act pre-emptively on." ~ Forward-Village1528

Music Problems...

"I was mugged when I was 18. I was stupid and walking around at like 3am with headphones blaring. All I remember is something hit me HARD in the back of the head and I went down. I was small too, about 100lbs. My headphones fell out and I felt these hands searching my torso, as well as someone on top of me."

"I immediately just started screaming at the top of my lungs and writhing and moving around as much as possible. We were in a residential area so someone would've heard me eventually, hopefully. I kept doing that and the person got up, and so did I. That is when I screamed at the guy and started to chase him down the street in flip flops... he ran."

"Probably not the smartest move. Scariest experience ever. I do not do that anymore and I never walk late unless I have too. I am always aware and never stop to talk to anyone either. I learned my lesson... he didn't manage to take anything though." ~ messyemotionalgirl



"Never talk money on public transportation, and never count money in a parking lot." ~ Sn0wpooka

All I'm hearing is truth. Never count money publicly! Why would you even trust the world that way?

You Know

You Know GIFGiphy

"Trust your gut. You see people acting normally your whole life. You know what it looks like. If you see something that makes you uncomfortable, there’s a reason, even if you don’t know what it is yet." ~ Grindler9

'there's no free lunch'

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." ~ Galloping_Scallop

"I hate this saying and 'there's no free lunch.' it might be wise to distrust things that are being pushed on you as free (because why would they care about you using it if they don't get anything in return), but i feel like it's also abused by the very people trying to get something from you. they want you to use their 'free' thing over another thing that actually is free. like libre software vs proprietary freeware, or altruistic help vs a help service." ~ uuuuuuuhburger

These Actors Were Perfectly Cast In Their Roles | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

Sometimes an actor comes along that is able to reach the audience on a deeper level. The actor that immediately comes to mind is Robin Williams. Although it ...


"Act like you're in a hurry and less people will want to bother you." ~ Itsnotaboutthefiat

"Similarly, don't break your stride. If someone comes up to you, don't be rude or aggressive but don't stop walking. If they want to talk they will have to walk next to you. Its a hell of the lot harder to casually get in-front and in the face of someone who who wont stop moving. That said I give this advice as > 6 foot man with a naturally quick stride, so your experience may vary." ~ mad_cheese_hattwe


"If you're walking around a big city and someone walks up to you and asks you your name or is anyway friendly, they're about to try to con you. I was just I'm NYC where the CD scam is prevalent (con artist asks you your name, they your name on their hip hop CD and when you accept the CD they intimidate you to pay for the CD). Just keep walking. Don't even smile at them." ~ TMdownton916


Jimmy Fallon Thumbs Up GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy

"You don't owe anybody anything, including conversation. People who want to take advantage of you will usually start by initiating unsolicited conversation." ~ apatheticnihilist

Look Forward

"The single most effective, simplest suggestion for staying safe on the street. Staring ahead is also good because your peripheral vision sees movement better. You don't catch all the details, but you're ready for everything. Staring ahead also gives you a kind of driven, restless b*tch face that people don't want to mess with. People move out of your way instinctively as well so they're not even mad/don't notice that they acquiesced to you." ~ gray527

Use your Hands

"Also in a really dense crowd, use your hands like knifes and point in the direction you plan to go, it helped immensely when I worked at Disney and had to get through peak day crowds. It gave a good visual queue to anyone around me that I intended to go a specific way. Not too helpful and also awkward feeling to do so in a less crowded place, like a busy-ish store though lol." ~ miuaiga_infinite

Or even just run...

"I dunno if this is street smarts but so many people lack situational awareness. By that I mean they are not being fully aware of their surroundings. Which has been made even worse with phones and headphones.If you sense anything dodgy trust that instinct and do something about it. I’d rather cross the street and look paranoid that get mugged."

"Or even just run. This group of guys were following close behind me when I was walking home from the pub alone. They could have just been walking the same way but as soon as I hit a corner I sprinted a hundred metres or so and didn’t see them again. I don’t care how strong you are you are losing 99% of the time versus 3 people." ~ qt-uwu


funny walk crossing the street GIFGiphy

"Look both ways crossing a one way street... there may always be one idiot." ~ Sanooksboss

"My driving teacher stressed it so much, I still think about him from time to time. I've saved myself at least two major accidents by doing this." ~ Hedgehog_Owl

Be on guard...

"Never underestimate anybody, and I mean both ways, good and bad." ~ Reddit

"It doesn’t matter how big or small they are: crazy is a powerful thing stronger than any muscles. You never mess with crazy and it’s often invisible." ~ Noggin-a-Floggin

One Place

"Never go to a secondary location." ~ Amedeo_Avocadro

"Women especially, if you are grabbed and he says he has a gun or knife, take the chance right there. If you are taken to another place you may be tortured and slowly die anyway." ~ zoomiepaws

"This goes for any time someone tries to force you into a car, building or whatever. If you go where they want the odds of you coming back freaking plummet." ~ MrC99


"Decoy wallet, fam." ~ ZeroKidsThreeMoney

"People were amazed that I had that. I bought a new wallet and kept the old one in my purse. They were different sizes and material so I could easily tell which was which when reaching into my bag. Leave a few dummy credit cards in there (the fake ones they send with applications that have a bogus name on them) and maybe a dollar and coupons."

"Someone tries to mug you and they won't even know there is nothing in there until you are long gone. I worked and went to school in NYC. So I had money stashed on myself in different locations just in case. If my whole purse got stolen at least I have money to get home."

"I'm talking pockets, bra, socks, shoes. Anywhere you can stash enough money to guarantee safe passage home best to put it there. They even sell money belts with a zipper so you can hide money." ~ bunnyrut

Where are You?

"Act like you live wherever you are -- like you know the place. Like you know exactly where you are going. I use a wheelchair and do this whenever I travel. I figure out where I am going before I venture out. If I am lost, I duck into a store or restaurant in order to look at my phone or ask directions. Be focused on the direction you are going and don't act like a freaking tourist."

"Ironically I feel much safer by myself when I can act like this instead of when I'm traveling with some clueless friend or relative who has to stop for pictures every 20 feet. I rarely, if ever, get approached for money or anything when I am by myself. But throw in my dumb aunt Susan and we're brushing off weirdos all day long." ~ on-the-h

Be smart. All kinds of smart. Street smart is essential.

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.

The Weirdest Animal Facts People Know

Reddit user FunChemical3182 asked: 'What is the weirdest animal fact you know?'

Michael Jerrard on Unsplash

People accumulate facts throughout life on a wide variety of subjects.

Some are mundane while others are weird, wild or wonderful.

One subject a lot of people focus on is animals. Most people have a favorite animal that fascinates them that they want to know all about.

Keep reading...Show less

Content Warning: Mental Health, Suicide, Domestic Violence

We all know that we technically can't make anyone else do anything, and we certainly can't "fix" other people. Other people will only change or do something if they choose to; the only person we can really control is ourselves.

But some people really love to try, often to hilarious and terrible results.

Already cringing, Redditor Dapper_Algae6280 asked:

"People who entered a relationship thinking 'I can fix them,' how did that go?"

Time for an Upgrade

"There is a weird thing that happens when you 'fix' someone. They tend to think if you liked them broken, then they deserve better than you now that they are better than they were."

- TheRealLifePotato

"As horrible as it sounds, to have a happy, emotionally healthy relationship you need two happy, emotionally healthy people. If you want to be in that sort of relationship, you need to fix yourself first."

- inactiveuser247

"This right here. After three sh*tty relationships in a row, I realized this is a me problem. I took a few years off from dating to reflect and really learn to see red flags and understand myself so I wouldn't make that mistake again."

- MikoSkyns

No More Spark

"My now ex had PTSD, depression, and a variety of other issues she claimed. After two and a half years of dating (being my first and only relationship), she became more social, less suicidal, and overall happier as a person."

"She decided to cheat on me with someone else due to 'lack of communication' and us 'no longer having a spark". The irony."

"For context, we were 17 at the time, in high school, and I worked full-time hours with initiatives to hang out, which were refused. Red flags everywhere."

- elteragxo

"Your situation is eerily similar to mine, what the f**k?"

"I met a girl with mental and emotional issues and decided to fix them through a healthy relationship. She recovered and found someone else because 'the spark was gone.'"

- Aimlessdrifter8778

Misery Loves Company

"Now we are both broken."

- Brave-Butterscotch76

"The same thing happened to my sister-in-law. She married a very negative and miserable guy while saying 'he will get better' or 'we’re working on it,' and now she’s a very negative and miserable person."

- Moreofyoulessofme

Getting to Watch a Partner Grow

"At first we were only f**king. I don't know if I ever thought I could fix her, but I did fall in love with this beautiful lady with severe anxiety, depression, and trust issues after being in a domestically violent relationship."

"We were f**k buddies for about six months and I got a glimpse of her issues but I still went ahead and asked her to be my girlfriend The heart wants what it wants."

"We dated for a year and a half (two years since meeting), and I actually got to see her at her worst a few times, but I was finally able to get her therapy with a great psychiatrist and treatment, this is when I asked her to move in with me. We've been living together for six years."

"Four years ago, she had the worst breakdown I've seen. She went full-on paranoid, wall-scratching nervous, she was even doubting me and my motives to be there. It was a very difficult week, and she left the house and went to her mom's house in the middle of the night."

"Eventually, her therapist was able to get a hold of her and get her back to her senses. Her doctor then suggested that I also should go to a counselor or at the very least we should do couples therapy so we had strong bases for our relationship and we did."

"I now look back and won't change her for anything in the world, she has grown so much, and she glows right now. I now see her smile and it's glorious. She's achieved a great position too and it's amazing just to see how much happier she looks."

- Spiritual-Narwhal666

Not a Match

"I fixed what I wanted to fix, but that still didn't make us right for each other. In the end, I think she's in a much happier place than she could have been, so I think it was worth the time invested."

"We were wrong for each other, but at least we both came out better positioned to receive the happiness that would come to us later."

- MrWeb20

In Their Nature

"A couple of months into the relationship, I fixed him."

"After some irritation, he stopped peeing on the carpet. Now, my cat still brings mice, but I guess, that's just his nature."

- mobileJay77

The Importance of Boundaries

"I don't know if I would say that I 'fixed' her (and I wasn’t trying to), but I definitely taught my last ex the importance of being able to set boundaries and to stop going out of her way to please people who consistently hurt her."

"Eventually this would lead to us breaking up, but I have no regrets. I have issues of my own that were wearing her down and she did what she had to. Same rules apply. We’re both better off because of it."

- TylerTexas10

Happily Ever After

"She fixed herself and I fixed myself with each other's support, and we are living happily ever after, it seems, with ongoing work on ourselves and our relationship."

- DonPronote

An Uncommon Ending

"I didn’t fix them. But I tried my hardest to be patient and supportive while they fixed themself. Sometimes I was better at support than other times. Sometimes they were better at fixing than other times."

"It ended up being worth the patience. Things have been great with us for years now. I know this isn’t the normal outcome though, and I feel incredibly lucky."

- I_Invented_Frysauce

A Little Help from Our Friends

"Usually I'm the one people try to fix.. I think the repeated attempts definitely helped me. Now my current partner gets to enjoy the previous hard work."

"...I think I just got tired of hurting the people who love me and fixed myself, though."

- addrien

All Their Idea

"You can't fix anyone. You can only fix yourself, but if you really want to try and fix someone, you have to make it seem like it's their idea."

- BuhrZap

A Helping Hand

"I don't think you can fix anyone. You can only help them fix themselves, which is very different."

"If someone is actively trying to fix themselves, and you can actually be the person to support them through it, then it can work, but it could also not work."

"I do think there should be a distinction between the two. I mean, trying to fix someone is a bad idea, but if you like someone and are willing to support them in their journey to fix themselves, it's probably not the worst idea in the world."

- brooksie1131

Lesson Learned

"It went so well that they managed to cure me of the desire to 'fix' anybody."

"I’ll toss you a life preserver if you’re trying to save yourself. But I’m not jumping in the water with anyone so they can drown me on their way out."

"People who need to hit rock bottom in order to better themselves will use you to soften their landing if you let them."

- GlobalPermit5428

Best Friends Forever

"It went well but it didn’t work out."

"So we kind of fixed each other we were both at very weird points in our lives and we only dated for about one and a half years. We didn’t need a romantic partner but we did need a friend in each other."

"We’re both in better places now and the best of friends. We both want each other to be part of our lives just not as lovers."

"All and all, I say we got the best outcomes in our lives."


So Worth the Investment

"He was an Uber driver with only a high school diploma."

"I married him anyways and bankrolled his education because he was fun as f**k to be around, was the smartest person I’ve ever met, and loves me like I’m the only woman on Earth."

"Now, he’s a computer engineer and we are landlords together and have bought investment properties. We are very happy together."

"Partners work together to create success. I think selfish people ask, 'what’s in it for me?' Marriage is about selflessness."

"I’m glad I sacrificed for his education. His mind would be wasted otherwise and he’s a genius."

- BabyElephantWalks

In most of these cases, the situation went poorly after a Redditor tried to change someone, and for good reason. If that person isn't ready or doesn't want to be fixed, it's only going to damage the relationship.

There's also something to be said about unconditional love. If you don't want to date the person exactly as who they are right now, why are you even trying to date them?

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

Guy at the gym
Anastase Maragos/Unsplash

Tough guys put on a facade that indicates to others that they always know what's going on.

But their confidence doesn't always match their intellect, which is probably why they cover their insecurities by walking around and trying to show everyone who's really the boss.

If that's the case, they should keep their mouths shut because not everything that comes out of their mouth needs to be heard.

Yet, it can be amusing to everyone else.

Curious to hear examples of these, Redditor PrototypeShadowBlitz asked:

"Reddit, what is the stupidest thing you've heard from the 'alpha male' community?"

You might find these guys at a bar.

The Dude Must Be Hungry

"Had a run in once with a group of young lads about something in a bar and one of them said we are top of the food chain bro and you will be the prey."

– insertitherenow

"'Whatever, mall ninja" -proper response."

– TheEighthLord

If The Shoe Fits

"That they were an alpha male."

– I_Have_A_Name37654

"The use of 'Alpha Male,' unironically is every indication that you're dealing with a child's understanding of manhood."

– 88Dubs

Brat Pack

"Me and my bros are all alpha males."

– SonOfDadOfSam

"I was skiing one time and rode the lift with a guy that said, 'I don't feel no pain. I live with 5 roommates and none of us feel any pain.' Okay, bud. That's a really interesting coincidence."

– NicPizzaLatte

They sure thrive on making sexist comments.

Contagious Femininity

"A coworker said, 'I don't spend too much time with my girlfriend because I'll become too feminine.'"

– Lazy_Natural6154


– aliebabadegrote

Sexist Categorization

"I have been called a beta for saying that my wife makes more money than I do. She works in a more lucrative field and is more educated than I am, so it makes perfect sense that she makes more than I do."

"So I came back, and this post has really blown up. There's just a few things I want to clarify."

"1- I have only ever been called a beta online."

"2- I work full-time in project management. I have a master's degree. I have a 6 figure salary."

"3- My wife has a PhD and works in finance. She also has a 6 figure salary, it's just a higher salary than my own."

"4- I'm sorry to anyone who might feel as though my original post misled them."

– ExaminationDouble240

It's Teamwork

"A real man would be proud of his wife for achieving success, and not fall for that sort of insecure bullsh*t."

"It's not a contest, that's the real joke here. Good on you for seeing the big picture."

– Mrbeardoesthethings

Do these roles about parenting sound familiar?

Childish Things Are Too Girly

"Real men don't take their kids trick or treating is one that I heard recently."

– constructionguy89

"Related. Guys who brag about not changing diapers, not playing 'girly' games, etc. Essentially guys who brag that their only contribution to fatherhood is money and masculine things like fishing or football. Even then some of them brag about not paying a lot of child support to prove they didn't let the system take advantage of them."

"I can't imagine a life so empty my only accomplishment worth bragging about was being a terrible parent."

– Green7000

This Woman's Work

"I was told that taking care of my kids is woman's work. Apparently it's concerning that I try to spend so much of my free time with them. Oddly enough the meatheads at my grappling club think it's sweet I occasionally have my daughters' hair clips on and nails painted."

– MrFunktasticc

People discussed rules in the bedroom.

Never Submissive

"That a man is turned off when their wife/girlfriend seduces them, because if she wants sex and shows it she is a sl*t, also making the man the submissive one…"

– kamalaophelia

Stifling Emotions

"Not the whole community, but was cuddling with a guy once and could tell he was trying not to get emotional over something that was bothering him. He said, quite literally, 'it's not alpha male behaviour.' I told him that I liked that he showed emotions sometimes, and he looked disgusted by the fact that I pointed it out."

– LambLifts

In high school, a classmate who was on the football team said I was a "sissy" for listening to classical music.

The other classmates laughed at me, which was hardly surprising since all of the guys on our unbeatable football team were considered stars on campus.

This kind of mockery was a typical day for me.

I can laugh at their idiotic comments now but back then, I don't know why I ever let them get under my skin.

Man standing behind large flowers
Quinn Buffing on Unsplash

We've all done things, or in some cases, regularly do things that others might consider weird.

Even so, we often feel no shame or embarrassment and embrace how unusual these habits are, and take our friends teasing or laughing at us for doing so in stride.

Sometimes, however, we might not like to advertise some of our unusual habits or actions and make every effort to keep them a well-guarded secret.

As raised eyebrows are much easier to take than blatant judgment from friends and peers.

Redditor Key_Nectarine_1969 was curious to hear all the weird things people have done which they still keep under lock and key, leading them to ask:

"What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done that you could only tell people anonymously?"

The Devil [Dogs] Is In The Detail...

"All throughout middle school, there was someone who tucked unwrapped Hostess Devil Dogs into the toilet paper dispensers in the bathrooms, so that when you pulled some toilet paper out, the devil dog would fall out into your hand."

"We had to have an assembly about it."

"That person... Was me."- bejeweled_sky

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

"Was drunk at an escape room with coworkers."

"It was an extreme one where you are handcuffed the entire time."

"I decided in my drunken state that it would be bada** to dislocated my thumb and slip off the cuffs like the movies."

"It wasn't."

"We got kicked out, my coworkers were weirded out and I had to go to the hospital."

"I quit a few weeks later."

"White collar wasn't for me."- Grotesque-penguin

The Bread Of Heaven

"Stole over 1,000 wafers from church because I really liked the communion wafers & didn’t know where else to get them."

"I felt really blessed & cursed for a long time."- hALLIEcinate

catholic the exorcist GIFGiphy

Retracing Steps...

"Once I got off the subway in NYC and I was super early for an appointment."

"So I picked a random guy and just followed him on foot for like 30 minutes, pretending I was like a private detective or something."

"Always kept about a half block behind."

"He turned this way and that, and eventually went into a building I had lived in 9 years earlier."

"It was weird, and so was I."- OKsurewhynotyep

Hygeine Be Damned...

"I found a dead rat in a field when i was younger and kissed it bc I wanted to say goodbye."- qeleia

exercise push up GIFGiphy

Bad Decisions Have A Way Of Getting Back To You...

"We got super drunk and ate a ton of spicy food in New Orleans."

"Back at the B&B, the food started to come out the back side."

"I was sitting on the toilet sh*tting bricks of fire."

"At that moment, the booze decided to hang a u-turn."

"The trash can was out of reach and I couldn't risk standing up from the toilet for even 5 seconds."

"The closest receptacle was the bathtub."

"I managed to turn in such a way that I could keep shi*ting in the toilet while projectile vomiting into the tub."

"Both ended up clogged, and there was no plunger."

"I had to call the owner to explain that I had destroyed both their toilet and their tub simultaneously."- HoopOnPoop

Things Best Left To Professionals...

"My partner is weirdly prone to cysts."

"I had to drain a 3 inch cyst on her back (thankfully she had a dr's appt the next week), then multiple other little cysts on her legs and chest."

"I never told her to her face but that first giant cyst literally haunted me, the amount of pus and blood I saw....good heavens."- SleepyBiologist

uruguay spot GIF by sargentoPezGiphy

At Least A Lesson Was Learned...

"When I was walking to school one morning, I saw a kid (7-8 yo?) kicking a dog."

"I ran over & kicked the kid and asked him how it felt."

"He ran off and no one saw."

"Still not sorry."- sneezyailurophile

All Creatures Deserve Love

"I was extremely socially isolated as a child and tried to make friends with the coyotes who lived in the woods by our home."

'I caught one in a snare and fed and kept her."

"I wanted a friend."- letthetreeburn

That's What Friends Are For...

"My wife and her best friend pick me up from a frat party black out drunk."

"Then they helped me take a sh*t on the toilet, wiped my a** and then gave me a shower and put me to bed naked."

"Don’t remember any of it."- nc3100

Party Love GIF by Chris CiminoGiphy

Not The Right Kind Of Manure...

"One time I went outside at like 2AM and put the garden hose nozzle into my butthole and sprayed some water into it, then farted it out onto the lawn."

"Basically gave myself an enema with a garden hose."

"I did this because I was bored."

"My neighbour saw me and told my dad (lived at home at the time)."- WaspsInMyGoatse

A Little Fantasy Now And Then...

"When I was younger I joined an international dating site that I figured was a scam."

"Put a black square as my picture and gave myself a fake name, and then looked through their users."

"And after about 10 minutes I had like a 100 messages."

"Most of them were messages telling me how handsome I was or how these women fell in love with me at first site."

"Now I knew it was a scam but when ever I felt down or got rejected for a while I would pop back on the site and read a few messages."

'Yeah it’s kinda cringy and probably pathetic but it made me feel better."

"I would just turn off that logical part of my brain that knew it was a scam for awhile and just pretend I was this popular and desirable guy."

"And it honestly got me through the day sometimes."- Demonking3343

dating app GIFGiphy

If anyone says they've never done anything they're ashamed, or at the very least less-than-proud of, in all likelihood, they are lying.

Or, more likely, they understandably want to pretend that it never happened.

Which might be a little easier than harboring a secret.