As with anything in life – there is a physical side, and a mental side.
In Security, the mental capacity applies to a wide variety of aspects.
First – mentally preparing, and planning your day be it an event, close protection, a bar – whatever the case may be. You put yourself in the right mindset. You check the news and talk to the people you’re working for and with to see if there is anything occurring outside of your task that may affect your task so that you can mentally – and obviously physically prepare if need-be. Knowing what you’re getting into for the day is a definite plus. Not just for you, but for your job.
Next on the path of mental well being – staying in a calm state of mind.
It shouldn’t be a secret that in the security industry, you’re going to deal with all sorts of people. Keeping a level head and staying calm are an absolute must.
Staying calm will keep your mind sharper should the situation escalate, and therefore is integral to yourself and perhaps your job entirely.
There are going to be people that aren’t threats, but pose as a threat to themselves and others for reasons such as public intoxication – drinking, drugs. These individuals aren’t themselves. They’re in a volatile state of mind that can rapidly change and deteriorate. Depending on what they’ve consumed and how they react, they may become verbally or physically agressive. Maybe they become a little too friendly and more hands on and other individuals take offence (rightly so). How do we de-escalate this situation and most likely ideally remove them from the scene? Perhaps they have a physical condition that makes it harder for them to get around. If there was a rush, they’d be at risk by not being able to move as quickly as anyone else, and they’d obviously cause a backlog behind them. How do we help to move them so they’re safe and the flow stays continuous?
Then there are the individuals that have clear signs of a mental health issue.
Mental health is quickly rising in awareness. More notably for the types such as depression which may not be as quickly noticed by most people.
For the individuals that you can clearly see that have a health issue, remaining calm and trying to act with a level of understanding and compassion would more likely work in your favour.
By reacting this way, staying positive, and trying to avoid the person any accidental embarrassment, you’re helping to keep a situation calm, and you’re keeping the individual calm and making them feel more respected – which is something they often don’t get a lot of due to their health and society’s typically rough way of handling the people that don’t always fit with whatever is in and happening this week.
Historically, society will brush these people aside and quickly move on. Leaving them behind or even worse, spreading the negative thoughts before they leave them in the dust.
Granted – this doesn’t speak to everyone, but there was a time where if someone didn’t match up, they were put away. A curse that only cause the individual to deteriorate and sometimes self destruct.
By embracing everyone and their challenges, we’re acknowledging them and their differences -whatever they may be, and letting them know its ok. They’re still part of society, they don’t belong in the margins, and they are welcome. Spreading kindness is free and definitely underrated. A lot of people with a history of mental health will definitely appreciate this costless act.
There may be some that react different due to whatever their underlying symptom is, or perhaps they are typically on a medication and they skipped it. In these cases, calling in for professional back up doesn’t make you less of a person. Help is Help.
Then there are the ones where you can’t tell. They are normal people. They look like normal people. They act like normal people. And when I say normal – I mean societies view of a ‘normal’ person. Everyone is their own version of normal and its ok.
But there are people that spread sunshine and laughter wherever they go. They’re helpful and kind and quick to lend a hand.
They smile, they talk to everyone – even the one that society has tossed in the margins. Actually – often especially the ones that are being left out.
Sometimes these are the people to be the most concerned about. They’re giving their all.
They wake up every morning glass half full, and they empty that glass to everyone around and they don’t save a drop for themselves.
At the end of the day, they’re empty. They’re alone. They’re dark.
Most days they go to bed and are ready for the next day so they can start all over. But this becomes exhausting and eventually, they may go to bed and decide that the glass half full isn’t enough. They should first of all be a full glass.
They should be a better person and they’re not helping enough with just a half a glass.
They’re not helping themselves.
They’re depressed and since things aren’t always as they appear, no one asks how they’re doing. No one takes the time to say ‘How are YOU’.
Human’s are great at becoming consistent. We’re all cogs in a machine and we do the same things day in and day out.
When a cog starts to wear down internally, no one notices. Its been plugging away the whole time and it still ‘looks’ fine. And if it looks fine it must be right?
Right or wrong, asking how a person is and truly meaning it often doesn’t take up a lot of your time. Keeping an eye on all the individuals instead of the ones that stand out as immediate threats is integral to humankind – not just your job.
One simple act of kindness or acknowledgment can make the difference between a glass being eternally empty, or getting filled up just enough to make it another day.
In security, our responsibility is to watch people. Interact with them. Pick out the ones that look like they could cause an issue, keep an eye on them. But don’t ignore the ones that look like they’re fine.
Not only could they be a genuine threat to others, but they could be a threat to themselves.
Kindness is free, and in an industry where we work so closely with people, we should be more apt to spread it.
Its a funny thing – kindness. It also tends to be infectious. Being kind to others often comes with the side effect of feeling good. As long as you can keep that glass half full at the end of the day, keep spreading kindness. While at the same time, remember, you can’t give from an empty well. So save some kindness for yourself.
Guest Blogger Rayna Davies
Rayna Davies is a graduate and practitioner of Business Management. She has developed an expertise in blogging, covering subjects like travel, world events and security. Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Protection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details. These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities. She presently assists Sentinel Security in Executive Protection workshops and guest blogging and also assists Gloprosec Preventative Services in Intelligence gathering and Business Administration. Her passions include World travel, having visited every continent. She currently is on maternity leave and providing daily close protection for a baby and a toddler and spending time with her husband who is a Police Officer.