The Gray Man Persona


Note that although I say “him or he” in this article, 
a female is equally adept at achieving this persona if not better at it. 

So why play the Gray man card?  It’s simple security.
IF you don’t form an opinion of a person, if you don’t know anything about them, if they are there but NOT there, 9/10 you’ll leave them alone.

That’s precisely the position you want to be in. 
It allows you to develop your plans, your resources, assemble your survival equipment and train without drawing attention to yourself.
Then, whatever event happens, you’ll probably be left alone and provided you continue as “Mr. or Mrs. Nobody”, you’ll not be bothered.

The gray man persona is the ultimate in camouflage and the hardest role to play.
Exponents of the gray man are extremely difficult to identify simply because you don’t notice them.

They’ll be tactically aware the whole time, fitter than they look, trained to better than competent in a wide range of survival skills yet to look at them they’ll be no different than the next guy or girl.

Neither macho or exhibiting strong personality, they appear without fanfare, and you never actually notice when they leave. If you asked a room full of people what the gray man looked like the common theme would be nondescript.

In dress, they are never bright BUT never overly dour.
They’ll dress to fit the occasion.
If everyone is wearing casual, so will they yet strangely their apparel will not stand out.

In manner, they will come across as private, a little shy, respectful, and polite especially in the presence of authority.
Although they won’t offer to help, but they will quietly aid with everyone else. One among the many.

Difficult to engage in conversation, they come across as an average, pleasant, polite personality.
They offer no new opinions, are never contentious, or argumentative.
Having said that, the individual may be slow and calculated in their answers to the point where you think they are feckless and uninteresting.

Friendships will be restricted to polite acknowledgments. 
It’s unlikely they will give out or take up invitations for meals, coffee, or BBQ.
To you it’ll appear as shyness.
In the worse case they will appear stand offish BUT a true exponent of the gray man will disarm that by their acquiescent neutral behavior and personality.

Note:-
Push too hard and they will just quietly fade into the background.
It would be a mistake to pursue ANY issue as you would have been flagged by them as a hazard.
The harder you push, the further they will withdraw.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are being cowardly or can be pushed round. 
They may just be waiting till they can deal with you on their terms and they probably will provided it does not draw attention to themselves.

The two ages of man will engender different opinions from others even though it will be hard to guess their age by their dress or manner.

The young gray man may appear a bit wimpish, shy, and withdrawn.
He’ll step back from a crowd yet moves forward with little effort.

The older gray man may appear a bit “vacant”, like he’s not all there and might even be a bit unstable in movement.
Not quite hesitant, they can also move forward with no apparent effort.

Both will appear calm and relaxed although they are constantly assessing the risk to their situation, their contact with others, and the location for exit and choke points.
A learned person liked them to ducks. Its a good analogy.
Calm on the surface but paddling furiously under the water.

You’ll not dislike either BUT you’ll not be attracted to them by their personality.

Note:-
Don’t forget couples can be exponents of the gray man persona.
If there are two such persons in a room, individually they may appear unconnected yet their positioning and interest may be on each other in a protective “watching the other guys back” role. 

At work the gray man will arrive comfortably on time, do their days work methodically and without contention.
If people have sick days off, so will they.
If people occasionally work over time, so will he.
Their work record will reflect a solid if unremarkable character.

At play they’ll probably do singular activities.
If they have to share facilities i.e. swimming baths or ranges, they’ll be a creature of habit.
Same procedures, same times, yet not quite.
They’ll always be tucked away from the crowd.
Not noticeably separate, just on the sidelines.
Mostly paying cash “as they go” in preference to setting up accounts. 

What car they drive will be nondescript.
No huge 4×4 or truck unless that is the norm.
The vehicle won’t look new or old BUT it will be well maintained.
If the police stop this vehicle, everything will work, the paperwork will be present and correct, the contents on a cursory search benign.
The driver will be highly respectful of authority and VERY law abiding.
He’ll probably wave to the police.
You may recognize the vehicle eventually but it’ll be driven without contention.
Once again it will be unremarkable, no bumper stickers or noticeable features. 

In transit they’ll be dressed comfortably but “dull”.
No tight tops, loose fitting shirts, a generic top layer i.e. if everyone wears anoraks, so will they.

They won’t be wearing an obvious “vest” or tactical webbing though.
If they are carrying, it won’t be obvious  with either a “small of the back” or ankle holsters.

If the local religion or tradition calls for head gear, it’ll be as everyone else.
Note:- Be cautious of shemaghs though.
Patterns and colours may identify you as being a member or follower of a religion, race, or gang member.

Footwear won’t be tactical, no assault boots, probably pumps, or clean “lived in” work boots.

People acknowledge dirt yet they notice a dirty or VERY clean person.
Having said that, you’ll be neat and probably shaven.
No discernible perfumes or fragrances. If you want to deodorize, wipe down with alcohol as it kills the bacteria that makes the smells and evaporates off without odour.

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