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The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence

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Book Overview

As seen on TikTok, protect yourself by learning how to trust -- and act on -- your instincts with the "empowering" (Boston Globe) #1 bestselling guide to personal safety, from security expert Gavin de... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

For all women to read

Will give you valuable feedback with regard to our intuition. This book saves lives. A must on any shelf.

Useful information for humans living near other humans

All I can say is I wish I’d read this when I was a teenager. Would have saved me a lot of messed up encounters with people who clearly exhibited red flags.

I would give this book 100 stars if I could!!!

I greatly benefited from reading this book!!! All women, women advocates, police officers, judges and anyone who has the power to help women who have been victims would benefit from reading this book! I love that he emphasizes throughout the book that no means no and a woman’s no should be listened to and respected. And that no is a complete sentence. This book can help women avoid becoming victims and can help those who have already had the misfortune of being abused. I love his advice! I will be giving this book to my daughters when they are old enough to read it and understand it. I absolutely loved how he said that we need to focus shame on perpetrators and not victims. I love that he is a child advocate and addresses the fact that we need to treat children lovingly and humanely. I am so glad I read this book!!! Parts of this book I especially liked include when he said: “Every human behavior can be explained by what proceeds it, but that does not excuse it, and we must hold abusive men accountable.” Though leaving is the best response to violence, it is in trying to leave that most women get killed. This dispels a dangerous myth about spousal killings: that they happen in the heat of argument. In fact, the majority of husbands who kill their wives stalk them first, and far from the “crime of passion" that it's so often called, killing a wife is usually a decision, not a loss of control. Those men who are the most violent are not at all carried away by fury. In fact, their heart rates actually drop and they become physiologically calmer as they become more violent. Even the phrase ”crime of passion" has contributed to our widespread misunderstanding of this violence. That phrase is not the description of a crime it is the description of an excuse, a defense. Since 75 percent of spousal murders happen after the woman leaves, it is estrangement, not argument, that begets the worst violence. In the end, stalking is not just about cases of "fatal attraction"—far more often, it is about cases of fatal inaction There's a lesson in real-life stalking cases that young women can benefit from learning: Persistence only proves persistence-does not prove love. The fact that a romantic pursuer is relentless doesn't mean you are special--it means he is troubled. Chapter s 10 & 11 are must reads! Page 210 was extremely helpful for me!

Intuition And Empowerment Conquer The Unknown

Gavin de Becker has produced a landmark work in the dual fields of criminal psychology and self defense. I was recommended "The Gift of Fear" by a colleague with experience in law enforcement: he claimed it was the best overall book on self preservation and personal safety he had ever read, and while it is excellent for both sexes, it is especially valuable for women. I purchased the book for a female friend on his recommendation, and I read it as well. The book is detailed, personal, practical, and poignant. The book extols the value of intuition (and resultant fear) as a predictor of potential violent or harmful behavior. Although my original intent in purchasing the book was a concern about violence from outsiders, the area of the book that I believe is most useful (especially to women) is violence from intimate partners. I found the sections on predicting violent behavior from people known to a victim to be the most harrowing yet most practical in the book. One thing that runs as a theme through the book (again, especially useful to women) is that controlling behavior in any relationship is an extremely serious warning. Although most controlling males don't become violent, the likelihood of violence from them is dramatically higher than in a healthy relationship; further, even if the scenarios don't escalate to violence, control issues can manifest themselves in a variety of other awful ways that are only touched on here. In this book de Becker makes the case that intuition is actually reasoned, but it is a function performed so fast in our brains that we are unaware exactly why we have such feelings. I think the book argues persuasively that we ignore such warnings at our own risk and that while we may be more comfortable with reason and logic, intuition is an invaluable ally, as is genuine fear (which is altogether different from worry or anxiety.) Although I bought this book for a very close friend for a very specific reason, I am going to purchase several more copies for other people I love and care about. Rarely do I recommend a self-help book unequivocally, but this is one of those times. Buy this book, read it yourself, and pass it along to people you love. This is a fantastic book, and I wholeheartedly endorse it.

A book that dispells crime prevention myths

Few crime prevention experts emphasize intuition. Instead, they talk about staying alert to crime. Sometimes crime prevention experts generate more fear than they alleviate.Gavin deBecker, on the other hand, makes intuition and freedom from fear the focus of his philosophy. Instead of imagining the bad things that could happen, he says, live without worry of crime. He also says to stop watching the news. It only generates needless worry and gives one a distorted view of the world. I have been teaching these same concepts for years as a black belt in karate, so it was refreshing to read them from someone else. I avoid newspapers and TV news--it only darkens our view of the world. It only makes crime seem worse. Give up news for two weeks and notice how your outlook improves.As a teacher of women's self-defense, I've heard many stories of intuition. Some people call it the "back ground music," because it is like the music that plays in a movie before something bad happens. As deBecker writes, act upon your survival signals (run, search your house in the middle of the night, stay away from an individual, etc.), even if you feel foolish doing so.Shed the fears in your life, because fear clouds the survival signals. Those who live in fear of crime are already victims.Some of the book is difficult to read, such as chapters on child abuse. But the book is still worth it. Buy copies for yourself and friends. If you spend time worrying about crime, this book could change your life.

It's What You Know

I read THE GIFT OF FEAR when it was first released. Since then I've recommended it to friends and acquaintences - a few in direct danger of stalking exes, most worrying about the escalation of violence in our culture.I thank Gavin DeBecker for writing this book. His penchant for awakening intelligent intuition is remarkable. Have you ever put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation because you didn't want to appear rude? (given too much information to a stranger? gotten on an elevator with someone even though you felt uncomfortable)? Has anyone ever thrown you off balance and then taken advantage of your weakness? DeBecker shows how fear sends us trouble calls, and how often, and easily, we ignore the signals. (An added plus, these techniques even work against the tactics of car salespeople!). THE GIFT OF FEAR teaches the reader to listen to intuition and act with confidence. If we can perceive violence on the horizon, we can most easily avoid a confrontation with it. If it takes us by surprise, we can address it without panic. Now, go read the excerpt.
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