The Gift of Fear

The Gift of Fear

Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence

Book - 1997 | First edition
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Baker & Taylor
A personal security expert and behavioral consultant discusses the dangerous situations individuals may face, explains how to use the power of intuition to identify and avoid danger, and shares advice on restraining orders, self-defense tactics, and more. Reprint.

Blackwell North Amer
True fear is a gift.
Unwarranted fear is a curse.
Learn how to tell the difference.

A date won't take "no" for an answer. The new nanny gives a mother an uneasy feeling. A stranger in a deserted parking lot offers unsolicited help. The threat of violence surrounds us every day. But we can protect ourselves, by learning to trust—and act on—our gut instincts.

In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the nation's leading expert on violent behavior, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger—before it's too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, to act when approached by a stranger...when you should fear someone close to you...what to do if you are being to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls...the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person...and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life.

& Taylor

Explains how to use the power of intuition to identify and avoid danger, and shares advice on restraining orders and self-defense tactics

Publisher: Boston : Little, Brown, [1997]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©1997
ISBN: 9780440508830
Branch Call Number: 362.88 D278g
Characteristics: viii, 334 pages ; 24 cm


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AnnabelleLee27 May 15, 2019

An encouraging and thoughtful examination of fear, danger, and intuition. The first half was the strongest and most convincing while the section on OJ Simpson was puzzling and incomplete as it failed to acknowledge the impact of race and race relations on this highly visible and emotionally charged case. Overall, the author draws from a wide range of experiences to offer many practical tips and presents a wealth of well-organized resources in the appendices.

Apr 24, 2019

This book is geared more towards women. I found it overly wordy and at around 330 pages, it is a long read. I found myself skipping large sections of the book and reviewing chapter headings to see if I would find them useful or not. Not recommended for most readers.

Apr 03, 2019

This is the one book I highly recommend that everyone read. We often teach children to ignore their fears, and honestly, that's a great disservice. Yes, there is no bogeyman under the bed or in the closet, but sometimes children pick up cues in situations that we automatically dismiss without a thought. (and we were conditioned to ignore it!) I'm really surprised that the library system does not have a copy of Protecting the Gift that is by the same author to pair with this book, as both are excellent. There is also a good book called Surviving the Stalker by Linden Gross that is in the system that I recommend as well.

Mar 15, 2019

We often miss cues about someone who could potentially harm us. This book helps us develop what we need from our intuition and just plain common sense to keep us safe-r. I learned a lot from this book.

Aug 06, 2016

This book is so helpful at helping ones to understand violence and how we unintentionaly add to it by glamorizing it.

May 20, 2016

Recommended in Amy Poehler's book.

Mar 10, 2015

Incredible book, I plan on buying my own copy.
Clear writing style.
Author passionate about and experienced in subject matter.
Loved it!
(I gave it four stars rather than five because I am a female firearms instructor and disagree with his feelings on firearms)

rowanquincy Feb 28, 2015

Excellent book full of good advice. I plan on buying my own copy.

Jun 13, 2013

Every young woman should read this book...

Oct 19, 2012

Worthwhile book for everyone to read; it not only helps to deal with people who might be dangerous, but it offers insight and advice on scary co-workers and employees. Some excellent advice on how to recognize the signs of violent or dangerous behavior. Also, very easy to read book full of helpful stories.

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Mar 10, 2015

pg 64: “’No’ is a word that must never be negotiated, because the person who chooses not to hear it is trying to control you.”

Mar 10, 2015

pg 69: “Remember, the nicest guy, the guy with no self-serving agenda whatsoever, the one who wants nothing from you, won’t approach you at all. You are not comparing the man who approaches you to all men, the vast majority of whom have no sinister intent. Instead, you are comparing him to other men who make unsolicited approaches to women alone, or to other men who don’t listen when you say no.”

Mar 10, 2015

pg 58: “We must learn and then teach our children that niceness does not equal goodness. Niceness is a decision, a strategy of social interaction; it is not a character trait. People seeking to control others almost always present the image of a nice person in the beginning. Like rapport building, charm, and the deceptive smile, unsolicited niceness often has a discoverable motive.”

Mar 25, 2012

My childhood wasn't a movie, of course, though it did have chase sequences, fight scenes, shoot-outs, skyjacking, life-and-death suspense, and suicide. The plot didn't make much sense to me as a boy, but it does now.

Mar 25, 2012

We want to believe that with all the possible combinations of human beings and human feelings, predicting violence is as difficult as picking the winning lottery ticket, yet it is usually isn't difficult at all. We want to believe that human violence is somehow beyond our understanding, because as long as it remains a mystery, we have no duty to avoid it, explore it, or anticipate it. We need feel no responsibility for failing to read signals if there are none to read. We can tell ourselves that violence just happens without warning, and usually to others, but in service of these comfortable myths, victims suffer and criminals prosper.


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