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The Gift of Fear Kindle Edition
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From the Inside Flap
The baby-sitter you've just hired makes you uneasy--what should you do?
You sense you are being followed --do you confront the stranger...or run?
A fired employee says "You'll be sorry"--should you take him seriously?
A person in the elevator you are about to enter just doesn't look right--do you wait for the next car?
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, including...how to act when approached by a stranger...when you should fear someone close to you...what to do if you are being stalked...how 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. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
From Kirkus Reviews
- ASIN : B0036Z9U2A
- Publisher : Gavin de Becker (January 19, 2010)
- Publication date : January 19, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 490 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 354 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,062 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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When he got in the car, I suddenly felt DANGER radiating at me from the passenger seat. It actually felt like a heat lamp burning my skin, a physical presence I'd never felt before or since. I went to FULL RED ALERT, and was on edge until I got him to his house. I let him out with the car in reverse and my foot ready to stomp the gas. He held his hand out for a shake I didn't feel like, but we're trained to BE POLITE so I took it. This wussy looking guy had a grip like iron. As I left, the danger feeling stopped and I eventually forgot about it.
Fast forward to finding this book. As I read it, that incident came back to mind. I realized he had lied repeatedly and tried to manipulate me, taking advantage of my society-trained compulsion to be "nice" to a pushy stranger. My subconscious noticed all the things I ignored, added them up and decided he was trouble. Bigger trouble than I'd ever met and it made damn sure I paid attention.
And that's exactly what this book teaches you to do. LISTEN to your instincts and OBEY them, don't endanger yourself to "be polite" to someone who makes you nervous. That danger signal may have saved my life, and I'm not an easy target.
I have bought, loaned and given away at least ten copies of this book. Everyone thanks me profusely and passes it on to someone else they care about. Get it for you, get it for a loved one. Get it for the women in your life, who are unfortunately preferred targets for criminals. Ignore the second half, it's all about workplace and profiling. But the first half could save your life, or that of someone you love. BUY IT NOW.
I also greatly appreciate the author's discussion of the origins of fear and how important it has been in allowing mankind to develop. In addition to the twenty years I spent in law enforcement, I am also a Certified Body Language trainer and teach the power of nonverbal communication. As research has shown, what we call women's intuition is in reality the fact that women, on average, are far better at picking up nonverbal cues than men. That "intuition" was absolutely essential for the females of our species to survive in a very hostile world, where they were of slighter stature and needed to quickly detect threats around them. As the primary caregiver to children they also needed to be able to effectively interpret the cues and needs of infants and small children before spoken language.
One interesting study involved showing short film clips with the sound turned off to groups of men and women. Women scored an incredible 87% accuracy in evaluating the situation shown in the video. Afraid guys we only scored 42%. fMRI scans reveal women use 14-16 regions of their brains during communication, while men only 4-6 areas (most women probably would dispute giving us that much credit-:)
In modern society, in the interest of being "polite", we often suppress our natural intuition, our gut feelings. Back in my police career we didn't even have a term called Body Language. We only knew it as "street-smarts". One of my great fears has to do with my beautiful wife's suppression of her natural intuition around strangers, in the interest of being polite and non-judgemental. The nature of my our respective careers requires us to live in a dense urban area, surrounded by all sorts of threats. Dark parking lots, underground garages, elevators and streets filled with street people and drug addicts. While our building is very secure, once you are on the streets it's a whole different ball game. She has terrific intuition when she uses it. She is like a perfectly honed tuning fork when she is willing to trust her intuition, but due to her kind and trusting nature, she often suppresses it in the interest of being all-inclusive and accepting.
Gavin de Becker's loud message to women, Trust your gut, Don't suppress your intuition, Don't worry about hurting some stranger's feelings is a powerful one. It is my hope that my wife and every woman will be willing to read the book, reflect on all the powerful stories in The Gift of Fear, including the author's personal story.
The world has changed a lot in the past 20 years. The dangers or the way we should be using our intuition or protect ourselves have changed and evolved. But this book has not evolved or being updated at all.
Top reviews from other countries
Instead of buying this book and wading through his self-promotion you could just tell yourself "be more alert in dangerous situations and act if you feel threatened" the end result is the same....
Red: ignore what's going on around them until it's too late.
Amber: take some note of what's going on around them but tend to miss obvious warnings. This is most people.
Green: full alert every time they are out of the house, constantly assessing and noting or dismissing potential threats. Unlikely to be caught off guard and will react appropriately to aggression.
This tends to include those trained to a high level in many martial arts, low enforcement, security (if trained thoroughly) and the military. They do not walk along the street with their earbuds turned up to maximum and their expensive phones held up in the air for anyone to snatch.
A highly recommended book.