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The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD
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"A how-to book that reads like a thriller...provocative...empowering." The Boston Globe
"De Becker has a lot to say about crime and the fear of crime, and he says it persuasively...his blend of empathy, reassurance and common sense wows readers." Newsweek
"Chilling and fascinating." Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine --Reviews
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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.
You will learn about:
"forced teaming"- establishing premature trust based on sharing a predicament.
"charm and niceness" (remember, niceness does not equal goodness.)
"too many details"- When people lie what they say doesn't sound credible to them so they keep talking.
"typecasting"- Involves a slight insult to get the woman to respond by engaging verbally with the crim-pred.
"loan sharking"- (it's hard to tell a creep to eff off when he's done something helpful and now you are indebted to him.)
"discounting of the word NO"- refusal to respect the word no is a signal a crim-pred is trying to control you or refusing to relinquish control.
There is much more detail in this chapter, and I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to recognize these "interviewing techniques" that criminal predators use. Thank you Gavin de Becker for writing such an important and informational book.
I have been reading this book in small pieces, because it is very dense, full of information. It also has interesting stories, and there are enough of them to give weight to his methods and predictions. I feel empowered now, even though this book is 20 years old. My intuition has been awakened, and I will listen.