The Gift of Fear
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Each hour, 75 women are raped in the United States, and every few seconds, a woman is beaten. Each day, 400 Americans suffer shooting injuries, and another 1,100 face criminals armed with guns. Author Gavin de Becker says victims of violent behavior usually feel a sense of fear before any threat or violence takes place. They may distrust the fear, or it may impel them to some action that saves their lives. A leading expert on predicting violent behavior, de Becker believes we can all learn to recognize these signals of the "universal code of violence," and use them as tools to help us survive. The book teaches how to identify the warning signals of a potential attacker and recommends strategies for dealing with the problem before it becomes life threatening. The case studies are gripping and suspenseful, and include tactics for dealing with similar situations.

People don't just "snap" and become violent, says de Becker, whose clients include federal government agencies, celebrities, police departments, and shelters for battered women. "There is a process as observable, and often as predictable, as water coming to a boil." Learning to predict violence is the cornerstone to preventing it. De Becker is a master of the psychology of violence, and his advice may save your life. --Joan Price

True fear is often a signal that can save your life. Are you listening?


  • 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.

Customer Reviews:

  • The gift that keeps on giving!
    If Gavin De Becker is right, the rotten kids in my neighborhood will someday realize I'm the most generous MF they'll ever know....more info
  • Highly Recommended!
    This book is a must have for your daughters, mothers, gf's, and anyone you want kept safe!...more info
  • The Single Most Important Book You Will Ever Read
    First of all, I must tell you I have read this book twice, but my daughter has read it 7, yes seven, times. She has worn it out and I have replaced it 4 times. She can quote most of it directly and is now one of the most forthright and aware people I know. I have bought 11 copies of this book. 4 for her and one for my other daughter and one for each of my daughters-in-law and for my 2 best friends. Of course I have 2 myself. I honestly believe it is a MUST READ for every woman, mother, and daughter. There is not a woman (or man for that matter) that would not benifit from this book. Even if that benifit is just being more aware of your surroundings. That alone, could avoid a possible confrontation or worse. Besides the copies I have personally purchased, I can't begin to tell you how many women I have encouraged to read this book. After reading it, every one of them reported feeling safer and some acknowledged an experience, in which they believe, information gleaned from this reading helped them avert a potentially risky and/or dangerous situation. Please, please buy it, check it out at the library or borrow it from a friend, but read it (at least once). It can't hurt and it could "save your life"....more info
  • Best Book I've Ever Read
    I'm fifteen years old. I'm probably one of the youngest readers of The Gift of Fear, but Gavin de Becker's words empowered me just as much as they did the next person. I loved the book. It made me realize that I have to stop ignoring my body, my intuition. If you haven't read this book, go out and get it! It will teach you so many things. This book should be required reading in high school, especially in girl's "health" classes. It is a practical, although at times scary, outline of the threats that can be around us. The layout is particularly good in that each chapter is a different specific threat. Too bad we live in a world like this, but this book can give one an edge. The real life anecdotes blew me away. The account of the murdered woman who had reportedly suffered violence at the hands of the defendant for a long while. The calls to police, filing battery charges, lady killed by stabbing, defendant had a dream about killing her, his lawyers claiming it was drug dealers that committed murder. Sound familiar? DeBecker reveals that this true story happened six months before the famous "white Bronco" television event in a neighborhood thousands of miles from Brentwood. This book is too good NOT to read. Ever since a couple of years ago, I knew I wanted to help people. I'm the person my friends come to when they have a conflict, I like giving advice and solving people's dilemmas. There was one problem: I didn't heed my own advice. I didn't listen to myself many times because I could picture people saying, "Oh, that's a silly suspicion." Fortunately, I have never been in a situation in which I deeply regret ignoring my intuition, but after reading The Gift of Fear I have learned how to listen to myself. I also baby-sit. The other day I was holding one of the children, and he pointed to one of his brother's friends and whispered to me, "I'm scared of him." I thought for a moment and replied, "Well, you know what? That's OK." I told him that if he's ever afraid, he should leave where that person is and go find Mommy, or me, or someone he knows and doesn't feel afraid. I was proud that he listened to his intuition, but I think I was more proud of my response. I was totally psyched that I had reinforced something he needs to survive. My point is that The Gift of Fear taught me how to use my gift of intuition and my gift of fear. Read the book because you will learn from it; you will use the tactics everyday. Gavin de Becker does an excellent job of sharing his experience in dealing with topics of understanding threats, predicting violence, workplace violence, stalking, domestic violence, and more. This book will shed new light in an area of our society where unwanted pursuits and violent behavior seem to be a part of our every day existence. Best of all, you will become more comfortable with every day life and you will use the wonderful treasures Mother Nature has given you because it was instilled in you by Gavin de Becker. ...more info
  • Important for ANYONE and EVERYONE to Read!!!!
    This book could save your life.
    It's very basic - go with your gut. Trust your instincts. Learn to listen to the danger signals your body gives you.

    I am a real estate agent, and as such, find myself meeting with strangers often. Most of the time there is nothing unusual. However, a few times, I have gotten "a feeling" about someone. Something mildly inappropriate in an email, a strange phone conversation. These are the times my "spidey sense" kicks in and makes me a little wary.

    I had such a feeling recently. Was going to be with a customer in a remote area, without many people around, and no cell signal. Even though I had never met him in person, he gave me strange feelings. It could be that he was perfectly harmless - but my gut was telling me "Do Not Go Alone."

    So, I brought someone else with me. I was glad that I was not alone - because my feelings didn't change after meeting the person. Did it save my life? Who knows? All I know is that I am here to tell the story.

    Read this book. Listen to it - and listen to your gut. Do not brush off feelings of nervousness or wariness as "only your imagination." It could very well be a matter of life, and death.

    Be smart. Do not put yourself at risk. Perhaps the girl in the Boston hotel would be alive had she not been all alone and advertising her services on Craigslist....more info
  • A "Must Read" for Every Woman!
    This book provides appropriate self-protection strategies by helping people to tune-in to, and trust, their intuitive assessments of potentially dangerous situations. The author provides a contextual structure for his thesis that includes context and logic. An excellent 'self-help' publication.
    Marion Clark,
    Australia.The Gift of Fear...more info
  • Gift of Fear
    A must read for every women. Never live in fear again by learning to trust your inner instinct.The Gift of Fear...more info
  • Listening to your inner voice.
    Every human being has the ability to sense fear exactly in the same way as the other animals. We have civilized ourselves to the point of negating that ability and it has cost many lives in the process. Gavin de Becker has provided us with an awareness of the necessity to re-awaken the "gift". This book should be THE "gift" of choice to all those we love and seek to protect. I should know because it happened to me. I did not know why I was afraid of a man who was coming up my walk and whom I could see through a window that ran alongside my front door. He was "ordinary" looking but I asked the friend, with whom I was having a telephone conversation at the time, to stay on the line while I went to the door. I was tense and apprehensive. The man was asking for directions and I answered through the closed door. Something in his manner and words was amiss. He became very insistent that I open the door but I would not give in. Finally he went away, visibly angry with me, and tried the same tactic at the home of a neighbour around the bend. She had a chain installed on her door and when she refused to open the door to him, he drew a knife and tried to break the chain. My neighbour managed to slam the door shut and called the police. I repeat, he look ordinary, was casually and appropriately dressed, was slight of stature, but sent out a message that my inner voice picked up and transmitted to me as saying, "something is not right about that guy". This did not happen in the inner city; it was in a quiet suburban neighbourhood, in broad daylight, and took place some years ago when this sort of incident was relatively rare. I listened; I was unharmed; and I'm here to tell you how important that awareness was and is.
    The copy of this book was purchased and sent to my daughter and my granddaughter so that they would develop a heightened sensitivity and perception of fear when such a signal presents itself.
    Lila Pascal
    Montreal, QC Canada...more info
  • Spectacular Practical Application for Intuition Training
    It's unfortunate that the word "fear" dominates the title of the book which is a whole lot more about recognizing and enhancing intuition and safety. I recommend this in my intuition workshops. It's a great book!

    ...more info
  • Instructive and Interesting
    Both men and women should read this book, and any woman who has ever been stalked should take notes so that she can minimize the risk that it will happen again.

    The author shows us exactly how a stalker approaches and starts to control his victim. You'll learn how to identify the signs and trust your warning bells.

    Another writer recommended the book to me, and I'm glad she did, not only because it helps me to deepen my characters, but also because it helps me to help other women.

    This is not to say that the book is addressed solely to women. Far from it. Men will benefit from its analysis of trained intuition and may learn to trust their own.

    Highly recommended reading....more info
  • Fantastic content and presentation
    It's obvious that De Becker has exceptional intelligence and excels at whatever he does, simply from the skill with which he wrote this book. I especially like how he didn't mince words, led clearly from the topic of one chapter to another, and repeated over and over in different ways the central concepts of his book.

    I do agree with previous reviewers' criticisms, such as his dubious statistics, his peculiarly nameless name-dropping (a famous film and recording star who was not only his client but a dear friend..?), and somewhat critical stance on guns. But come on people. Gavin de Becker is not going to take away your right to bear arms.

    But the main premise of this book, listen to that intuitive fear signal and don't say, 'oh it's probably nothing,' is fantastic. Also, why have I never seen the main elements of a con drawn out so clearly? Forced teaming, too many details, charm, etc... this was very valuable to me, as was the opportunity to understand acts of violence from a point of view of prevention instead of the insane point of view that the news media takes. Also I loved his criticism of the media, concrete evidence of how ridiculous most news stories are, and suggestion that we all take a break from the evening news. I've been taking that break for about 10 years now. Thanks Mr. De Becker!...more info
  • Illuminating study.
    I enjoyed most DeBecker's elaboration on events that cause a lot of people to react by saying, "He must be crazy," or, "There is no way we could have seen that coming." There are pre-incident indicators for most of these events, people simply choose to ignore them for one reason or another.

    I also see parallels with the current war on Islamists. Our President's persistent argument that we're facing "evildoers" while ignoring their motivations and not even attempting to understand them is exactly what most people do when faced with every day threats of the kind discussed in this book....more info
  • Some Relevant Information
    As a young child, Gavin De Becker lived in a household of violence. As a result, he developed keen observation skills to help him decide what the best course of action would be when a situation began to look out of control. As an adult, he has been able to study cases of violence and further hone his techniques. In this book, he gives some logical advice about avoiding violence, backed up by numerous anecdotes.

    I liked the reminder that we should all be aware of our intuition. If something feels wrong, there is probably a reason, and we shouldn't ignore these feelings. I think that it's always useful to have a reminder to be aware of our environment and the people in it, and it's also good to have a reminder that certain horrific scenarios, such as random kidnapping, are much less likely than the media would have us believe.

    However, much of this book simply wasn't relevant to my life. As a series of anecdotes about the rich and famous, or a "day in the life" memoir of a security expert, it was very interesting. As a book that would help me in specific situations I may encounter, it wasn't as helpful as I would have hoped. A fairly small group of people will be called upon to screen someone for employment, or to fire that person when things go badly. An even smaller pool of people will ever be famous and find themselves stalked by a fan, or a victim of blackmail attempts.

    The author's life is colorful; there is no denying that. His work is fascinating and useful, but much of it simply isn't useful to ME....more info
  • One of the Most Insightful Read
    Gavin De Becker's "The Gift of Fear" is one of the MOST IMPORTANT books that I have ever read as it provides a great deal of information and invaluable insights. This is the book that gives detailed information about the "gut feelings" or red flags that one experienced but ignored. By being aware of these "gut feelings" and act on them, we would be much better protected than ignoring them where we would be exposed to unspeakable dangers.

    Violence can be predicted and avoided. This book gave so many examples and instances as well insights for the reader to be better aware of fears and of the difference between real fear and unwarranted anxiety.

    With roughly 430 pages and 16 chapters (including an epilogue), "The Gift of Fear" is very informative yet insightful read. With my humble opinion, I would strongly recommend this book....more info
  • The Gift of Fear
    My Mom & Dad purchased copies of this book for themselves and for each of their children after hearing about it on Oprah. I am presently reading it and have found it very interesting. The author gives specific examples, using the names and stories of real people, who were victimized because they did not listen to their "gut feelings". By recreating the scenes in their minds, the author helps the victims scrutinize and pinpoint the things to which they should have paid closer attention. These "sub-conscious" red flags are then shared with the reader. ...more info
  • Anger is a Gift, Too
    I liked this book a lot, not just because of the author's insights, but because it confronts and distinguishes between fear, anxiety, worry, perception, and gut instinct. All are important, but anxiety and worry are destructive. This book tells how to unshackle yourself from these destructive behaviors, and how to harness the constructive gifts of fear, perception, and instinct.

    As a woman who has taken a whole lot of self defense classes (both psychololgically and physically based), I can tell you one thing they all share with this book: Don't act like a victim. If you act cowed- walking with head down, hood up, and keys out- you look like a good target. Predators attack those that appear weak. This book explains how regain confidence by listening to yourself, which in turn becomes a doubly protective mechanism.

    In closing, I read through the one star reviews, and they all seem to have an axe to grind because DeBecker doesn't advocate owning a gun as a means of protection. While I don't think this makes the author anti-gun, I do think it's important for people like me, who are NOT comfortable owning a gun, to have resources other than, "buy a handgun and learn to shoot it". That, after all, would make an awfully short and (for me at least) unuseful book. ...more info
  • Great Read! Well Done!
    The author did an outstanding job of keeping it interesting. It was published in the mid 90's so some of the "contemporary" events and people listed are slightly dated. However, the message is timeless. I work the streets in law enforcement and experience 1st hand what the author is writing on. Highly recommend it. It will become part of my "suggested reading" list for basic police cadets where I teach....more info
  • Fear and Intuition
    Yes, I agree that I should trust my intuition. Having lived through and learned from a number of traumatic experiences, I have learned to trust the kind of electrical buzz that surges through me at times. It is fear, yes. I can listen to it or I can use my intellect to discount it. A lot of the times when I discounted it, I got into trouble. What I am sensing is that something is not quite right or that the setup, the circumstances, are putting me into a position that I have to trust the individual more than I would like. I think that this is a nice person. I think that my electrical surge feeling is just unfortunate garbage from my past. Every time I discount it, I get into trouble and I loose something. The Gift of Fear is correct. Trust your intuitions. People who have been hurt in the past have a better set of intuitions. People who have not been hurt feel silly to trust the intuition. Intuition and common sense are God given. Say thank you and use these gifts. In a sense I like this book but on the other hand I feel it is creating fear. Maybe I would like to say that everyone should trust their intuition but not consider it fear. It is a gift from God, a legacy from our mothers but it is not a curse....more info
  • Almost complete
    This is a good book for women who are crippled by socialization to be accomidating and "nice". While this works for 95% of the people a woman will meet, when it fails, it fails big time. At the very least, it will make a timid woman think about politeness vs. her safety.

    A quick note: I recommended this to a friend, who said it would make his daughter afraid of men. Give her this book in one hand with How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff in the other (as Mr. de Becker seems to draw his numbers from somewhere strange - maybe international statistics? I don't know). Teach her to take the good advice from this book (and others), and leave the bad stuff behind. There is good information in this book; don't throw it all out.

    The largest thing that I disliked about this book was the anti-gun stuff. I am a woman and I own a SKS rifle, which I love. I have plans to purchase a handgun when I can afford one. Guns are tools, just like any thing else. Misuse them and they can hurt you and others; invaluable in the right circumstances, with the correct handling....more info
  • The Gift of Fear Is the Gift of Awareness
    Our intuition has been honed through a million years of awareness - from mastodons to murderers. As `sophisticated human beings', we have almost been trained to ignore those signals about danger - the hairs on the back of our neck, the tingling in our fingers, that shortness of breath. This sense of fear is our first signal that all is not right with our world. But we need to acknowledge and pay attention to these physical indications and bring them into our conscious awareness. The author has significant experience in security work, particularly in predicting violent behavior. If we can recognize this `code of violence, then we might be able to prevent it from happening to us. The books is a great `How To" in a unique field of violence prediction and avoidance. deBecker's clients include federal agencies, judges, police and more. He believes that violence is as gradual as boiling water - you just have to know what to do to turn down the heat....more info
  • this is good!!
    this is a really good book!!! i'm not originally from this country, but this stuff is real and can be used in any society. ...more info
  • A great book for all!
    Gavin De Becker has written a seriously important book for all people, especially women, to read.

    Although its content is that of a text book, which should be mandatory reading in all schools, it also written in an engaging style which makes it really easy to read. It's a page-turner.

    Ultimately, its message is that people should listen to the inner voice they are born with when encountering all situations and people they encounter throughout their lives. De Becker goes a step further by giving advice as to how to deal with the intricacies of various life situations....more info
  • Excellent advice for living in today's world
    'The Gift of Fear' was recommended to me and my husband at a restaurant recently. The person recommending it is a young man, a dear friend of our daughter and son-in-law. He recently returned from a tour of duty in the Middle East. His job was full of danger, so when he recommended this book as "good information because it reinforces survival instincts, especially when you're dealing with strangers", I ordered the book the next day from Amazon. It came a couple of days later.

    When the book arrived, I noticed the full title: 'The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence'. The book is by Gavin De Becker, who is in the business of protecting others from harm. He knows what he's talking about.

    I read the book in a couple of days. Chapter 4, Survival Signals, is worth the price of the book alone. There are seven signals that Mr. De Becker points out, in well-explained detail, that each of us should be aware of when dealing with strangers. They are: Forced Teaming, Charm and Niceness, Too Many Details, Typecasting, Loan Sharking, The Unsolicited Promise and Discounting the Word No. Each of these signals is a means to trust that little voice inside your head that tells you "No. Something is wrong." After you read this chapter, you'll understand why that little voice shouldn't be ignored.

    Buy this book and read it, especially Chapter 4. It could save your life.

    The rest of the book is well written and very interesting. I think Mr. De Becker's chapter on handguns seems a little shrill re: how many people are shot daily in this country, but I know I'd rather have my own weapon handy in case my loved ones are threatened or my home is invaded. With the ongoing Muslim problem in Europe, some Europeans may wish they had the means to protect themselves as we 'cowboys' do here in the USA. My opinion, for what it's worth.

    By the way, our young friend at the restaurant read the book before going on his tour to the Middle East. He was glad he'd read it....more info
  • Prevention is Better that a Cure!!
    Of all the books on Self Defence & Conflict Management/Resolution that I have ever read, THIS one has to be the very best. The fact that it has lasted so long in print & stood the test of time is its best testimonial; I've not seen a negative review about it yet.

    A couple of honest points first. There are too many references to other books & authors for my liking - a larger bibliography would have made reading easier. Also, there a many times De Becker mentions "....& I'll covering such & such in more detail in chapter so & so). These niggles are minor compared to the nature of its important & potentially life saving content.

    Something that would have made this interesting & fascinating book easier to refer back to would have been more sub-headings, highlighting & bullet points, perhaps even summary points at the end of each chapter.

    This is a huge reference manual that ought to take a prominent place in any self-defence instructors book shelf.

    They say - "Prevention is better than Cure" & so the main theme throughout is not finding yourself in a situation that could end up in some form of nasty conflict with an adversary that you would certainly not want to confront or fight. So instead of waiting for an attack to happen & then have to deal with the inevitable & nasty consequences of fighting, De Becker teaches us using many useful explanations about the use of intuition & how to recognise & nurture it. More importantly he tells us that we need to pay more attention to our intuition, gut feelings, hunches & suspicions. This he does very successfully by giving us the signals to look for in others, that we ought to be wary of & who may become dangerous; thus we avoid getting into difficulties.

    The skills necessary to do this are done by repeating various easy techniques to good effect. I feel that we need this repetition to let these important life skills sink in well.

    De Becker also teaches us that fear, when recognised & if reacted to in the correct manner, is a good & desirable thing. We need to learn to recognise those strange feelings, like butterflies inside of us, & put them into proper use.

    Please don't be put off by the cover of the book that looks a little old fashioned or that it has been around since 1997. The title really does say it all & it includes all the skills & information you need within its 432 pages to help save our or our families lives.

    Do check out De Beckers credentials from his website, he's easy to find on Google, should you feel the need to be convinced any further about his competency & experience to teach on the subject.

    Complimentary titles that go with this title are: Beauty Bites Beast: Awakening the Warrior Within Women and Girls by Ellen Snortland &
    A Girl's Gotta Do What a Girl's Gotta Do: A Complete Guide to Personal Safety for Women by Kathleen Baty....more info
  • Believe those little feeelings
    This is a book that gives examples of people who have listened or not listened to that little inner voice or unusual feeling and what occurred because of that feeling. It provides support for tuning in to those feelings to protect yourself and others....more info
  • Required reading
    I purchased this book for both my own daughter and for a niece, after I read it. These single women are each living in distant states in a metropolitan area. After reading it myself, having seen the author speak on Oprah, I knew it would be a great self awarenesst book. Both young women expressed gratitude for such a wise book investment as the author shares practical approaches to living life independently but SAFELYY....more info
  • Somewhat helpful to women, but too much anti-gun propaganda
    I'll keep this review short and sweet:

    I bought this book not only to get some insight into how/when I need to go into "defensive" mode regarding strangers and their intentions, but also to give it to my attractive younger single sister who is now living alone in a big city.

    For her, it may be of some help, though she's a pretty smart cookie and is naturally suspicious of men and their motives. Some of the stories are irrelevant, and unless you are a celebrity or are protecting one, I don't understand why so much time was devoted to that minority of the population and their particular issues.

    However, the glaring and unnecessary parts about firearms was what elicited this review and the low rating it got. This is NOT supposed to be a book extolling or criticizing the use of firearms. There are other more detailed and scholarly works that go into this. Whether you are for or against the use of a firearm for self-defense is irrelevant here - the author uses his book as a soapbox to give his personal opinions on the matter, and uses flawed logic and bias to push his own views, which could get someone killed. He waits until the end of the book, after he has won you over with his words and deeds and gained your trust. Then he tells you that firearms are always bad, that you should do things to them if you DO decide to keep them around that render them totally useless to you if you should need them. He offers no mention of the fact that they are used successfully to war off attacks millions of times a year - he simply relates a few stories where perhaps they may have been inappropriate to the situation, and even these examples are pretty far-fetched and weak.

    ...more info
  • A valuable tool...
    Simply put, this book is a very valuable tool, especially with what's happening in this country, and the world. I found a copy at a thrift store and was so impressed that I gave a copy to each of my nieces as graduation gifts....more info
  • Never Ignore....
    That "little voice"...It is there for a reason...Instinct is there to keep us safe...Do not allow it to become skewed or let someone talk us out of it....

    Author Of:
    Black Women Deserve Better...more info
  • Good Read
    The book contains some very useful information, including the lists of markers to predict violent behavior and the discussion of fear vs. worry. What's not useful is the psychobabble, of which there is a good amount. The author is an acolyte of Oprah Winfrey, so it's not surprising that the usual prejudices are in play -- anti-gun-ownership, ripping of American culture, and moral relativism. These distractions are easily skipped over, however. All in all, a good read, but be prepared to do some flipping....more info
  • Empowering!
    I believe violent crime would be significantly reduced if everyone read this book and took it to heart. The safety precautions described are based on the intuition we're all born with. Unfortunately, most of us have been taught by society to suppress and ignore our intuition. The Gift of Fear teaches the reader how to recognize their intuition and therefore how to avoid becoming a victim of violence....more info
  • A must read!
    This is so full of information we all need. I feel all teachers should read this to realize they CAN have a huge impact on children raised in violence and abuse. Be the good person in their life that may turn them around to be productive instead of more violence and prison. Excellent ways to recognize predator behavior. Excellent in saying women are too polite (even for their own protection) to ignore bad people....more info
  • MATRIARCH PURCHASE
    I MADE THIS PURCHASE FOR BOTH MY DAUGHTER AND MY GRAND-DAUGHTER TO AID IN THEIR PERSONAL SAFETY. I USED IT AS A STOCKING STUFFER AT CHRISTMAS, MY GRAND-DAUGHTER ASKED HOW DID I KNOW SHE HAD WANTED THE GIFT OF FEAR AND I TOLD HER "GREAT MINDS TRAVEL THE SAME PATH". YOU CANNOT SEND YOUR LOVED ONES OUT UNPREPARED AND I FEEL AS IF THE INFORMATION THIS BOOK CONTAINS OFFERS SOME INSIGHT INTO HOW YOU CAN FEEL MORE SECURE IN TODAY'S HIGH CRIME ENVIRONMENT. OH, I AM READING IT ALSO, AS AN ELDER I NEED TO PREPARE MYSELF FOR THOSE WHO PREY!!...more info
  • Gift of Fear
    A most powerful read about intuition with real suggestions on tips to be on the alert for from others who may appear to be helpful but are not. How to "read people" better. Excellent....more info
  • should be required reading in high school
    Do your teenager a great service by giving her this book. Pass it along to every woman in your life. This book teaches how to trust your instinct, that little feeling that something isn't quite right. It also teaches how to respond to situations when one realizes something truly isn't right. It teaches us to trust our fear and not ignore it. As women and girls, we are too often taught to be polite, to not make waves, or to give someone the benefit of the doubt.As a result,we end up ignoring our instincts in an attempt not to appear rude or paranoid. Physical danger or a crime committed against us is the all-to-often result.This book teaches that there is a right and a wrong time for politeness, and that it is never wrong to follow your instincts. I wish I'd read this book decades ago. ...more info
  • This book is a gift that keeps on giving...
    My highest recommendation.
    I can't praise this book enough. If you are being STALKED, look no further... This book is especially for YOU. Having been a victim of stalking myself please take my word: Don't walk but run! Order this book now or go get it at the bookstore (which ever is the fastest and safest way for you). It will help you beyond measure in a way that nothing else can. Best of all you don't have to read it in a conventional way. Just thumb through the pages and you'll know where to stop and read. It is very to the point without any needless extra filler material to take up space.

    I would also highly recommend this book to all females in general and to all parents so that they can use it to teach their children the truly great gift of fear and the understanding of how to trust their instincts for survival.

    Buy this book! You will never forget it or regret it.
    ...more info
  • About fear's affects
    A very good book about fear and the intuitive voice it offers when coming upon those certain forks in the roads which offer consequence....more info
  • A Book Can Merit 5 Stars Even If It's Flawed
    Nearly ten years after its publication, The Gift of Fear rightly has a slate of Amazon reviews probably longer than the book. Valid criticism is available in every "star" category. Sometimes, however, a book transcends even its gripping thesis; The Gift of Fear does this.

    It does so by a subtle repetition of the incontrovertible fact: Evil exists. De Becker's easy-to-read style drives home this reality. Even if--as the book's nastiest reviews point out--at points its message seems self-interested ("the reader needs professional guidance in order to protect herself; hire us"), so what? Do artisans or experts in other fields, who write How To books, never lead readers to infer sometimes professional help is mandatory? Psychologists do it all the time!

    What I particularly admired about The Gift of Fear isn't its "You might have acted differently if you had been armed with what I'll tell you" stuff. It was De Becker's unflinching belief in Evil and Evil's many guises. That he ignores what one negative reviewer mincingly points out: pride often leads to victimization, is not the book's issue.

    Of course pride leads to victimization. Innocence leads to victimization. Hindsight--a fool's or an innocent's--is always 20/20. Should De Becker not have written this unapologetic analysis of the wicked mind because potential victims might be stupid, lazy, or even wicked themselves?

    The book's final message is like Cat Steven's song: "Baby, Baby, It's a Wild World." Will crime victims yet to be victimized prevent crimes from happening to them if they read it? Maybe not. Crimes of the magnitude De Becker details aren't committed by idiots. But if The Gift of Fear keeps one single woman from opening the door to a handsome "repairman"; if it makes one father suspicious of a son's overly polite and talkative best friend; if it gives one co-ed an intuition that leaving a party with a "personality guy" might not be a good idea, then it will be more than worth reading. It will have saved a life. ...more info
  • Great Book
    I'm fifteen years old. I'm probably one of the youngest readers of The Gift of Fear, but Gavin de Becker's words empowered me just as much as they did the next person. I loved the book. It made me realize that I have to stop ignoring my body, my intuition. If you haven't read this book, go out and get it! It will teach you so many things. This book should be required reading in high school, especially in girl's "health" classes. It is a practical, although at times scary, outline of the threats that can be around us. The layout is particularly good in that each chapter is a different specific threat. DeBecker has set up the book as if it was a manual; he describes step by step how to keep you safe. The way he organizes the information makes it much more understandable. It's obvious he took his time getting all of his thoughts and beliefs down on paper. As you red you sense a certain amount of fear in the way he writes, you can tell he is sincerely dedicated to warning and helping woman of the violence we have in our society today. He's been through and witnessed violence (as he describes in his book) hearing what he thought and felt makes it easier to relate to your own life. Too bad we live in a world like this, but this book can give one an edge. The real life anecdotes blew me away. The account of the murdered woman who had reportedly suffered violence at the hands of the defendant for a long while. The calls to police, filing battery charges, lady killed by stabbing, defendant had a dream about killing her, his lawyers claiming it was drug dealers that committed murder. Sound familiar? DeBecker reveals that this true story happened six months before the famous "white Bronco" television event in a neighborhood thousands of miles from Brentwood. This book is too good NOT to read. Ever since a couple of years ago, I knew I wanted to help people. I'm the person my friends come to when they have a conflict, I like giving advice and solving people's dilemmas. There was one problem: I didn't heed my own advice. I didn't listen to myself many times because I could picture people saying, "Oh, that's a silly suspicion." Fortunately, I have never been in a situation in which I deeply regret ignoring my intuition, but after reading The Gift of Fear I have learned how to listen to myself. I also baby-sit. The other day I was holding one of the children, and he pointed to one of his brother's friends and whispered to me, "I'm scared of him." I thought for a moment and replied, "Well, you know what? That's OK." I told him that if he's ever afraid, he should leave where that person is and go find Mommy, or me, or someone he knows and doesn't feel afraid. I was proud that he listened to his intuition, but I think I was more proud of my response. I was totally psyched that I had reinforced something he needs to survive. My point is that The Gift of Fear taught me how to use my gift of intuition and my gift of fear. Read the book because you will learn from it; you will use the tactics everyday. Gavin de Becker does an excellent job of sharing his experience in dealing with topics of understanding threats, predicting violence, workplace violence, stalking, domestic violence, and more. This book will shed new light in an area of our society where unwanted pursuits and violent behavior seem to be a part of our every day existence. Best of all, you will become more comfortable with every day life and you will use the wonderful treasures Mother Nature has given you because it was instilled in you by Gavin de Becker....more info
  • Well that was interesting.
    I very much enjoyed the book, and learned a great deal from it. A psychologist friend of mine, however, wasn't as taken with it as I was. He says it justifies women being terrified of every man and turning vicious on nice guys who just want to help out. Keep in mind, however, that this is precisely what the book is trying to stop. The point and purpose is to teach women when to listen to their fears and when to calm down and realize that there's nothing to be afraid of at the moment.

    In short, as a woman I highly recommend this book....more info