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The Gift of Fear – Gavin de Becker

“It is understandable that the perspectives of men and women on safety are so different – men and women live in different worlds…at core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.”

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, 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. [From: Barnesandnoble.com]

“I encourage people to remember that “no” is a complete sentence.” 

An instant #1 National Bestseller, The Gift of Fear reveals practical lessons from Gavin de Becker’s decades of studying violence. The book appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for seventeen weeks and has been published in 13 languages.  In 2008, Oprah Winfrey did a special show commemorating the 10th Anniversary of its publication, and the book was featured several other times on her show, as well as two full hours on Larry King Live, three weeks in a row on Prime Time Live, two center pages in Time Magazine, among many others.

In The Gift of Fear, de Becker draws on his extensive expertise to explode the myth that most violent acts are random and unpredictable and shows that they usually have discernible motives and are preceded by clear warning signs. Through dozens of compelling stories from his own career and life, he unravels the complexities of violent behavior and details the pre-incident indicators (PINs) that can determine if someone poses a danger to us. Readers learn how to:

  • Recognize the survival signals that warn us about risk from strangers
  • Rely on their intuition
  • Separate real from imagined danger
  • Predict Dangerous Behavior
  • Evaluate whether someone will use violence
  • Move beyond denial so that their intuition works for them

Offering in-depth solutions to people who are dealing with domestic abuse or workplace violence or who are the targets of unwanted pursuit, de Becker also provides unique insight into death threats, stalkers, assassins, children who kill, and mass killers. After reading The Gift of Fear, individuals will be able to confidently answer life’s highest-stakes questions:

  • Will the employee I must fire react violently?
  • How should I handle the person who refuses to let go?
  • What is the best way to respond to threats?
  • What are the dangers posed by strangers?
  • How can I help my loved ones be safer?

The Gift of Fear is an important book about human behavior, one which has left millions of readers stronger and safer. [From: Gavindebecker.com]

“Denial is a save now, pay later scheme.” 

The Gift of Fear spent four months on The New York Times Bestseller List, was a #1 National Bestseller, and has been published in 14 languages. Fifteen years after its publication, The Gift of Fear has 25 published editions. The book has been endorsed by a wide variety of celebrities including Marcia Clark, Carolyn Hax, Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, David Mamet, and others who have referred to the book in interviews.

In 2008, Oprah Winfrey dedicated an hour-long show to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the publication of the book. In the last year of her show, she dedicated two hour-long shows to Mr. de Becker’s work in domestic violence.

For more than a decade it has regularly been the #1 bestselling book in the English language on Violence in Society, Abuse, and Safety. De Becker is also listed on Amazon’s Top 100 Self Help authors. The Gift of Fear was selected for the book 50 Psychology Classics.

The Gift of Fear has been featured and favorably reviewed by prominent news organizations on television and in print, including Prime Time Live, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, and others. [From: Wikipedia.com]

“You have the gift of a brilliant internal guardian that stands ready to warn you of hazards and guide you through risky situations.” 

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. [A Review from Amazon.com]

“The solution to violence in America is the acceptance of reality” 

“The energy of violence,” de Becker asserts, “moves through our culture,” and “nobody is untouched.” A high-profile consultant on the “prediction and management of violence,” de Becker offers a sometimes startling mixture of autobiography, anecdote, and detailed, even scholarly, examinations of the various qualities that contribute to violent situations, as well as the escalating stages that violent confrontations (between an abusive spouse and his mate, a criminal and his prey, a stalker and his target) follow. His basic argument here – that all of us really do know when we are in the presence of danger, though we frequently deny it, ignoring the telltale signs of a serious threat – is persuasive, and there’s much in his specifics about violent behavior and how to read it that’s likely to prove useful to readers, but the overlong and somewhat overly detailed text (it’s uncertain at times whether this book is intended for individuals, law enforcement agents, or scholars) sometimes obscures those points. [From: Kirkusreviews.com]

“Only human beings can look directly at something, have all the information they need to make an accurate prediction, perhaps even momentarily make the accurate prediction, and then say that it isn’t so.” 

About the Author:

Gavin de Becker is a best-known expert on the prediction and management of violence. His work has earned him three Presidential appointments and a position on a congressional committee.

He was twice appointed to the President’s Advisory Board at the U.S. Depart

ment of Justice, and he served two terms on the Governor’s Advisory Board at the California Department of Mental Health.

His 375-member consulting firm advises government agencies, universities, police departments, corporations, and media figures on the assessment of threats and hazards. Gavin de Becker & Associates maintains the world’s largest library of threat and obsessive communications, consisting of more than 400,000 pieces of material.

Mr. de Becker’s first book The Gift of Fear was the Nation’s #1 Bestseller, on the New York Times Bestseller List for seventeen weeks.  It is now published in thirteen languages.  In 2008, Oprah Winfrey dedicated an entire show to commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the book’s publication.

His second book, Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children & Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) was the #1 parenting book of 1999.

His post-9/11 book on terrorism, Fear Less, was published in 2002 and featured on Larry King Live, The Today Show, The O’Reilly Factor, and The View.

Mr. de Becker’s most recent book Just 2 Seconds: Using Time and Space to Defeat Assassins, presents the result of a study of more than 1400 attacks and incidents involving at-risk people.  Though not written for a general public audience, the book has readers in 25 countries.

Mr. de Becker wrote the introduction for To Have Or To Harm, the first book on stalking (Warner Books), and for Beauty Bites Beast: Awakening the Warrior Within Women and Girls, and he’s written more than forty articles and white papers, several of which have been reprinted by the Department of Justice’s National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

Mr. de Becker is the designer of the MOSAIC threat assessment systems used to screen threats to Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, members of Congress, and senior officials of the CIA. Along with the U.S. Marshals Service, he co-designed the MOSAIC system used for assessing threats to Federal Judges and prosecutors.  MOSAIC systems are also used by police departments all over America for assessment of spousal abuse cases.

Mr. de Becker has shared his philosophies about prevention of violence in several appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, and 20/20.  He has also been profiled in Time and Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and many others.

Mr. de Becker is a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and, a Senior Advisor to the Rand Corporation on public safety and justice matters. [From: Gavindebecker.com]

Now Watch His Video:

Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear; TIME 52:44 minutes

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