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Paper Topic:

Book - Gift of Fear

"The Gift of Fear " by Gavin De Becker

Chapter Summary and Reaction

The Gift of Fear is built upon the surprisingly simple yet plausible premise that we can use our intuitions , specifically the emotion of fear , to reliably avoid and protect ourselves from violence . The book discusses in detail how one can recognize violent behavior , predict the risks at a given situation , as well as deal with someone who actually carries out an attack

The author , Gavin De Becker , provides plenty of real stories to illustrate his points and methods . He

also gives credence to his concepts by citing his personal experience living in an abusive and violent childhood , as well as his professional knowledge as the leading expert in the personal security field and the prediction of violent behavior . He also boasts a big-time clientele which include the FBI Federal government agencies , and a number of celebrities . He shows an extensive knowledge in criminal behavior , backed up by years of research and experience , and tells us how we can apply his techniques to avoid and survive violent situations

The book starts off at chapter one , In the Presence of Danger , with the true story of a girl who was raped in her own apartment after letting a seemingly nice and gentlemanly stranger help with her groceries . He cites plenty of similar situations , wherein our instinct could be at odds with our rational mind . These true-to-life accounts are presented throughout the book , and de Becker dissects those stories to determine the instances that helped the victims instinctively determine how to act , as well as the behaviors that trigger an alarm on our brain . The book shows that we instinctively know when something is wrong in a particular person or situation

Here , de Becker advances the idea that we fear for a reason , and that the source of that reason may not be clear or logical at that time , but it would serve us well , even save our lives and those of others , if we listen and obey it . He says that when people are placed in potentially violent and life-threatening situations , fear kicks in even before the threat is certainly obvious

However , because we have been reared in a society where politeness and courtesy influences our social interactions , we often ignore our intuitions and even act nice to those who make us uneasy . This may have grave consequences , and the risks could be avoided if we know what to look for

One idea that I found particularly interesting is de Becker 's assertion that violence is predictable . He says that there will always be indications when a person will snap . He states that this book would provide the reader the necessary knowledge to identify those signals and avoid being in a violent situation . These ideas include the actions that motivate attackers , how they perpetrate the violence , and how to protect ourselves from them

The first chapter also presented disturbing statistics when it comes to violence , particularly in America . Oftentimes we...

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