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am 28. Mai 2000
True fear is a survival signal that sounds only in the presence of real danger; this book shows us how to protect ourselves from becoming victims of violence. In this day & age when we're trying so hard to be "safe" & have a "safe" world for our children - take a look at Gavin de Becker's first book, it may change your mind about passivity, politeness & victimhood! This was an eye opener & reminded me of why I survived all those decades in major cities at all hours of day & night. Serious, useful stuff! Highly recommended...
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am 31. Dezember 2007
... Büchern über die geistige Auseinandersetzung mit dem Thema Gewalt und wie man gewalttätige Konfrontationen rechtzeitig erkennen kann und ihnen somit aus dem Weg gehen kann. Im englischen wird diese Bewußtseinshaltung als "fighting Mindset" bezeichnet. Das bedeutet vor allem, die Wahrheit zu akzeptieren, daß man jederzeit Opfer eines Angriffs werden kann. Die Frage ist nicht OB, sondern nur WANN.
An manchen Stellen wirkt das Buch etwas langatmig. Es ist insbesondere für Leser geeignet, die sich zum ersten mal mit dieser Thematik beschäftigen.
Wer sich weiter mit dem Thema beschäftigen möchte, dem sei auch Literatur von Jeff Cooper, Gabe Suarez, Paul Howe und Dave Grossman empfohlen.
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am 31. Mai 1998
The premise of this book is simple: respect your fear and trust your intuition, and you will be safer. It's excellent advice. However, that's all the book provides. There are no strategies for self-protection, no tips to making oneself less attractive to criminals. The emphasis is on reacting to the threat of violence instead of proactively avoiding it.
It seems to be a common belief of American authors that there is an enormous net surrounding the United States which prevents their works from being read outside that country's borders. Mr. de Becker is a prime example. A reader living outside the US might find de Becker's assumptions annoying if not outright ludicrous.
This book may also not sit well with relatives of violent criminals. It is de Becker's belief that poor parenting is at the root of most violent crime. Few would disagree that poor parenting can cause a child to grow up antisocial or criminal, but so can many other things; heredity, war, abuse by someone in trust other than a parent, the death of a parent, divorce, or poverty.
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am 30. Juni 2000
I was stalked for over a year before he attacked and raped me... and i am alive today only by God's grace and because i finally followed my gut feeling. In the back of my mind, i always knew someting was evil about him, but i convinced myself that it was all in my head... This book teaches how to listen to your intuition, and why you should NEVER ignore it. I CAN HONESTLY TELL YOU THAT EVERY WORD OF THIS BOOK IS TRUE. Women often find themselves in "uncomfortable situations," but rarely listen to that little voice that is telling them to get the hell out of there... and when you choose to ignore it, you are putting your life on the line. If you choose not to read this book, just remember this... never ignore or try to rationalize with your intuition- it is usually right. Don't worry about Hurting someones feelings or being rude, if you have a funny feeling about someone, get out of there right away! You have nothing more to lose than your life.
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am 4. August 1999
Everyone can find something of use in this book. So many times, we are taught that being afraid is a sign of weakness and so, we should ignore all the signals. The book explains the reasons for fear and shows you how to use it for protection from danger. It also supported the course of action that I took when dealing with a persistant and annoying suitor. This person helped me destroy a valuable friendship and he couldn't understand why I no longer wanted to see him. His constant calls at work started to frighten me because unlike most people who would get the message and leave me alone; he would keep at it as if nothing was wrong. Members of my family and some of my co-workers told me to just hang up on him and not to talk to him at all. The author (De Becker) supports this action and explains why.
This person still calls me, but his calls are becoming more and more infrequent and I feel so much better when I don't talk to him. When I tried to reason with this person, I felt miserable and horrible. Now, I still get a little upset, but I can still go about my day-to-day business with little interruption.
De Becker addresses a person's natural inclination to try and help a person understand your feelings when they will not listen to you. He also tells you to trust your instincts when dealing with these situations. My instincts told me that this suitor would not become violent if I just ignored him. My instincts proved to be right. I have not been in physical contact with this person for almost two years and he hasn't tried to find out my home address and phone and he hasn't started to stalk me. My instincts told me that he was so desperate for my attention that he didn't care whether it was negative or positive. Any communication (neg. or pos.) on my part would have been intrepreted as a sign that I wanted him and he would have been encouraged to do more than he's doing now to contact me. By my silence, there's no encouragement and there's no room for him to twist my words or actions. As this book says, people like this have many issues in their lives and when they pursue others who are not interested in them, this is a way for them to ignore their problems. When you ignore them, you are forcing them to either deal with these issues or find somebody else to bother.
Also, this book showed me the signs that would have put an immediate stop on this suitor if I had just paid more attention. Granted the relationship we had was inappropriate and that should have stopped me from the beginning, but this person gave me signals of potentially bigger problems. From the beginning, my instincts were telling me this, but I ignored them. The fact that he found out my name and phone number at work without asking me, the way he introduced himself, and the way he tried to manipulate my emotions and make me feel guilt and obliged to him without any cause were all warnings signs mentioned in this book. Unforunately, I made a big mistake with this person and I have to deal with occasional phone calls. However, considering all the damage that I caused, I'm fortunate that annoying phone calls every once in awhile is the only thing I have to deal with (my former friend could have made my life so much more difficult, but she chose to be "nice"). However, one of the biggest things that this book teaches you is that you can not always control who contacts you. However, if you take the appropriate actions, you can greatly minimize the chances that a difficult situation can escalate into a serious crime.
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am 21. November 2014
Der Autor schreibt mit viel Pathos, Selbstverliebtheit und Werbung für seine eigenen und andere Produkte.
Seine Hoplophobie mag aufgrund seiner geschilderten Erfahrungen nachvollziehbar sein, zielführend ist sie nicht.
Erschreckend seine geradzu religiös vorgetragene Obrigkeitshörigkeit und lemminghafte Huldigung des kollektivistischen, politisch-"korrekten" Mainstreams und seine daraus folgende Ablehnung von Eigenverantwortlichkeit.
Die Stärke des Buches ist die Analyse der Intuition, die ihm tatsächlich sehr gut und anschaulich gelingt, die allerdings aufgrund der o.g. Schwächen nicht konsequent zuende geführt ist.
Könnte diese Buch, wie auf dem Titel verkündet, Ihr Leben retten?
Ja, wenn Sie es in der Brusttasche tragen und jemand Sie mit einem Messerstich dorthin attakiert. Ansonsten eher nicht.
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am 12. Mai 2000
for people in a variety of fields, especially those dealing with a lot of individuals on a personal level. This book does not so much teach readers as it does allow them to accept and act upon intuition, acknowledge fear in many situations as a gift, and make good use of adrenaline as a Godsend in getting out of dangerous situations or away from potential violence.
"The Gift of Fear" makes an excellent companion to those interested or working in issues/crisis management as well as to the man/woman on the street.
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am 27. Januar 1998
Gavin De Becker's book, The Gift of Fear, is such a well written, informative book that it is a shame Mr. De Becker feels he must pander to women in order to sell his book. The opening note of the book is telling of things to come. He states that "when it comes to violence, women can proudly relinquish recognition in the language, because here at least, politically correct would be statistically incorrect." This statement seems a bit absurd coming from someone whose own mother shot his stepfather. De Becker might want to look at his own use of attempting to be politically correct rather than statistically correct. He certainly chooses to ignore statistics involving the homicide rates in Florida since the concealed carry laws were passed. De Becker states he met a middle-aged couple from Florida who had decided to carry a weapon for protection around the city such as at restaurants, etc. De Becker, in his anti-gun mode (which appears to be his consensus throughout the book) says it would make more sense to carry sharp tubes to give emergency tracheotomies to people who are choking. Yet, he ignores that since the inception of the concealed carry laws, homicide rates in Florida have actually dropped. Carrying his logic through to other instances, one could also say that more children die in swimming pool accidents or from overdosing on iron pills than die from guns, but I certainly don't see the government outlawing vitamins and swimming pools. Really, Mr. De Becker, with all the wonderful insight and advice you give on changing how criminals are viewed in the media, I am surprised that you would fall victim to the same narrow-minded view with regard to gun ownership. You give advice on how to size up someone who might harm you, but you seem to advocate doing nothing or in the case of battered women--going into hiding at a women's shelter. The book seems to suggest that the honorable thing to do is to render oneself defenseless, especially if you are a woman. Yes, it would be nice if there were no guns in America but that would only leave the strong to prey on the weak. Of course, the weak could turn to someone with a gun to help, perhaps the police. And Oops! I forgot, thats what we need your firm for. Helen Smith
Knoxville, Tennessee
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am 22. Juni 1999
This is your enemy's(opponents)playbook. Over a month ago this book past my eyes. Today this book again came across my view. This time I picked it up. And this is what this book is all about - paying attention to your intutition. Now I know why "this" person is acting a certain and what I am supposed to do about it. I think Hans Seyle coined fight or flight. This book tells you why and what to do about it. The stress is sometimes much more than stress. It could be real EVIL. That "creepy" feeling you get from people. GAVIN DE BECKER tells you what it is and tells you why and what to do. Actually he says you know what to do, but for "some" reason we choose to ignore it. Please don't. Please read. DROP "all" other books and pick this one up. Start to read it. I won't have to suggest to finish it. You'll get that message yourself. Get a copy for your best friends and especially your teenagers(especially girls). A must read for all women. Possibly read it with your young adults and discuss it with them. The greatest offense is a great defense. This book is your defense and your offense. Please dear people "R E A D" THE GIFT OF FEAR. AND PASS IT ON. This will be your gift to the them. Please send comments to me too. Maybe some one could start a discussion page on this book. signed, Steve and simply call it of course "The gift of fear."
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am 12. Juli 1997
The book concentrates largely on threat assessment, de
Becker's specialty--reading behavoral cues to gauge how likely someone
will be to initiate violence. It deals to a lesser extent with how to
handle people that your assessment tells you are going to be a
problem. De Becker systematically goes through cases where violence
aparrently came "out of the blue" and demonstrates that in each
situation, there were plenty of danger signals, and that the victim's
intuition had already registered these signals and communicated them
as feelings of uneasiness. People invariably knew that
something was out of place, but ignored the feelings. The book goes
on to inform the reader's intuition with an analytical breakdown of
danger signals in different environments: from strangers, stalkers,
angry employees, controlling spouses, obsessive fans, and people who
deliver death threats. The bottom line for de Becker is "listen to
your gut-level intuition"; people usually have a pretty acute sense
of when they are truly at risk.

The book's biggest shortcoming is that it deals only with the
above situations--where the potential aggressor is known to the
victim, or some kind of seduction is present before violence is
initiated. On page 61 de Becker writes:

"I haven't focused here on the criminal who simply walks
up, displays a weapon, and demands money. That is because he is
distinctly more obvious that those who use the strategies I've

And with that farewell he abandons fifty percent of the violent crimes
in America to concentrate on the ones where threat assessment might
make a more substantial difference in the outcome. This can
unfortunately leave the reader with the impression that all crime is
avoidable, when in fact, the cases that don't fit his profiles
(interpersonal contact with victim precedes violence) haven't even
been discussed. Conspicuously absent are:

1. Any evaluation, pro or con, of firearms or other self-defense
precautions for personal protection, though indirectly he
recommends IMPACT associates, who provide self-defense training for
women. This omission is unfortunate, because "get a gun" is
oft-quoted counsel for people at risk, and de Becker's perspective could make a difference.

2. Any analysis of victim selection in predatory crime, or
suggestions for avoiding appearing "victimizable." The latter is a
particularly unfortunate omission, since the perceived vulnerability
of a victim is a significantly influential factor in whether or
not they will be selected for violence, and it is something that
people can take definite action about.

The book is also remarkably short on suggestions about what to do
once you know someone means you ill. In only three scenarios does de
Becker have a set of proactive recommendations: firing an angry
employee, leaving an abusive spouse, and cutting off communications
with persistent or obsessive callers. His recommendations in these
cases are excellent, but in the rest of his examples (stalkings,
children known to be at sexual risk, violent assaults by
strangers, burglars in the house, credible death threats, persistent
violations of restraining orders, recreational assaults by teenagers)
he has very little to say beyond identifying risk factors. As my wife
pointed out, his primary, and recurring, scenario (that of Kelly, who,
knowing that she was going to be killed if she followed a rapist's
instructions to stay put, instead silently followed him down the
hallway and let herself out the door) is a fantasy of non-violent
conflict resolution. Far more common is the situation where the
threat is known, but options are uncertain. De Becker investigates
the situations where neighbors say "We had no idea; we would have
never suspected," but pays little attention to the countless
situations where the neighbors were expecting it all along, had known
for years that there was going to be trouble, and who it was going to come

Because the fundamental conclusion of the book is correct: people
usually do have an accurate and powerful sense of their own
risk. If you go for a ride with the LAPD, they know who the
drug dealers and gangbangers and chronic offenders are, and often have
a good idea of who their victims will be. What to do about it--now,
there's a more difficult issue.

That said, I think this book is looking in the right direction:
victim empowerment. It's not a book for law enforcement or
professional security agencies--it's a book written for the individual
at risk. It emphasizes that you are the person who makes the
difference in your own security--especially in situations where the
probable aggressor is someone you know. It encourages people not to
participate in their own victimization, and repeatedly shows that in
critical moments in the commission of crimes, you are the only person
who can make the difference. His information on threat assessment is
excellent, written with the honest intention of giving the reader
enough intelligence to take to recognize risk when they see it and to
take proactive steps toward their own security. I highly recommend
this book to anyone with an interest.

Other recommended reading: John Douglas, _Mindhunter_, and
Robert Ressler _Whoever Fights Monsters_ (on the FBI's profiling of
serial criminals); Paxton Quigley, _Not an Easy Target: A Women's
Guide to Self-Protection_ (on victim selection and pragmatic threat
avoidance); Linden Gross, _To Have and to Harm: True Stories of
Stalkers and their Victims_.
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