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The Gift of Fear

Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

by Gavin de Becker

Gavin de Becker is our nation's best-known expert on the prediction and management of violence. In The Gift of Fear, de Becker draws on his extensive expertise to shatter the myth that most violent acts are random and unpredictable, but rather usually have discernible motives and are preceded by clear warning signs. Through dozens of gripping 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.

Learn to predict dangerous behavior and how to evaluate whether someone will use violence, to recognize survival signals that warn about risk from strangers, to rely on your intuition and move beyond denial, and to separate real from imagined danger.

Gavin de Becker's 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 US Department of Justice, and he served two terms on the Governor's Advisory Board at the California Department of Mental Health. His 520-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.

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Recommendations: 2

Categories: Health & WellnessPsychology & Mental Health

Reading time: 1214 hours


Whitney Cummings
Comedian, Actress, Producer, Writer, Director and Podcaster

The first one that I wanted to suggest is a book by Gavin de Becker. It’s called The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us. It’s a lot about stalkers and violence and stuff like that.

But there’s a lot of invaluable advice around hiring people and drawing boundaries with people, vetting people, for people that want to be highly productive, for people that want to have their weekends off, for people who want to have a drama-free workplace, for people who don’t want to spend their time and emotional energy on difficult people. This is a pretty transformative book in terms of learning how to trust your gut and not dismiss red flags or write them off.

Ramit Sethi
Entrepreneur and Author

Books I’ve gifted: Gift of Fear is an amazing book, particularly for women, but I actually think everybody. Learning to trust your intuition—knowing when the little antenna at the back of your head goes up, and you can’t see anything, and we so often say, “It’s nothing. I’m going to walk down that alley or I’m going to just go into my house like normal,” but listen and learn to trust your intuition because we have it but it kind of gets suppressed because we don’t want to be that weird person.

So that’s a great gift. I can’t recommend it enough.