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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Follow Your Nose
Gavin de Becker's book is far more than I expected. Typically self-help books tend to be rather shrill and include a lot of large font type with daft mnemonics; one suspects the material is a bit thin and has been stretched over the available space. But with de Becker he has (as he ruefully admits) a great deal more than he could (or would) ever recount.

The...
Published on 11 Dec 2009 by Charles Vasey

versus
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We have instincts for a reason
The Gift of Fear was recommended to me as a useful resource and while it does have valuable information it wasn't quite the book I was expecting.

If you've ever found yourself in a situation where you've encountered a person who prompts a reaction of tension or anxiety, for a seemingly unknown reason, The Gift of Fear can be a valuable guide to deconstructing...
Published 20 months ago by Belochka


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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 22 Oct 2006
By 
Instructor (Derby, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence (Paperback)
I first came accross this book whilst in holiday in the states many years ago, I read the opening chapter in the store and bought the book! As a serving Police Officer and a practising Martial Artist and self-defence instructor I found this book to be informative as well as extremely well written. In my work I deal with the victims of Domestic Violence and the author has an excellent understanding of both the abuser and the 'victims' perspectives. Many times I have used the material in this book to help other people and I will continue to do so. I also incorporate the teachings in this volume into my Self-defence classes increasing their effectivenss ans making people safer by turning on thier inherent awareness. I cannot praise the author enough for writing this book. If you deal with people in your work then read this book! It changes lives and it could change yours.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars everyone should read this, 21 Jan 2010
By 
Mrs. C. Rae (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gift of Fear (Paperback)
Excellent read,,all women especially should read this.
I recognise a couple of things which had happened to me and I had used my gift of fear to save myself so to speak.
Its true we dont use this gift enough,,so i recommend this book! You never know when it could help you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prevention is Better that a Cure!!, 12 April 2009
By 
Terry Tozer "TJSKA.com" (Reading & Bracknell, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Gift of Fear (Hardcover)
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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Buy, 29 Sep 2009
By 
AW Bradbury "Wayne Bradbury" (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence (Paperback)
I have had this book for many years and as a martial arts teacher (Kamon Wing Chun Kung Fu) I refer to it on a regular basis. It contains information that helps you to understand violence and other human traits. It is probably one of the most informative books I have come across and is useful to the non martial artist as well. It will help you tap into the primitive self protection system that exsists within our brains that has long been disregarded by society. If there is only one book that you are going to buy to understand the darker side of human nature this is the one.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Compulsory Reading for Life list!, 7 Dec 2000
By 
M. Van Buijtene "creativity coach" (Den Haag, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence (Paperback)
You know every citizen in our modern society should really do a couple of things to make themselves and their surroundings more secure: take a First Aid course, get the sturdiest locks on your front and back door you can get, do a self-defense class, install smoke alarms, lock up chemicals where children can't reach. Add one item to that list: read this book! Especially if you are a women and at times feel unsafe. Especially if you are a man and feel the need to protect without scaring the hell out of people. Especially if you have children - and don't forget to get the sequel, Protecting the Gift, which is all about kids. Especially if you are an employer and deal with frustrated (ex)employees. Especially if you are a teenager, dealing with mixed emotions and signals from peers and adults. Especially if you are elderly and afraid to leave your house at night. Especially if you have ever gotten a nagging negative vibe from a polite stranger or family friend, if you have ever been intimidated, or even stalked, or have been scared by the behaviour of someone in your neighbourhood. De Becker teaches that this fear is actually your internal warning system; your friend in possibly tricky situations. He shows how you can recognize and use these signals for your own security and the safety of those close to you. My advice: don't leave home without it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent & Informative, 1 Oct 2003
A great book - taught me loads of things to be aware of in certain situations and also made me realise how I had used my intuition in the past. All mothers should buy this for their daughters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the difference between life and death, 16 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence (Paperback)
I don't think that there could be a higher endorsement than for me of this than to say that I FIRMLY believe there would be a lot fewer rapes and deaths out there if women - and men - took the time out to read this book. And it's not a some magical mystery that only the enlightened can access, but changing 'common sense' mindsets that don't work and making sure we give intuition the attention it deserves.

But there aren't just lessons for individuals in there. The bigger message that de Becker puts across in addition to the 'survival tips' is that there is something profoundly wrong with the way that society manipulates the victims to put the blame on themselves and learn helplessness. And I don't think, in spite of it being the agenda of the day, is something that any academic or 'pop' author has, to my mind, ever got across so well as Gavin does here.

There are some interesting stories in there too. They are extras, and I guess if you are into some FBI style thrillers, then you'll find that a bonus. But that's something that could be just as easily dropped if the first message is getting across.

6 stars!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great purchase, essential reading., 7 May 2012
By 
Miss Emma J. Law "Firebreather" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought this book on the recommendation of a trainer friend of mine after studying a self defence course. And what a great recommendation it was. Instead of it being dry and difficult to read, as I had been expecting, the book was easy to read, but also packed full of really useful and interesting information, presented in almost a novel style. I'm so glad I bought and read it = and I got a lot out of reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb self-defence book, 3 April 2011
This review is from: The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence (Paperback)
An amazing book that helps you understand and recognise the various built in systems we have to protect ourselves from violent situations. It goes through how the body works and how we should learn to trust our instincts. For example that nagging feeling that for some reason, which we can't put out finger on, we don't like a guy we just met. Most dismiss it, but we may have picked up on something very small and suspicious that our unconscious mind noticed but our conscious mind didn't. The book does drag on a little at the end but I still highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 7 Mar 2011
By 
Mrs. B. Lyne - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is something I have dipped in and out of over the years. I have bought it and given it as presents to quite a few of my friends who have all loved it.
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The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker (Paperback - 3 July 2000)
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