44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Follow Your Nose,
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This review is from: The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence (Paperback)
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 book's central core is to identify the signs that the author claims one intuitively detects and then to act on them rather than to dismiss them. He opens with a very powerful piece (which I have read before) on the signs that a rape-victim dismissed and those which she picked up to avoid becoming a murder victim. He also identifies the approach used by controlling men. This account completely changed how I would offer help to a woman. This is not just a limited topic however; the identified controlling strategies are ones you will all encounter when talking to salesmen, bossy people and bosses. By identifying them you can act to defuse the alpha-male. The author also does a very good feature on saying "No" clearly.
There is much else that is useful in this book, his chapters on stalkers are particularly good. The keys I took away were that de Becker was himself a victim of violence and had used it well, that his advice was not some macho dream but that stalkers are best defeated by lack of contact and that restraining orders may work in the opposite direction. He also points out that what makes these men monsters is actually what makes them the most human; they act predictably if amorally.
Well written and moderate in tone, I got a lot more than I expected when I bought the book.