Summary of Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear is a self-help book about assessing potential violence and staying safe across a range of environments. After violent episodes, observers often will remark that they didn’t think the offender was capable of committing a criminal act, such as stalking, domestic abuse, or even assassination. Yet the perpetrator always sends out warning signals that precede violence, which are often noticeable in retrospect. These signals register in the moment, but often people ignore their intuition or choose to discredit it with logic. By trusting intuition and remaining aware of these predictors of violent behavior, people can take steps to limit potential threats in every context and situation.
Genuine fear is markedly different from a state of worry or anxiety. Although anxious thoughts can function like intuition, they don’t indicate a real threat to personal safety. True fear, on the other hand, is distinctly all-consuming.