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The Gift of Fear [Anglais] [Poche]

Gavin De Becker
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Description de l'ouvrage

11 mai 1998
True fear is a gift.
Unwarranted fear is a curse.
Learn how to tell the difference.

A date won't take "no" for an answer. The new nanny gives a mother an uneasy feeling. A stranger in a deserted parking lot offers unsolicited help. The threat of violence surrounds us every day. But we can protect ourselves, by learning to trust—and act on—our gut instincts.

In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the nation's leading expert on violent behavior, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger—before it's too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including...how to act when approached by a stranger...when you should fear someone close to you...what to do if you are being stalked...how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls...the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person...and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life.

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

In the Presence of Danger


"This above all, to refuse to be a victim." –Margaret Atwood

He had probably been watching her for a while. We aren't sure–but what we do know is that she was not his first victim. That afternoon, in an effort to get all her shopping done in one trip, Kelly had overestimated what she could comfortably carry home. Justifying her decision as she struggled with the heavy bags, she reminded herself that making two trips would have meant walking around after dark, and she was too careful about her safety for that. As she climbed the few steps to the apartment building door, she saw that it had been left unlatched (again). Her neighbors just don't get it, she thought, and though their lax security annoyed her, this time she was glad to be saved the trouble of getting out the key.

She closed the door behind her, pushing it until she heard it latch. She is certain she locked it, which means he must have already been inside the corridor.

Next came the four flights of stairs, which she wanted to do in one trip. Near the top of the third landing, one of the bags gave way, tearing open and dispensing cans of cat food. They rolled down the stairs almost playfully, as if they were trying to get away from her. The can in the lead paused at the second floor landing, and Kelly watched as it literally turned the corner, gained some speed, and began its seemingly mindful hop down the next flight of steps and out of sight.

"Got it! I'll bring it up," someone called out. Kelly didn't like that voice. Right from the start something just sounded wrong to her, but then this friendly-looking young guy came bounding up the steps, collecting cans along the way.

He said, "Let me give you a hand."

"No, no thanks, I've got it."

"You don't look like you've got it. What floor are you going to?"

She paused before answering him. "The fourth, but I'm okay, really."

He wouldn't hear a word of it, and by this point he had a collection of cans balanced between his chest and one arm. "I'm going to the fourth floor too," he said, "and I'm late–not my fault, broken watch–so let's not just stand here. And give me that." He reached out and tugged on one of the heavier bags she was holding. She repeated, "No, really, thanks, but no, I've got it."

Still holding on to the grocery bag, he said, "There's such a thing as being too proud, you know."

For a moment, Kelly didn't let go of that bag, but then she did, and this seemingly insignificant exchange between the cordial stranger and the recipient of his courtesy was the signal–to him and to her–that she was willing to trust him. As the bag passed from her control to his, so did she.

"We better hurry," he said as he walked up the stairs ahead of Kelly. "We've got a hungry cat up there."

Even though he seemed to want nothing more at that moment than to be helpful, she was apprehensive about him, and for no good reason, she thought. He was friendly and gentlemanly, and she felt guilty about her suspicion. She didn't want to be the kind of person who distrusts everybody, so they were next approaching the door to her apartment.

"Did you know a cat can live for three weeks without eating?" he asked. "I'll tell you how I learned that tidbit: I once forgot that I'd promised to feed a cat while a friend of mine was out of town."

Kelly was now standing at the door to her apartment, which she'd just opened.

"I'll take it from here," she said, hoping he'd hand her the groceries, accept her thanks, and be on his way. Instead, he said, "Oh no, I didn't come this far to let you have another cat food spill." When she still hesitated to let him in her door, he laughed understandingly. "Hey, we can leave the door open like ladies do in old movies. I'll just put this stuff down and go. I promise."

She did let him in, but he did not keep his promise.

At this point, as she is telling me the story of the rape and the whole three-hour ordeal she suffered, Kelly pauses to weep quietly. She now knows that he killed one of his other victims, stabbed her to death.

All the while, since soon after we sat down knee to knee in the small garden outside my office, Kelly has been holding both my hands. She is twenty-seven years old. Before the rape, she was a counselor for disturbed children, but she hasn't been back to work in a long while. That friendly-looking young man had caused three hours of suffering in her apartment and at least three months of suffering in her memory. The confidence he scared off was still hiding, the dignity he pierced still healing.

Kelly is about to learn that listening to one small survival signal saved her life, just as failing to follow so many others had put her at risk in the first place. She looks at me through moist but clear eyes and says she wants to understand every strategy he used. She wants me to tell her what her intuition saw that saved her life. But she will tell me.

"It was after he'd already held the gun to my head, after he raped me. It was after that. He got up from the bed, got dressed, then closed the window. He glanced at his watch, and then started acting like he was in a hurry."

"I gotta be somewhere. Hey, don't look so scared. I promise I'm not going to hurt you." Kelly absolutely knew he was lying. She knew he planned to kill her, and though it may be hard to imagine, it was the first time since the incident began that she felt profound fear.

He motioned to her with the gun and said, "Don't you move or do anything. I'm going to the kitchen to get something to drink, and then I'll leave. I promise. But you stay right where you are." He had little reason to be concerned that Kelly might disobey his instructions because she had been, from the moment she let go of that bag until this moment, completely under his control. "You know I won't move," she assured him.

But the instant he stepped from the room, Kelly stood up and walked after him, pulling the sheet off the bed with her. "I was literally right behind him, like a ghost, and he didn't know I was there. We walked down the hall together. At one point he stopped, and so did I. He was looking at my stereo, which was playing some music, and he reached out and made it louder. When he moved on toward the kitchen, I turned and walked through the living room."

Kelly could hear drawers being opened as she walked out her front door, leaving it ajar. She walked directly into the apartment across the hall (which she somehow knew would be unlocked). Holding a finger up to signal her surprised neighbors to be quiet, she locked their door behind her.

"I knew if I had stayed in my room, he was going to come back from the kitchen and kill me, but I don't know how I was so certain."

"Yes, you do," I tell her.

She sighs and then goes over it again. "He got up and got dressed, closed the window, looked at his watch. He promised he wouldn't hurt me, and that promise came out of nowhere. Then he went into the kitchen to get a drink, supposedly, but I heard him opening drawers in there. He was looking for a knife, of course, but I knew way before that." She pauses. "I guess he wanted a knife because using the gun would be too noisy."

"What makes you think he was concerned about noise?" I ask.

"I don't know." She takes a long pause, gazing off past me, looking back at him in the bedroom. "Oh . . . I do know. I get it, I get it. Noise was the thing–that's why he closed the window. That's how I knew."

Since he was dressed and supposedly leaving, he had no other reason to close her window. It was that subtle signal that warned her, but it was fear that gave her the courage to get up without hesitation and follow close behind the man who intended to kill her. She later described a fear so complete that it replaced every feeling in her body. Like an animal hiding inside her, it opened to its full size and stood up using the muscles in her legs. "I had nothing to do with it," she explained. "I was a passenger moving down that hallway."

What she experienced was real fear, not like when we are startled, not like the fear we feel at a movie, or the fear of public speaking. This fear is the powerful ally that says, "Do what I tell you to do." Sometimes, it tells a person to play dead, or to stop breathing, or to run or scream or fight, but to Kelly it said, "Just be quiet and don't doubt me and I'll get you out of here."

Kelly told me she felt new confidence in herself, knowing she had acted on that signal, knowing she had saved her own life. She said she was tired of being blamed and blaming herself for letting him into her apartment. She said she had learned enough in our meetings to never again be victimized that way.

"Maybe that's the good to come from it," she reflected. "The weird thing is, with all this information I'm actually less afraid walking around now than I was before it happened–but there must be an easier way people could learn."

The thought had occurred to me. I know that what saved Kelly's life can save yours. In her courage, in her commitment to listen to intuition, in her determination to make some sense out of it, in her passion to be free of unwarranted fear, I saw that the information should be shared not just with victims but with those who need never become victims at all. I want this book to help you be one of those people.

Because of my sustained look at violence, because I have predicted the behavior of murderers, stalkers, would-be assasins, rejected boyfriends, estranged husbands, angry former employees, mass killers, and others, I am calle...

Revue de presse

"A how-to book that reads like a thriller...provocative...empowering."—The Boston Globe

"De Becker has a lot to say about crime and the fear of crime, and he says it persuasively...his blend of empathy, reassurance and common sense wows readers."—Newsweek

"Chilling and fascinating."—Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine

Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 432 pages
  • Editeur : Dell; Édition : Reprint (11 mai 1998)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0440226198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440226192
  • Dimensions du produit: 2,9 x 10,5 x 17,1 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 20.734 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
Par Amazon Customer VOIX VINE
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
La peur est une émotion fondamentale à écouter pour être en sécurité. Comment utiliser sa peur pour sa sécurité et savoir retrouver l'information vitale sur laquelle le sentiment d'insécurité est parfois basé pour ne pas dénier, faire la politique de l'autruche mais gérer intelligemment les situations, rencontres.

Gavin de Becker n'a pas un discours sécuritaire ni violent, mais préventif en partant du postulat que 9 fois sur 10 nous avons l'information pour prendre les bonnes décisions mais nous ne l'utilisons pas ou mal.

Souvent la meilleure chose à faire est d'esquiver, prendre la fuite. Si c'est possible c'est presque toujours la meilleure solution, la plus efficace. Il recommande malgré tout de prendre des cours d'auto défense, surtout pour les femmes.

Il parle beaucoup de la sécurité des femmes, qui sont plus vulnérables que les hommes et peuvent être prises comme proie de certains hommes dangereux.

La principale chose que j'ai retenue ? La violence provenant d'un inconnu, qui rentre chez vous, vous agresse dans la rue est beaucoup plus rare que la violence de personnes de votre entourage.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  1.070 commentaires
407 internautes sur 419 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A book that dispells crime prevention myths 11 septembre 1999
Par Arnold Howard - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Few crime prevention experts emphasize intuition. Instead, they talk about staying alert to crime. Sometimes crime prevention experts generate more fear than they alleviate.
Gavin deBecker, on the other hand, makes intuition and freedom from fear the focus of his philosophy. Instead of imagining the bad things that could happen, he says, live without worry of crime.
He also says to stop watching the news. It only generates needless worry and gives one a distorted view of the world. I have been teaching these same concepts for years as a black belt in karate, so it was refreshing to read them from someone else. I avoid newspapers and TV news--it only darkens our view of the world. It only makes crime seem worse. Give up news for two weeks and notice how your outlook improves.
As a teacher of women's self-defense, I've heard many stories of intuition. Some people call it the "back ground music," because it is like the music that plays in a movie before something bad happens.
As deBecker writes, act upon your survival signals (run, search your house in the middle of the night, stay away from an individual, etc.), even if you feel foolish doing so.
Shed the fears in your life, because fear clouds the survival signals. Those who live in fear of crime are already victims.
Some of the book is difficult to read, such as chapters on child abuse. But the book is still worth it. Buy copies for yourself and friends. If you spend time worrying about crime, this book could change your life.
119 internautes sur 122 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Better than the book 4 juin 2006
Par G. Lawton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:CD|Achat vérifié
I found this 2 tape set, narrated by the author, to be superior in many respects to the longer book. First, given the limited time available, the points made about crime avoidance are reduced to their essential elements. Second, the author is a convincing narrator, who brings passion and the abhorence of violent crime to his subject. In particular, the author's narration of the crime described in the opening pages of the book, and the victim's instinctive reliance on the "gift of fear" which saves her life, is riveting. While the book is worthy of a careful read, the taped version is an excellent condensation. Buy it, if not for yourself, for your sons, daughters, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
280 internautes sur 298 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Gift Is Within You 11 février 2004
Par Mary Esterhammer-Fic - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
When a young relative of mine was vacationing, a stranger grabbed her by the arm and said, "Come with me or I'll kill you." She reacted instinctively and broke free, and as she ran she expected to be shot at any second. But she made it to safety and provided the cops with a good description.

One year later and 100 miles from where that happened, another little girl was grabbed by a stranger, who said something to her--this was captured on videotape. The frightened child, instead of fleeing, cooperated. She was later murdered by her abductor.

I think most of us fall into that second category, because we don't listen to the instinct to run, or to fight, or to (best of all) avoid those situations in the first place. We've been trained to suppress those very instincts that exist to preserve our lives.

What deBecker's book so expertly does is re-train us to listen to our intuition, to scope out our environment and everyone in it, and to read the danger signs we would otherwise prefer to ignore.

Panic and anxiety are not useful emotions; fear is different. Fear is what compels us to take action if there is a clear and present danger; it's what allows us to see what's happening and respond appropriately. It's an emotion that should be nurtured instead of conquered. We don't want our kids to grow up afraid of the boogeyman, scared to go out of their homes or try new things or meet new people. De becker teaches us that, instead, if we develop and learn to trust our intuition, we can free ourselves from that trap, just as we can react positively if we are ever in a position that requires immediate escape.

He shows, with examples and self-reflective exercises, what to ask yourself, and what to do, if you have a "gut feeling" that tells you something is wrong.

Parents, children and women especially need this skill.

It's great to learn self-defense, to build your confidence in what you can physically do to protect yourself. But that ability is enhanced by the lessons in this book. And sometimes, being a black-belt is irrelevent to dangers that are out there.

DeBecker's best lessons are learning how to listen to yourself, how to interpret warning signs from dangerous people, and teaching us how to predict behavior. You don't have to be "surprised" by someone's crazy or hostile actions if you can see them coming and cut them off at the pass. He points out that every time we get behind the wheel of a car, we're predicting what every other driver on the road will do. All we have to learn is how to apply that knowledge to a boyfriend who won't take no for an answer, a neighbor who takes a creepy interest in our kid, or a job applicant who is a little too persistent.

DeBecker says some things that will rub people the wrong way--such as, for battered partners: the first time it happens, you're a victim and the second time, you're a volunteer. But that's actually true. If you KNOW what this person is going to do, and you choose to stay in the relationship in spite of this information, then you have to own the consequences.

The appendices are useful and the reading list is also a good resource, but the IMPACT self-defense classes deBecker recommends are not available everywhere. I wish the book gave a little more information about choosing a self-defense course if IMPACT is not in the area.
106 internautes sur 111 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Recognize and dump a manipulator! 9 mars 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
This book recently helped me to recognize the manipulative tactics of a man I dated one time, and it showed me the most effective way to dump him before getting sucked into a bad relationship. Repeatedly discounting the word "no", even in small matters; typecasting; attempted loansharking; deceptive and self-serving charm; and unwarranted persistence were all warning signs of a bad dating situation.
The chapter "I was trying to let him down easy" provides an effective method to end a no-win situation quickly and without guilt. The strategy: Tell him explicitly that you have decided to not go out with him again. (Do not use the word "date"; he may counter-offer and suggest "going out as friends" instead. Then you are still stuck with him.) Do not offer reasons why. Do not negotiate. Your reasons are your business; his only interest is in your final decision. Cease contact, and do not respond to any attempted contact by him.
This technique may appear cold; certainly, it isn't warranted in every breakup. Recognize, though, that manipulators have honed a strategy that advances their interests with little regard to your well-being. Don't feel sorry for them. They know what they are doing. With this book, you are better equipped to see them realistically and rid them from your life before they cause real damage.
56 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 very valuable information 24 juillet 2004
Par PSM/Bokor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
This is my work background:

1) I've spent almost 10 years as a counselor in a psychiatric setting.

2) For over a year, I was as a counselor for a Domestic Violence Shelter.

3) Currently, I'm in Law Enforcement.

I thought that this book would have nothing to offer me; I was wrong. Becker has written an easy to read, fascinating, all too important book that could potentially save your life.

I have recommended this book to court service personel, who work exclusively with victims of violent crime. I have personally proffered the information, contained within this book, to numerous victims - especially, those people who are being stalked.

" The Gift of Fear" is invaluable.

It's worth your time. Quite literally, this book could save your life.

I'm not exagerating.
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