- Rejected boyfriends.
- Estranged husbands.
- Angry former employees.
- Mass killers.
- Violent children.
- Brutal spouses.
The key personal safety concept that de Becker describes is fear. The fear that he describes is different from fruitless worry. He gives an example of fruitless worry when he describes a woman who always was the last to leave work at night. Instead of safely leaving work earlier with everyone else, she always was the last to leave work, and she always was consumed with worry while walking to her car in the deserted parking lot.
After de Becker interviewed her, he concluded that she complained to others about her fear to emphasize the fact that she worked longer and harder than they did. There was no chance that her complaints would have resulted in a night time security guard just for her, because this was not an economically realistic option.
The gift of fear, however, is different. In his book, de Becker describes another woman whose fear gave her a warning and the courage to think clearly, act decisively, and escape bravely from a criminal.
This type of fear has been described as:
- A creepy feeling.
- A feeling similar to the background sound effects that occur just before the climax of a horror movie.
- Feminine intuition.
- A masculine gut feeling.
- A strange unease because elements in the environment (body language, voice tones, words, actions, objects) seem odd or out of place.
Unfortunately, we often do not listen to our instincts that tell us to avoid these situations, to run, or to fight. According to de Becker this is because we are naïve, in denial, trying to be polite, or not centered in the present time frame. Criminals pick up on these weaknesses and exploit them.
This book will help readers to maximize their instinctual awareness of danger and to harness the lifesaving power of their gift of fear.