The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker | Teen Ink

The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker

October 4, 2021
By Bahrk BRONZE, West Allis, Wisconsin
Bahrk BRONZE, West Allis, Wisconsin
1 article 20 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
“I have survived. I am here. Confused, screwed up, but here." - Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

     The Gift of Fear is a book about survival signals that can protect us from violence. This book is written by Gavin De Becker, a security specialist who works mostly for large companies, governments, and public figures. He wrote this book to share his knowledge and bring awareness towards how violence occurs and how to avoid it. This book broke the scale for its captivating writing style, when I first opened it I expected a step-by-step manual with robotic writing. I was surprised to find out that it contained perspective-changing information, true stories, and so much emotion while still remaining professional.


     This book goes over so much information it's hard to narrow it all down into a paragraph or two but I can try. The first thing the book goes over is the presence of danger. In this part of the book, we learn about how our brains analyze high stake situations and notice things that we are not conscious of at the moment. We then learn that right before these situations, the majority of people choose to ignore their intuition due to not wanting to seem rude, listening to your “gut” could just save your life in these situations. We learn that we predict things based on the information our brains collected but may have deemed useless and what signals to look out for in dangerous situations. These are just the first few things we learn about in the book, once you get deeper into the pages we read about how to deal with dangerous friends, family, coworkers, stalkers, and how to understand threats. Did you know the majority of murders are committed by someone the victim knows? It was really hard to read some of these stories because they’re not just stories, it's somebody's life. Though it may be sad, it’s really important to learn and talk about these topics.


     I was really surprised when I started reading this book about how easy of a read it is. Don't get me wrong, it was not a walk in the park to read about the harrowing experiences these people have gone through, I'm talking about the writing style. The book talks a lot about topics that have to do with psychology but I could understand all of it easily. It was the perfect balance between keeping the writing professional and still readable to the average person. However, it wasn't easy to read for that reason alone, the topics Mr. De Becker went over and his word phrasing dragged me really deep into thought about my own experiences and how I might react to certain situations. Don't get me started on how he set up the chapters of the book, it was flawless! Every chapter focused on a different topic but it flowed together so well. The thing that pushed the flow even further is how Mr. De Becker brought up the story of Kelly (a young rape survivor) throughout the entire book. He did this with other stories as well but the story of Kelly got special attention. The way he tied Kelly's story to every chapter showed how each topic related to her experience, it made me feel a connection to her in a way.


     I truly believe that this book deserves a score that breaks the scale. From the way he laid out the story, the way he phrased every sentence, chose every word, it is the most mind-altering book I have and most likely will ever read. There is no way I can possibly express how much this book has changed my way of thinking. I honestly believe that everybody should read this book, it could just save your life.

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