How can you recognize the danger signs of a person who will potentially abuse or harm you?
What is the best way to respond when a relationship (including with an acquaintance or an employee) becomes obsessive or abusive?
How can an employer help to make a safer workplace for employees?
These are some of the issues discussed by Gavin De Becker in The Gift of Fear.
Gavin De Becker has a safety consulting company that helps protect celebrities and government officials.
De Becker has a unique perspective as a survivor of an abusive household. Among other things, he saw his mother shoot his father.
According to De Becker, the biggest mistake made by most people who are in danger of injury from others is to disregard their instincts. Victims who survive attacks usually say they sensed something was wrong when they encountered their attacker. The attacker usually sends subtle behavioral clues indicating an aggressive situation. The victim usually notices the clues on a subconscious level, and gets an uneasy feeling. But we have been taught to "be polite" and to "give other people the benefit of the doubt," so we disregard the warning. This can be fatal!
Trust your gut!
In an abusive relationship, the abuser is exerting control over the victim in an unhealthy way. As long as the abuser can keep the conversation going, he or she can continue to try to influence and control the victim. Again, we have been taught that it's impolite to abruptly cut someone off, to firmly say "No!" and stick with it. That's what's necessary in an abusive situation, and the sooner, the better.
The Gift of Fear is a real page-turner. It's hard to put down. And, it could be the most important book you will ever read. This book can save your life!
Buy it on Amazon: The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence.
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