The gift that could save your life

16 Sep

gift of fear

A dozen years ago, when I was serving as a security forces officer (cop) in the Air Force, one of my sergeants told me I needed to read Gavin De Becker’s “The Gift of Fear.” I read it so many times that the library on base made me purchase the book because I wore it out – I’m grateful they did. It remains one of my favorites on my bookshelf.

Some call it intuition, gut instinct, spiritual guidance (around here also known as the Holy Ghost), etc. But regardless, it is a powerful tool that should never be ignored.

We talked about this on the Perspectives Morning Show on Fox News this week and callers shared their stories of how following that prompting in their tummy kept them from making a horrible mistake, or even saved them from death. I, too, have many stories of how following that instinct saved me, and how not following it brought severe consequences; some as recent as last month.

I urge you to read the book and in the meantime, here are some of the “messengers of intuition” you should never ignore:

nagging feelings
persistent thoughts
gut feelings

And here are some of the reasons why you should never ignore them:

Forced Teaming: A person pretends you have something in common, you are in the same predicament and you must join together to overcome the problem. This is to establish premature trust.

Charm & Niceness: Someone is overly polite, overly helpful. This is done to manipulate you. You will feel bad for turning down their assistance because “they are just being nice.”

Too many details: An FBI agent learned this lesson the hard way after murdering a woman who was a witness, and his mistress. During the interview with other FBI agents, he began to babble, offering details that normally were not important. He was making them up, hoping that excessive detail would make him sound credible and honest. It is what gave him away to the other trained professionals investigating her murder.

Typecasting: When a man calls a woman a “prude” or a “snob” or some other critical name, she may be eager to prove him wrong. That’s what a criminal is betting on. If someone, especially someone you don’t know, calls you names because you didn’t appreciate his words or actions, don’t bother stepping up to play his game. Simply say, “Yes, I am,” and walk away. You don’t have to be seen as a saint to everyone.

Loan Sharking: Giving unsolicited help, and then expecting favors in return. I am reluctant, and almost always decline, assistance from men. Life is hard and sometimes we all need an extra hand, but only take it from those you trust and know well. Often, what is expected in return is something you are not willing to do. Criminals will take it from you anyway.

The Unsolicited Promise: A promise to do, or not do something when you did not ask for a promise. A “I won’t hurt you,” means that stranger is probably soon going to hurt you. I recently received a string of communication from someone and they all ended or started with “I will never bother you again.” I knew instantly this person meant to continue to bother me. Kerry learned this lesson when a man said, “I’ll just put these bags in your door and I’ll go – I promise.” That man broke his promise, as well, and she was almost murdered.

Discounting the Word “No”: Someone who refuses to accept rejection. Women who have been asked out have probably been through this often. A man asks you out, you politely respond no; he might then joke, tease, continue to ask or ask you out different ways. Eventually, he may get angry, belittle you and threaten you. He may then spread rumors about you and try to get others to believe things that aren’t true. I rejected a date request from a man, then ignored his phone calls. A month later, a mutual friend called to say he had heard that I had thrown myself at this man and had been to visit him at his cabin many times. I know I’ve never been to this man’s cabin, so I didn’t think twice about it.

(Note: men in all parts of the world are statistically more violent than women. Thus the above was gender specific. However, it can and does go both ways. Men need to be just as careful as women. I have met women stalkers who can’t let their ex’s go, and they are just as scary.)


Posted by on September 16, 2011 in In Jen's Opinion, Relationships & Personal Growth


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “The gift that could save your life

  1. Cale Batt

    September 16, 2011 at 11:37 pm


  2. Anonymous

    September 17, 2011 at 7:25 am

    thanks for the insight Jen

  3. Amanda

    October 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Gavin has another book titled Protecting the Gift. Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane)
    You might already know about it, but every time I walk past it I think I should tell you. So here I am, listening to that nanagging feeling.


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