The Gift of Fear - Deepstash
The Gift of Fear

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The Gift of Fear

by Gavin De Becker

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Predicting Violence

Though the media tends to present violent events as unavoidable, this is almost never the case. The signs that predict violence are ignored by the right people for long periods of time before it is too late.

These events refer to escalations of stalking, domestic dissatisfaction, office troubles and many others.

💡 Scroll down for some tips on how you can identify the cues of dangerous behavior!

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  1. Forced teaming - manipulation into an attitude of "we're in the same boat" even though it is not the case
  2. Charm and niceness
  3. Too many details
  4. Typecasting - asserting a negative trait of the victim so they feel compelled to prove otherwise
  5. Loan sharking - offering unwarranted help so the victim feels they "owe" them
  6. Unsolicited promise - reassurance with no intention of follow through
  7. Discounting the word "no" - straight up ignoring refusal or rejection

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There are 4 elements when it comes to predicting violence:

  1. Justification - do they have a reason?
  2. Alternatives - is there an easier way for them to solve this?
  3. Consequences - what are the repercussions and how much do they matter?
  4. Ability - can they carry out the violent deeds with a high enough confidence?

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While you should always be on your guard, in reality there is a price to making wrong predictions. There are 4 points to remember when deciding whether to act on your predictions or not.

  1. Reliability - do you have enough details to make an informed prediction?
  2. Importance - how will the future change if you act or not?
  3. Cost - is the action simple or would it require significant effort?
  4. Effectiveness - will your precautions be effective in protecting you or your loved ones?

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