LSR #4: Trusting Your Instincts

“The solution to violence in America is the acceptance of reality.”
― Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence


I first read The Gift of Fear after flowers arrived at my door from a man I could barely call an acquaintance. The enclosed card had a sentimental message and his phone number. Once I realized who the guy was, I felt an odd mix of emotions. Not only did I have a boyfriend at the time, the sender shouldn’t have known where I lived. I considered calling him to say, “Gosh, thanks, but…” (Ever heard the term Minnesota Nice? ;))

According to de Becker, a world-renowned expert on the prediction and management of violence, that’s the last thing I should have done, next to asking the guy out or proposing. The Gift of Fear taught me not only how to respond, but how lucky I’d been numerous times before—one time in particular.

A Close Call

I was living in midtown Manhattan and had just finished a long work day on the lower East side. I stepped onto the subway, eager to return to my apartment and swap my dress for sweats. My thoughts drifted miles away as the train prodded forward. Then I felt it: Eyes. Staring. Burning into my face like molten cigarettes.

It’s nothing, I told myself, then glanced up to see a man at the opposite end of the train car, his steely stare on me. He’s probably as spaced out as I am, I decided, though my insides quivered and chills coated my skin. One-thousand percent uncomfortable with our eye-lock, I looked away and shuffled my position to block his view. Soon, I was back in daydream oblivion.

After transferring trains twice, per my usual route, I exited and walked three blocks to my building. Once inside, I beelined for the elevator.

“Hey!” The security guard’s booming voice jolted me.

I spun around and nearly ran into the man from the subway. Had the guard not intervened, he would’ve entered the elevator with me. The sneak and I—alone in a locked, metal cube. Instead, he lost his wrestling match with the guard and landed back on the street.

This incident resurfaced again and again as I read The Gift of Fear. Had something worse resulted, I would have blamed the creepy dude—it’s never the victim’s fault, after all. But ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ matter little when our lives and safety are at stake.

“Intuition is always right in at least two important ways,” says de Becker. “It is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart.”

My intuition kicked in that night. But rather than trust my fears, I talked myself out of them.

Instincts versus Intuition

Instincts are “natural or inherent aptitudes, impulses, or capacities,” according to Merriam-Webster. Unlike animals, who act upon their instincts with ease, we humans often reason ourselves out of responding. (I have no good reason to think he/she’s harmful. I’m just paranoid. I’ve watched too many Lifetime movies…) Intuition is the ability to understand something right away, without the need for conscious reasoning. (I just know it’s the right multiple choice answer; I can feel it.) 

And although instincts and intuition can seem like supernatural silliness, they’re extremely scientific.

As we accumulate knowledge, our brains create what social scientist Herbert Simon PhD called chunks. Gradually, our brains link these chunks together and begins recognizing patterns—an act called “chunking.” When we observe familiar details, our brains see a larger composition—flashes we know as instincts or intuition.

Psychologist, David Myers PhD, author of Intuition, puts it another way. He says, “Gut instincts are mental shortcuts used to make a snap judgment based on experience and environment.”

And while we don’t need to know all of the details, why those gut feelings kick in, observing, respecting and responding to them can help save our lives.

Note: Since this post is part of my Lifesaving Resolutions series, I’m focusing on personal safety. But keep in mind that our instincts play an important role in everything from our book writing and publishing success to making wise purchases and dating decisions.

Steps Toward Trusting Your Instincts to Save Your Life

Purchase and read The Gift of Fear, if you haven’t. If you have, I suggest routine review—something I’m in the midst of doing.

Limit distractions when you’re alone in public, whether you’re walking to your car, jogging at the park or getting the mail. (Cell phones and iPods can make your inner voice inaudible. Or make it sound more like Beyoncé.)

If you sense that someone’s following you, de Becker suggests you turn and look them in the eyes. Then take mental notes on their appearance. Note their apparel, body size, ethnicity and age. Yelling the details of an impending attacker’s appearance can help by revealing your preparedness, etching the details into your mind and notifying others.

If someone creeps you out, chuck niceness out the window. In The Gift of Fear, de Becker makes a great point on this: A rational person will understand and not press if you turn them down for, say, a date. An irrational person, on the other hand, wants the attention—even negative. From “Wow, I really like you but I’m super busy right now,” the irrational person perceives that you’re into them, fixates only on the word “like.” And calling them up, even to say, “Leave me alone,” can be perceived as welcomed attention.

Never let a captor take you to a second location, even if he/she threatens you. Your chance of severe assault and injuries are far greater in a second location, such as the person’s home or car. And your chance of rescue drops significantly. To view police sergeant Sanford Strong’s insight on the tactic, check out Life-Saving Advice from the Oprah Winfrey Show. (Fab stuff!)

Use intuition as one, but not your only, tool. Instincts and intuition won’t pull out your mace and spray an offender, but they may prompt you to pull it out of your pocket. Keeping yourself out of high-risk places and situations, such as grocery store parking lots and public restrooms in the wee hours of the morning, lowers your risk of needing to rely on your instincts in the first place. In other words, listen to your “gut,” then guide with logic.

Super Safety-Savvy Resources

How do you think I responded to Flower Man? The first person to guess right will get a brand spankin’ new copy of The Gift of Fear. 🙂 Has following your instincts kept you out of harm’s way? Have you learned these lessons the hard way? Any thoughts on The Gift of Fear? I love hearing from you!
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71 Comments

  1. My dad has always been protective. Taught me how to throw a punch, warned me of the dangers of going anywhere alone.

    (You can imagine how much he loved it when I had a job that required a lot of travel – flights, hotels, parking garages…)

    I still check out my surroundings wherever I am. Notice the faces, escape routes, etc. I walk to the car with my keys between my fingers. You don’t have to punch too hard for those keys to do some damage. 🙂

    When shopping with the kid, I get in the car and lock the doors before buckling him in his seat. I try to think of every scenario where I leave myself vulnerable and make it so I am at least less vulnerable.

    I’m not constantly afraid. Just cautious.

    As to what you did about flower guy? Hmmm…maybe I would have told him that I don’t accept gifts like from people you don’t know, and that I generally report people who track down my personal information without my consent as suspicious? I really don’t know. Curious to know what you did. 🙂

    Reply
    • Fantastic points and practices, Amber! (And hooray for protective dads! Have a great one myself. :)) My hubby has taught me the importance of observing my surroundings, knowing where the exits are…for which I’m eternally grateful.

      Taking these precautions actually reduces anxiety, right? It’s all about gaining awareness and honing in on our intuition, without being crippled by fear. Like going to the doctor when something’s wrong, knowledge is key for wellbeing and more important than worrying about the “what ifs…”

      Reply
      • Sidenote for anyone who avoids calling in the cops when they “think” something might be wrong. I’ve had more than one officer in my life tell me they’d rather respond to a call that turns out to be nothing, than respond to the call someone else has to make when it’s too late.

  2. I have found my intuition to be a very accurate indicator of danger… both in terms of personal safety and being able to “read” situations. The few times I have ignored it, I faced harsh consequences. The most recent example is when I decided not to call the police when a situation next door was uncomfortable… the police showed up at our door the next morning and I knew immediately that the situation could have been avoided had I simply listened to my “gut.”

    Reply
    • Wow, Jana. One good thing about such happenings is that they can serve as valuable reminders the next time around. I bet my mind will jump to your tale if/when I consider calling the cops in the future. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  3. Gillian Colbert

     /  January 25, 2012

    Excellent post. The Gift of Fear is a must read for everybody. Personally, I ended up with a stalker after simply saying, “How are you doing?” in response to a polite, “Good morning.” I had to move. I didn’t read TGOF until much later in my life, it was true eye opener.

    Reply
  4. Well, I would hope that ignoring him sent him on his way, August, but I guess being subtle doesn’t work on everyone. Thank goodness for intuition. I think women have far more or it than men do.

    Reply
  5. Catherine Johnson

     /  January 25, 2012

    That sounds like he followed you a long way. I got followed by a girl off two metro changes in Paris and another time two girls chased me and tried to get money from my pockets. That seems like child’s play when it’s the same sex though. With men it’s different. I went out to dinner the other night with a group and this man across the way was staring at me the whole time until he left. Weird I never told anyone, but he was creepy.

    p.s. I can’t get off the blank screen on Triberr. I’ll give it a miss for now if you don’t mind. I don’t miss many posts anyway. I’d rather be flexible 🙂

    Reply
    • So sorry you had a creepy watcher, Catherine! Interesting point regarding gender.

      I imagine most women feel less threatened by other women versus men. While there are more male stalkers and sexual offenders than female, as far as the authorities know (women are sneakier ;)), the prevalence of female stalking might surprise you. Here’s one breakdown of recent statistics: http://www.sc.edu/healthycarolina/pdf/facstaffstu/safety/StalkingFacts.pdf

      On a less severe level, our instincts and intuition can help guard us from being used or manipulated in less damaging ways by others, male or female.

      PS No sweat regarding Triberr. Feel free to jump in later, if you wish.

      Reply
  6. A very important post! I’m glad I listen to my intuition instead of worrying about being polite. Maybe it was living in South America, but I definitely believe in being prepared. I remember being taught to look for a way out or an escape route wherever I was. Safety first!

    Reply
  7. When I was in high school, some woman called and asked me where my dad worked, identifying herself by a suspiciously vague sounding company name. I took the phone to my mom. Turned out she was calling for an old man I’d had a minor car accident with a few weeks earlier who was trying to scam us! He hadn’t wanted to involve insurance or police because it turned out, he’d been dropped by my insurance company for too many accidents!

    As for creepy flower guy, I’m guessing you did nothing. I’ve heard the only thing to do in this sort of situation is do not respond in any way. Now if he tried again, I hope you called the police!

    Reply
    • What a story, Jennette! Smart of you to pass the call on to your mom. Hope it all worked out for the best.

      Guess what—you win the prize! Doing nothing was the end of it. I’ve seen him in passing numerous times since. The first time after the “incident” I had my dog with me. Her instincts kicked in, too. She growled and barked from across the street. (Not sure if she picked up on my vibes or his—positive thing either way. ;))

      Let me know whether you’d prefer a Kindle or hardcopy of the book.

      Reply
      • Thanks, August! Gotta love dogs. They almost always know! I replied to your tweet, but just in case, Kindle would be fantastic. My daughter will want to read this too!

  8. Kourtney Heintz

     /  January 25, 2012

    Living in Manhattan, I learned to trust my instincts whenever in public. Better to be hyper vigilant than harmed.

    I’m guessing when you got the flowers you threw them out and ignored the guy. Started carrying mace and maybe even took a self defense class.

    Reply
  9. Marc Schuster

     /  January 25, 2012

    I’m also reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and the concept of rapid cognition, which he discusses throughout the book. His context is a little different, but the basic idea is similar: we all have enough knowledge (a la the “chunks” you mentioned in your reference to Herbert Simon) to intuit a lot more than we give ourselves credit for.

    Reply
  10. I read this book when you recommended it a few weeks ago, August. And I found it fascinating. A must read that should be on everyone’s list. Thanks for recommending it.

    Reply
  11. One thing I worry about with my daughter is how distracted she is in public with her phone. I imagine talking and texting are more barriers to stop her from noticing not only her surroundings but her instincts.
    I’ve said it so many times,but I think she hears my warning as white noise. I think I will send her your post!

    Reply
  12. Wow, that’s a creepy story! I’m picturing that…glad you had a guard on the building to help you out when you needed it most! I had a close call like that when I was working my summer job. I was a waitress, at a truck stop. I was young, and bubbly, and very friendly. Better tips, right? Sometimes they get attached though, and I had one guy follow me out to my car and then offer to..well, introduce me to love as he put it. I started laughing, I couldn’t help it. It seemed so absurd. Oh, it made him angry. So very angry. He got in his car, and I got in mine, and he proceeded to follow me. I had been heading home, where I lived out in the middle of nowhere and the nearest neighbor acres away. Had he followed me there, I’d have had to let my dog loose and hope. No cell phone back then. Odds of police showing up in time, next to nil. So, remembering advice from my parents, I drove instead around town for a bit. He continued to trail me. So I drove to the sheriff’s office. He left :-D. Then I told the sheriff and got an escort home. Glad I trusted my gut and didn’t show that idiot where I lived. Great advice!

    Reply
    • Wow, Melinda… I’m so glad you had the wherewithal to lead him on a goose chase then to the sheriff!

      That’s another great tip: Know the locations of local police and fire stations. If someone seems to be following by vehicle, head there.

      And never get out of your car or roll your window down because a stranger requests it…

      Reply
  13. Great post August. One thing I learned when walking to your car alone is to walk with your keys separated between your fingers. Like little knives ready to jab with. Have your hand in a fist. Know what I mean? Stalker as a dangerous thing. Amber made some great points.

    when dropping friends off, never drive away until you see they are in their car, it starts and they are in motion. That’s one my dad taught me. If you are dropping them at home, watch them go all the way in the house. 🙂

    Reply
    • Debra my mom and dad taught me those exact same tips! My hand automatically curve around my keys in that way anytime I leave a place and head to my car:)

      Reply
  14. Great post with a lot of points we would all do well to remember (women and men alike!). One small quibble: the site about avoiding rape (which has also circulated as an e-mail) has been debunked by Snopes.com. (http://www.snopes.com/crime/prevent/rape.asp). I read the page you referred to with interest but my radar went up when I got to the last paragraph urging me to forward to any woman I know…

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for pointing this out, Audrey! I left a message for the police officer the article is attributed to and will make any necessary changes pronto. Since it provides useful tips that I’ve also heard from other sources as well, I’m leaving it in place for now. But readers, please take note!

      Reply
      • The officer got back to me. She said she recommended it because she feels it provides valuable, thought-provoking suggestions. However, she couldn’t speak of the accuracy the stats it contained and I wasn’t able to reach the publication for more details. So… I replaced the link with an ABC news link that features similar information. Better safe than sorry, right? (Pun extravaganza… ;)) THANKS AGAIN!

  15. This may be your best work ever, August! Certainly, this post is the most helpful you’ve ever written. Good for you!

    Reply
  16. I think women are gifted with special instinct to sense danger. I friend of mine, she has a worst traffic sense but has a gifted instinct. She can sense a creep a mile away. My wife can feel stares even from her back. Talking about instinct & institution; I believe we don’t use our instincts as much as other animals do & I think that’s the price we have paid of being civilized. We bring moral judgment before our instincts. Another friend of mine, she’s not good at remembering faces & she gives benefit of doubt to complete strangers who approach her friendly. Institution overriding instinct. Great informational post August. Something that can be useful to everyone, not just a particular segment.

    Reply
    • Women are certainly more comfortable relying on it, Yatin. (I posted a link with information on that above. :)) And some experts believe that we have stronger instincts.

      You’re so right about those price we pay as a society… The fact that we can judge our instincts and the world around us brings advantages and risks. Thanks for your insight!

      Reply
  17. Thank you for sharing all of these tips. I am guilty of sometimes being pre-occupied while walking alone. Going to try to stop doing it! Would definitely like to read the book.

    Reply
    • We’re probably all guilty of that at some point… Awareness of our weak points is a huge part of becoming safer. You should feel great about that and your goal of becoming less distracted.

      Hope you do read de Becker’s book. 🙂 Best of luck!

      Reply
  18. I love this: “Intuition is always right in at least two important ways,” says de Becker. “It is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart.”

    The Gift of Fear is indeed a must-read for everyone. I now put these principles in place with my children too. I’ve said no to them on occasion for playdates or other activities with children or people that just seem “off” to me for some reason. Even if I can’t quite put my finger on why, I trust my gut feelings. Not going to give someone else the benefit of the doubt when my kids’ safety/well-being is at stake. There is a REASON why those feelings are there. Trust them.

    Reply
  19. Wow that was a close call! SCARY, eh?!
    I gotta say, my instincts are always on overdrive since I am a tad paranoid. Hubby makes fun of me with my “fear of the serial rapist” but I don’t see anything wrong with always trying to be ready. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can happen to anyone.
    I do my best to be aware of anyone near me in parking lots. I often walk with my truck key jammed out of my fist in case I need to use it as a weapon. And I have no issue turning around, looking someone in the eye and asking them what their deal is! LOL!!
    Not to mention, in my youth I did 3 years of self-defence training followed by 4 years of kick boxing. Mind you, my skills are likely rusty but I like to believe that deep down, push come to shove, the knowledge would come back.
    I know, a bit overkill but…I’ve always felt a little on high alert. LOL!!

    Reply
    • Ha! I KNOW your mad skills would crop up just when you need them. Hopefully you won’t have a need, but like you said, awareness and cautiousness are never bad things. I’m picturing you in Kill Bill 4. Hmm… 😉 Thanks for the fab insight!

      Reply
  20. I love the Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift- I’ve given t hem as gifts many times. One of the best things my mom taught me was to always trust my instincts.

    Reply
  21. Wow! Thank you so much for this post. I’m gonna read his book for sure!

    Reply
  22. Great post, August. I haven’t read this book but it’s on my list now. well done: chock full of excellent information. thanks

    Reply
  23. So glad you’ve all either read and dig The Gift of Fear or plan to check it out. Your support has hugely brightened my day! 🙂

    Reply
  24. Thanks so much for this post. I’ve had my fair share of close calls. Only a few months ago I was going to the dentist and was almost jumped after leaving my car. Fortunately I was able to get right back into my car and drive away safely. A similar situation happened to me running in the woods. Both times by instincts (or intuition) set in and helped me get out of there safely. The problem is, now I am a bit paranoid and can never tell if I am overreacting and creating chimerical fantasies or seriously being threatened again.

    Reply
    • How terrifying, Beverly! I’m so sorry that happened to you.

      That line between trusting our instincts and not being crippled by fear is an important one. Have you read de Becker’s books? If not, I imagine you’d find terrific peace. He does a great job of broaching both ends of the spectrum and how to keep our concerns in check.

      Reply
  25. fivereflections

     /  January 25, 2012

    A great post with interesting comments – some medical professionals told me the horrors of living Boston during 1962-64, with fearful thoughts of the Boston Strangler, and how most single females bought large dogs, hoping to feel more secure. I was living in the northwestern wilderness of Maine at the time, and couldn’t imagine how intense the cloud of fear draping over Boston had become.

    @August thanks for posting this valuable super safety savvy resources and the book title. Creepy weirdos are very creepy and very dangerous… I wouldn’t blame every female everywhere, if they packed a missile-launcher in their purse for protection!

    Reply
    • I probably would’ve invested in large dogs back then, too! Luckily, the creepy weirdos are the grande minority. Since it only takes one to cause serious harm, best we learn as much as we can about staying safe. Thanks for your thoughts!

      Reply
  26. snagglewordz

     /  January 26, 2012

    Excellent post, August. It’s been ingrained into me to be polite, but I’ve come to realise over the years that being polite and normal to some people is seen as some sort of additional encouragement rather than an everyday interaction. Unfortunately that has led to some uncomfortable experiences.

    I know exactly what you mean by discounting your own intuition and talking yourself out of genuine concerns. These days I am much more careful to follow my instincts.

    Reply
    • Tell me about it! Learning to be assertive and not worry about hurting people’s feelings has been a tough, but important, learning curve for me. Happy to say that the results are empowering…even if we feel a bit rude at first. 😉

      Reply
  27. Hi August,
    I enjoy getting these posts in my inbox, but just had to make a quick comment on this one. I’m not clear on whether it’s you or de Becker saying this but:
    “From “Wow, I really like you but I’m super busy right now,” the irrational person perceives that you’re into them, fixates only on the word “like.” ”
    I’m not sure whether this is really a fair criticism. If you take the statement at face value, that’s hardly irrational – what you mean is that they aren’t picking up on the subtext of the statement.

    If someone I asked didn’t want to go on a date, I know I’d rather she made it clear that the reason she was turning me down was that she didn’t feel that way. “Busy right now” could easily sound like “try another time”. After all, if a guy’s asked you out, he’s probably already thinking that you might like him and people tend to believe what fits their preconceptions.

    Of course, I’m stunningly bad at picking up on subtexts (as my family know), so that may just be me, but it’s probably worth bearing in mind.

    On another note, glad to hear that you and the other women commenting made it out of your respective situations safely. It always unnerves me how odd some people can be.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your honesty. I didn’t mean to imply that all men who press after a woman makes such a statement are harmful. De Becker makes it very clear in his books that most guys aren’t psychopaths or attackers and in many cases, the guy (or gal) was simply going about the pursuit in a poor way.

      Just to clarify, in the statement of mine you quoted, I wasn’t referencing the irrationality of the man’s interpretation, but of the man himself. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  28. Great post, August. And so necessary to remind people of these things. Life in NYC and Philadelphia taught me early to live by my gut fears. I’ve been followed, twice mugged, had friends who were raped and an uncle murdered. This subject is no joke, and kudos to you for your intelligent and supportive approach to it.

    Reply
  29. This post was fantastic and one we all need to read and store away. Many of your points I have learned over the past, some were new to me. I think I need the book you mentioned. As for the flowers, maybe you just did nothing…I received some flowers once, at my parents house of all places which I was just visiting. There was no card though. I had to call the flower shop and ask where they came from. They were able to give me enough info that I could pin it down to an ex. That situation was easier because he obviously didn’t want me to know they were from him so I was able to play dumb about where they came from. Still a little disturbing he knew I was at my parents. Again, I guess I need to go buy The Gift of Fear!

    Reply
  30. My guess for the flower guy is that you had your boyfriend deal with it (since you mentioned you had one). I don’t know how most people handle it, but if I find someone creeps me out, I tend to turn it over to my former Marine husband.

    I’ve done some stupid things in the past, including walking alone after dark in a secluded area. I also used to work alone on the industrial side of town and often closed up. I’m thankful in hindsight that nothing bad happened. As I’ve aged, I’ve gotten a bit wiser. I’ve called the police more than once over something suspicious. Twice it turned out to be innocent (people who were supposed to be there doing work but didn’t follow company protocol and let me know) and twice it was a very good thing I called.

    I’m also a Great Dane owner. We live in the country, and I never walk alone without her because I ran into one situation where a man used to frequently stop his car to try to talk to me and he made me really uncomfortable. He didn’t stop anymore once I brought my dog along and answered his question about her with “she doesn’t like strangers, especially men.” I’ve taken a bit of flack because I encourage my dog not to welcome strangers until I’ve let her know they’re safe, but I think that’s part of her job. One of the reasons I buy a big dog is for protection. You won’t meet a sweeter dog when everything is fine, but I like that she thinks before welcoming everyone who comes to the door.

    This is an excellent post, August. Too often women ignore that little voice that tells them something is wrong until it’s too late.

    Reply
  31. Once again August you present to us something so important and illuminate a subject that most people do not want to face or address. The information you present is vitally important for everyone, no matter if we live in NYC or a small rural town. I plan to read this book and probably give a few away to friends and family. You are hitting a grand slam with your Lifesaving Resolutions series!

    Reply
  32. Once again you’ve shared vitally important information with us, August. I’ve always been a door-locker and a key-in-the-fist carrier in parking lots. I laughingly refer to this part of my personality as Paranoid Patty … better safe than sorry. The world today is simply not as safe as we would like it to be.
    Back in the ’60’s when life seemed so much more innocent and free from weirdos, I backpacked and hitchhiked all around Europe with friends with only wonderful experiences to store in my memory bank. Would I allow my kids or grandkids to do it today? Not on your life!
    Now … the guy who sent the flowers? Hmmm – I think you took the flowers to a nursing home and did not respond to the guy.

    Reply
  33. Wow – thanks for the reminder, August. Even in small towns, this is good advice to observe. We get so comfortable in our own surroundings that we forget that we are still vulnerable. I’ve live in the same town almost all my life and I rarely take the extra precautions when I’m out alone at night. I just presume that everyone else is going about their business, much like I’m going about mine.

    Note to self – pay closer attention to surroundings, especially when alone or at night. (Or travel with hunky sexy body guard at all times. I like this option better.)

    Thank goodness your experience had a good ending.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Reply
  34. This is a great reminder. I’m trusting, but not in public at all. I’m constantly vigilant for people who might try to take advantage of my family, friends, or me. Even though I’m “Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota-nice!” 🙂

    Reply
  35. I’ve been thinking about you and this book lately. When you made your favorite book list this title stayed in my mind. I just finished reading Deeper Than The Dead for my library’s book discussion, and I kept wishing I had this book and could make all the characters read it. I got really creeped out and thought about the words you posted in the last blog that “fear could save your life.” I’m so glad you posted about this book again. You know, you shared lots of links for helpful and life-saving advice, but by posting this, you are a part of that and you could be saving the lives of your readers.

    Reply
  36. EVERY child, young lady and woman needs to read this, the book, and watch the video clip. Too many people ignore their instincts these days. Maybe because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves, or don’t want to feel stupid…or even appear uncool. I just about went through the ceiling when I found out my daughter had not only been talking to a guy online…but made plans to meet him….AND GAVE HIM OUR HOME ADDRESS. We’ve had a number of discussions about THAT one. Because one thing the kids today don’t seem to ‘get’ is that you CAN’T trust everyone you ‘meet’ online. It’s a different world and they need to hear stuff like this. Of course it would help if they actually had some instincts for self-preservation in the first place.

    Another great post, August!

    Reply
  37. August, again your post spoke to me on a visceral level. I need to get this book and not only read it for myself, but give it to my kids to read as well. Fear is an amazing motivator. I think some of the worst mistakes I’ve made in my life were because I didn’t trust my gut. Not anymore. If I feel that flutter, I listen.

    Reply
  38. Sorry I’m late to the party again. Life has gotten in the way from visiting you lately, but you’ve not been forgotten!

    I am always paranoid about this kind of stuff. I am constantly aware of my surroundings whenever I leave the house. Too many creepy movies maybe, but better safe than sorry, I say!

    Great post! Thanks August! 🙂

    Reply
  39. I’ll bet even if I’m right someone else has already guessed by now…did you have your boss tell him you weren’t interested and to leave you alone? Creepy!!

    Reply
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