I spend far too much time on Reddit threads about real life creepy encounters, which is how I learned about this book. Written by an apparent security expert, De Becker takes a look at the various ways in which we discount our intuition and how paying attention to it instead could save your life.
While in some ways this book is kind of workday, and the advice can sometimes seem a little common sense, it’s also the kind of book I wish I’d read when I was a lot younger. As someone who was raised to always be polite and to respect my elders, I found myself in way too many situations as a young woman (and even younger) that might have gone a little differently if I’d listened more to the bad feeling in my stomach and worried less about being perceived as nice, or friendly, or anything other than rude.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times in my life that I’ve had both acquaintances and strangers try to push past or simply ignore any boundaries I had and force me into situations I’d already said no to, and I can’t help but feel that some of the advice in this book might have made a difference. Most of it basically boils down to ‘fuck politeness’, but it’s a message I still could have done with hearing at a time when I still worried about what others – even strangers that I had no wish to meet ever again – thought of me.
It’s been a hard lesson over the last twenty or so years to learn to stick to my guns (and I still have moments where I let the wrong person slip under my guard), but reading this book has made me resolve that as my young niece grows up, she’ll be getting the message from me loud and clear that it’s more than OK for her to say no without equivocation or explanation.