In my post, Intuition, I share a story from Gavin De Becker's book "The Gift of Fear." In the story, a woman named Kelly ignores her intuition and nearly dies at the hands of a serial rapist because of it. Read that post if you haven't already (or again to get it fresh in your mind). I'm going to walk you through step by step to talk about each of the pre-incident indicators in the story.
"We get a signal prior to violence," Gavin says. "There are preincident indicators. Things that happen before violence occurs."
The first sign Kelly receives is minor but important. She dislikes the man's voice. Intuition was sending out a signal that something wasn't quite right. In this case, as you recall, the man had been waiting in the apartment building before Kelly entered. Her intuition was reminding her that she latched the door behind when she came inside. Distrust him!
Next, the man offers to carry up her groceries. This is loan sharking, a PIN. If she gives in and allows him to carry her groceries, she will feel she owes him a debt, so to speak. He will collect in any way he sees fit.
He implies that she is being too proud. Typecasting, a PIN in which the man tries a slight insult with the hope that his victim will wish to prove it inaccurate. Kind of like reverse psychology. In this case, it works. She allows him to carry the groceries so that she won't come across as proud and/or rude.
"We better hurry," he says, "We've got a hungry cat up there!" This is a PIN called forced teaming. He says "we", as if they were in the experience together. This makes it harder for the victim to call the shots because now they perceive themselves as part of a team.
She's still feeling apprehensive of the man, but she shakes it off and scolds herself. He's so nice! And he's only trying to help. Wrong. He's a charmer. He is attempting to charm in order to control her actions and force her guard down. Charm and niceness are two other PINS.
It's worth noting that each of the PINS mentioned in this post occur in every day life without sinister intent. But when the gut feelings and other messengers of intuition begin to stack up along with PINS, get out of there fast!
Pre-incident Indicators (PINS):
- Discounting the Word No- probably the most obvious PIN. An average every day Joe will back off when you firmly tell them no, maybe even raising your voice to make it clear you mean business. They might go away thinking you are rude and strange, but they will back off. A predator will not. No means no every single time.
- Too Many Details- people feel the need to provide a lot of details when they are not telling the truth. Even if what they are saying sounds believable to you, it doesn't sound believable to them, so they keep talking to convince you.
- Loan Sharking- gladly lends one amount, but cruelly collects much more
- Typecasting- when a slight insult is thrown out with the hope that the victim will want to prove it isn't true.
- Forced Teaming- the projection of a shared experience or purpose where none exists
- Charm and Niceness- charm and niceness are used to control you
- The Unsolicited Promise- used to convince victim of intention. Words aren't a guarantee.
Until next time, stay safe!