Posts Tagged With: Instinct

Learning to trust your instincts

Tom and JerryI’m a pretty logical person, I guess you would say I often lead with my head, which you would think (considering that I’m fairly intelligent) ought to make life easier than for those people who run around ruled by their emotions. But it’s times like this where I realise that it’s actually a hindrance .

See I’m one of those leftward leaning, liberal minded, bit PC ┬ápeople who hate to offend anyone, try ridiculously hard to please and bend over backwards to be fair and non judgemental even to my own detriment. So when I meet someone and don’t get a great ‘feel’ on them, I often dismiss this. I don’t listen to gossip or hearsay. For me to dislike someone I must personally witness them acting in a clearly “bad” way, and even then I might rationalise that they’re just having a bad day or are stressed or it was a misunderstanding. I need proof beyond reasonable doubt for me to make a judgement call.

On one hand this is what our society values, in the court of law as well as things like employment processes that aim to focus only on the facts at hand and ignore all else. This is the way we combat prejudice, racism, sexism, biases.

However, on the other hand, our sense of unease can be our animal instincts trying to warn us. We might not be able to logically explain why we don’t really trust someone, yet our subconscious can be picking up on micro expressions, body language, inconsistencies and coming to a justified realisation that this person is not trustworthy.

In hindsight it is always clearer. I have never felt ‘comfortable’ around my boss, even in the honeymoon period when I thought she was great. I never could get a clear ‘read’ on what she was thinking or feeling. I didn’t feel trust, or at ease.

There are three people in my life experience who have figuratively speaking ‘screwed me over.’ I’m not merely talking about working relationships gone bad, I mean people who in hindsight had ulterior motives which involved using me, who pretended to be nice while lying and manipulating, who didn’t care if what they were doing was unfair, damaging, hurtful, unethical and even borderline illegal.

Initially, on first glance, I did not ‘like’ these three people (in so much as I got a weird gut feel about them) – yet I ignored my instincts. I led with my head, and on the surface all three of these people seemed nice, helpful, good people to be associated with, and with one of them I even developed what I thought was a really good strong friendship. I ignored the niggles. I rationalised minor issues away, choosing to believe the bigger picture they presented to me. I recommended them to other people. And it was only after much stress, confusion, damage and hurt, that the truth of their manipulation and lies became too obvious for me to not notice.

So it comes to this: once again realising that I should have listened to my gut rather than my head. Don’t be so trusting. If you don’t feel comfortable with someone, run the other way.

Categories: Prevention | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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