How often do you trust your gut feeling while making important life decisions? Such as regarding a relationship.
If you are not sure whether you can trust your gut feelings, don’t worry, you are not alone. The jury is still out on this. While some completely trust their gut feeling, others are not so sure as there is proof of its accuracy or efficacy.
The question you need to figure out is whether you need absolute proof when you have a gut feeling about someone or a gut feeling you’re meant to be with someone. Or what to do when you get the gut feeling someone is attracted to you.
Read on to find some answers to your questions about gut feeling, especially in the context of your relationship. Here, you will find answers to questions such as “Is gut feeling real?”, “Why you should trust your gut feeling?”, and “How to trust your gut feeling?”
You will also find in this article the factors that can get in the way and drive your intuition off the mark. This article offers you tips on how to develop your intuition.
What exactly is gut feeling?
Intuition or gut feeling has puzzled us for a long long time. For centuries many have studied it and drawn their own conclusions. Despite so much effort, it continues to baffle us and there is no consensus on whether it can be trusted or not.
The basic question that needs to be answered is “Where is this feeling coming from?”. What is the basis of a gut feeling? And, how to recognize gut feelings? Maybe if we gain knowledge on this, we will be able to figure out the answer to our question.
The second question is much easier to answer. When you have gut feelings, everything feels right. You feel as if you are making the right decision. Even though you have no clue why you feel this way, you just know so. There is no rhyme or reason for this feeling.
For some, gut feeling is the voice in the head speaking to them. When you are faced with a decision, it is asking you to choose one. Neither is this inner voice offering you any reason for choosing one option nor can you figure it out by yourself.
From where are we getting this feeling? Eminent psychologists have tried to answer this question. This is one explanation that has some logic in it and is hence believable. To understand this, you need to be aware of the two parts of the mind – the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. As the name suggests, our conscious mind contains all that is in our awareness.
The subconscious mind is a bit of mystery. There are so many things happening around us that our conscious mind is not aware of or even deletes from its memory. All this information is stored in our subconscious minds. When required, this information is transferred from our subconscious to conscious minds through processes like dreams and intuition. Sometimes this happens without any process such as in an “a-ha” or light bulb moment.
Let’s see how we can use this information to make sense of gut feelings in a relationship.
Should you listen when you have a strong intuition about someone?
Often the gut feeling is the first option that you will think about when faced with a choice. You may not find any logic in this or have any clue why or where this idea came to you. But you just know that this is the right choice for you in the circumstances.
If you are a logical person or someone who wants to think things through before doing them, you are in a difficult position. The more you think about this or the more you try to find logic in this choice, the more confused you would feel. You are in a dilemma whether to go with it or not.
Whether you want to listen to your gut feelings is a choice you have to make. You may consider the numerous studies done on the topic. Most of them explain gut feelings through the existence of the subconscious mind. This explanation is both logical and sensible though there is no proof of its veracity.
You can always choose to go with your gut feelings and see how it turns out. Using the theory of probability, you can draw your own conclusions. After all, you have a choice to make and you are choosing the one picked by your intuition. Whether your gut feelings turn out to be right or wrong, it gets added to your wisdom and helps with your decision-making the next time.
Gut feeling is something you can make better with practice.
Is Gut Feeling Real When It Comes to Relationships?
The beginning of a relationship is when you have inadequate information and no proper communication with your partner. The gut feelings in a relationship are based on all the information your subconscious mind gathered over your lifetime. This can only help guide you on the right path.
In the context of a relationship, gut feeling is all the experience you have gained in your lifetime. What led to the failure of your past relationships? And when you look at the people around you, what do you think goes into a successful relationship? All the wisdom you gained from your past experiences goes into the formation of your gut feelings.
As long as it is uncorrupted and you learn to read it right, a gut feeling can only help you arrive at the right decision. Contrary to what some want to believe, gut feeling is not some random thought or one without any basis. It is as real as it can get.
Why should you trust your instincts in relationships?
Your instinct is something intrinsic in you to keep you from making wrong choices and gravitate you towards the right choices. The more you use it, the more accurate it gets and the better you will be at reading it.
When your conscious mind is not equipped with the right information to help you make good choices, your subconscious mind will step in with its enormous amount of wisdom. This comes up as gut feelings for you. There is no reason why you should not trust your intuition in a relationship.
However, you need to ensure that your intuitive feeling is not corrupted by external factors. Overthinking, biases, childhood traumas, and your desire can end up tainting your instinct. With patience and perseverance, you can make sure that your gut feelings remain untainted. And, the more you rely on your instinct, the better results it gives.
How to trust your gut feeling about someone?
Whether you want to trust your gut feeling or not is a decision you need to make. Along with that you also need to decide how you are going to utilize this resource. If you have never used your intuitive feeling before, you might feel confused about where to begin.
You would be confused about whether the feeling you have is from the gut or your bias. When you are unable to identify the source of your feeling, you will naturally find it difficult to embrace it.
It can be daunting in the beginning. But all you need to invest in is some time learning the ropes. Once you get a hang of it, it will be smooth sailing. Your gut feelings will serve you well for the rest of your lifetime.
Here are some pointers to identifying your gut feelings and learning to trust them.
1. Keep your mind clear.
Your thoughts and feelings can affect your intuition adversely. So, to get the best of your instinct, you need to keep your mind free of extraneous and unnecessary emotions and thoughts. Mental detoxification is highly recommended to achieve this.
When your mind is overflowing with ideas, information, thoughts, and feelings, it will be hard for you to focus on your gut instinct. Often these get mixed up, resulting in tainting your instincts. When your mind is free of stress and anxiety and there is no undue pressure, you can identify your intuition in its purest form.
2. Take it slowly.
You mustn’t jump to conclusions regarding instinct. It is easy to confuse instinct with your bias or desire. At times, these can add more color to your gut feeling, changing it in the process. So, take your time to identify what your intuition is trying to convey.
This doesn’t mean you should indulge in overthinking either. Because that is another issue you should stay alert about. This is something you learn to balance with practice and experience. This is exactly the reason why it is said that the more you use your gut feeling, the more accurate it will be.
3. Consult someone you can trust.
If you are still confused about whether your gut feeling is genuine or whether you can trust it completely, the best choice for you is to talk to someone whose opinion you value and trust. This someone should not have a vested interest in the issue you are dealing with and should be able to provide an unbiased third-party view of the situation.
Such a person can guide you in the right direction. More than anything, you will find it easier to trust their point of view and accept their opinion.
4. Get professional help.
Usually, you won’t need to take this step. You would be able to figure it out by yourself or you can get help from a trusted friend. However, if none of these are feasible and if you find yourself tormented by opposing viewpoints, you should seek the help of a therapist.
With a therapist, you are assured of their impartial status. With no vested interest in the issue, you will find it easier to accept their opinion. Moreover, they are trained to guide people like you to find the right path and figure out the dilemmas in their lives.
5. Try journaling.
When you are confused, thinking more about the issue may complicate it further. Overthinking is considered one of the most dangerous things that can taint your gut instinct. The best way out of this is to write down your thoughts, instead of thinking them through.
Journaling or writing is believed to bring clarity to your thoughts. It helps you to sort them out. Unlike thinking, writing is a slower process and it compels you to slow down your thinking. This alone can help you to gain control over your mind. Moreover, you can always refer to what you have written down to assess your progress.
6. Make sense of your emotions.
Irrespective of what your instinct is telling you, you need to get a clear understanding of how you feel about it. You may feel torn between your desire and instinct when they pull you in different directions. It is when your gut feeling goes against your wishes that you feel confused about it.
In this case, you need to press the pause button and try to comprehend why your desires are clashing with your gut feeling. After all, the choice is yours to make. You need to figure out why your gut feeling is going against what you actually want.
Your awareness may be missing something that your gut feeling has factored in. Take a 360° view of the situation and take your time to arrive at the decision.
7. Resist making quick decisions.
When you are confused about your gut feeling, take it slowly. Don’t ignore your apprehensions and make snap decisions. This also doesn’t mean you should overthink it. Find the right balance and think it through. Weigh all your options before choosing one.
When you recognize your gut feeling, you may feel that it is the right choice and you should ignore the rest. Unfortunately, without you being aware, your instinct may be tainted by external factors. Until you are experienced enough to keep your gut feeling untainted, you should be careful about blindly following it.
8. Don’t spend too much time on it.
Overthinking is one aspect that can influence your gut feeling and contaminate it, rendering it useless. There is another reason why you should resist spending too much time choosing your option. In relationships, time is of importance. If you take too much time to make up your mind about a person, you may miss the bus. This person will assume that you are not interested and move on.
You need to remember that no one is going to wait forever for you to make your decision. If you take too long, you may regret it later on.
9. Listen to your body.
It is called gut feeling because it is linked to your gut or stomach. You will actually feel it in your gut whether something is right or wrong. If you are new to this, you may not be able to recognize this right away. This needs practice and experience.
Your body is tuned into your mind perfectly. You may have experienced the heart beating faster or butterflies in the stomach. In the context of a relationship, your body responds quite well to the situation. All you need to do is notice these body reactions and interpret them correctly.
10. Don’t overthink.
This cannot be emphasized enough. When you are confused about your gut feeling, you naturally think more about it. Thinking is fine but overthinking is not. It is only with practice that you know where to draw the line between thinking and overthinking.
When you are having trouble accepting your gut feeling, you should weigh the options to ensure you are making the right decision. When you go overboard with thinking, you will end up altering your gut feeling and making it sync with what you want. Then the whole point is lost.
11. Be clear about what you want.
Choosing to act on gut feeling blindly is not a good thing either. You should be aware of your desire and goals. If your gut feeling is guiding you elsewhere, you should ignore it. You should ensure that your gut feeling is in sync with your needs.
After all, your goal in life is of primary importance. If your instinct is pointing in the right direction to reach your goal, by all means, take it. On the other hand, if you are unhappy in a relationship and your gut feeling is backing you up, don’t hesitate to leave it and move on.
12. Listen to your gut.
Your intuition is a gift to help you navigate the treacherous waters of life. At times when you have nothing to go on, your gut feeling is something that will come to your aid. Just because once your instinct betrayed you and guided you in the wrong direction doesn’t mean you should abandon it altogether.
You need to remember that gut feeling is something you need to work on. The more you use it, the more accurate it will be. With practice and experience, you can make it a highly reliable tool. Learn how to best utilize this superpower.
13. Don’t let your bias taint your instinct.
Consider this scenario. You may want to stay in the relationship. That is your desire. But your gut feeling is telling you to leave. Will you ignore your intuitive feeling just because it is not in agreement with your wishes? This is a scenario we need to be cautious about.
As long as our instinct is in agreement with our desires, all is well. It is easy to accept the gut feeling and follow it. But when there is a disagreement, you will have to make the difficult decision of choosing one over the other. Do you want to go with what you want or what your instinct is telling you?
Don’t reject your gut feeling just because it is against what you desire. Weigh the pros and cons of the situation and make a balanced decision.
14. Weigh the situation.
At times, when your instinct is not in agreement with what you want, you may feel confused. In situations like this, you will find it hard to make a decision. The best choice for you is to consider all the evidence before you and use logic.
For instance, you and your partner are fighting a lot recently. Your gut is telling you to walk out of the relationship as there is no future in it. Before taking this route, you may ask yourself these questions. Why are you fighting? Have you done anything to resolve the issue?
If you have already done everything to improve the situation but your relationship continues to be acrimonious, by all means, listen to your gut. If not, give your relationship one more chance.
15. Honesty is the best policy.
Don’t fool yourself to think in a particular way just because this is what you want. For example, you want the relationship to continue. For this, don’t ignore the telltale warning signs and make excuses for your partner. By doing this, you are merely prolonging your agony.
Be honest with yourself. See the situation for how it is. Often you will have a gut feeling that goes against your wishes and goals. This doesn’t mean your intuition is wrong. Be honest and mature and look at the situation from all angles before making up your mind.
What can adversely affect intuition?
You may be obstructing your intuition without being aware of it. Some of your normal activities can unfavorably impact your gut feeling. If this happens, trusting your gut feeling about someone may not be a good idea. You need to be aware of the factors influencing your gut feeling and ensure that it remains untainted.
Some of the common factors impacting your gut feeling are:
- Biases and prejudices
- Compulsions, preferences, rules, and expectations
- Influence of a loved one/authoritative figure
- Want, need, or desire
- Past trauma or abuse
How to keep your gut feeling free of influences?
This may seem like too much work in the beginning but if you make it part of your behavior routine, it will not take much effort. We are all born with some level of intuition, especially for self-preservation. Unless we use it and gain more experience, this gift will get wasted away.
Besides relying on intuition and saving the result in your memory, you can consciously take steps to hone your instincts. Here are some tips to help you with this.
- Slow down the pace of your life.
- Keep your mind clear and clutter-free.
- Take note of your body sensations.
- Turn your attention inward and notice what is happening within you.
- Take constructive action to reach your goal and lead a fulfilling life.
Once you have worked on your gut feeling and perfected it, it will serve you well on the most demanding occasions throughout your lifetime. You will realize that the time and effort were well spent.
Gut feeling is more relevant and crucial for relationships as this is an area where you are often required to work with a blindfold. You may not have enough information about your partner to make an informed decision. And, the communication channel may still be in the development stage.
Your gut feeling can guide you well in all aspects of life, especially in relationships.