Often you will find yourself on slippery slopes in relationships. You think everything is going great and the next moment you experience a swift reversal of fortune.
How come you were unaware of what was going on in your relationship? Why were you caught unawares? What could you have done to prevent this?
Intuition is the key to avoid such a turn of events.
Gut feeling, insight, hunch, perspicacity, sixth sense, and instinct – intuition is known by many names. All of them refer to that ability to know something without the backup of facts or reasoning.
You just know it!
So, this leads to the next question. How reliable is it? Or, how much can you rely on your intuition?
This article explores the role intuition plays in relationships. And how you can improve it and ways to listen to your intuitive thoughts.
What is intuition?
The dictionary defines “intuition” as “an ability to understand or know something immediately based on your feelings rather than facts”. It is “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning”.
Intuition is that knowledge you have that is not based on facts or analytical reasoning. You don’t know where you gained this insight or on what basis. But you just know that you have it.
In psychology, intuition is considered the bridge between the conscious and subconscious minds. The subconscious mind has a record of all feelings, thoughts, emotions, and experiences you have ever had, while the conscious mind has only limited data. However, you are not aware of the contents of your subconscious mind.
Intuition is believed to retrieve this hidden data from the subconscious mind and transfer them to your conscious mind. This means intuition is based on your past experiences of which you are not consciously aware.
Intuition vs gut feeling
You may be curious about why intuition is called gut feeling. When your intuitive skill is good, a connection is established between the brain and the heart. Or between the conscious and subconscious minds. With this, your body translates every emotion you experience into gastrointestinal distress. You will be able to feel your anger, joy, anxiety, and fear in the pit of your stomach. Hence the term “gut feeling”.
Is intuition always right?
You may be faced with situations where you lack facts to make an informed decision. And if you need to make a decision, your best bet is intuition.
Intuition definitely has a huge role to play in decision-making, even when you have access to facts and analytical reasoning. For the simple reason that facts can be deceiving and can be misconstrued. And reasoning can also go wrong.
Intuition, on the other hand, is based on your own experiences from the past, even if you are not aware of them.
Can your intuition be wrong? There is no simple answer to this. It can be yes and no, depending on how pure or unadulterated your intuitions are. When your intuitions get mixed up with your current thoughts, feelings, and emotions, they can get distorted.
However, with practice and skill, you can learn to keep your emotions away from your intuitions. And to discern when your intuitions are corrupted by your current emotional state.
This will make intuitions equally reliable as hard facts or even more trustworthy.
The role of intuition in relationships
When you meet someone for the first time, you don’t know much about them. So, how do you decide whether to show interest in the person? It is your intuition that guides you here. Having strong intuition about someone acts more like a radar, telling you how to go ahead with the relationship.
At every stage of a relationship, intuition has a major role to play. Love at first sight is the best example of intuitive skill. Or when to propose.
“We just clicked on the first date”.
“I know in my heart of hearts this is the one for me”.
“We are made for each other”.
How many times have you come across pronouncements like these? In fact, too many to count.
Intuition is handy not just for major milestones in a relationship. Your ability to understand your partner without a word being said can be your biggest asset in your relationship.
However, relying purely on intuition can also get you into trouble if they are colored by your emotions, biases, prejudices, compulsions, and overthinking. The overwhelming number of breakups and divorces you witness today can be partially blamed on relying on corrupted intuition.
But blaming intuition itself seems unfair. All you need to do is to gain the skill to keep your intuition pure and unadulterated. And also learning how to tap into your intuition in its authentic form.
How to listen to your intuition?
All the data needed for accurate insight is available with each one of us. However, keeping it uncontaminated by pollutants like emotions and biases is the hard part. And accessing this data is no easy task either.
Listening to your intuition is like trying to catch a feeble sound coming from far away. Only if you can shut down the noise around you and listen intently, you can hear it. And the same approach works for intuition as well.
1. Slow down your life
When you are in a hurry, you can barely focus on what goes through your conscious mind. So, getting in touch with your subconscious is out of the question. When your life is in the fast lane, everything is a blur.
Slow your life down to a regular pace so that you have time to enjoy the comforts and pleasure you worked so hard for. Align yourself to the Universe and the world around you. You are more likely to access your subconscious mind when you are relaxed and happy.
2. Clear your mind
Your mind is always teeming with thoughts, both positive and negative. It is more like a procession of thoughts with no break in between. When your mind is behaving like this, there is no way you can follow your instincts and listen to your intuition.
The need of the hour is to empty your mind and make it standstill. This requires practice and patience. Meditation and breathing exercises can help you in this.
3. Stay in tune with your sensations
Awareness of all that you are feeling can help in connecting you with your subconscious mind. It is just your emotions and thoughts that you need to stay in tune with. You should also be able to sense how your body is reacting to them. For example, when you feel angry, your body tenses up and you feel hot and feverish.
The body reactions offer you clues to your real feelings, even before you actually become aware of them. The ability to recognize your sensations gives you a sneak peek into your subconscious mind.
4. Turn inward
All of us are conditioned to look outwards into the world to see how our actions and words are perceived. This is to help us strategize our reactions to people and situations. But this doesn’t help us with our intuitive skills. Only when you are in touch with your emotions, feelings, and sensations, you will be aware of what is going on in your subconscious mind.
5. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is living in the present moment. When your mind is wandering off, naturally you are out of touch with your conscious as well as your subconscious minds. Mindfulness means to become aware of your every thought, feeling, and emotion in a non-judgmental way. Practicing mindfulness meditation and yoga can help you rein in your mind.
Trust your intuition or gut feeling. This doesn’t mean ignore cold hard facts staring in your face. Learn to factor in all of them while making decisions of the heart.