It’s really as simple as that. People will find 1,000 ways to rationalize why this phrase isn’t true, arguing that their gut reactions have been off plenty of times before.
But let’s not forget: a gut reaction is very instantaneous. When we are in tune with what our gut feels like- and the more we trust and listen to it- the louder and clearer it becomes. It occurs in that initial moment when we meet someone new, take in fresh information, or find ourselves in a different place for the first time.
Almost immediately after we experience our gut reaction, we are exceptionally good at rationalizing it away.
I think we do this for two big reasons:
1.) Because making such a quick judgment call about a person or a thing seems, well, judgmental. Harsh judgments do happen, but the gut reaction is what occurs before we even have time to make a conscious judgment call about someone.
2.) Dissonance. It makes us feel highly uncomfortable to have two conflicting thoughts or feelings at the same time. In other words, we are particularly great at ignoring our gut reactions when they don’t align with how we want to feel about a new person, place, thing, or idea.
Don’t overcomplicate it.
If you have a feeling in the pit of your stomach that you are about to get screwed over, it’s because you almost certainly will. If your gut is that you can (and want to) really trust and love someone, don’t rationalize why you shouldn’t because your brain takes over and recognizes that love is scary.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Crap! I never should have listened to my gut”?
Yeah, didn’t think so.
Whatever your gut is telling you, seriously, listen. You will not regret it.