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  • Writer's pictureStacy Taylor, LCSW

The Gift of Intuition


Criminology, Gavin De Becker, wrote a fascinating book a number of years ago, called, The Gift of Fear. He discovered in his research that almost every time a person is about to be victimized, he or she has a sense of foreboding and danger.

Unfortunately, much of the time people ignore their intuition. They talk themselves out of it, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

De Becker makes the important point that humans are the only animals who don’t listen to our intuition. Animals, of course, will not minimize their fear instinct. If they feel a threat, they will react in a fight/flight/or freeze reaction.

However, as human beings, we want to be nice, and therefore, nonjudgmental. However, there is a difference between being judgmental and being discerning.

For instance, if you walk down the street and see another person, and immediately make a judgment based on the other person’s appearance, that may be judgmental. However, if you get the sense that the person is acting in a suspicious manner, then that is something to pay attention to.

But it’s not just danger on the street that should grab around attention. We may have an intuition that the job we’re applying for isn’t the right one. Or we may sense that a prospective friend isn’t very trustworthy. But again, we may talk ourselves out of our gut reaction.

We can see how children are often in tune with their inborn reactions. For instance, they may experience Uncle Henry as creepy or Aunt Jane as mean. But parents will sometimes admonish the child, and make them spend time with people with whom they are uncomfortable. Consequently, when children grow up, they may lose their natural intuition, something that is a gift to us, and which has helped us survive.

One of the ways I enjoy working with clients is to help them reconnect with their intuition. I assist them to discern what is a true danger versus what is preconceived judgments. Clients often find that once they are fully equipped with the gift of intuition, it is easier to navigate the world, without feeling as confused and vulnerable.

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