Gut instincts in relationships
Always trust your gut
Gut instincts in relationships can be the most important thing. I learned the hard way.
Always trust your gut.
Did you know that deep within the tissue of your gut is the enteric system? It’s made up of the same cells found in your brain.
So, it’s not so far fetched when we talk about our ‘gut feeling’.
‘Gut instincts’ as though our stomach is a kind of the second brain!
And why people often say:
Go with your gut
When asked by a friend what decision they should make. ‘Go with your gut’ is definitely something I also say. Especially gut instincts in relationships.
What is gut feeling?
That strange feeling you can’t quite put your finger on. A churning in your stomach.
Your hairs going up on the back of your neck. A voice in your head.
This is your intuition telling you something you should heed.
Trust your intuition, follow your intuition
Gut instincts are a primal protective mechanism. They are there to detect things before our conscious brain can see them.
I made a television series once about notorious serial killers. It featured people the killer had targeted who had survived.
They all talked about a funny feeling they’d had. Something wasn’t quite right.
They listened to intuition. It saved their life.
There are times when we ignore our gut, no longer trust it. Or it’s numbed. We can’t even hear it anymore. This is when things start to go wrong.
My gut feeling
When I first met my abusive ex all the warning signs were there, my intuition alerted me to them.
The red flags were huge. I ignored them all.
I chose to see only what I wanted to see, was swept up in the heady rush of those early days.
My heart overruled my head.
As the relationship progressed if I questioned him for any bad behavior he would gaslight me. Telling me I was imagining things or over exaggerating them.
Gaslighting distorts your sense of reality and leads you to mistrust your gut.
Over time I was numb to any gut feelings at all. Or at least, I couldn’t trust them anymore.
When he blamed me for the abuse, I believed him.
A child raised by someone narcissistic can experience gaslighting.
The child expresses how it feels about something their parent has done, for example. The narcissist responds by telling them:
You’re wrong. Too sensitive.
The child faces two options. They think:
Either my parent is right, or my gut instincts are.
In their vulnerable mind the parent can’t be wrong, so they feel it must be them.
They learn to ignore their gut or not trust it as a barometer for safety.
Swallow their feelings and not express them, even when hurt or upset. Put others’ before themselves as their self-esteem goes down.
Which is why when some of these children grow up, they end up in abusive relationships.
Listen to your gut
The further we move away from what our gut is telling us to do, the more we step away from ourselves. What is best for our wellbeing.
It’s important to start listening to what your gut is telling you and follow your intuition.
Gut instincts in relationships
The other thing that can stop you from listening to your gut is when you project onto others. Have a fantasy in your head of what you hope and believe they can be.
When you’re dating, for example. Particularly if you’re dating too soon, dating when lonely or for the wrong reasons.
Instead of being still. Observing their body language and their actions. You project onto them your dream of who they might be. The fantasy life you might have with them.
If this person is narcissistic you listen to all the incredible things they say. They’re masters of telling you what you want to hear. It confirms they’re this fantasy person you’ve been hoping and waiting for.
You ignore those telltale red flags that are telling you otherwise. When you look back you’ll realize you did see them. Your gut feeling would have been warning you. If only you’d heeded it.