Look into my eyes and hear what I’m not saying,
for my eyes speak louder than my voice ever will.
I’m a firm believer that the eyes are the window to your soul, and if you can ‘read eyes’, let alone body language, you can tell a lot about a person but, is that it?
Funny enough this post is all about listening.
NOT with your ears but listening to that inexplicable feeling you sometimes get that something’s wrong. It’s that thing when driving that you just know the idiot in front is going to do something STUPID! No reason for it, it’s just that gut feeling.
I recall a couple of statements that go, “if you think something is wrong it usually is” and, “Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt.”
On the streets they are powerful aids for survival.
I’m talking about your SIXTH SENSE, gut feelings, being street smart, aka intuition.
Some ‘ex-spurts’ dismissively say that it is an evolutionary genetic trait. A survival skill brought about by the need to read the intentions of persons who could hurt them and their offspring. Only what a fantastic skill it is. Certainly when it comes to reading non verbal communications, some women are streets ahead of men.
It doesn’t stop there though.
Intuition has been described as “intellect without fear” and “a state of logic beyond logic or experience.” I just know it as a gut feeling.
Luckily that sixth sense is strongly exhibited by my wife.
Something that I learnt to trust a long time ago.
“Don’t go there” or “Something’s wrong” in all manner of situations.
Finally I add the “I don’t trust them”. A 100% correct judgement call.
She says that there is no reason for her judgement, it’s just a feeling, however it’s been proven repeatedly that she has picked up on something REAL which she couldn’t have possibly seen, heard, or smelt. How does she do it? “I just knew” is the usual answer.
Professional “gut feelings”
In military high stress situations that sixth sense can literally save your life. It’s the ‘knowing’ that something is not right. That “feeling” you are being watched or not alone, and nothing to do with my personal mindset that is always thinking, “What’s wrong with this picture?”
As a lone night worker, the routes and locations I used to travel were a mixture of rural and urban. Many a time I have been “unsettled” by something, that feeling that all is not quite right that makes you think twice about leaving the car, entering a building, or even carrying out a task. It’s quite common in lone outdoors workers (especially night workers) that they will tell you they start to pick up on non tangible things.
It’s the same when working with the most dangerous animal of all THE GENERAL PUBLIC. Especially in high stress environments and some people start to pick up on things. ESPECIALLY aggression, fear, and unstable personalities.
You can “train to notice” things i.e. profiling and patterning, BUT after a while you just KNOW something is wrong. As for those who can’t develop that ‘gift’, they usually end up HURT!
Doggy sixth sense.
I have been walking down paths and the dog has blocked further access.
No definite reason, just a “I wouldn’t go down there” sort of thing.
Sat at home the dog starts to growl. I have heard nothing yet when I’ve have checked, there is always something there.
I have driven down roads at night and the dog gets distressed YET on other nights it’s fine. How to explain that? Dogs have senses we can only dream of developing. They hear all, smell things that we would never have noticed, and pick up on things that are just not “right”.
That is IF YOU CAN PICK UP ON THAT PROMPT and trust your dog!
Applying this to survival.
As a rule I always try to think with my head and not my heart i.e. emotions. YET there are times when you should listen to your inner self, your intuition, that gut feeling.
You can train all you like for events, practice drills and responses to situations yet occasionally your GUT FEELING is probably more accurate than your assessment of what is actually going on.
Where it works for me is in preventing me “blindly” walking into a situation I shouldn’t have got into in the first place.
On the other hand, too much thought, too much intuition can induce a choking like effect and your thought processes interfere with the trained and voluntary movements of your muscles.
It’s a judgement call in the end whether you react to what you know, or what you think you know. However, in a fast-moving, high stress, physically dangerous situation, I’m more likely to fall back to the deeply embedded skills of military days.
Which has nothing to do with intuition.