Here at Ladies Again, we’re focused on personal growth and self-improvement. As such, it’s pretty easy for us to get so focused on changing ourselves that we forget that sometimes we’re perfect just the way we are. There’s one part of our makeup that we should be content with: our sense of intuition. Our intuition is that small nagging feeling in the back of our guts telling us when someone or something seems strange or odd. That voice lives in everyone, and it’s our hind brains noticing that something is off. The voice exists to warn us to escape from bad situations.
I learned a great deal about intuition from reading Gavin De Becker’s book “The Gift of Fear: Survivor Signals that Protect Us from Violence.” The bestselling book has been flying off bookstore and library shelves since it was first published in the late 1990s. I had to wait months to check out the book at the library. Now that’s a popular book! If you have not read the book yet, I strongly suggest you pick it up.
There are a few highlights from the book that will help you, a person who is interested in self-improvement. First, in order to get in touch with your intuition, you must know what it is. Intuition means “to guard, to protect.” De Becker writes: [Intuition is] a cognitive process, faster than we recognize and far different from the familiar step-by-step thinking we rely on so willing. We think conscious thought is somehow better, when in fact, intuition is soaring flight compared to the plodding of logic.” He continues to argue that “intuition is always in response to something and always has your best interest at heart.”
This book clicked for me. I came away from reading the text understanding that a gut reaction to something is not necessarily a mystical flighting feeling, but a quickly-processed assessment of a potential dangerous or harmful situation. By the end of it, the book made me feel more comfortable about my ability to assess risk.
The author includes a number of tips for people who are concerned with protecting themselves from harm. He talks about getting out of domestic violence situations (recognize the threat of death, end contact and hide low somewhere safely), ending relationships with stalkers (cut off all contact since stalkers like people who hate saying no firmly), preventing workplace shootings (fire problem employees immediately), penalizing murderers (don’t publicize their crimes). He also talks about the ways that role models act as violence prevention officers since many violent perpetrators were abused and neglected as children. This book opened my eyes to seeing the way the role models transform lives. After reading this book, I WILL donate to Big Brother, Big Sister to promote the work that they do to help children.
Some quick tips from the book.
- What does your intuition sound like? There are a few common messengers of intuition: nagging feelings, persistent thoughts, dark humor, wonder, anxiety, curiosity, hunches, doubt, hesitation, suspicion, and fear.
- Predators like rapists use many tactics to attack people. Here are a few of them: Talking to people as if they are on the same team when they just met (“We’re in this elevator together), premature charm and niceness, sharing too many details, shaming people they just met (called typecasting), helping people without their permission (grabbing grocery bags), saying that they “promise” (thus denying that they will harm you).
- Some signs of violent and potentially dangerous spousal abuse: The woman has a feeling she is at risk, the man accelerates the pace of the relationship (i.e., marrying too fast), he resolves conflict with intimidation, bullying and violence, he is verbally abusive, he uses threats to control, he breaks or strikes things in anger, he has battered in previous relationships, he cites alcohol or drugs as an excuse or explanation for hostile or violent conduct, he has a criminal record, he becomes jealous of anyone or anything that takes her time away from the relationship, and he refuses to accept rejection.
If you’re interested in learning more about your intuition, read the book! I highly recommend it.