Natasha Montgomery | Counseling I Christian Counseling Associates | M.B.S. Whole Health I Plano, TX I McKinney, TX | Grapevine, TX
Instinct, intuition, discernment: these are innate gifts that are given to us for protection. Our body can sense danger and triggers a physiological response that tells us to fight of flee. Our brain constantly scans the environment for warnings/ triggers and indicates to our body how we should react. We may be walking down the street, and something tells us not to cross as we shortly see a car speed around the corner. We could be driving, and something tells us to take another route, later we find that there was an accident on the highway we usually take home. We can also encounter a sales person who gives us a bad vibe, and something tells us this person does not have my best interest in mind. My question for you is how do you listen to your instincts, especially when it comes to relationships?
Let’s paint a picture: You meet someone new, they are attractive, and seem to meet all of your relationship check boxes. They are attentive and want to listen to all your past hurts, needs, wants, and desires. This person seems to be perfect even though you’ve noticed that sometimes they raise their voice at you when they are frustrated. And yes, you’ve noticed that they can be slightly critical of your appearance. Oh, and they can often put you down and make you feel uneducated. But, they know what’s best for you right? You’ve told them what you wanted and needed so they are just looking out for you, right? As the relationship progresses have you begun to see the loving side of them less often than the controlling and judgmental side? Do you find yourself making excuses for their behavior?
If you have ever found yourself in a similar situation or are currently in one, I am curious to know what did your instincts show you about this person? What signs did you ignore? What signals are you currently ignoring that is telling you that this person or situation does not mean you well? An article written by Judith Orloff, PhD, identified instincts that you should pay attention to.
1: “Something feels wrong in my body”
2: “I’m in danger”
The feeling you get about a person in the first 10 seconds can tell you a lot. Though it is important to check your gut feelings against your rational mind whenever possible there are simple ways you can attend to what feels like a warning signal. For example, in the short term you can remove from an environment or relationship when your body tells you it is unsafe.
Our bodies are wired to offer us protection, when we ignore our instincts we are permitting danger to come our way whether it is physical, mental, and/or emotional. The good thing is, even if you ignored your instincts in the past, you have the choice to pay closer attention now. If you find yourself in a relationship or situation that you know is unhealthy and will only cause you harm, please put your safety first. If you are in a relationship that is mentally, emotionally, or physically abusive there are options available to help you get out of this situation. Please reach out to a domestic violence hotline, a trusted friend or family member, or a local mental health professional.
If you need assistance with leaving an unhealthy relationship or situation, please feel free to contact me discreetly to set up a consultation.