Quote:Whenever someone says the words "trust in your instincts" I want to smack them upside the head with a baseball bat because trusting in our instincts is what many, many, MANY, predatorial people depend upon.
And yet so many victims should have done exactly that, trusting their instincts. I've heard it so many times, "I had a feeling such and such was going to happen" or "Something felt off about that person, but I didn't know why so I ignored it". I too learned the hard way of ignoring those sorts of feelings; I ended up getting into a car crash, among other things.
The problem with that statement is that it shows exactly how these things go.. it's either "I should have listened to my instincts" or "Thank god I listened to my instincts" and then almost only when a negative event has passed, add to that two easily noticable things, one; the individual's dislike of being wrong, and b; the unreliability of memory. No matter what our instincts tell us at the time (and I've seen this over and over), after the person who we thought was wonderful turns out to be a right bastard, we still like to be able to say "I knew it!" after the fact.
WhiteFox Wrote:True, they can be malleable, but there is a difference between feelings/instinct based on social standards pounded into you (like automatically being wary of Muslims because of the association with terrorism) and feelings/instincts that occur because something is amiss or you're going the wrong way (like a lone woman going down the alleyway at night, those red flags are there for a safety reason). I think the latter should be listened to, and not ignored.
This is also rather incorrect. Yes, these red flags exist for a reason, such as making us get an uneasy feeling around areas where predators would skulk, but the thing is, the same processes are involved with an irrational instinctual response and a rational one because they are all "rational" ones. It's a mixture of past experiences, teachings and natural responses that go into this. This is the exact same psychological process as "first impressions".
You take a person X, and when you look at him/her for the first time, your memory associates him with person/archetype Y, and it can easily do this subconsciously. X might have nothing in common with Y other than a shirt and a haircut. They might be different in every other way, but if Y has been a problem in your past experiences (someone you saw beat someone else up when you were three years old and have no conscious recollection of what so ever is enough) then you will instinctively see X as a danger, a threat, a problem, even if that person might otherwise be a perfect kitten.
Now, if you read through my whole post the first time around you'll notice that I said then and will repeat it now, instinct "can" get it right.
However, just cause you instinctively think there's something oogy about the person you're looking at, doesn't mean there is and it's entirely unfair to person X to treat him/her as Y if he's never done anything to deserve it. And exactly the same is accurate in the opposite direction, just because your instincts tell you X is a great person doesn't mean that he's not every bit like Y.
The thing is, no matter what your instincts tell you, you should exercise caution and use at least a little logic and reason. Don't assume, basically, to think that you can know anything for certain about what you haven't done yet, or don't know, or haven't met yet. Your instincts might get it right sometimes, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep the old salt shaker at hand.