Can you think of a moment when your initial impression was completely off base?
Yeah, me neither.
I’d wager most of the time our first reactions – to animal, mineral, vegetable, human – are on point. The new team member who promises the moon and stars but then goes MIA? The date who insults your server and turns out to be a selfish jerk? Hmmm. Do you think once we get better at recognizing our original inclinations, we can start to trust our instincts with more confidence?
A close friend of mine is mending after a tough breakup. Her healing process brought her to Coming Apart by Daphne Rose Kingma, which I enthusiastically snapped up because it’s healthy to have a sit-down with buried emotions once in a while. Hello, feelers!
The author describes “clues of failure” in relationships.
These little clues, which register in your mind and are subsequently disregarded, tune you into the fact that something will go wrong eventually and that the relationship isn’t going to last forever.
This can be a very odd thing, like someone swearing excessively the first time you meet them, or being completely self-absorbed/ignoring you, or spending all night on their cellphone instead of engaging with their surroundings. The little clues are a symptom of something much bigger, which often become the make-or-break.
In hindsight, my friend realized these clues popped up when she first met her guy and they continued to be a theme throughout their relationship.
My last business relationship (with a company, not a person) ended after the initial little red flags — which were consequently swept under the rug — reintroduced themselves in a fashion that simply couldn’t be ignored. Should I have trusted my initial feelings?
Probably. Our head sends us warning signals for good reason.
Is it possible for us to refrain from sweeping thoughts and feelings under the rug when it’s something or someone that we really, really want?
Maybe it’s the pain of experience, of ignoring where our intuition leads, that ultimately allows us to give credit to our instincts. Does that mean we shouldn’t pursue what we want? Of course not! My failed business partnership ultimately led me to where I am now and I’m far happier. I lived, I learned and I moved on to a better place and next time, I’ll listen to that little niggling feeling in my gut that something may be off.