Have you ever been on a date where there was something kinda off about the person in front of you, but you just couldn’t put your finger on why that is?
Could it be the way he keeps eyeing other women who pass your table? (yes). Or could it be the condescending tone he speaks to you in – “Oh God (eyeroll), how could you not know that?!” (also yes).
Or perhaps, you are in the middle of a job interview, and the way the interviewer (your potential boss) is dodging your question about the culture and workload is kinda putting you off, and making you feel a little uneasy? (yup)
These situations can be classified as red or amber flags – warning signs telling us that all is not right with the situation/person.
However, in all my work with my clients and conversations with friends, I’ve come to realise that so many of us struggle with:
- Identifying and classifying red and amber flags
- Listening to our intuition when it tells us something is not right
- Knowing that something is wrong and not being very sure what to do next
And this is scary AF, people.
As I was preparing for this episode, I was reminded of the book I read awhile back – The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. In one of the real-life examples shared in the book, a woman felt really strangely about a really creepy man and tried to ignore it, with tragic (but thankfully not fatal) consequences.
As a woman, that case really disturbed me because we are socialised from young to always be nice and polite to people – even if they were outright aggressive or even pushing our boundaries. (I mean, how many of us find it difficult to break up with someone whilst trying to be nice at the same time?) We’ve been taught that we shouldn’t offend people. And sometimes that sentiment of being nice and inoffensive overrides our intuition and gut feeling, resulting in very harmful consequences.
On the other hand, when you are unsure what the warning signs are in the situation you are in, it means you aren’t able to clearly assess what sort of danger you are in or the level of threat you are (potentially) facing.
When your gut nudges you and you ignore it, you are essentially ignoring yourself.
And not knowing what course of action to take could mean exposing yourself to prolonged periods of having your safety and well-being compromised.
So, how do we begin addressing these issues?
Intrigued? I cover all these and more in this podcast episode, so do click on the links below to find out more!
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