“Can I ask you something? Why don’t people trust their instincts? They sense something’s wrong. Someone’s walking too close behind them, yet they don’t cross the street. You knew something was wrong . You even knew what it was, but you came back into the house. Did I force you? Did I grab you and drag you in? I just offered you a drink.
You’d never think the fear of offending could be stronger than the fear of pain – but you know what? It is. They always come willingly. And then they’re here. They know it’s over like you do, and still somehow think they have a chance.” “Maybe if I say the right thing – if I’m polite – or I cry and beg – maybe I’ll survive.”
“And then the moment comes when they realize … no, all hope is gone. And when that happens – when I see the hope draining from their face like it is from yours right now — well, I feel myself getting hard just watching it. But you know, we’re not that different, you and I. We both have urges. Satisfying mine just requires more towels.”
– Martin Vanger, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Listen to it. No second guesses. Don’t question what it is, or where it’s coming from. Don’t even ask why it’s speaking to you. You have time to analyze all of those things later. Once your instincts have spoken, respond.
Don’t look around for things that might be out of place, because you might not find anything. Don’t stick around “just to make sure.” At that point, you’re just attempting to lull yourself into a false sense of security. That includes turning to the other party for any kind of assurance. They are the person your instincts are alerting you about in the first place.
What are you afraid of, exactly?
A missed opportunity? – There will be others.
Word of your anxious behavior slipping through social circles? – There is no blame in listening to your instincts, never heard of it happening.
Never be invited to parties or group functions? – Unlikely.
Does the desire to be accepted over-ride the notion that you may not be able to trust the person in front of you? Do you think that offending someone is worth the chance that someone might not be who you think they are? Why take the chance? Why gamble? If you irk someone, so what? You’re safe. You’re also more in-tune with your instincts.
You are not expected to harbinger whether or not another person is safe for all others. No one expects you to be able to take your decision to the masses to defend it. You only need to listen.
Your instincts are your own.