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How do you know if your instincts are right?

(8 Posts)
staypresent Mon 25-Aug-08 22:21:23

I have a bit of a problem with the saying 'trust YOUR instincts' I often think "am i being too sensitive"? Therefore the other person is right and i am wrong. I think it's an old message from childhood, mum would say 'you're too sentimental/sensitive'. There is truth in that, yes i am a sensitive person but it can really bother me with making decisions and setting boundaries sometimes. Does anyone else wonder about their own judgement/instincts?

troubledfriend Mon 25-Aug-08 23:04:48

I was thinking about this only recently.

Actually I think as a generalisation "trust your instincts" is NOT a helpful phrase!

I struggle to decipher exactly what my instincts are half of the time.

Add my depression to the mix, and ...well.

staypresent Tue 26-Aug-08 23:07:42

Hi and thanks troubledfriend, LOL at your 'struggle to decipher what my instincts are...' (So do I!)

Yep, and add depression or anxiety to the mix... OMG!

Sometimes I wonder should I be going with the plan in my head or concentrate on my gut feeling and I go backwards and forwards..

Am actually much better than i used to be, I think staying with my emotionally abusive ex-h for about 10 years too long had alot to do with it. I guess its about making choices and going with it, which i did when I asked him to leave 2yrs ago. Rambling nowblush.
Thanks again TF, hope you are doing well and that your depression is mild?

troubledfriend Wed 27-Aug-08 10:24:55

Hi Staypresent.
My depression feels bad enough but have had it much worse in the past so by comparison I realise , yes, it's mild!

What I disagree with is the notion of "Trust Your Instincts" being banded about as some kind of powerful mantra as if your instincts ( if you can decipher them) represent some kind of higher power.

My instincs right now, for example are urging me to drink a tumbler full of wine (yes, it's mid morning)and go and sleep till it's time to collect the kids from school.

Trust my instincts? smile

Are you depressed?

SummatAnNowt Wed 27-Aug-08 12:00:32

Having had two periods of depression in my life I learnt that if I "feel" something is some way then that isn't necessarily how it is because I know how my own mental state can warp my perception of what is going on around me.

It's much easier to weigh things up looking at facts rather than feelings. Like the last depression had me seriously thinking about divorce, but all the reasonings for it were based on feelings, when I looked at the facts of our marriage I realised my feelings were completely out of sync with reality.

Anna8888 Wed 27-Aug-08 12:02:35

There was a very good article in the Economist recently reviewing a book that demonstrated how people who made instinctive decisions made worse decisions than people who made careful rational decisions.

beanieb Wed 27-Aug-08 12:50:45

Hiya. My 'instinct' is often nothing of the kind. Sometimes I manage to get such a build up of anxiety and imagination that my head goes into overdrive and I KNOW that what I might think of as being instinct is actually, like SummatanNowt says, just me warping things.

Does this sound anything like you?

staypresent Thu 28-Aug-08 00:02:54

Thanks everyone, Troubledfriend, good that your depression is mild, I did have anxiety for years but I am so much better after CBT. I could instinctively have that tumbler of wine too!!

Summat, yes it is much easier to weigh things up with facts. Anna888 I'll look for that Economist article.

I think what I'm mainly trying to say/ask is more about instincts with relationships/people, for example, when someone says something cutting to you, what facts do you have then? It may be cutting to one person but humourous to another? How do you know that you're not being too sensitive? You could be being walked all over and not know it. and put it down to not having a sense of humour. Maybe instincts is the wrong word? Maybe it's boundaries?

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