Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When Something Doesn't Feel Right: What Separates Instinct from Paranoia?

Some people are freaks. They think the worst of the worst all the time. They are convinced the end is near, people are bad, accidents await, and generally behind everything lies a secret pitfall. On the otherside are the completely oblivious- wandering through life in naivety and ignorant bliss. Often getting taken advantage of, these poor chaps, as they would never suspect what hits them.

But what about when you just have a feeling something is off? Or you don't believe someone...but you have no idea why? Is this instinct or paranoia? Or, are they one and the same? I've always been a follow-my-instinct girl. Which is just a flowery way of saying I stick to my guns. If emotion or logic or the meeting in the middle of both feel an urge towards something, I go with it.

But with age and wisdom and eyes being forced wide open is my instinct slowly chipping away? Can instinct survive with the heavy weight of life experience in my pockets? For instance- take the multiple times I was promised a raise/wage in my career and didn't actually get it until I was forced to take action. I think this has happened four times already in my career. One time my former boss hadn't even told HR he promoted me! This experience has me not really believing when a boss has any conversation with me about wage. I'm not falling for the whole "here's more responsibility and I'll increase your pay" trick. Is this fair? This isn't based on instinct- but facts collected in my past. Which in turn leads to distrust and inability to spot the good from the bad.

What do we do? Trust our intuition or trust our past? Or say to hell with it and have a glass of wine?

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