Go With Your Gut, Not Your Head

The traditional way to making decisions may be slightly outdated. For men, we’re used to making quick decisions based on fact, reason, and experience. We make decisions everyday, and when those decisions prove correct, it reinforces our sense of being smart and in control. But, what if there are decisions we just can’t make with our heads, like whether to stay or go in a bad relationship, or how to learn to connect emotionally with our partner?

No Guts, No Glory

Learning to “tune in” to that “gut feeling” is difficult, because what’s happening is that you’re tuning into emotions. Emotions are not logical, and men get hung up on logic to get out of difficult situations. When your gut (whether that’s your actual stomach, heart or some other place in your body), starts “glowing” and trying to communicate to you, do you listen, or tend to ignore it? Try listening to it, and try to suspend “rationality” for a minute or two. What would happen if you actually acted on what your gut was trying to tell you?

The Brain and the Gut

Researchers at the Centre for Organizational Strategy, Learning and Change at Leeds University Business School have the science to back it up. They conclude that intuition is the brain pulling on our previous experiences and external cues to make a decision, but the decision is largely unconscious and below our awareness.  What we’re left with, and what we then experience, is our awareness of a general feeling that something is right or wrong.

Missed Opportunities, or Not?

When you don’t tune into your gut, you may be making decisions you’ll later regret. Sometimes, we look back on decisions we should have made, “only if we’d have listened to our gut.” But sometimes, there are time you may not want to listen to your gut. In “High Fidelity”, John Cusack said “Should I bolt every time I get that feeling in my gut when I meet someone new? Well, I’ve been listening to my gut since I was 14 years old, and frankly speaking, I’ve come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains”.

Some decisions are better left to “gut feelings”; others, not so much. I think developing your gut intuition, and being able to reference it when it’s good for you, makes sense: you have both your rational mind and intuitive gut both working for you at the same time. You get the combined awareness of both.


About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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