That Gut Feeling


Are women naturally intuitive or do men too stand a chance of honing these mysterious skills? Sumayyah Malik dives into the the realm of intuition and brings us some answers.


Most women are naturally intuitive. A woman’s intuitive competence has been celebrated from time immemorial. Women are known to have a distinct sense of foreboding, or disaster or imminence – that something is about to happen. The way a woman can interpret thoughts and feelings of the other person seems almost like sorcery.

Legends of intuition associated with women go back to the times when most fortunetellers were women – those quintessential kohl lined, head scarf wearing gypsies who looked into a crystal ball and foretold one’s future. The folklore took shape of written literature in which a good wife was intuitive enough to listen to the unsaid cues of her partner. Even on mass media, the projection of women’s ability to intuit qualified her for being a good mother who could decode the demands of her baby.

Experts in communication skills and linguists rightfully observed that women were capable of interpreting non-verbal cues efficiently. Scientists also explained their theories on intuition as a biological trait in women because of lower prenatal exposure to testosterone. Women were capable of picking up emotional signals, body language, facial expression and bad moods in other people much more than their male counterparts.

However, gone are the days when intuition was only a women’s prerogative. While women may have far more natural reasons for possessing a sixth sense, fortunately for men, intuition has now been recognized as a trait that can be honed and enhanced through practice. In other words, it is a skill that can be learnt, practiced and perfected. Nowadays for men, intuitive abilities are considered as a professional marker for a good decision making. Intuition is not tagged with impulsive and reflexive thinking anymore. Rather it is considered as a “smart approach”. Intuitive men who have this “smart approach” not only excel in their professional lives but their personal lives are probably more stable. The powerful use of intuitive force affects the way men and women interact with each other both verbally or nonverbally. One should be careful to keep their intuitive abilities advantageous and be wary of falling into a rut of baseless suspicion and false speculations. The right dose of intuition at the right time saves the situation.

Smart ways ways to enhance intuition:

Observe: Observe everything around you – people, places, weather, events. Anything that catches your eye is worth observing. Be keen as you observe. Use all your five senses and draw in as much as you can about whatever it is that you are observing. This will help you to assimilate your surroundings and this sensitize you to the vicinity in which you live. Once you’re connected to your environment you can anticipate changes better.

Gut-Feeling Buzzer: Believe in your perceptions. Trust your gut feeling. Sometimes your gut feeling is right about cancelling your plans or changing that seat in the train. Your split second thought is like a divine spark in your brain. Listen to it. Having said that, take care you don’t get paranoid about intuitive thoughts. The fine line between genuine premonition and baseless superstition is very thin indeed.

Dump Reason: Intuition has no link to logic and reason. You have to dump reason for a while even though it seems unwise. Reasoning cannot help you to decide which color to wear where, when to travel, when to strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger etc. It is an art or a skill that can be learned only after abandoning reason. No second thoughts. Learn to go with the flow of what your instincts tell you.

Keep Practicing: It might seem surprising but like every other skill, intuition too depends on and improves with practice – just like Geometry or Algebra. So, practice more for perfect intuitive skills. By practice more what is meant really is that once a intuition arises, you must heed it. If you suppress it or ignore it or do not heed it, your tendencies to be intuitive will die a slow death. The only way to sharpen your sixth sense is to constantly listen to it.

The Creativity Card: When nothing seems to work for you, play the creativity card with your cognitive mind. Get engaged in some creative work like drawing, painting, writing or anything that will pause your cognitive thinking for a while. This is the best way to unleash your intuition.

Nature Refuge: Intuition does not work when your mind is pre occupied. Dismiss your routine for a while. Loosen up a bit and go out for a walk. Enjoy your surroundings and relax. By doing this, you will shut up your cognitive mind and allow your intuition to speak to you.

Learn from the Past: Experiences ignite intuition. Rethink your past experiences. Especially those which had a negative effect on you. Recall the consequences that might have caused that bad incident. Interrogate your gut feeling about the role it might have played then. Apply your deductions from the past experience on your present situation. That will make you use your intuition.



Sumayyah is doing graduation in English Literature in Islamabad, Pakistan. She writes feminist literature.

Cover Photo: Vinita Agrawal

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