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Is the initial gut reaction/instinct the most reliable?


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Being an insecure person and sufferer of BDD, I always find that whenever I get the impression a girl is showing interest in me/giving signals, I tend to later dismiss the event as meaning nothing, once I give myself time to think hard about it.. For instance, one 'sabotage' technique my mind seems to display is trying to convince me that I must have been seeing things, or I was hallucinating, or that my senses failed me. Which upon reflection is stupid of course, but my mind really does work against me in this way. It's literally a constant battle between the logical and the far fetched parts of my mind and thought processes.


So you can probably imagine how crushing this must be. Now.. I'm beginning to think that I am my own worst enemy, and that my mind is distorting the reality of a positive situation and turning it into a negative one. Is there a possibility that my initial conclusion/gut reaction (before I give my mind time to analyze) is the most truthful and logical one? Because this 'in the moment' reaction tends to be positive..

For example.. this weekend, while I was out with some friends at a bar, there was a group of girls sitting at a table next to ours. There was one girl there whom I noticed (from the corner of my eye) was looking at me. Then a short time later, when she was seated practically with her back to me, she turned around and looked at me. This time I forced myself to look back, and she then smiled at me. I smiled back to. Then she looked away.


I was confident that she was interested in me at that moment and shortly after, but by the end of the night and during the course of the following days I have turned it into something meaningless. My final depressing conclusion finally turned into ''she was not interested in me, it was stupid of me to think that''.


And I'll also mention that on the flip side.. my initial instinct has been correct in the past, and quite recently actually, a girl whom I picked up some non verbal signals from did turn out to be interested in me. Regardless of that though, this still doesn't make a difference to the way I look at a situation like the above..


Oh god this has been extremely tough to explain. What are peoples thoughts on this?? What part of my mind should I be trusting? The initial or long term conclusion?

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hard to generlize. i think first impressions/reactions are telling, but you also have to be sure you are reading them correctly and not mis-reading them in a negative light b/c of your own insecurity!


so maybe you should not make snap judgements, give it a few times to see if you make a connection with somebody?

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Bluesman89 I am exactly the same way and I think you should go with your instinct. The reason I say this is because I can really relate to what you're saying and my instinct is almost always dead on right but I dismiss the idea that she's interested with my thoughts because I analyze all the possibilities to death (and most often I'm negative about it).


You also seem to have the same skill as me in reading people because your mind is always crunching away at the numbers (always analyzing). This is a skill that everyone has to a varying degree and some people are so good that they see everything in what a person is doing (their eye contact, how they're placing their hands, their micro expressions, ect.).


Trust me when I say work on this skill through practice of observing your surroundings with no particular objective in mind (basically observe people just for the heck of it). Your instinct or gut will get keener in grabbing the details. My favorite thing to do is practice on my college campus in the library. I'll sit and watch people interact in their study groups. This is an awesome opportunity because probability wise most of the people in the group usually don't know each other too well. This is good practice because they're classmates or acquaintances at best and don't know each other to well so there's all kind of stuff going on (like sexual tension to name one haha!). Bars, parties, the gym and big group outings are also really good.

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Now.. I'm beginning to think that I am my own worst enemy, and that my mind is distorting the reality of a positive situation and turning it into a negative one.


Bingo. This is it. This is so important that you have come to this realization. Because if you are your own worst enemy, that means you can change it and become your own biggest supporter.


I don't think this is about gut reaction as much as it is about choosing to think negatively or positively about a situation. When you get down to it, it's going to be impossible to tell if someone is interested or not unless you're inside her head. Sure, there are signals, but sometimes those are confusing, and certain people don't always give signals at all. So your best bet is to just gauge a situation with a positive outlook, because you really never know until you try.

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You are right to start trusting your initial gut reaction/ interpretation of a situation/social cues - before your BDD had time to kick in and distort everything.


I have read many of your posts and am really pleased to see this one, since it shows that you are starting to acknowledge your BDD and try to understand what it means to your thought processes. This is a huge step into the right direction of retraining your brain to react differently.


Keep up the good work!

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