You’ve heard the phrase, “Trust your gut.”

Now if you’re prone to frequent bouts of nausea or you actually have an ulcer, I’d suggest you ignore this phrase completely.

But if your plumbing runs fairly smoothly most of the time, and your decision doesn’t involve your life savings, who you are going to marry, or the livelihood of a full staff of employees, you might want to “listen” to that twist in the old rectus abdominis (those are your abs).

Of course, Forbes says never trust your gut while Time and the Harvest Business Review say go for it.

So when is it safe to trust that nagging feeling? Usually you’re safe when it’s about something you actually have some knowledge about.

For example, I would not trust my gut when it comes to how well packed my parachute is, whether I should administer fertilizer to my house plants, or whether I should fork over $3,000 for the new transmission my auto mechanic says I need.

I do trust my gut when it comes to dealing with co-workers, clients, and (Lord, help me) my kids.

When co-workers lie, they tend to avoid eye contact, avoid a subject, or avoid me completely.

Clients (or potential vendors) who lie often try too hard to impress me with their trustworthiness.

Kids are a lot easier; when my kids lie, it’s like they have a neon sign over their head flashing “Guilty! Guilty!”

The challenge is that some people are really good at lying. I mean they’ve turned it into an art form. You run into those people and trust your gut, you’d better be ready to blame it on the shrimp you had for lunch.

So if you want to put faith in “a feeling”, go for it, but you might want to leave the door open in case of indigestion.

What about you? Feel free to share a time when trusting your gut worked for you. Or share what you learned when you wish you could have blamed it on a bad bout of the flu.

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