10 Real Stories: How “Trusting Their Gut Feeling” Saved These People’s Lives
When you know, you know. 10 people shared their stories of how their instincts guided them to escape from really bad situations. It just goes to show how trusting your gut can be completely valid.
Trusting your gut means relying on the physical sensations your body provides to determine whether you’re making the right or wrong decision.
- “I was a 20-year-old student alone in my apartment one evening. I was expecting the cable guy, so when I heard a knock at the door, I opened it. I saw an older man that definitely was not the cable guy, as he did not have a uniform on. I asked him what he wanted. He said he was going around the apartments installing security alarms.
I right away didn’t trust him and told him that it was a bad time and that my roommate was on the phone long distance (when long distance was expensive) with her parents and was going through some personal stuff. She was not there, but I did not want him to think I was alone. He asked where she was. I just closed the door in his face and said it wasn’t a good time. I called my landlord the next morning and asked her about installing security alarms, and she had no idea what I was talking about and did not authorize it.
Women, if you ever get into a situation where it looks like you are alone, really try to convince the person who is making you feel uneasy that you are not alone. Another time when I was young walking home in the dark, 2 men stopped their car and started saying lewd things to me. I just walked up to a house and knocked on the door, and they drove off quickly. You’re way more vulnerable when you’re alone.” tess2020x / Reddit
- “I was driving a back highway and got the urge to pull off and explore a tiny strip mall with a dollar store, etc. When I got back in my car, there was a nasty multi-vehicle crash that closed the whole 4 lanes. Could’ve been me.” Corgi_with_stilts / Reddit
These are like gut feelings, and they happen when the cells in your stomach talk to the ones in your brain. These reactions develop as you gain experience over time.
- “When I was pregnant for the first time, something just felt off. I knew from the very beginning it wasn’t going to end well. A few weeks later, I started cramping and spotting, which can be normal in early pregnancy. I ended up going to the ER. They couldn’t find any evidence of a pregnancy in my uterus and decided it was a missed miscarriage and wanted to send me home.
But that gut feeling that something was very wrong was still there, and I listened to it. I demanded that I be seen by my OB who was head of obstetrics at that hospital and wouldn’t leave until he saw me. He had me in emergency surgery 4 hours after he came to examine me to remove my ruptured fallopian tube and stop the internal bleeding. Had I not listened to my gut, I’d be dead.” kat4190 / Reddit
- “It was 1995, I was 18, still living with my parents, and I was walking home from a friend’s house at about 2 a.m. in the middle of the summer. He only lived 5 or 6 blocks away, and we often hung out watching movies after I got off work. Usually, I would drive to his house because we’d been out with other friends, but this night I had parked at home, and we walked to his place. There’s not usually a lot of traffic between our houses, but this night I was about halfway home when a pickup truck drove by with 2 guys in the cab and 2 in the bed.
I immediately felt like I was in danger. I saw the truck turn the corner, and I dove over some hedges in the closest yard I could find. I hid under them. I saw the truck come back around the corner and slowly drive down the street. When it got to where I was hiding, I heard one of the guys say, ‘Where did he go?’ And another responded that he didn’t know. They kept driving, and I didn’t see them again. I stayed hidden for a good 15 minutes before getting up and running the rest of the way home. I’m certain they would have jumped me if they found me.” rhyza99 / Reddit
People often talk about a gut feeling as if it’s a little inner voice, but sometimes you can “listen” to your gut through different sensations.
- “Back when I was about 10 or 11 I asked my mother if we could take my grandmother out to lunch. She was kind of against it, but I kept insisting that I really wanted to see my grandmother and that she would want to go to lunch that day. While we were out at the mall after getting lunch with my grandmother, she started slurring her speech and became extremely confused. She was having a stroke.
Luckily, my mom noticed what was going on and got her to the hospital within 20 or 30 minutes. Doctors said they were able to stop the stroke, and she came out of it basically the same as she was before. A couple of days after the fact, my mom told me I had basically saved my grandmother’s life by making sure we went out to lunch with her that day.” DargoSun92 / Reddit
- “I was with my mom in the woods in eastern Quebec. I heard something break a rather large branch just over the hill maybe 50 meters away. I told her we had to leave right away because I thought it was a bear. She told me how no bears had been in the area for 20 years. She listened to me anyway, and we went back down the mountain toward home. The next day, a bear was hit by a car just on the other side of the mountain.” throwmeinthecanal / Reddit
The gut-brain link can turn emotional experiences into tummy troubles. When you’re anxious or fearful, you might get stomachaches or nausea, which is why they call it a “gut feeling.”
- “I had been living and working in Korea, and one day I was coming up out of a subway station and saw a man talking to another foreign woman. She had that polite, frozen smile on her face — the why-is-this-guy-talking-to-me smile. I walked up to her, linked my arm with hers, and said, ‘Hey, Sarah! There you are! Are you ready to go?’ and just started walking.
The guy followed us, but I sped up and made an abrupt turn into a coffee shop. We hid, and I saw him walk past, still looking for her. We ended up getting coffee and chatting for a bit, and I found out that he had followed her off the train and had been getting increasingly aggressive for the last 10 minutes. I don’t know what might have happened, but I’m really glad I interfered!” Alma_knack / Reddit
- “My dad passed out in a bathroom at the airport. I told him to purchase an AED because they were selling them at the time at Sam’s Club (2007) for 1k. I just knew it was an arrhythmia, and I was right. He died a month later and if he’d had his AED he might have survived. It was an arrhythmia.” micekins / Reddit
Research connects these moments of intuition to specific brain processes, like assessing and understanding emotional and nonverbal signals.
- “In middle school, I was up late one night. My mom and brother were asleep, and my dad had gone away on business. I let the dog out, and when I went to go get him, I got a bad feeling, like someone was out there. There wasn’t really a reason for me to feel this way, but it was just dark, and I got spooked, so I put the chain lock up on the back door when we got back inside. Back then, we never locked our doors.
A few minutes later, the dog is drinking by the back door, and he suddenly stops and starts growling (like a low grumble) at the door. I was sitting where I could see the dog but not the door. Then I hear the door pull open and the chain lock catch. The dog started barking like crazy, and I ran upstairs to wake my brother up. He went out and looked around, but no one was there. I think the dog’s barking scared them away, but I don’t know who it was or what would have happened if I hadn’t locked the door.” monaforever / Reddit
Throughout your day, your brain collects and works with sensory information from your surroundings. Some of this information you’re consciously aware of.
- “This happened twice while delivering pizza to shady neighborhoods. Things didn’t look right, so I trusted my instincts and booked it. Both times, no one ever called back to ask about their food never arriving. That’s all the proof I need.” LoneQuietus81 / Reddit
These intuitive moments are like our brains’ secret superpower to understand emotions and nonverbal signals, as research suggests. While we go about our daily routine, our brains are quietly collecting and making sense of all the information around us, even if we’re not fully aware of it. Before you head out, be sure to check out this fascinating article where we share a mother’s important message to all parents. She saved her baby’s life by simply “trusting her gut.”