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Some Pondering About Intuition…

I read into what people are saying.  On the phone, I hear and note the frequency and length of their pauses.  I hear voice intonation.  I notice the speed of their words.  I think about diction.  I mark overall volume in voice as well as variability in voice volume.  When we speak face to face, I not only notice things about their voice and the overall nature of the conversation, but I perceive body language.  I notice posture.  I consider level of eye contact as well as what points in the conversation they make eye contact and what points they shun it.  I notice their hand motions or lack of.  I see how close they are to me, when they back away and when they come closer.  I take all of this information, and indeed, probably more, and fit it into a system that helps me understand what a person is really saying and what lies behind what they are saying.  I do all this without thinking.

I’m not trying to impress anyone.  It’s not impressive.  Everyone does it.  That’s just what we do as humans.  We’re intuitive.  We naturally listen to unspoken words.  Well, I’m sure I had something else, but I guess I’m done… nope, I remember now.  The majority of people passively intuit during a conversation; they integrate nonverbal communication into how they interpret without thinking about it.  If any of the following sounds arrogant, sorry.

I seem to intuit more carefully and more accurately than some people.  Sometimes I move into an active mode of interpretation, where I not only take information about voice characteristics and body language in, but I remain actively aware of the information pieces and my natural interpretations of them.  To give an example: I am mentally aware that the person’s intermittent eye contact, trepid voice, and posture, in combination with what we’re talking about, means that they long to connect even though they are afraid to.  The point is, I notice the actions of the person, I notice my interpretation of what that means, and then am able to evaluate that interpretation based upon what is being said, what has been said, what I know about this person, and other cues that tell me something about what is really going on within.  Man, I’m writing a lot and not quite getting there.  I’ll try to just get there.  I actually have three separate ponderings to develop related to intuition

The first is about tricking people you’re interacting with.  For those who are acutely aware or choose to become acutely aware of how their own body language is being interpreted, they actually have the power to manipulate what others perceive to be true about them even if it is not.  Being aware of how people are responding to our nonverbal communication allows us to manipulate our nonverbal communication in such a way that it communicates something false about what is going on within us.  We can completely hide everything going on inside of us while making people feel like they know everything about us because we’re completely communicating that they do know everything about us even though it isn’t true.  Why do I even think about these things?  Because I’ve thought about doing these things.  I could.  I have.  I refrain from doing so now.  Scary possibility though, isn’t it?  To know nothing about the person you think you know everything about.

That brings mean to my next question.  When we intuit something, are we intuiting something  beyond nonverbal communication, or are we just passively processing information?  Is the conversational intuition we have merely about nonverbal communication cues?  Or when we “sense” something is true about a conversation, are we sensing something otherworldly?  I don’t know for sure the answers to these questions, but my initial suspicion is that we don’t have  an ability to intuitively sense anything other than what the person is physically manifesting.   If that is true, then our intuition is vulnerable to being foiled by those that would fool us.

Is there another way that we can know what is really going on with people when they are lying to us in every way possible?  I think so.  The answer is in the prodding of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus sees all truth.  He knows what is going on beneath this veneer of light that someone is putting forth.  If we have cultivated such a relationship with God that in the heat of these circumstances we can hear His quiet voice, we can see the reality of someone’s life even when they’re hiding it.  Of course, it is God’s choice what He would reveal, and certainly His decision to reveal it to us is not so that we know and can judge or gossip, but so that we can exhort the individual to bring the dark to light and incessantly demonstrate a love that is without condition.

Please feel free to answer any of the questions I’ve posed, and to answer differently than my superficial, brief thoughts.  Also, there’s another way we might be able to discern the reality of someone’s life – the connection of our spirits.  But my experiences with this seems to be in circumstances where either both parties are willing or one party has let his/her guard down and incidentally put their spirit out there to connect with.  An unwilling spirit may not connect, and then there would be no perception of reality.  Thoughts?

Sorry for the messiness of all this.  I wrote it in my hermeneutics class.  It’s completely unrelated.

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  1. KTK
    October 6, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I think you’re full of crap.

  2. October 6, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    I might be. Why?

  3. KTK
    October 16, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    I retract my previous comment.

  4. Anonymous
    October 16, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks. I need some new content ASAP huh?

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