It took millions of years for our species to evolve from apes to modern humans, and during those years we spent a lot of time fleeing for our lives. Our very survival depended upon being able to sense danger from predators. We still have the ability to sense danger, although today it comes not from saber-toothed tigers, but from human predators, aka sociopaths.
This protective sense is our intuition, which is part instinctive knowing, and part physical reaction. Our bodies tell us when someone or a situation poses a threat. Here are eight ways that our bodies warn us of danger:
1 . Fear. This is the ultimate warning sign. If you are ever suddenly gripped by fear when someone is in your presence, consider it the strongest possible warning.
2. Chills. If someone looks at you like you’re the next meal, and the hair on the back of your neck stands up, you could be reacting to a sociopath’s predatory stare.
3. Difficulty breathing. When you find it hard to take deep, even breaths around the person, it’s probably because something about their behavior is profoundly troublesome.
4. Crying. When your interactions with this person frequently bring you to tears, know that this is not normal. It’s a warning that something is terribly amiss.
5. Pounding heart. This may not be excitement or attraction. It may signify that deep down, you’re afraid.
6. Upset stomach. If you feel nauseous around a person, or when you think about certain interactions that you’ve had with the person, perhaps your internal compass is sending you a message.
7. Nightmares. If you have bad dreams while involved with a person, or you have difficulty sleeping, pay attention. Something is interfering with your rest.
8. Nagging feeling. You have a sense that something is wrong, but you can’t identify what it is. Your inner self knows there is a problem, and is trying to get your attention.
Pay attention to physical warning signs
The key to escaping sociopaths is to pay attention when you experience warning signs like these. Unfortunately, we often don’t listen to ourselves.
One Lovefraud reader told me that a stranger walked into her office, and she was immediately terrified. Instead of recognizing the internal warning, the woman berated herself for being paranoid. So rather than avoid the man, she accepted his overtures and started dating him. Well, he was a sociopath, and the relationship turned out to be a complete nightmare.
Most people experience warning signs early in an involvement, but don’t know what they mean. In the Lovefraud Romantic Partner Survey, I asked a question about this. I asked, “Did you have an intuition or gut instinct early in the involvement that there was something wrong with the person or the relationship?” An astounding 71 percent of survey respondents answered yes. But 40 percent of respondents ignored their intuition and continued with the relationship — much to their later regret.
So if you instinctively have a bad reaction to someone, don’t chide yourself for being judgmental or paranoid. Don’t tell yourself that everyone deserves a chance and you should be open-minded. There is a reason for your reaction, even if you don’t know what it is right away.
If you can’t avoid the person altogether, at least be wary. Your intuition is probably trying to warn you of danger.
What warning signs did you experience?
Did you have physical or internal warnings when you first encountered the sociopath? If so, please share what you experienced by posting a comment below.