So today, at age 33, I realized I have never even tried trusting my intuition. After I realize something is a mistake I can easily remember feeling 'off' about someone or something but I never trust that feeling. I always assume that somehow, perceptions external to me are more correct. When my intuition disagrees, I try to get enough data to silence it. My first assumption is that my feeling is wrong. If the thing I am getting a sense about only affects me, I may trust it, but if it affects someone else I always distrust it.
Part of it is because it feels arrogant to me to say, "This person says X about their feelings/behavior/desires but my intuition says Y. I will trust my intuition and act as if they are wrong." Instead, I dismiss my intuition and act as if they are correct, and this almost always turns out to be a mistake. People don't know themselves. I was married to someone who told me over and over how much they liked and admired my ideas, behaviors, and self-understanding until we broke up and then they were like "oh actually I think it's wrong to be queer, pagan, polyamorous, or genderqueer, and I have thought that this whole time." I think the truth was in between, as they didn't have a firm opinion, but my intuition that they weren't fully sincere was correct. It galled me that I sensed that they weren't wholehearted yet dismissed my sense, over and over until I didn't even notice the twinges. There have been other shocking and painful instances of things like this. Sometimes I get completely numb and lost because I am dismissing so many twinges.
Another part is that there is no good way to communicate about this. If I feel like someone doesn't know their own motives and that is what I am basing my decisions on, I can't notsay that if they ask why. But I can't really say it either because there is no way to say it that doesn't sound cruel or dismissive or (at best) super arrogant.
I'm just going to wade into the thorn-bush though because I need to stop ignoring my own feelings and trusting other peoples' interpretations of situations above my own. If it feels wrong to me, I need to honor that. I may be entirely wrong about someone, but I need to be able to make that error instead of constantly erring on the side of self-betrayal. I need to be willing to be disliked, to be considered judgemental or even mean. People thinking ill of me is better than me crushing my own internal barometer. If I get a feeling about someone's motives, I am going to act as if it is correct. If I can, I will check with them first to be sure I have all the information: but if the same feeling comes up over and over, I'm going to trust it.
I'm going to start asking myself questions like "is it the best choice for me to invest in this person?" "do I feel sure this person knows what they want?" "Am I feeling a 'yes' on this or just the absence of no?" and I'm going to trust that even if I am wrong about the actual cause, I am making the right choice about the effect. I will ask myself also (as usual) "do I have a fear or insecurity that might be causing this?" and even if the answer is yes, I will not dismiss my feeling (but I will factor that in).