Picture the scene:

A woman comes out of her closet holding two dresses. She asks her boyfriend, “which do you like better, the black or the red?”

He replies, “the red.”

Now you know, you just know, that she’s going to wear the black.

Because it was never about the boyfriend’s opinion. She only asked to gauge her own reaction to what he said. 

It’s a common decision-making trick. You ask an opinion just to see how you respond. You can even use a coin if you don’t have someone handy. Flip for the outcome and see if you’re disappointed. There’s your real answer.

I’ve found another way to use this trick, and I even used it last night.

When someone is giving you advice, see how you react to it.

Did they just tell you to take a break, but you silently felt like you needed to push through? Or did someone suggest you start small, but you were mentally listing the reasons why it was better to go big?

As someone with a gut quieter than a Tesla, one of the best opportunities I have to feel my intuition is when I’m receiving advice. It’s the same principle as the dress–your instant reaction is often the truest.

When I feel myself resisting some logical, well-meaning advice, I know I’m onto something.

So if you hear that little voice that pops up and says, “well, actually, I think…,” be ready to listen. You might just learn something from yourself.

To being better without taking Aunt Dorthy’s advice,

P.S. In my own case, I was tempted to skip posting a blog, but when I was encouraged to do just that, I instantly started making the case against it. So here we are.