Trust Your Gut

Yesterday afternoon, my daughter was getting ready to walk home from a friend’s house. Her friend walked with her toward the end of the street. At this point, a blue car pulled to a stop up ahead. The driver didn’t get out; he simply watched them.

The girls turned around and went back to the driveway, where my daughter called me on her phone to let me know she would be late. As soon as she brought the phone to her ear, the car took off.

When she called, she started off by apologizing because she was supposed to be home by 5:00…

One of the most important lessons I hear in almost every kind of self-defense is to listen to your gut. If something feels wrong, trust that feeling.

That’s not something we tend to encourage in this culture. We’re pressured to just keep quiet and avoid raising a fuss (especially girls and women). We second-guess those gut feelings. We let friends and others push us into situations that feel wrong, and we stay in those situations because we’ve learned to be more afraid of the scorn, of being ostracized.

I told my daughter she had done exactly the right thing, and despite her protests that the car had left and it was only a few blocks to get home, I drove over to pick her up. (This also gave me the chance to talk to her friend’s Dad.)

Maybe the guy in the blue car was just lost. Maybe my daughter and her friend were perfectly safe the whole time. But in a situation like this, I don’t want to take that chance.

More importantly, when she feels like something’s not right, I want her to trust that feeling, and I want her to act on it.


(Because I suspect someone will ask, yes, I did call the police and let them know what happened. There’s obviously not much they can do beyond keeping an eye out, but at least they’re aware.)