People Who Make You Feel Uncomfortable from the Very Beginning
Some people make you feel uncomfortable right from the very beginning. Sometimes, it’s because of their attitude or the way they look at you, address others, or invade your space. Sometimes, it’s just the way they talk. It’s as if a sophisticated, yet primitive, alarm system went off inside you. This alarm is there to warn you or tell you who you should stay away from.
We’ve all experienced that feeling. Your brain is waiting for an endless number of stimuli, clues, and gestures to make a quick judgment. Namely, it wants to know whether or not you can trust the person in front of you. However, you have to remember that your brain fails sometimes. Once you get to know the person, you may realize that your first impressions turned out to be wrong.
For this reason, it’s necessary to understand where this discomfort comes from. In this regard, experts in the field such as Mark Schaller, Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, point out that your brain uses certain cognitive and behavioral responses that aim to ‘protect’ you or safeguard your integrity.
However, sometimes these reactions correspond more to instinct than to an objective and realistic perception. Therefore, we recommend estimating or assessing the influence of possible prejudice. It’s best to combine logic with intuition.
“Believing everyone is dangerous, but believing nobody is more dangerous.”
Should you trust your instincts?
All of us use what’s known as ‘protective prejudice’ to some extent. In other words, you judge people almost automatically. This is an instinct that stems from self-preservation. Namely, we try to be cautious of strangers to protect ourselves.
Thus, studies such as the one that was carried out at Arizona State University indicate that this process is integrated into our brain as an adaptive response to defend ourselves from danger. However, as we already know, this can lead us to negative and even stereotypical attributes. Therefore, we shouldn’t always pay attention to instinct.
Thus, when you’re with a person who makes you feel uncomfortable, you should evaluate some of the following aspects to a greater degree:
The way they look at you
Some people look at you with judgment or even contempt. Moreover, studies such as the one carried out at Tel Aviv University in 2018 show us that many women experience clear discomfort from the way some men look at them. In this study, the researchers analyzed the fact that women often experience this in their workplaces. Some men look at them sexually or with contempt.
Intuition and when you should listen to it
Intuition isn’t just a hunch, nor a precognition process or any other supernatural or unscientific mechanism. Intuition allows you to act quickly in the face of daily challenges. It stems from your previous experiences as well as your personality.
Intuition is like a trunk where you keep everything you’ve lived and experienced. Likewise, you also keep your emotional essence and personality there. Thus, when you need to respond to something automatically, your intuition guides you.
Consequently, when someone makes you feel uncomfortable, there’s almost always a reason behind it. Intuition tells you that maybe that person resembles someone you already knew due to their behavior. Perhaps your past experience wasn’t positive. As a result, your internal voice warns you to be prudent and, as such, it’s a good idea to listen.
Sometimes, you just know that it’s very likely you’re incompatible with a person by just looking at them. An example of this is an introvert and an extrovert. Being with someone who’s excessively extrovertive may bother an introvert. This is because the extrovert may invade their space, talk excessively, or make fun of their quiet nature.
To conclude, just as there are people who make you feel uncomfortable, there are people you like from the very beginning. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to analyze your first impressions.
Sometimes, it’s worth digging a little deeper since you could be pleasantly surprised. Now, in case your discomfort doesn’t go away, you should pay attention to both your instincts and intuition and stay away from that person.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Bareket, O., Shnabel, N., Abeles, D., Gervais, S., y Yuval-Greenberg, S. (2018). Evidencia de una asociación entre la conducta de observación objetiva espontánea de los hombres y su respaldo a actitudes objetivas hacia las mujeres. Los roles sexuales: un diario de investigación . doi: 10.1007 / s11199-018-0983-8.
- McCoy, S. K., & Major, B. (2003). Group identification moderates emotional responses to perceived prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(8), 1005–1017. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167203253466