How intuitive are other people, anyway?

20/02/2012 at 12:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Imagine, for a moment, that  you are facing brain surgery. You’re nervous, but try not to show it. You might expect the nurses to be able to sense your hidden worries. But would you expect the surgeon to be able to intuit exactly what you feel – even, perhaps, have a sixth sense about you?

In many schools, colleges and universities, did you know that many students and teachers believe they can actually read you like a book?

How do I know this? Because they told me. According to a questionnaire I set, there are plenty of intuitive souls out there. And you can find them in every walk of life.

On a quiet day recently, I posted a question on Facebook: ‘How intuitive are you?’ I offered three options, which could be broadly defined as ‘mildly’, ‘reasonably’ and ‘highly’. I didn’t offer the option of ‘not at all’. At that point I had never met anyone who claimed to be completely unintuitive. (I have now: just the one).

This wasn’t a scientific survey. It was simply an invitation for those who felt they were intuitive to stand up and be counted.

Over 500 people answered –  548, to be precise.  Fewer than half of the respondents happened to give an indication of where they lived or worked. The majority were from Britain, though a number of other countries were also represented. There were good numbers of both men and women.

People who have hunches

A small 13.5 % clicked on the mildly intuitive option: “I do get hunches, but don’t always know what to do with them.”

A fire safety officer, a slimming consultant and a radio presenter, plus a few university members were among those who considered themselves to be mildly intuitive.

Looking beneath the surface

The biggest group – a whopping 61.5% – considered themselves reasonably intuitive: “I often sense what someone is feeling beneath the smiles and chat”.

This included a post office worker, a pre-school teacher, a fork lift driver, a minibus driver, a restauranteur, a special effects makeup artist, a caberet artist, a supermarket assistant, someone who works for a heritage charity… Plus a  sprinkling of people linked with various universities, from MATC Milwaukee to the University of Oradea in Romania, and plenty of British universities.

Quite a few respondents worked in various health care settings, and for local government. A few ran their own holistic businesses.

Seeing the big picture

And, finally, the most intuitive group? Exactly one quarter, 25%, of the respondents, opted for “I can intuit what someone feels, and their best, next steps.”

A lot of holistic souls featured here, many running their own businesses. There were nurses and public sector workers and university graduates a plenty. Curiously, few religious organisations featured in any of the categories, but a Sufi, representing the more mystical end of Islam, did pop up this section. A watercolour artist, some psychic readers, a homeopath, a life coach, a crystal therapist…  There was also an immigration adviser… and one neurosurgeon.


Although this was not a scientific survey, it did prove one thing: men and women from all walks of life consider themselves to be intuitive. Interesting, when you consider that a century after that pre-eminent pioneer of analytical psychology, CG Jung, coined the phrase “collective unconscious”,  intuition is not widely accepted as a serious element in the human psyche. And yet, judging by my respondents, intuition clearly has a role to play – a real influence on daily life. Perhaps, then, it is time that intuition was taken more seriously – even treated with more respect.

So, what about you? How intuitive are you?

Intuition: a definition

Intuition can be defined as an inner knowing, without necessarily knowing how you know. The information is just there; it’s not something you can chase after. Jung defined it as “perception via the unconscious.” He also said, “If insight does not come by itself, speculation is pointless.”

Intuitive people may physically feel the emotional or physical pain of others; they may see images in their mind’s eye that give insights into a person or situation; they may even hear or have a sense of words spoken… there are a number of routes. Experiencing such insights is typically an uplifting feeling.


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  1. You have to be complimented Suzanne on all your work on this project – you are an amazing lady who gives such inspiration to us all.
    Delighted to hear you had such a tremendous feed-back from so many interesting people. WELL DONE.
    I THINK I have very positive intuition which always makes me feel very priviledged
    and uplifted to have this wonderful gift. Thank you for all your encouragement Suzanne. Love and Blessings. Barbara xx

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Barbara. I like the way you’ve homed in on what’s possibly the most amazing thing about intuition: it makes you feel good!

    • Thank you Suzanne.
      I used to worry about my intuition and think perhaps I wasn’t ‘normal’ but now thankfully, and with your help and inspiration, I feel so good about the whole thing and feel really blessed.
      Love and Blessings.

  3. very interesting. 🙂

    • Thank you, islespictures – glad you enjoyed the results. ❀

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