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8 Ways to Judge If Your Girlfriend’s Male Friend Is Actually a Friend

8 Ways to Judge If Your Girlfriend’s Male Friend Is Actually a Friend

Your girlfriend is repeatedly texting another guy and she calls him a guy-friend. She accepted his friend request on Facebook, followed him back on Instagram, gave him her number and added him on Snapchat. Now, some guys will tell you they don’t believe in guy-friends and others will tell you you’re overthinking everything. While the guy may want nothing but to sleep with your girlfriend, let’s find out who’s right. Here are 8 questions you should ask yourself before you start getting your panties in a knot.

1. How did she respond when you asked about him?

Did she act defensive or call your jealous? If she thought you were jealous, did she try to make you feel safe and secure about the situation or did she get upset with you? I once had a girlfriend who continuously texted her ex of 2 years. When we started dating, I thought it was a little strange she was still friends with her ex and so did my friends.

However, she showed genuine interest in me and reassured me of the situation and that he’s currently in a long-term relationship. Some girlfriends may not do this, but actually start an argument over it. If she holds strong, you should reconsider why she finds this guy so important. You need to find out if perhaps he’s more important to her than you are, and based on how long you’ve been dating, why you haven’t heard of him before.

2. Have you met him?

If you’ve never met the guy, he may not be all that important to her. She may also be afraid of you meeting him. Many of her real guy friends will be there at parties or other social gatherings—they’ll shake your hand and may even have a date or girlfriend. If she talks to him everyday but you’ve never met him, you have the right to wonder why.

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Even if you have met him, that doesn’t mean you can always trust him of course. A lot of guys want nothing but a chance to sleep with your girlfriend and your girlfriend will probably not see it as so.

However, it’s not possible that you know all of her male friends, as it’s not possible for her to know all of your female friends. Just because you haven’t met them, doesn’t mean anything bad, but if you have met them, you should worry a lot less than you are.

3. Why does she talk to him?

Usually there’s a reason why they’ve been friends so long. Sometimes girls like guys because they’re less dramatic to deal with. Perhaps, the male friend may have been around for important things that no one else was, such as family deaths or other traumatic events.

Essentially, you should find out: what is her motive? Is he dating one of her friends? Is he just there to boost her self-esteem by giving her attention?

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4. Did she tell you, or did you find out yourself?

How did you find out she was close to this guy? Did she casually respond to you with, “Oh that’s where James used to work,” or did you see his name on her phone one day? Did his name randomly come up in a funny story? If you’ve been dating for a while and he hasn’t come up in conversation by now, but she still texts him daily, is there a reason?

5. Is he a new or old friend?

Was he there for her throughout high school or college, or is this someone who she has just become friends with? I’ve heard too many friends tell me that their girlfriend says the guys that approach them in the club just want to become new friends. People go to the bar or club to get laid—don’t let your girlfriend underplay it.

6. Does she delete the texts?

Some people delete text messages to keep things organized. However, does she only deleted texts from him? Does she delete them at all? I’m not saying to go through her phone, searching like an untrustworthy, creeper boyfriend, but you will notice it next time you’re texting from her phone. Was his name there or not?

If I were to define a guy friend from a text message perspective, it would be someone who texts your girlfriend and she doesn’t care if you see his name or texts. If she’s driving the car and tells you to read her guy friend’s text message out loud to her and type the response, I think it’s reasonably safe to say you’re worrying too much!

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7. Do they text when you’re around?

This goes along with “have you met him?” It may be strange if they don’t talk when you’re around. They may have prearranged to not text each other during specific times. This reminds me of a girl (who’s in a relationship) who texts her ex specifically during the time her boyfriend is at work (7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). While she hasn’t cheated on her boyfriend yet, she will text her ex during the Monday to Friday work hours and then delete text messages before her boyfriend comes home from work.

8. Is he part of her friend circle?

If there’s one type of guy that I can safely safe you’re worrying too much about, it’s the guys that are in her friend circle. The guys who you’ve obviously met if you’ve been dating for anything longer than 2 months. These are the guys who make fun and laugh at her when they tell an old funny story. Besides, in many cases, all the guys in her friend circle are usually there because all of their girlfriends are friends. So settle down.

Bonus: 2 Questions About Her

At the end of the day, even if they’re not friends and he is just trying to sleep with her, here are 2 questions to make you feel better.

9. Is she really the type of person to risk it?

The type of people to cheat are low class and in most cases than not, they are young. People looking to get married are generally pretty serious, unlike those in high school who aren’t really taking their relationship seriously. That’s not to say old people don’t cheat, however. Ask yourself, is holding a long term relationship important to her at this point in her life, or does she come from a classy family who would have a positive influence on her?

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10. What kind of influence do her friends have on her?

Are her friends in long-term relationships, or are they single? I once had a girlfriend whose best friend purposely tried to get my girlfriend to cheat on me. With that kind of influence surrounding her, she could very well cave to the pressure of her best friend. If the friends she hangs out with usually are in serious relationships, you don’t have too much to worry about.

In the end, no relationship is the same and it’s up to you to make your own judgments. For the thousands of guys reading this, there is a solid amount of both loyal and disloyal girlfriends. Chances are, you’re overthinking it.

At the end of the day, if your girlfriend cares about you enough, she’ll care about your comfort, make you feel secure about the whole guy-friend situation and make you feel like you have nothing to worry about. Besides, you can’t keep the fleas off the dog and ask these guy friends to stop liking her photos or adding her on Facebook. She has to be the one who makes the decision and make you feel right. Everything’s a compromise. Tell her it makes you feel insecure, and to please stop. Tell her you are vulnerable.

Featured photo credit: Wyatt Fisher via christiancrush.com

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Josh MacDonald

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Last Updated on August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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