Skip To Content
  • disasterweek badge

19 People Who Listened To Their Gut Instinct And It Saved Them

Always trust your belly buzzer / spidey sense / bullshit meter.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about a time their intuition saved them or someone they care about from a sketchy or dangerous situation.

Here are the stories they shared:

1. When a Tinder date turned out to be as sketchy as he seemed.

"I went on a date with a Tinder boy who wasn't my type. (I wanted to give it a shot, try and be open minded.) As soon as I walked out my front door and saw him in person, I was immediately turned off and knew I wasn't interested in him.

We went on the date; I didn't feel right backing out at that point. So I played it very uninterested on the date. He kept pursuing me afterwards, and I, repeatedly, clearly, refused him at least four times.

A couple weeks later, I was talking to a friend at the other local school, and mentioned a bad Tinder date I went on with ____. My friend looked at me and repeated his name for verification (it was a pretty uncommon one). We looked him up on Facebook to confirm we were talking about the same person... He had three sexual assault complaints against him."


2. When having a bad feeling about a patient's recovery might have saved his life.

"I'm a nurse. I had a patient who was doing great after a relatively minor surgery and was set to be discharged the next day. I just had a bad feeling about it ever since my shift started. I kept checking in on him and he said he was completely fine. He went for a walk around the unit with the help of an aid. I offered to walk him myself. Glad I did. The guy passed out just as he was getting back to his room and was in a very serious and dangerous heart rhythm. If I wasn't there, we might not have been able to save him the way we did!"


3. When you actually feel danger enter the room.

"When I was 13, I was in a pet store with my sister when this man walked in and it suddenly felt like the air in the store had changed. I felt terrified to my core. I immediately grabbed my sister and told her we had to leave right then and there. We walked to meet our mom at the grocery store across the street, and finished our shopping. When we finally left the store, the parking lot was flooded with police officers and there were helicopters above us. Turns out, the minute we left the store the man had attempted to rob the place and even shot the cashier. Ever since then, I've always listened to my gut."


4. When parental instinct (and ignoring naysayers) was the right move.

"When my son was around 9 months old, he found a penny and put it in his mouth. By the time I realized what it was, he had already swallowed it. Me being a first time mom, I completely freaked out. My older family members told me not to worry and that he would just poop it out and that things like that happened all the time. But I knew something wasn't right. My gut instinct was screaming at me to take him to the ER even though he was acting normal. So at around midnight I decided to wake my husband and we took him in. Everyone thought I was exaggerating the situation but once we got to the hospital, they did an X-ray on my son and found out that the penny was lodged. The doctor told us that if the penny had flipped, or moved even in the slightest, it would have blocked his airway and my son could have died. Thankfully they were able to remove it and my son is a happy 4-year-old now. I always listen my instinct now!"


5. When you're a kid and a stranger sets off that feeling in the pit of your stomach.

"When I was little, my mom always called your intuition 'your belly buzzer.' It was the feeling in the pit of your stomach that something wasn't right. 'Trust your belly buzzer,' she would say.

It's a good thing she did because when I was about 7, I was playing with some friends at recess. This man with a baseball cap walked up to us saying he had lost his puppy, and asked if we would help him look for it. My belly buzzer went crazy, and I screamed, 'NO!' I grabbed my friends and we ran off. Who knows what would've happened if my mom hadn't taught me to trust myself?"


6. When you somehow know the exact right thing to say to deescalate a situation.

"I was living at my sorority house in the summer and it was the Fourth of July. I was 20 at the time, and decided I should be 'grown-up' and stay at school to work instead of going to spend time with my family. That night, a man came into my bedroom and pulled me out of the top of the bunk bed. After a bit of tussling, I eventually said to him, 'How can I help you?' He stopped hitting me and said he had the wrong house. Eventually, I got him out of there and I went to the hospital. Needless to say, those five words likely saved my life."


7. When you get a bad vibe from the daycare you're considering.

"I was deciding on child care, which is always stressful. One place was a little cheaper per day (but you paid for the week even if your kid missed a day), but offered a video feed. The other was more expensive per day, but you caught a break and only paid for days attended. I picked the more expensive one because I got a bad vibe from the other. Within two weeks, the first one caught fire under odd circumstances (no one got hurt), closed, and never reopened. Always trust your gut, especially when it comes to the kiddos."


8. When you get the feeling someone might be following you.

"Once I was walking home alone at night, and I was just listening to music and looking at my phone when I suddenly felt like something wasn't right. I looked around and saw a car following me closely. So I started to walk on the other side of the street and all of a sudden the car parks up ahead of me and opens his door a little so that he could easily pull me in. I thought that I was just overreacting but deep down I knew something was off, so I turned around and walked the other way.

When I looked back he jumped out of the car and started to follow me. I started to walk a little faster. I turned around and he was jogging towards me. (Should be noted that this dude was like 6'4" and at least 200 pounds). I ran into a corner store and he ended up going in there twice β€” didn't buy anything, but looked right at me and grinned. I got someone to walk me home and I made sure to lock all the doors. It was the scariest thing ever and if I had kept walking I'm pretty sure something terrible would have happened. I'm so happy I listened to my gut."


9. And when you can feel someone watching you.

"A few weeks ago I was at home, and I had a weird feeling someone was watching me through the windows. I even texted my boyfriend that morning around 8:30 that I was feeling paranoid that someone was looking at me. Around 4:30 p.m. I heard a very light knocking on the back door. I peeked around the corner and saw the little neighbor boy who had just turned 2. It turns out he had opened his front door and walked right out. His parents had been searching for him for about 45 minutes, and the police were on their way. We live in an area with lots of thick woods, steep hills, and wildlife, so he could have easily been lost or severely injured. If I hadn't been paranoid and on high alert, I never would have heard the knocking on the back door."


10. When a cute guy is creepy in a way you can't really put your finger on.

"I was in college and there was a really cute guy in one of my classes. A week or two in we had to work together on a small project and I was pretty excited about the opportunity to get to know him. After speaking to him, though, I got a really bad vibe from him, but nothing specific that I could put my finger on. I lost all attraction to him and knew that I should keep my distance. He approached me a couple of times after the project, but I made sure to be pretty cool/distant, though still polite.

A month or two later (same semester), our teacher announced that the guy had been arrested for murdering a girl he had been dating β€” another student at the school β€” and apparently it was an extremely brutal murder. He gave us the number of the detective investigating the case in case we had any info to share.

It was a little unsettling thinking about what could have happened if I had gone by physical attraction alone and not listened to my gut about this guy."


11. When a sudden urge to move to a different room could have saved your life

"Once, I was staying at my parents' house while they went out of town, and my dad had just finished cleaning their guest room. I spent most of the day passing by the room and couldn't help but notice how cozy everything looked with the stuffed animals piled high on top of all the pillows on the bed.

Later that night, I came home from an evening out and fell asleep on their couch. Around 1 a.m., I woke up abruptly because I got this sick feeling in my stomach and this thought in my head, 'Go to the guest room. Get off the couch. You should not be on the couch.' So I got up. I went to the guest room and snuggled underneath all the pillows and stuffed animals.

Around 4 a.m., I heard someone rustling around in the bathroom down the hall. Resisting the urge to call out for my dad, and see if it was him arriving home early, I decided to just text (my phone was in the bed with me). When I got no response, I continued to listen...then I heard voices.

I proceeded to lay in the bed underneath the stuffed animals while my family home was robbed for three hours. I heard the entire thing. At one point, one of the men even came in the room where I was, turned on the light, and just stared at the bed I was sleeping in. I don't know if it was because I was concealed under all the stuffed animals and pillows or if it was God's grace but he didn't come near me. I waited until I heard them leave to go pack the car and then I texted a friend to call 911. If I had never had the feeling to get up and go to the guest bed, this would probably be a different story."


12. When something tells you to look up from whatever you're doing.

"I used to spend the summers at my grandma's house, and for some strange reason, she always keeps her door open. One day my grandmother, sister, and I were chilling in the living room when something told me to look up. The minute I looked up, I saw a toddler walking down the street alone. I yelled that there was a baby outside and he was walking toward the interstate. My uncle dashed outside and grabbed the child before he could make it. When we brought the child back to his parents, they had no idea he wasn't even in the house. If I hadn't looked up in time, that child could have been kidnapped or killed."


13. When you're pregnant and your maternal instinct saves your baby's life.

"I was 30 weeks into my pregnancy and just felt like something wasn't right. I couldn't stop crying. He wasn't moving enough. I was in a complete panicked state. I remember thinking, 'something AWFUL is happening.' My stomach was in knots. When we got in to see the doctor, my son's heart rate was at 200 BPM and was going into congestive heart failure. His heart was beating so fast it wasn't pumping, and all the fluid was backing up into his body. He was born early with a 50% chance of survival. He is 4 now and completely healthy and normal.

They told me at the hospital if I waited much longer he wouldn't have made it."


14. And when you're pregnant and your instinct saves your own life.

"I was pregnant and trucking along just fine. At one point, I ate Chipotle and got super sick and chalked it up to bad food. A day or so later, I woke up with minor pain in my belly. It wasn't that the pain was that terrible, but something told me to go to the hospital. My mind was actually trying to talk myself out of going β€” it felt silly. I figured it was probably a GI issue. After going through some testing, they told me I had a ruptured ectopic at 10 weeks pregnant, and needed emergency surgery. The doctor called me the next day to tell me I was extremely close to bleeding out and dying. I had no i idea I was hemorrhaging, and no typical signs or symptoms that I was having issues other than feeling so sick, but that was easily dismissed. I honestly don't know to this day why I went in that morning but it saved my life."


15. When someone makes you feel uncomfortable and they turn out to be unbelievably terrible.

"We met my grandma's new boyfriend and right away I felt super uncomfortable by him. My mom said I just needed time but eventually after some sketchy behavior on his end, my mom ended up discovering he had killed his wife by kicking a ladder from underneath her, hiding her body in the bushes, and then taking the kids out for a 'fun day' after school."


16. When you escape a flirtatious stranger and discover he was actually really fuckin' dangerous

"About a year ago I I dropped out of college and lost my job. Naturally, I was depressed so I spent a lot of time at a semi-private beach near my house. One day a group of people showed up and a guy kept flirting with me. Usually, I don't mind this but he gave me the creeps! So mid 'conversation' (he was talking at me more than talking to me) I got out of the water and left.

The following day I saw him on the news. He was killed in a cop shoot out. He had kidnapped a man, forced him to drive to the ATM and withdraw as much as he could, then made him drive home to his wife and kids where he robbed them at gun point, stole their car, murdered the victim, LEFT THE CAR, stole a police uniform, gun, and car, AND THEN got caught and shot."


17. When you just know you shouldn't be alone with someone.

"I was in the awkward 'just talking' phase of a relationship with a guy who I thought I knew well from college: we were on an executive board together and in a few classes. My gut, however, kept telling me to not hang out with him, especially at his dorm, or really go anywhere with him, and to distance myself. Cut to three months later, when I learn in the executive board group chat that the guy had been kicked out of school for sexual harassment/assault, because he locked multiple girls in closets and refused to let them out unless they performed sexual favors."


18. When an adult feels dangerous...because he is.

"When I was in second grade, the dad of one of the players used to hang around our basketball practices, and my spidey sense was always tingling around him. So I tried to stay as far away from him and his son as possible. A year later, my mom shows me an article on how the dad was a child sex trafficker who would kidnap, rape, and sell girls around my age (at the time) all around the east coast. I nearly shit my pants."


19. When you reluctantly put in a little extra effort because something tells you that you should.

"When I was a baby, the smoke alarm went off in my house when everyone but my dad was asleep. He thought it was just the battery, since there was obviously no fire, so he replaced the battery and headed to bed. However, it went off again. So, thinking it was a malfunction, he just took it apart and was going to deal with it in the morning. He went to lay down and go to sleep, but there was a nagging voice in the back of his head telling him not to ignore the alarm. So he begrudgingly got up and called the fire department asking them just to send a car to come check it out; there was no need for fire engines or anything. Being a small town with a big fire department and a large budget, they sent three engines. It turns out there was a carbon monoxide leak, and if my dad had fallen back to sleep, it is likely we all would have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. That little voice in his head, intuition or whatever it was, saved our lives."


Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

This week, we're talking about preparing for and surviving the worst things imaginable. See more Disaster Week content here.