I think there's a happy medium between the extremes of abject naivety/childlike trust at one end and paranoia at the other.
There is healthy, self-protective rationality and skepticism. Its the ability to objectively evaluate a person or situation without sliding into cynicism/prejudice/blanket suspicion or puppy-like adulation automatically.
Its being open-minded about a person or situation but having the ability to look past the surface appearance and see the person or situation objectively, using facts and
feelings and asking questions instead of just accepting or rejecting something or someone at face value.
I do believe in gut feelings, myself, and I think a person's gut feelings (or intuition, or whatever you want to call it) is a valid tool to use along with the intellect to evaluate a person or a situation.
I think "The Gift Of Fear" helps a person understand how to utilize that tool quite effectively, in a rational way.
discriminate between real and manufactured fear.
I haven't read the book but I'm a big believer in that there is a lot more fear out there than there is things to be afraid of.