“I’m not going into justification mode BUT ……” and a stream of words spat out from my snarling lips. I could feel the tears well up in the corners of my eyes, my body tensed and an overwhelming need to grab my car keys and run for the nearest exit, overcame me.
Now you may be wondering, what on earth was going on? And as much as I’m sure you would enjoy the juicy details, there are just some things that a girl should keep to herself. Ok, ok. I’ll give in and share, but only a little. Deal?
I had just been called out on something by someone close to me. Something that stung like a swarm of bees, to hear. And before I realised Tanya the Warrior Princess (in this case maybe just the Flame Thrower) emerged. At first with anger and then furiously wishing her white horse would appear and whisk her off to safety. Cool calm and collected? Ummm not so much!
Now I know I’m a coach and I should know better, but there are times when humanness trumps coach. Ordinarily I would tell a client who shares this kind of story “Practice the Pause”, “Have an open mind”, “Listen to understand”.
The reality is that we are all human and our brains are all (or mostly all) wired the same. You see the explanation from neuroscience is that whenever we feel attacked, low trust or in survival mode, we experience an Amygdala Hijack. Or in simple terms our primitive Reptilian Brain takes over, which in turn impacts our Heart Brain (Limbic brain, that part which regulates our physical senses) and causes us to go into Fight, Flight or Freeze mode.
All higher level of logic and reasoning which comes from our Executive Brain (neocortex), goes out the door at light speed with not even a wave goodbye.
So to cut myself some slack and just state once again for the records – I’m human to the core. This is instinct at its best. Knowing this brain wiring fact is key.
Feeling the anger, I managed to see myself going through the emotions and I slowly pulled myself away from the invading reptile. Perhaps not a quickly as my conversation partner would have liked, but nevertheless I still got there. (Did I tell you already that I’m human?)
There’s a beauty in this process, because as soon as one can calm the heck down, the Executive Brain (neocortex) takes over and one starts to rationalise. “Is it true? What makes it so?” Logic returns to the building.
Now be honest, have you ever been there? And how has it worked out for you?
I guess my final thought on this all is that one of the things that we all have in common is the humanness of us, and our aim in these kinds of situations is to deal with them in the most constructive and least hurtful way possible. Also in order to master the hijack, takes raised awareness and constant work.
Well, go forth and may the calm be with you. I have something to work on. I’m off to build my reptile slaying muscle.
Warrior Princess Tanya 2018/01/11
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