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Reptilian Brain


Is it survival or just a discussion?


Robin and Ralph are discussing the delicate subject of budget. It is usually a hot topic for them, and this time is no different. As the conversation continues, emotions begin to flare. What will happen here? Will it end in anger or disappointment?


When you are in a tense situation trying to defend your position and start to feel yourself losing ground, it is easy to get loud, stand up, and present yourself as powerfully as possible. You talk over others and correct their point of view. If they push back, you try to prove to them you are right. The more anxious the conversation becomes; the worse things will get.


In situations of high stress, fear, or distrust, the 'executive functions’ that help you with advanced thought processes, like strategy, trust building, and compassion, shut down.


The 'reptilian brain' takes over to protect itself—in cases of shame and loss of power associated with being wrong, we default to one of these responses: fight (engage), flight (escape), freeze (disengage).



The fight, flight or freeze response is the body's built-in response mechanism whenever anxiety-provoking situations present themselves. It has to do with survival.


I was conditioned to resort to fighting.


If someone had told me that I was out of control under these circumstances, I would have gotten angry with them and argued that was not the case.


If you did not respond to my satisfaction, I would act as though you did not hear me and repeat the same thing even louder. [BLIND SPOT]


At the end of the day, all I can do is change my reaction, response, and behavior to de-escalate the situation.


Picture yourself in the situation described earlier with Robin and Ralph. How would you want to handle it today?


Keep looking for the blind spots.





Please comment, like, and share, I appreciate your input.



You can get a copy of my book below.

Blind Spots in Relationships

What I don't know I don't know about Myself



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