Emotions blocking our ratio is a fact!
You know the phenomenon that you suddenly become emotional by a situation or a statement of a person you love or like (as in a good business relationship). And suddenly you find yourself in an unpleasant situation where you would rather have stayed away. A snowball effect of emotions rolling over each other.
What is going on here?
Let's assume that there is no intention whatsoever to hurt the other. I had someone visit me for a consultation last week who told me the following example which led to an escalation.
'My partner came home from work and we had a cup of coffee. I went to the garage to get something and from the living room the question came: Hey this debit on my account, what is that? Is that something you arranged? Now you have to understand that when my partner came home I was really busy with everything and I had struggled to get everything done. Among other things, arranging a website for my partner, which made these costs. It felt like incomprehension to me and that irritated me. I had put so much effort into it, so why 'nag' about the costs!? My irritation can usually be read directly from my face, resulting in the question: Why are you so irritated now? Am I just asking something?! This question annoyed me even more, as I had hoped my partner would notice the connection between the (website) costs and my efforts to create the website. All together to end up in an argument out of nowhere. How do I deal with this now?'
Our buzzing Amygdala nuclei are - in collaboration with the Hippocampus as context creator - the cause of our inability to put things into perspective during strong emotions!
It seems a simple situation. You can just say what the costs are and then have a nice coffee. So why the irritation, with all its consequences?! First a little insight into our brain. Simply put - and without doing justice to the sheer complexity beneath our braincase - we actually have two parts of our brain:
1. The old and more 'primitive' brain, which is controlled by primary reactions such as flight and fight, and
2. The new brain, which makes rational considerations and can put situations in perspective (the pre-frontal cortex). The moment the more primitive brain takes over, communication in the pre-frontal cortex is virtually blocked. Do you understand now why you should/may sometimes count to 10? And that this is very useful to let our buzzing Amygdala nuclei rage out.
There is an interesting relationship between these two parts. Now take this example. My client's observation that the partner showed no understanding for the effort made created an emotion. As a result, it was impossible to make a rational assessment of how to respond to the question from the living room about the misunderstood write-off. In this case, the reason was a bit more complex because the partner in question had reproached them for the lack of empathy and empathy a few days earlier. Here's a cocktail of exploding thoughts and emotions, which in 85% of cases lead to unintended and unnecessary arguments.
A few useful tips!
1. Discuss at an - emotionally neutral - moment that your behavior can be controlled by emotions or by your ratio. And that both reactions are okay. They are both part of your personality. Accept this natural and fully explainable behavior from your partner.
2. Put the interaction with each other on 'pause' when you are both in your emotion. This can be challenging if you are both emotionally driven but is super meaningful and powerful. Realize that it really is just taking a break, and continue the conversation with each other at a later time. This is essential because emotions that are left behind are real 'killers' for a loving relationship.
3. Discover the psychological basic needs scan of each other and get a better understanding of each other's natural motivations. Use this link (register for free) to do this by asking each other couple of questions.
Finally, I wish every relationship a good conflict. Any conflict contributes to a lasting and loving relationship, provided the above insights and tips are taken into account. Enjoy life!