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An Uplifting Picture of a Stilled Lizard Brain (Video)

  Steve Longan     Aug 11, 2017

 

 

We saw this video a few months ago, and can't share it enough. It starts out as though it's going to be one of the "Road Rage Videos" that are all too common online. There's honking horns and metal music in the background, but this video takes an unexpected turn for the better. Give it a watch and we'll discuss after:

 

Isn't that amazing?! Those people ended up having a long conversation and bonding over their near miss! That's so counter to the way our experience normally runs in these situations!

 

And we've written about this before, but driving and commuting are such a valuable laboratory for seeing the lizard brain at work. In these situations, there's a strong lizard brain drive to be right, and to seek to regain control after a scary moment. This is why we feel so justified in our anger towards others, and feel compelled to speak and act in ways that we otherwise wouldn't. But if we can catch our lizard brain in the moment, some of those negative responses get easier to avoid.

 

Because the reality is that everyday living contains these sorts of "near misses:" people missing cues to slow down or stop in conversations as well as in traffic, people cutting us off in meetings as well as intersections, confrontations over decision-making in the office as well as the road. But as we saw in the video, if we can release the need to convince the other party that we're right and instead look to invest in the relationship, there's the wonderful possibility that we'll all walk away better for the encounter -- even if it started out poorly!

 

Would love to hear how you defuse your lizard brain while driving. We also know people love to either take the side of car or the motorcycle. Either way, let us know in the comments.

 

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  Lizard Brain

Steve Longan

Written by Steve Longan

Steve Longan is Rewire's Director of Research & Program Development. He's passionate about leveraging psychology and communication to develop growing, healthy workplaces. He's at "peak zen" (his words) when he's in his music studio.

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