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Throwing Tantrums? Blame Your Amygdala

The human brain doesn’t know that the coworker who gets snippy with us isn’t life threatening. It senses a violation and sounds the alarm so that we come out swinging. Just knowing that we won’t die from a dirty look is not enough to stop the alarm bell from telling us to prepare to pounce.

Like a gladiator jumping over a wall into the middle of a battle, that uneducated, ancient part of your brain has the final say regarding what you need to do to survive. Simply trying to think your way out of a panic will not help. Once the amygdala releases those fight-or-flight hormones into your system, it is all systems go! Have you ever tried telling someone who was yelling to calm down? A lot of good that did, right?


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