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Over-reaction to difference is a 'fear' response

"What planet are they from?!" It's a question we often use dismissively. ​It's actually a really good question to ask ourselves more seriously, with more curiosity than judgement.


Our 'inner chimp' (limbic / personality / 'ego') finds difference threatening, and often deals with this by (defensive) avoidance or aggression. It makes assumptions or pre-judgements which can turn out to be self-fulfilling prophecies. That's because defensiveness triggers a matching threat response in the other person's 'inner chimp (limbic). So now neither of you is thinking 'smartly' or acting 'intentionally' and the outcome is normally sub-optimal. 

The goal is to manage our inner chimp (ego) so we can respond (PFC) rather than react (limbic). Success comes from taking more time (maybe literally just a breath) to: 

  • use EQ to deal 'smartly' with individuality (recognise their personality / ego); AND 

  • connect with common humanity (let your SELF see their SELF)

​To collaborate well you need to let go our natural preference for liking or being alike, and accept the reality that people in our world really do live on a different planet. 

"Ogres have layers" Shrek