Are you blind? About our emotional outbursts
Few months ago, I was walking downtown Oakville, with my arms full of stuff when someone roughly bumps into me so hard that my groceries went all over the ground.
As I picked up the puddle of broken eggs and tomato juice, I was ready to shout out: “You idiot, what’s wrong with you, are you blind !” Mad I was, like an aggressive wild beast.
But just before I can catch my breath to express verbally my anger, I saw a white cane on the floor and realize suddenly that the person who bumped into me was indeed blind.
He was on the floor in the middle of my spilled groceries, his white cane a couple of meters away.
At this instant, my judgmental mind and aggressive anger vanished immediately, replaced by immediate sympathetic apology, concern, mercy and profound compassion.
“ I am sorry, ……Are you OK?,…… Can I help you up?…… I am getting your cane”
From an aggressive alpha male ego-driven hostile wolf ready to fight, I become, suddenly and by miracle, an angel!, a sweet sheep.
Our life is full of similar mood swings during which, too often, we are making “jackknife reactions” such as spontaneous judgment or taking immediate action even without proper analysis and adequate understanding.
This is because our emotional is reacting faster than our rational one.
What are the sources of these emotional behaviors and their negative consequences?
Our inappropriate emotional reactions and their negative consequences such as disharmony, conflicts, intolerance misery or the opposite such as strong attractiveness and attachment in our relationships are caused by the following:
- It is obvious that our powerful ego-driven is the main culprit.
The second main cause of our outburst emotional swings is:
2)Our frozen mindset about anything and anybody based on pre-conceived ideas, beliefs, values, experience and education may/will generate misinterpretation, misjudgment and wrong decisions and inappropriate behavior.
Is there a solution, if not a prevention to avoid if not to minimize our positive / negative emotional bursts?
The practice of mindfulness-based awareness can be the way to go:
It means to be aware and paying attention to:
1) The current moment and circumstances producing this emotional burst w/o any judgment.
2) To the actual positive or negative emotional reactions. This is a great way to prevent their potential negative consequences.
his practice is requiring significant training since our emotional reactions are triggered extremely fast like an explosion. Most of the time they override our cognitive rational mind localized in our prefrontal cortex.
Remember this: our emotional circuits are x20 to x30 times faster than our rational ones.
Having an open-mind to anything is a good start since an open mind is the opposite of a mind-set, the second main culprit of our explosive emotional reactions whatever they are positive (I am so exited about) ! or negative (I hate him or her).