Measurements and Schematics

I had a less than desirable day.

There are two problems with me:

1. I can be a real dick

But chances are, if I’m being a dick, I don’t realize it. I’m not good at sugar coating things. And even if I’m not talking, sometimes whatever I’m thinking is written all over my face. I blame my mother. That–the latter–is truly hereditary.

I’ve been working on this. The me being a dick thing. I’ve been working on it for a long time. I still have some work to do, to find that line between being assertive and standing up for myself, and not coming across like a jerk. I continue to be work in progress. But who isn’t.

2. I have a tendency to make decisions rooted more in emotion than logic [save for work-related issues which are always well-researched and documented because that’s how I roll]

This second thing isn’t a shot in the dark; I actually had a test tell me that. Measurements, schematics, and all kinds of shit. And when I care about someone, well. I just do. Even when I shouldn’t.

Lately I’ve chalked this issue up to how I was raised, maybe the early departures of loved ones, possibly the school I went to.

Then I came across this New York Times article today. Personal anecdote, combined with science; I was digging it. It talked about “mirror neurons” which “track the emotional flow, movement and even intentions of the person we are with, and replicate this sensed state in our own brain[…].”

But let’s peep another excerpt:

Mirror neurons offer a neural mechanism that explains emotional contagion, the tendency of one person to catch the feelings of another, particularly if strongly expressed. This brain-to-brain link may also account for feelings of rapport, which research finds depend in part on extremely rapid synchronization of people’s posture, vocal pacing and movements as they interact. In short, these brain cells seem to allow the interpersonal orchestration of shifts in physiology.

What we’re talking about, says the article, is the merging of two “physiologies” into one connected “circuit”.

Furthermore, the director of Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago proposes that the emotional status of our main relationships significantly impact our cardiovascular and neouroendocrine activity.

In short, says author Daniel Goleman, my hostility jacks up your blood pressure; your nurturing settles mine. Goleman says: “Potentially, we are each other’s biological enemies or allies.”

Maybe that’s why we take things personally. Maybe that’s why I get upset when you’re upset. Maybe that’s why I feel better when I find peace offerings underneath my windshield wipers.

Maybe it’s all science. Measurements and schematics. Or maybe not. But it’s an interesting theory.

[Jam of the Day]: What Made Milwaukee Famous, hopelist


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