Vivek Mehrotra
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Why My Horse Doesn't Listen?
Why My Horse Doesn't Listen?
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Amygdala highjack or Amygdala leakage :

Amygdala is an important part of the human brain. It is the seat of all emotions. Our old memories of both good and bad experiences are stored in the form of feelings. Researches have proved that while a message is being relayed to the respective lobe of the brain from the hypothalamus, sometimes it gets leaked through Amygdala, which mixes the earlier emotions to it. The classic example is of a person who sees a rope in a dark place and interprets it as a snake. As a child we were told, “don’t go on to the roof top or in the park when it is dark; there may be snakes”. Though it was told to us long back, the information is still stored in Amygdala. Therefore, when we see a rope in the dark even though the image made on the retina is the same as what exists in reality, i.e., a rope, we see a snake. This is because the earlier information gets mixed up with the new information. This phenomenon occurs in all situations. While listening, we interpret the speaker’s words depending upon our present or past emotions and the relationship that we enjoy with the speaker.

The process of interpretation, which sometimes distorts the message, is not always negative; it leads to positive outcomes as well. In a particular situation, whether we will be motivated or not will depend upon our earlier memories and the experience of a similar event that took place in the past. If the memories and the experiences of earlier events were positive, we would have positive feelings. This would motivate us to repeat the act or go beyond. Nevertheless, it may even stop you from taking an action if your feelings were negative.

The concept of JoHari windows helps us to understand as to how we can purify our inner environment by acting upon the feedback (fresh air) offered to us by others. It also helps us to understand how other people view us. However, this depends upon our willingness to share our inner feelings and to accept the suggestions of others. Both these aspects ultimately decide the quality of our relationships. According to this model there are two aspects:

1. How much an individual knows or does not know about himself
2. How much others know or do not know about him

It is observed that people in general are apprehensive while sharing personal information. Even if they wish to disclose, they are apprehensive about what others will think. Typical thoughts such as, “Who kya sochega” (What he will think about it) or “Kya uska najaria mere bare mein badal jayega, (will his outlook towards me change after I disclose this information or will he continue to respect me like he used to earlier”). The same thing happens while interacting with seniors. People restrict themselves from sharing their viewpoint because they are apprehensive and think, “Kya who bura man jayega” (will he feel bad). Instead of being apprehensive one must reveal one’s feelings to one’s superior. This will help both to contribute towards the improvement of performance.

This is true for our personal life too. Very often a husband and a wife do not share their real feelings with each other. Once again, thoughts such as “Kyon mood kharab kiya jaye” (Why to unnecessarily disturb the mood of each other”) are the reasons behind the apprehension. Many a time, spouses suppress their feelings to avoid arguments that could be healthy for the relationships. The reason for this could be their earlier experience with each other. May be on a previous occasion the husband might not have accepted the wife’s idea or vice versa, but this does not mean it will happen again. But their apprehension towards each other stops them from sharing their real feelings or giving feedback, ultimately affecting their relationship.

According to Dr. Eric Berne, an effective transaction, i.e., successful communication is always complementary. It goes from the receiver’s ego state to the sender’s ego state. For example, if someone is addressing your Child ego state from his Parent ego state, your response must be from the Child ego state (Illustration A). If you try to communicate from the Parent ego state, it will lead to a problem as the transaction instead of being complementary becomes ‘crossed’ (Illustration B). A crossed transaction is an ineffective way of communication. It will upset both the sender and the receiver. In other words, in order to manage and maintain a fruitful relationship you must try to communicate with a complementary transaction. However, the ideal transaction is the mature and rational adult-to-adult communication, which results into positive relationship.

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