Friday, December 4, 2015

Grr.

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Everyone has a dark(ish) side. Even me. Sure, I’m a nice guy. Almost always. Someone actually gave me this advice once: “you’re too nice.” Well well. There are worse things to be accused of, so I have chosen to live with that diagnosis. Yet, as with everyone, my dark side surfaces. It lifts its furrowed head and looks around. And what does it see?

Idiots.

Let me explain. People claim that true selves emerge in trying circumstances. Like in a disaster. Like when threatened with death. Like when faced with a grizzly, or a very large snake or a massive tax-bill or especially a turkey. (Sorry. That last example is a little more science-ish than science.) According to real science, there is truth to this reactive behaviour. During calm, we typically manage our lives using the frontal lobe, the rational decision-making portion of the brain. However, during great threat, the amygdala, the small inner core of the brain, trumps all rational thinking and instead, we act based on intense emotion: fight, flight, or freeze. This is designed to save our lives but yet also ruin our lives, because well, idiots idiot things up.

So when does the amygdala transform us into idiots? Is it when our grandparents ask us to fix their computers? Is it when surveys are requested during supper? Is it when our phones are missing? All of the above. And more. Quite honestly, we’ve all lost our shit here and there and that one time at that family reunion. Ahem. But I digress.

My amygdala typically gets rage-y when I’m driving. It’s emotional. People cut you off. They don’t always remember their signal lights. They drive too slowly. So no offence but I probably called you an idiot. I’m not the only one though. See, I conducted an official math(ish) poll and it turns out that literally seven out of ten people also think you drivers are idiots. You do not want to know what the other three people called you.

Hmm. I discovered yesterday that I’ve been driving with only one headlight. I wonder what you called me?

See? Everyone does have a dark(ish) side.

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