Saturday, January 30, 2010

Let your Amygdala be hijacked

Hello everyone.

Thank you for all your support through the last 13 days. Last couple of weeks were exactly about what life is, a mixed bag. Loss and gain. Lost my Aaji and another. Met my classmate, Shalaka after 15 years. Got a long distance call from my best friend Ambrish after 6 years. It was wonderful talking to old friends.

So now as I comeback on this blog I owe you a smile. Recipes of the food kind will follow tomorrow but today it is the recipe for a life.

I was bantering over lunch with a colleague. He asked me, "How did that happen? You are such a level headed person! Then?"

I was amused how people considered me to be such a level headed person. Ok, I analyse, reason out and try to get answers but let me share a secret, many times my decisions are influenced by emotions. Now who said emotional decisions are bad. Especially when it comes to relationships and by that I don't just mean love. Plus I am a woman, so what you read is right, I have the birth right to emotional decisions. We play safe, when relationships fail we can always blame on emotions, now is that not intelligent!

Then I sat him down to explain to him the advantages of emotional decisions. I said, "Let the Amygdala be hijacked." He was taken aback and visibly disturbed. Now what was this woman talking about he wondered loudly. He pushed himself back on the straight backed, moulded chair in the cafeteria trying to relax himself as he prepared for some gyan. I could see he was looking for a halo around my head.

I went on to dissipate some, Amygdala are 2 almond shaped glands in the medial temporal lobes of the brain. They store the memories of emotional events, learning is enhanced by accumulation of such information over a period of time. When we face similar situations again our response is based on the processing done by the Amygdala. When you face an intense emotion the blood supply to the Amygdala is cut off. An intelligent response is blocked. This is called Amygdala hijack. Reasoning is blown into the wind. The decisions we take during this hijack are foolish because they lack the input of caution from our brain. You do what you would not have done in a normal situation when you base your decisions on analysis.

In return you are rewarded by a bumper of similar responses from another person who's Amygdala is hijacked and then follows a series of acts that try to cover up for the foolish acts with more foolish ones. One enjoys the ride. So let the Amygdala be hijacked :)!

Then one day you can sit down and laugh about it. Life would be so boring if we did everything after analysis wouldn't it?

People say, to be able to by-pass the Amygdala hijack is sign of a successful leader. But then you don't want to be a leader everywhere. Atleast I don't.

That is EI or Emotional intelligence for the uninitiated.

Disclaimer: This is a piece of art and references to any one are purely a coincidence.


  1. Glad to see you are back!Hoping to see more of your creations...

  2. I really enjoyed this post.
    Welcome back.

  3. Thank you Aarthi and you keep visiting:)


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