Most people who have participated in Emotional Intelligence – or other similar training – are familiar with the term ‘amygdala hijack.’ In case you haven’t heard, it is defined as an immediate, overwhelming emotional response to something and then realizing later that the reaction was out of proportion to the trigger. We’ve all been there!
The science behind the hijack is solid –what helps us prevent one from occurring is self-awareness and self-talk. Successfully managing a hijack requires removing oneself from the situation, followed by an internal audit (ok –and maybe a few deep breaths or counting to 10).
Our triggers are related to our motivational needs, or more specifically – being in a situation where our needs are not being met. To help regain control, here are some “audit” questions you can use when hijacked, and the sooner and faster you can do this, the better:
1. What am I feeling now?
2. When did I lose control?
3. With whom did I lose control? Do I regularly lose control with this person?
4. What was the trigger? Has that trigger happened before?
5. What do I want to have happen in the future?
6. What do I need to do now?
7. What is the one thing that would help me the most?
iMapMyTeam can help you with your audit.
The Building Relationships Snap Shot is a good report to use for hijacks that involve relationship issues. It succinctly provides you with a view of how you build relationships with individuals, with groups and the amount of emotional expressiveness you show.
Page one outlines your strengths and page two outlines your needs. If you have a significant difference between the location of your symbol on the first and second pages there is an especially good chance the other person has no idea what your need is. The other person may merely be treating you as they see you behave. Which of course is not what you prefer – but needs are hidden to others (see question #3 above).
The best way to manage a hijack is to prevent it in the first place. You can help yourself by making sure others understand your needs. You can help others by understanding their needs. All of the resources to avoid an emotional hijack are in iMapMyTeam!