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  Science > Medicine > Psychology
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Karma Chameleon

You're in the Back Seat with Tony Again, & There's No Talking About It

by Susan Dunn, MA Clinical Psychology, EQ Coach
Our behavior and memories are all linked and all learned. Emotional Intelligence is about getting some of those connections unhooked and rewired. If you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting.

Allan had just broken up with Mazelle. She went on a date with a new man, and her and Allan's "song" came on the radio. It ruined the whole evening. The song, the memories, changed her mood completely.

Ever drive in the car with a girlfriend and a song comes on the radio, and she bursts into tears?

It can be hard to function when something like that happens at work. Why do we have such strong reactions? We learn in Emotional Intelligence that we learn not just the 'thing' but the sight, sound, smell, and feel of it, and the emotions.

Have you walked into someone's home and smelled cookies baking and immediately been 9 years old, back at Granma's?

If it's a good experience, the things are linked together; and if it's a bad experience, they also are.

Teri Maheny, Ph.D., explains these mental patterns as "a memory trace formed in your brain tissue to record something that you have experienced."

If it was paired with something emotional, the bond will be strong Ā– the usual example being a child who gets bit by a dog. He pairs "dog" with "bite" and it's difficult to change the child's mind.

You'd need to have the child experience a dog that doesn't bite. This can be hard to arrange in some cases, like a man who gets divorced and is convinced "all women are awful".

When we set about to develop our Emotional Intelligence skills, we must unhook those old patterns and form new ones, so don't let anyone tell you it doesn't take time. You need to work with a coach, too, to get feedback. It isn't a fast-fix thing. The EQ Foundation CourseCopyright on the Internet, is a 3-month program.

You can read about EQ, but then you need to put it into practice. It's not original to me, and I don't know who said it, but you can't talk yourself out of something you behaved yourself into.

When we experience something, we experience it along with our senses and it gets paired together. Our brain builds a pattern. Candace Pert, instrumental in anti-depressant reseach, has written an interesting book called, "Molecules of Emotion" which makes the same point.

Dr. Bennet Braun (International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality) has documented cases of how the "multiple's" brain and physiology change when they "become another person[ality]".

Allergies, diabetes, even high blood pressure come and go, and know 'who' they belong to. Their brain waves are different. They react differently to the same dose of medication. They can change from drunk to sober in an instant and change eye color. Scars and cysts come and go, and they change from left-handed to right-handed.

Never underestimate the power of your brain! Isn't it time you got to know it a little brain, and experienced its power?

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