Train your amygdala to tone down during disagreements

Instructions

  1. Think of a topic you feel strongly about and prime yourself to take a calm, open, and curious stance to different viewpoints
    Remind yourself that the goal is to listen to different points of view calmly rather than becoming angry, aggravated, or alarmed.
  2. Engage in conversation with someone whose viewpoint you slightly disagree with and listen for points that support the other person's point of view
    By seeking points where they may be right or your views align, you open yourself to new ideas and a new way of thinking. 
  3. Be mindful of your internal reactions and practice disengaging from them 
    Is your heart racing, or your anger building? These strong emotional responses are simply your amygdala in overdrive. Try and hear the speaker out without speaking or reacting - this takes practice. Resist the urge to nonverbally communicate your resistance by folding your arms, sighing, or rolling your eyes.
  4. Seek clarification, seeking to understand and to learn 
    Ask questions out of curiosity as opposed to questioning to prove a point, set a trap, change someone’s mind, or make the other person look foolish. 
  5. If appropriate, calmly challenge points of difference
    The intent here is to communicate to understand each other, not to try and convince them or to change their minds.

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