Blind Spot – Deaf Spot

Blind Spot – Deaf Spot

I am pretty sure we all learned in high school science class that we have a literal blind spot.  If you are unfamiliar with this, take a piece of blank white paper.  Draw a black dot which is 1/4″ in diameter on the paper.  Close one eye and move the paper around.  The dot will disappear.

If we really pay attention, we will realize that we experience the same thing with our hearing.  When we hear certain words or phrases, especially from key people, our amygdala kicks in and several things happen. The amygdala is associated with emotionally charged memories.  When we hear a key word or phrase, the amygdala starts playing a “tape” (or mp3 file for the younger crowd) of prior negatively charged conversations that went poorly, or the criticism you have heard in the past. .  If you are listening to a voice in your head, you are no longer listening to the real person speaking to you.

Congratulations – you have found your deaf spot.  And I want to share some good news:  Unlike our blind spot, which is a function of biology and cannot be changed, our “deaf spot” can be fixed! (or at least improved) by changing the connections (associations) in our brain.

Many analogies have been used to describe the interconnectivity of our brain cells:
electrical wiring, rivers, paths in a forest, and muscles, to name a few. Electrical wiring is probably more accurate schematically or biologically; however, the others are more accurate physiologically.  Water runs downhill.  The deepest cervices will draw the water away from the shallow ones.  it is easier to follow the well-manicured path in the woods than the small, rarely used path. An often-used muscle will have more strength than a rarely used one.

When we want to change our response to triggers (key words and phrases, or even key people in our lives), we need to “carve a new path” or strengthen a rarely used muscle.  It takes a LOT of work initially, but over time, that new path becomes the more well-established.  that puny muscle becomes the stronger one.  (There is a lot more to say here – but that might be another blog…)

The first key is to ask yourself a few questions:

1. Do you know what those trigger words or phrases are?

2. Do you know who those key people are?

3. Can you listen for those tapes (mp3 files) and recognize when they are playing?

If you can, you can work backwards and figure out the answers to 1 & 2.

Then the hard work comes of examining why those words or people are triggers, and how to carve that new path / build that new muscle. 

It is possible. It IS hard work.  And this work will cause you more pain now.

AND it is all completely worth it, because if you address your triggers, they will cause less pain in the future, and you will be capable of more collaboration in the long run. So, are YOU ready to work on recognizing and fixing your deaf sp

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