The reptilian brain takes over sometimes; it's there to keep us alive, and it's instinctual messages are strong. The limbic brain can also "flood" us with emotions. Have you used the phrase, "talk til you're blue in the face"? These are some of the times when our neocortex (thinking brain) shuts down and we "can't be reasoned with." Unless we know some EQ, that is.

1. A mother whose child has died.

Her heart is not in her body and her mind is trying to make sense out of something incomprehensible.

2. A man who finds his wife in bed with another woman.

It's defensible as "temporary insanity" if he should kill the man in some states.

3. A new father (or a seasoned father).

Male protective hormones are high. Tread lightly -- in all areas but especially around his home and family. One of the Russian tsars held up the top of a collapsing railroad car to keep it from killing his wife and children (and later died of internal injuries).

4. A woman in love.

Dopamine and serotonin are surging and nothing matters.

5. Someone in the path of a train.

To save our lives, our reptilian brain puts us into "fight or flight" so we'll TAKE ACTION, not THINK.

6. An infant.

Our brains aren't fully developed until late adolescence and there is not, as yet, the ability to speak and reason or even self-regulate.

7. An addict who's actively abusing.

Addiction is believed to reside in the reptilian brain, and, to quote Dr. Vaillant, national expert on addiction, "Alligators don't come when called." Studies show willpower is not a prognostic indicator of recovery. To read more on EQ & Addiction, go here: http://www.webstrategies.cc/ebooklibrary.html .

8. When someone has a gun to your head.

Fear is also reptilian. It causes us to freeze, fight or flee.

9. When it's 100 degrees outside and the air conditioner is broken.

Extremely uncomfortable physiological states also "hijack" us, including pain and lack of sleep. That's why the 12-Steppers say "don't get too tired, too lonely, too hot, too hungry..."

10. When you're in a stressful change, loss or adversity and have low resilience.

Resilience, a prime emotional intelligence competency, is proactive. Handling stress is like treading water in a strong current. Resilience means making it the shore and climbing out. If you haven't developed your resilience,
you're likely to use emotion-based problem-solving (perhaps an oxymoron) rather than solution-based problem-solving. You act without "thinking it through."

Author's Bio: 

©Susan Dunn, MA Clinical Psychology, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc. Emotional intelligence coaching for individuals and businesses. The “Don’t Disappoint Her Again™ Program” for gentlemen. Learn how to give her what she really wants. Emotional connection. It could save your marriage to the woman you love. Assessment and confidential weekly coaching session. For free ezine, mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc.