Dealing with intimidating personalities

Erratic behavior is a powerful weapon because it defies accurate prediction.

Often, the behavior comes as a surprise even to the person generating it. Erratic behavior served adaptive ends in our past, and it still does.

Better to check your fight, flight or freeze reactions and refuse to be a part of a duel in which you're an inadvertent participant.

Sure, you need to stand up for yourself, but do so without demanding that you be above criticism at all costs.

There are several problems confronting you at once, since you're juggling competing goals.

Still, we're so captivated by displays of dominance that we pay boxers millions of dollars to watch them square off and even pay to see professional wrestlers play-act a power struggle.Our neural circuitry equips us to immediately jump to our own defense.The Neanderthink urge to rectify an injustice kicks in automatically, lest we accept abject defeat.Usually we can't resist getting riled up in our own defense.The ease with which we fall into dueling dyads is a remnant of a "culture of honor" that most of our ancestors needed to adopt.

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