'What makes it so difficult to deal with differences?'
Based on Robert R. Stains, Essential Partners
Talking about differences can trigger us deeply.
When we are confronted with differences, we can feel that:
our values are questioned
our worldviews are tested
our identities are challenged
The Personal Impact when our identities are challenged can be that:
The challenge makes us feel a sense of threat.
The perceived threat triggers a response of fight, flight, or freeze (FFF).
The FFF response compromises our perception and rational thinking.
Why do we feel threatened when our identities are challenged?
Scan our environment for dangers and hostilities.
Perceive potential threats (yet, not knowing if they are real).
Release anxiety inducing hormones to make us fully alert.
The ways our brains work explain some reasons.
Our brains have evolved with the purpose to keep us safe, so they:
There are significant consequences
when our bodies and minds are in a state of alertness.
to misread an intention
to feel more easily threatened
to lose our higher brain functions
We are more vulnerable to reactions such as:
Humans are wired to mirror each others behaviour.
Without conscious intervention
Meaning, when someone approaches us in a threatening manner,
we are likely to adapt threatening behaviour ourselves.
we ourselves become a part of a destructive cycle.
"Conflict cannot survive without your participation."