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Tame the Primitive Brain: 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work by Mark Bowden

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Day 5

Friend, Enemy, Sexual Partner, or Indifferent

Categories for Approach, Avoid, or Whatever

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.

—J. K. Rowling

Today you’ll tame:

  • The elementary way you look at everyone
The following is a true story; only the names have been deleted to protect the guilty.
Nothing about this person would have hinted at the behavior you are going to read about.
He was the internal spokesperson for an international white-collar, professional services company, and had been named as emcee for the firm’s annual meeting—a high-pressure event attended by a big crowd.
In introducing the company’s CFO, a woman, (who, by the way, was about to be made CEO), he listed her tremendous accomplishments, with all the respect she rightly deserved, and then elegantly gestured her onto the stage.
As she walked up to the podium to deliver her speech to the 2,000-strong crowd, the emcee shook her hand, hugged her collegially, and then, with both hands, gave her butt a big squeeze, as he announced to the crowd, “Now that’s a real woman!”
He no longer works for this company.

When you view the human brain through the lens of evolution, it’s easy to see how its ability to make snap judgments has contributed to our fitness. Our primitive brain decided what was out there, what danger it faced, what opportunities awaited it, and quickly instructed the rest of our body how to react to each.

There’s food (good); approach it!
It’s a predator (bad); ...

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