Updated: Apr 20, 2021
I know when I get a compliment it makes me feel really happy. Not so surprising, I also feel torn down when someone says something uncomplimentary towards me. Why is this?
We now know that positive feelings create positive chemical reactions in our bodies and negative emotions create fight or flight chemical reactions.
"Neuroscience is now teaching us that when we face criticism, rejection or fear, when we feel marginalized or minimized, our bodies produce higher levels of cortisol, a hormone triggered by the hypothalamus causing a fight or flight reaction. Cortisol shuts down our reasoning ability and can cause us to either freeze or appease” according to Dr. Richard and Judith Glasser of The CreatingWE Institute (HBR June 2014).
On the other hand, positive comments and conversations produce a chemical reaction too. They stir the production of oxytocin impacting our prefrontal cortex. This feel-good hormone elevates our ability to communicate, collaborate and trust others. Yet, because oxytocin metabolizes more quickly than cortisol, its effects are less powerful and long-lasting. That’s why it takes more positive conversation to overcome the chemical reactions of a negative one (April 12, 2017 by Life Source).
Due to the chemicals produced in our brains, they say it takes 7 positives to reverse 1 negative comment.
So whenever you can, fill others up with compliments. It'll come in handy when you need to provide some feedback that isn't so complimentary and still keep positive energy flowing.
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