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Who’s the real culprit when you fight?

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

If you think it's your partner, it's not! Keep reading to learn more...


Every couple has their disagreements, but have you ever wondered what automatic cocktail of neurological forces is at work when the two of you spiral into fighting? You know those yelling matches that leave you both depleted and demoralized.

Behind the reactive behavior that causes many fights is a part of our brains called the amygdala. This is the part of our brain that responds to (real or perceived) threats—physical or emotional—by producing knee-jerk, automatic responses based on past events.

The amygdala's primary purpose is to help us know when we are safe and unsafe. It also processes and stores memories in a way that may keep us hyper-aroused and unsure about the intentions of our partners.

Yep, you read the above right: The fight culprit isn’t our partners, but how our brains are wired to perceive threats.



What can you do to change this?


“Your brain can be trained to respond differently to partner-activated triggers like words, certain behaviors or even just a certain look.”

Good news: Your amygdala can be tweaked to transform panic reactions into calm in the face of fear, anxiety, stress, or frustrating encounters. The old saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" has been proven inaccurate by the latest neuro-scientific discoveries. Your brain can, in fact, create new networks of neurons. Recent insights point to the power of focused attention and deliberate action to push through resistance and rewire habitual patterns. This process of consciously changing your brain circuits is called self-directed neuroplasticity.

To do this, your first step is awareness. Acknowledge and accept that something is not working for you and learn more about how you can improve it. Conscious awareness begins the process of changing the brain and rewiring the flawed connections. Your brain can be trained to respond differently to partner-activated triggers like words, certain behaviors or even just a certain look.

Find out more about how to control your survival response by working with our team. We can help you end the unproductive fights.

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