During a hijack, we can’t learn, and we rely on over-learned habits, ways we’ve behaved time and time again. The amygdala, in contrast, gets a sloppy picture and has to react instantly.
It often makes mistakes, particularly in modern life, where the ‘dangers’ are symbolic, not physical threats.
The takeaway from this story was clear: when temptation overcomes willpower, it’s a moral failing, worthy of punishment.
Modern-day psychologists might not blame Eve for her errant ways at all.
The implications of this are huge: If we accept that brute willpower doesn’t work, we can feel less bad about ourselves when we succumb to temptation.
And we might also be able refocus our efforts on solving problems like obesity.We need our positive feelings—that’s what makes life rich.But we also need to allow ourselves the space and time to process difficult emotions, but context matters.In different industries, on different continents, these three leaders have this in common: their inability to manage distressing emotions hurts their effectiveness at work.They each lack emotional self-control, one of twelve core competencies in our model of emotional and social intelligence.Other research shows that employees remember most vividly negative encounters they’ve had with a boss.And, after negative interactions, they felt demoralized and didn’t want to have anything more to do with that boss. First, we need to use another emotional intelligence competency, emotional self-awareness.If we could stop worshiping self-control, maybe we could start thinking about diluting the power of temptation — and helping people meet their goals in new ways with less effort.Many of us assume that if we want to make big changes in our lives, we have to sweat for it.Emotional self-control is the ability to manage disturbing emotions and remain effective, even in stressful situations.Notice that I said “manage,” which is different from suppressing emotions.