Sometimes we humans get so worried about stuff we overcompensate.
I think of it as the “C-3PO” response.
From the scene in the original Star Wars.
Luke and the gang were stuck in the trash compactor. He finally radios 3PO and says “shut down all garbage compactors on the detention level!”
To which 3PO in his melodramatic worrier style says (while flailing his arms), “No! Shut them ALL down!”
This is kind of how our monkey brains work whenever we find ourselves in a fight of flight situation.
This is when our brains think that FEAR means “Forget Everything And Run!”
Like you see an interesting person across the room. You could smile at them. You could subtly nod at them.
You could walk by them and measure their body language as you do so. You could walk up and introduce yourself.
You could walk over and use some cheesy line (if you’re trying to create a romantic spark). In reality, there are TONS of things you could do that would move you closer to your ideal relationship with that person, for whatever reason.
But what does your C-3PO monkey brain say? “No! Don’t Do ANYTHING!”
Because once upon a time, way back in the hunter-gatherer times, the plan of “better safe than sorry” was correct more often than not.
Because walking over to check out an interesting looking bush could LITERALLY get you killed.
So the 3PO defense was actually pretty useful back then.
Now? Not so much.
Kind of like it was useful back then to eat everything in sight, whenever you had an opportunity.
Do that today and you soon won’t be able to fit through your front door!
The 3PO defense is one of the weird problems with being a modern human with a monkey brain.
Even from a purely physical standpoint, the “Neo Cortex” (literally New Brain) is just a thin layer over the thick mammalian brain, which is itself over the reptilian brain.
So we’ve got this thin, relatively new layer of brain competing with millions of years of evolution.
Which is why our FEELINGS and EMOTIONS can so easily trump logic.
I mean, what’s the WORST thing that can happen, realistically speaking, when you walk over and talk to that interesting person (or whatever else you’d like to be able to do)?
They politely (or even not politely say) they’re not interested.
But based on our emotional response, it’s as if we think they’re going to deliver a roundhouse kick to the head, before they strip us naked and throw us to the wolves!
So, how can you adjust your EMOTIONAL responses so they are in line with what will REASONABLY happen?
By doing the exercises in here: