In my last post, I explored how our brains have evolved to have a Negativity Bias. The more afraid cave person, literally hiding in the cave, may have had many more offspring survive than the brave pre-historic humans.
We can see the bias toward fear and cave-safety today. One of my favorite futurists, Faith Popcorn, coined the term “Cocooning” in the 1990s to describe her observation that Americans were trending toward hiding in there homes because the world seemed increasingly dangerous. This observation helped launch the Internet boom because she predicted that people needed online shopping and delivery because of this fear-based trend. We can see this back into the 1950s, after WWII, with the “nuclear family” which was a model of keeping a small family unit of two parents and the children, in their cave house (i.e. bunker), protected from the world. The idea that our parents could be harmful to our survival was also taking hold. Could it be that this cave person fear bias is encouraging the single parent home? It may be that the inner cave-mind is seeing relationships and other humans as dangerous to survival.
BUT, there’s hope! I’m VERY optimistic about Human Potential and our ability to learn and grow! Our minds CAN change and it only takes one person to begin to change their local culture. That’s what my clients do.
Here’s a short video by one of my favorite relationship teachers, Alison Armstrong, using inner cave-person awareness to describe what may be happening when there’s upset in a relationship:
Alison Armstrong - relationship expert
Of course, YOU’VE never had upset in one of your relationships, have you?
Since we’re all now highly evolved humans, we may think we’re evolved past the cave person. Our “evolved” emotions tell us it’s: 100% the other person’s fault, we’re right, they’re wrong, and it has nothing to do with being a fearful cave person. (Insert HUGE laughter here!)
I know YOU never think that, but maybe you know of someone who has? Just because we’re a bit more bald now, wear hair products, and have smart phones, maybe we haven’t completely dropped millions of years of adaptation for survival?
Next time you feel the slightest upset arising in a relationship, arising within you, STOP, take a deep breath, and remember this cave person video. Notice if the Negativity Bias of the mind is trying to get you to believe your survival is threatened. Instead, have the compassion to notice if you two are just caught in the cave dance to the music of mutual cave fear. Are you nit picking the other person, which says to them, “I don’t trust you to protect me.” Are you giving them a disapproving look that says, “I’m not going to protect you any more.” Check out if that’s the the Negativity Biased cave person speaking in your mind.
As Alison would say, connect with your Human Spirit instead. Notice whatever that means to you. Maybe it has you do something nice for them FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON. Maybe you just drop whatever the fear thought is, the need to be “right” and safe, and just give them a hug to show you care for them. Notice what higher value than “survival” you’re committed to, like compassion, love, contribution, growth, etc. Surprise yourself!
Do share with us, in the comments, any moments you’ve noticed the inner cave person and what you do to reach for your higher values and Higher Self. Let’s help each other overcome the inner cave person!