When people consider civil discourse, usually brain chemicals are far from their minds. While words communicated with civility, can go only as far as any brain allows, skilled communicators create peace out of chaos. The opposite is also true, and rarely is silence an option for harmony.
Any situation in which some people prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence… To alienate humans from their own decision making is to change them into objects.
Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. (Paulo Freire)
Do your words create calm under pressure? The same communication triggers within human brains, also balance mental chemistry, and can make or break your social situations.
Neglect brain chemicals, and courtesy rarely remains as part of communication. When somebody slights your sensibility, you’ll simply toss rude barbs back, from stored reactions in your amygdala. Brain chemicals fuel manners and respect much like gasoline fuels engines.
Learn how to regulate cortisol and you’ll stay open and curious to learn from people who differ. Even those who come with crankier tone. Ignore cortisol levels, though, and expect to react rudely whenever harmful hormones surge during disagreements.
Take time to reboot your brain for more serotonin, and you’ll also fine tune it for civility that connects to unshakable well being. The opposite is also true. Neglect serotonin and your brain tends to default back to uncivil exchanges.
Take a brief tone test here to see how your brain is bending toward civility during disagreements. See how simple choices you make, impact brain hormones for rudeness or respect?