Rewire Your Brain for Positive Influence
and Happier Relationships
By Anastasia Pryanikova, M.A., J.D.
http://brainalchemi...
Emotions are contagious
• Happy people tend to be located in the center of their social
networks and in large clusters of ...
If you don't mindfully direct the changes
in your brain, something or someone
will accidentally do it for you.
John Gottman's "The Four Horsemen of
the Apocalypse"
Based on John Gottman's, PhD, relationship research adapted from his ...
7 Barriers to Active Listening
1. Predetermined attitude and assumptions about the other
person or the subject matter to b...
The emotional brain is the puppeteer in
the theater of the mind, the rational
brain is the puppet that believes it can
dec...
If you want to influence other people's
brains, pique curiosity and minimize
uncertainty.
• When the brain is busy searchi...
If you want to influence other people's
brains, give a fair shake and a stamp of
approval.
When we interact with others,
t...
Status & Fairness
• Both money and social values are processed in the same
brain region, the striatum. In other words, our...
If you want to influence other people's
brains, understand the relationships
between sensation and perception.
Award winni...
"Heavy load" & "heavy duty"
Weight is metaphorically associated with seriousness and
importance. Can the weight of an item...
"Soft cushion" & "soft skills"
In one study, subjects seated in hard or soft chairs engaged in
mock haggling over the pric...
"Cold shoulder" & "warm welcome"
Studies show a link between physical warmth and generosity.
Individuals who held a warm b...
"Clean consciousness" & "dirty
thoughts"
People who feel physically clean appear less judgmental. If the
jury members wash...
Brain-friendly communication practices
• In social situations, always have something interesting to share to pique people'...
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Rewire your brain for positive influence and happier relationships

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http://brainalchemist.com - neuroscience insights for effective communication, engagement, peacemaking and influence.

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Rewire your brain for positive influence and happier relationships

  1. 1. Rewire Your Brain for Positive Influence and Happier Relationships By Anastasia Pryanikova, M.A., J.D. http://brainalchemist.com
  2. 2. Emotions are contagious • Happy people tend to be located in the center of their social networks and in large clusters of other happy people. • Each additional happy friend increases a person’s probability of being happy by about 9%. • People who smile in their profile photographs tend to have more friends and are measurably more central to the online network. • Positive networks built on cooperation and altruism tend to thrive, while negative ones tend to dissolve. Source: “Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives” by James Fowler, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego and Nicholas Christakis, a physician and sociologist at Harvard University.
  3. 3. If you don't mindfully direct the changes in your brain, something or someone will accidentally do it for you.
  4. 4. John Gottman's "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" Based on John Gottman's, PhD, relationship research adapted from his book "The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work" 1.Criticism – Defensiveness – Contempt – Stonewalling
  5. 5. 7 Barriers to Active Listening 1. Predetermined attitude and assumptions about the other person or the subject matter to be discussed; 2. Preoccupation with our own thoughts; 3. Completing the other person’s thoughts and jumping to conclusions; 4. Selective listening when we listen only to what we want to hear; 5. Strong feelings and emotions; 6. Ignoring body language and supersegmentals, such as intonation, rate of speech, emphasis, or tone; 7. Lack of time or proper environment.
  6. 6. The emotional brain is the puppeteer in the theater of the mind, the rational brain is the puppet that believes it can decide on its own.
  7. 7. If you want to influence other people's brains, pique curiosity and minimize uncertainty. • When the brain is busy searching for patterns and making predictions, it produces more neuromodulator dopamine, which is responsible for more pleasurable experience. • Uncertainty can cause stress. How well we are able to cope with stress depends on our perception of control. When we feel out of control, our prefrontal cortex function diminishes while our limbic system floods us with emotions.
  8. 8. If you want to influence other people's brains, give a fair shake and a stamp of approval. When we interact with others, the mirror neurons in the brain help us understand other people’s intentions, feelings, and emotions.
  9. 9. Status & Fairness • Both money and social values are processed in the same brain region, the striatum. In other words, our good reputation is a reward to the brain. In contrast, a threat to the status triggers the release of cortisol and other stress- related hormones and activates the brain areas that process emotional pain, the amygdala and posterior cingulate. • Fair treatment is a reward to the brain that activates dopamine cells while unfair treatment is perceived as a threat processed in the insula, the part of the brain also associated with the feeling of disgust.
  10. 10. If you want to influence other people's brains, understand the relationships between sensation and perception. Award winning AlphaSphere "Perception-Furniture" by European Artist sha. It is said that complete relaxation is attained when all the five sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, skin and tongue) of the body are relaxed and remain in perfect harmony with each other.
  11. 11. "Heavy load" & "heavy duty" Weight is metaphorically associated with seriousness and importance. Can the weight of an item influence our perception of its importance in real life? Apparently, yes. In one study, job candidates whose resumes were seen on a heavy clipboard were judged as better qualified and more serious about the position.
  12. 12. "Soft cushion" & "soft skills" In one study, subjects seated in hard or soft chairs engaged in mock haggling over the price of a new car. Subjects in hard chairs were less flexible, showing less movement between successive offers. They also judged their adversary in the negotiations as more stable and less emotional.
  13. 13. "Cold shoulder" & "warm welcome" Studies show a link between physical warmth and generosity. Individuals who held a warm beverage viewed a stranger as having warmer personality traits than when holding an iced coffee. In addition to viewing others as more trustworthy and caring, individuals who held a warm object also were more generous with others. It turns out that the insula region of the brain is involved in processing information from both physical temperature and interpersonal warmth, or trust. In contrast, social isolation can actually make people feel cold.
  14. 14. "Clean consciousness" & "dirty thoughts" People who feel physically clean appear less judgmental. If the jury members washed their hands prior to delivering their verdict, would they judge the crime less harshly? In a series of experiments, students who had washed their hands or read about cleanliness rated certain transgressions to be less wrong compared to the control group. Research also shows the link between disgust and moral judgments.
  15. 15. Brain-friendly communication practices • In social situations, always have something interesting to share to pique people's curiosity. • Give compliments to people throughout the day. Research shows that a person needs to hear five compliments before he or she can listen to a criticism without feeling defensive. • Approach each conversation with kindness and an open mind, practice relaxation techniques before difficult conversations. • Take time to prepare for your challenging conversations and look at the topic from various perspectives. • Ask open-ended questions: who, what, when, where, how, why, etc. People love to talk about themselves. • Use storytelling to create emotional connections with your audience and facts to engage the brain's prediction mechanisms. • Don’t give away information all at once. Build curiosity by gradually releasing bits and pieces. This also ensures that you don’t overwhelm the working memory with too much detail. • Ask people for advice and favors. People like to help. Helping others gives them a sense of autonomy and choice. • Give people choices and options, but not so many that you cause the analysis paralysis. (The prefrontal cortex can hold only about seven pieces of information at a time.) Lack of options undermines people’s autonomy. • Don’t simply tell people what to do, ask them questions, have a discussion, involve them in the decision-making process. • Give support and encouragement, celebrate other people’s achievements. • Show gratitude and reciprocate when somebody does something nice for you. • If you can, both show and tell to activate your audience’s mirror neurons and aid in learning. • Encourage good tone and friendliness. Pay attention to the perceived safety of social interactions. • Apologize when you make a mistake. • Pay attention to the physical environment where communication takes place, keep it safe and positive.

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