Emotions: Relationships

“There is not a single human emotional problem that is not caused by either the reality or the perception of: rejection, separation and loss of love or: weakness, belittlement and loss of power There’s nothing more … we have only two primary emotional needs: we need belonging, we need territory.”

Julian Short

We know from brain imaging that the same neural circuits are activated by threats to relationships and power as by physical threats. As the human brain developed, it did not create new neural circuitry – why reinvent the wheel. Instead the same neural circuitry was put to use – which may explain why our emotional reactions are sometimes inappropriate.

lions and aggressive work colleagues activate the same neural circuitry

Let’s consider relationships first.