February 26, 2009

Fight or flight?

One of the main things I learned in Biology class when I was in Class XI was about adrenaline and how it makes our brain react. I guess most people know that adrenaline is a chemical released in reaction to extreme situations - like sudden stress/fear/anger/happiness. Briefly, it is kind of surging energy running through your veins accompanied by a pounding heart. And it is the body's internal chemical reaction to deal with the unexpected situation. But the most important thing that I remember from that was how the reaction from this has been characterized as "fight or flight" which helps a person deal with the situation in a manner appropriate to them by releasing enough energy for a short burst for either action. Sorry about the biology lesson. But it occurred to me that we do not always choose the same type of reaction in different situations. But when it comes to the most important ones, the reactions are usually always the same.

I remember a time when I was helping out a co-worker at my part-time job in UC. This guy was on a ladder trying to fix something on the false ceiling while I was right below supposed to hand him the required tools. He lost his balance midway and the ladder started slipping. Instead of running away, which was the sensible thing to do, I plunged forward in an effort to steady the ladder. I don't remember much of the next 5 minutes till today but I can still feel the reverberating of the right side of my skull as he thundered down on me, ladder and all. That was a "fight" reaction. Sense would've been "flight". However on the other hand, in a less precarious situation, if I happened to spot someone with whom the vibes weren't particularly good, I'd choose a "flight" any day. Avoid the conversation instead of facing the unpleasantness. Makes sense? Sometimes it doesn't need to. Some other major "danger" situations where I've chosen the "fight" side is when I used to ride my Scooty around town in Chennai. Many a time I would be tailgated by a huge PTC bus. And I don't know why... instead of letting the bus pass, I would weave through the insane traffic with aplomb, I choose to believe, but sometimes in pretty daunting road traffic conditions. Again, it may not make much sense. But it's a split-second decision. In fact I remember the time when my bro was taking me doubles and crossing a major main road. There were buses coming from both sides towards us and we both started screaming and we barely made it to the other side. Another "fight". Maybe it's because of the age and I suppose these reactions will change over time. But right now, I am a "fight" person. What about you? Fight or flight?

10 comments:

Vidhya said...

hahahaha..omg I totally visualized the whole falling on u thing and am dying laughing..Its still hilarious..I think I am fight person in certain situations (like work wise I guess) but just like u I totally try to avoid unpleasant conversations..

Jaya said...

NOT FUNNY. I could've paralyzed my entire right side, did you realize? :| . And please, I all along knew you were like me in almost everything :D

Radhika said...

I am glad you are ok Jaya. It could have been dangerous. But I am not a biology student so I have never heard of this fight or flight. It was interesting to read.

Jaya said...

Radhika -> Thank you. And yes, thankfully I am okay. Lol.

Vidhya said...

"paralyzed my entire right side"...
Drama queen :P

Seshadri said...

ha hah hahahahah hah ha I am yet to read all way through... but yes! it's the urban legend of ECSS

mysticmelodiez said...

Glad that you managed to live through it, lolz !! As far as I am concerned, I'm an absolute fight person, sometimes more than I wish actually. However, given a choice I'd rather "fight and regret" than "fly and regret" :) just me..,

Jaya said...

Mysticmelodiez -> Agreed! But I'd rather flee than exchange fake courtesies someone who doesn't like me. Lol. Thanks for the comment n keep visiting :)

mysticmelodiez said...

Very true! exchanging fake courtesies with someone who dislikes me, isn't my cup of tea either :) well said !

Jaya said...

Mysticmelodiez, Merci, Madamoiselle :)

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