>99 BPM Leads to Emotional Ping Pong

Gottman’s Institute of Psychology produced the metrics via computers enabling his staff to numerically calculate the number of heart beats per minute which transitions a person from self-control to out of control.  The heartrate of 99 heartbeats/minute (bpm) is the threshold to this transition.  Once your heartrate is above 99, the amygdala, the almond shape “traffic controller” in your brain, no longer sends the inbound message to the frontal lobe of your brain which is the hub of understanding/reasonableness and logical problem solving.  The inbound message is sent to the limbic emotional, animalistic area of the brain which is all about self-protection and self-preservation.  Once this happens you are no longer capable of having a healthy, win-win conversation.  The conversation is governed by emotions not reasonableness.

In James 1:19&20, there is an ultra-wise passage of scripture that should determine how we converse with each other.  My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”  These three tips of safe communication with one another slows the conversation down. It prioritizes listening to the perspective of the other person rather than being self-centered making sure you express your opinion.  You may “win” the conversation with a self-centered approach, but you lose the relationship.  James counsels all of us to not get angry.  Why is that?  Human anger keeps people from having a healthy conversation that benefits each party.  James spoke amazing insight in this passage that we spend thousands of dollars today to hear from professional counselors.

Once a participant becomes angry, the other party becomes annoyed, irritated, exasperated, irked, provoked, displeased, enraged, incensed, infuriated, maddened, inflamed, antagonized, aggravated, riled, hacked off, hurt, shameful, or abused.  The fruits of anger are bitterness, toxicity, abuse, hatred, and ill-temperedness.  Dear brother and sister, please learn to speak and listen to others safely.  A couple of examples that Paul was blunt about is the angry manner men often talk to their wives and children:  Colossians 3:19 states, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”  Then, in verse 21, he states, “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”  Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”  Each of us must learn to be self-controlled managing the BPM’s…settled within yourself, not angry, “speaking the truth in love.”

Paul the Apostle made another intriguing comment in Ephesians 4:26&27, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.”  If a person is angry with another, do not go to bed in a state of anger.  Why not?  Your negative, hurtful self-talk and your emotions play “ping pong” all night long. The results will be a depth of anger much worse and well-rehearsed for the next time you run into each other.  Try to resolve issues before you go to bed.  If not, agree to on a time to talk the next day. 

Don’t let things fester!

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