"I've got half a mind to tell him off!" OK, which half would that be?
That question is not necessarily rhetorical. Most likely the angry person is operating from the right half of his or her brain, the side that is responsible for emotions, creativity, and intuition. If this person "follows their gut" and lets loose a stream of creative four-letter word combinations, they are firmly in the sway of the impulsiveness that can come from right-brained thinking.
A left-brain dominant individual might not be as upset. He or she might step back quite naturally and try to determine the rationale behind the other person's behavior. Even if the left-brained person's emotions are engaged by the other person's transgression, they are likely to analyze first, and then think through their response before they make it. They may also weigh the benefits versus the risks of saying anything at all.
One of the most popular examples of the left-brain dominant individual would be the character Mr. Spock from Star Trek. A Vulcan, Spock couldn't understand anything that wasn't logical. On the other hand, Captain James Kirk, a far more right-brained, intuitive sort, wound up falling in love with almost any reasonably attractive alien or human that appeared in an episode. Kirk was ruled by his feelings - or at the very least he went there first.
Check out this optical illusion to do a quick test of your brain dominance:
- go from A to C without going through B
- left side of the body
- A, then B, then C
- right side of the body
The two sides of your brain are connected - there are individuals who test "double-dominant in brain assessments. If you have fairly balanced access to your brain hemispheres you might have been able to "see" the dancer rotate in each of the two directions. In addition, there are structural brain differences between men and women. Men have more brain cells, but women have more connectors between brain cells. In general, women navigate back and forth between right- and left-brained mode more rapidly than men do.
Next post, we'll talk about things you can do to engage both sides of your brain. There's no need to have only half a mind.