This stage deals with relationships and I think this is a topic that everyone can relate to because we are all in some kind of relationship whether it may be a spouse , sibling  co worker or friend.  I think most of us strive to have healthy relationships and communications with the people in our lives. So in this first unit , Getting the best out of others, he gives us  an acronym to work with when we want to help someone move out of chimp mode into human mode.  When anyone is in chimp mode whether it us or the other person it does not end up in a productive conversation .So he uses the acronym EUAR to help us navigate the other persons chimp.

   E  stands for Expression

Here it is important to understand to let the other persons chimp express what they are feeling without judging it or interrupting it .

  U stands for Understanding . 

Understanding someone or seeing their point of view doesn’t mean that we agree with them. The important thing here is to listen and ask questions if you are not clear.

 A  stands for Acknowledgement

Once the other person’s chimp feels understood and acknowledged it usually can settle down.

   R stands for recognition.

Here what is important is to recognize is any prior attempts that the other person has made  to deal with the situation.  If there haven’t been then just the act of reaching out to you is an attempt.

He does point out 2 pitfalls with this approach.

  1. If you don’t like the person then don’t try this because this is a compassionate approach.
  2. Don’t offer advice or suggestion right away until the other person has switched to human mode because they will not be in a receptive mode to receive information that you are offering.

So how do you build a relationship with an uncooperative person. He gives us 6 points to consider:

  1. What are the thoughts you have about that person.

If you want to have  a constructive interaction it is helpful to have good thoughts about the person.

2. Judging or using your judgment.

There is a big difference between judging someone and using your judgement.

  1. Accepting someone as they are
  2. Developing Compassion. Sometimes putting yourself in someone else shoes helps you to better understand what they are going through.
  1. Stop your chimp from being prodded or triggered
  1. When someone lacks emotional skills.

If someone lacks emotional skills then why is our chimp reacting to it. The question to ask yourself  here is , “Am I accepting the reality of my belief or am I judging and then expecting to see change.

In the next Unit,  A basis for relationships.  He explores the way the chimp and human enter relationships , and they are significantly different. In this unit he uses the example of the parental relationship  . The chimp can carry unrealistic expectations of our parents into adulthood and into our relationships.  He gives excellent examples and exercises in this unit to really look at and dig deep into what are those expectations and gives examples of how to change them .

In the Unit on Optimizing relationships the key points to remember are :

  1. Chimps can have unrealistic expectation of others
  2. They can have self serving biases . They don’t accept errors in themselves or others.

If  another person made an error a good question to ask yourself is “ If I had made this error how would I like my partner or friend to help me through . “

  1. Keep in mind the one in five rule.

And that is one in five people won’t be pleasant, won’t be reasonable and will criticize us no matter what  we do.

In the final Unit on Communication, he stresses the importance of the language we use in expressing ourselves. The Human hears the words and the chimp hears the feelings that the words evoke.  He also gives us a checklist for checking our communication skills and auditing important instructions.

  • Are the instructions clear in your mind before you begin
  • Did you stick to the main points when explaining
  • can the person repeat the instructions
  • Do they know why they need to follow the instructions
  • do they understand the consequences of following or not following the instructions
  • Have you checked that they agree and that nothing is preventing from following the instructions
  • Have you thanked.

So this stage in a Path through the Jungle has really given us a blue print on how to navigate the relationships in our  lives and how to  live a more happy and resilient life.

Maria Jacques