• Ian T. Mena-Wieland

Book Review: Conflict Communication, Rory Miller


Rory Miller is a former law enforcement officer, as well as a corrections officer. His experience had given him many salient lessons on how do deal with people in many different contexts.

Miller begins the book by explaining the three different brains that people use: the lizard brain, the monkey brain and the human brain. When separated, it is very obvious how each of these are important in our survival.

The lizard brain is the reaction to danger. Its only job is to keep us safe by giving us the adrenaline to fight, run or freeze when danger is present. It is not concerned with the way we drive a car or tie a tie, it is only there to regulate the hormones as it relates to fear.

The human brain is at the opposite end of the spectrum. This is the logical brain that allows us to think things through, troubleshoot problems and deal with technology. It is higher thinking devoid of emotion.

The monkey brain, however is the emotional and social brain. This is what makes us hesitate before we get on the dance floor, or makes us think twice before raising our hand to ask a question. This is the brain that finds comfort in a routine, and strives to recreate that routine. The monkey brain can also be responsible for the dismissal of the lizard brains warnings, simply because we might look foolish.

In reading this book, it is striking that it is not only a book for those that would like to understand self defense, but also a guide for how to deal with everyday people. It allows is a glimpse into the reasons people get defensive and how to deal with troublesome individuals. It is a wonderful read for anyone that simply wishes to get along better in their world.


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