Intimidating fight talk
Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.His work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, Fox Business, Magazine and he has several audio programs with Sounds True.And wired to zero in on any apparent bad news in a larger stream of information (e.g., fixing on a casual aside from a family member or co-worker), to tune out or de-emphasize reassuring good news, and to keep thinking about the one thing that was negative in a day in which a hundred small things happened, ninety-nine of which were neutral or positive.(And, to be sure, also be mindful of any tendency you might have toward rose-colored glasses or putting that ostrich head in the sand.) Additionally, be mindful of the forces around you that beat the drum of alarm - whether it's a family member who threatens emotional punishment or political figures talking about inner or outer enemies.On a previous blog at the Huffington Post, I used the example of Stephen Colbert's satirical "March to Keep Fear Alive" as a timely illustration of a larger point: humans evolved to be fearful - since that helped keep our ancestors alive - so we are very vulnerable to being frightened and even intimidated by threats, both real ones and "paper tigers." With his march, Colbert was obviously mocking those who play on fear, since we certainly don't need any new reminders to keep fear alive.This vulnerability to feeling threatened has effects at many levels, ranging from individuals, couples, and families to schoolyards, organizations, and nations.In your brain, there are separate (though interacting) systems for negative and positive stimuli.
He was a tough guy, for real, a guy from the streets. Then you’d be wishing you were at home, fast asleep. Add his cold, distant stare and unflappable demeanor and many of Joe’s opponents were searching for the exits before the first round got underway. George Foreman: Big and bad, Foreman learned from Liston before him that all you had to do was not talk too much, not change your facial expression, and stare your opponent down and you’d gain the psychological upper hand.
Additionally, you've got to hide from predators, steer clear of Alpha males and females looking for trouble, and not let other hunter-gatherer bands kill you: these are significant sticks.
But here's the key difference between carrots and sticks. Compared to carrots, sticks usually have more urgency and impact.
Intimidation can come in many different forms — body language, facial expression, rippling muscles, the cold stare that sends chills through another’s backbone — but whatever its manifestation, its objective is the same: to force a crack in the opponent’s psyche through which fear can enter.
Every fighter tries to intimidate their opponent, but these are the men who developed it into an art form, causing foes to either lose all confidence before the opening bell, and thus the fight, or to avoid facing them altogether. Iran Barkley: A former street gang member, Barkley’s face was a dark visage of total menace. Thomas Hearns: First the incredibly tall (for a welterweight) “Motor City Cobra” would look down and fix you with that intense stare of his. A tall, long-armed sharp-shooter, Foster’s wicked left hook and icy stare caused many a champion and contender to take a pass. Stanley Ketchel: A true destroyer of the ring, “The Michigan Assassin” brought a cold-eyed glare, a contemptuous sneer, and one of the hardest right hands in boxing history into the ring, and when facing the total package, his opponents felt more than a bit weak in the knees. Marvelous Marvin Hagler: With his shaved head and perpetual snarl, Hagler struck fear in the hearts of men, making it that much easier for him to run them out of the ring. For years, top contenders and champions in the middleweight division did everything they could to avoid facing the Marvelous One. Joe Louis: “The Brown Bomber” didn’t have to work too hard at intimidating people; his record and reputation accomplished that all by themselves.Of course it also helps if you’re 6’3″, one of the hardest punchers in boxing history, and have a long line of comatose heavyweights behind you. Jack Dempsey: Dempsey’s reputation for ring ferocity preceded him and proceeded to leave many of his opponents with a sudden urge to pack up and go home.