Lizards see the world in black and white, good and bad. Is it good to eat or will it eat me? Is it a safe hiding place, or is something hiding in it that will eat me? Is this a mate I can impregnate or is it something that will eat me? Life is terrifying for a lizard. It can also be infuriating when some other lizard gets to the good stuff first, or otherwise thwarts the lizard in its quest for food, shelter, mates, and other resources.
The basic emotions of terror, fury, lust, and satiation all belong to Lizard. So does the need to define and defend territory, in which may be found the resources necessary for survival—food and water, shelter, and mates with whom to pass on one’s genetic inheritance. The basic reflexes of fight, flight, and freeze also belong to Lizard. When you don’t hear him, you’ll often feel him in your gut. If something makes you queasy, be it a frightening news report, or a proposal to do something unethical, that’s Lizard reacting.
Lizard, in his quest to gain and manage territory and resources, is responsible for how you handle economics, finance, and work, to say nothing of what you find physically attractive in a potential mate. He is also responsible for the drive to compete for territory, resources, and mates, and the ultimate willingness to do violence when necessary for self-defense.
While both men and women have Lizard-brains, that brain is more likely to manifest in men because of how we have been socialized over the millennia of our existence as a species. That’s good, because we probably wouldn’t have survived this long without the Lizard-brain being on the lookout for the good things in life on the one hand and the dangers in life on the other.
Next time you find yourself yelling at the idiot who cut you off in traffic, or feeling the hair stand up on the back of your neck at a threatening sound in the dark, or letting loose a wolf-whistle at a gorgeous blonde, that’s Lizard making himself known to you.
Say “Hi, Lizard. How ya doin’?” Then listen and he’ll tell you.