What is a Conditioned Emotional Response?
It is a reaction-type response to a trigger that comes from conditioning over time. The problem is that some of the C.E.R.’s aren’t your own. They weren’t a response that you chose. Instead, they were programmed into you by those around you at a young age or those around you now. Let me give you a humorous example. Zig Ziglar told this story in one of his many motivational speeches.
A young married woman cooked ham for her new husband. When she sat it on the table, he noticed that the end of the ham had been cut off. He asks her why. She shrugged and said, “that’s how my mother always made the ham. She makes the best ham in the world.”
Later, the woman called her mother and asked her why she always cut the end of the ham off. Does it make it taste better? she asks.
“No,” replied the mother. Your grandmother always cuts the end of the ham off, and she makes the best ham in the world!”
So later, the granddaughter calls her grandma. “Why do you cut off the ham?” she asks. “Does it make it taste better?”
“No,” laughed grandma. “My Pan was just too small.”
Now, This may be a silly example of a conditioned response. It was programmed into two generations, all because of a pan and its size. How many things have you picked up from your parents, friends, and the society around you? How often do you respond automatically to something and then wonder about it later?
Many things are programmed into us without our approval, knowledge, or understanding. I know some people with a victim’s mentality would say, “well, it’s not my fault.” No, it isn’t. But it is your responsibility. It’s up to you to decide if you agree or disagree with the response. If you do not, and if you’re C.E.R. does not serve you, it is up to you to change it. You have the power to do it!
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