Have you ever had a feeling when you what to hug someone so badly that you are ready to strangle him?
Sometimes when I hold Avi, I really feel like I want to bite him. Because my love for him is so strong and so huge, that my brain simply can’t stand it. I want to squeeze him, chew his little fingers and hug hug hug hug. Then it just goes away and I’m back to normal.
What is that? Why does it happen to us?
That is how our brain deals with too much love. These strange behavior even received a name “cute aggression”. Oriana R. Aragon PhD and researcher of Yale University explains:
Extremely positive experiences, and positive appraisals thereof, produce intense positive emotions that often generate both positive expressions (e.g., smiles) and expressions normatively reserved for negative emotions (e.g., tears). We developed a definition of these dimorphous expressions and tested the proposal that their function is to regulate emotions.
This means that if it is simply more cuteness and love, that our brain is programmed to stand, it has to reboot, get rid of surplus of emotions. This is the way to shake it off. Typically it’s a short flash of aggression-like behavior.
As for infants, it was even scientifically proven, that their smell is so pleasant and desirable, that our brain reacts to it as it would react on a very delicious food. This research suggests that, to some degree, our brains respond in a parallel way when perceiving cuteness and seeking food, and perhaps our psychological experience of wanting to bite arises from that physiological overlap.
Well, at least now I know why my son bites me all the time. He just loves me way too much!