Here’s something to consider the next time you fly off the handle: It’s not really your fault. When the brain processes stimuli from the outside world, information gets dumped more quickly into the amygdala (the emotional part of the brain) than it does the cortex (logic central). Our emotions thus get first dibs on reacting to things before the cortex can even catch up—which means sometimes you literally don’t have time to think out the “smarter” response. You know, like “no, I should not throw that stapler at my boss”.

MORE: What’s Your Emotional Intelligence?