Why do I feel the need to pee right before a big meeting?

If I am getting ready for a job interview, or an important hearing, I get butterflies in my stomach, a particular taste in my mouth, and a racing heart, which I assume are associated with the fight or flight reflex (i.e. “nerves”). To me, those physiological reaction seem intuitive to a “primal” human body who can’t distinguish between early man getting revved for a hunt and me getting revved for an important meeting.

But I also get the need to pee. It’s part of my last minute routine to run to the bathroom, and I never have much urine to deposit. Yet the sensation is always there.

Why is that?

I can’t imagine that peeing oneself makes for a good “fight or flight” reaction? How would early man be much of a menace if urine was running down his leg?

Or am I a freaK?

If you were to spontaneously pee your pants, I’d view it more as a “fight or flight” reaction (which has been mentioned on here before.) But, since you can control it, I’d say it was just nerves. You get a bit nervous, and you notice the slight sensation in your bladder that’s always there if it has any liquid in it. Since you are nervous, it seems much stronger than when you aren’t

Also, you’ve probably conditioned yourself to pay attention to it before you do anything big. It’s similar to automatically urinating before a long trip–you probably didn’t do it as a kid, but now you realize that, if you don’t, you’ll have to go badly later.

Then you should imagine harder :stuck_out_tongue:

Peeing/defecating on one’s self in times of nervousness does help one to survive. Your meeting isn’t a simulation of getting revved up to hunt, it’s simulating getting revved up to fight for one’s life. Your body is expecting injury. Injuries that tend to tear open the bowels, for one. By dumping it down your legs, your body prevents it from getting into your abdominal cavity and causing sepsis, leading to your death.

Not only that, but urine and feces are strongly scented. Scent has always been a common way for animals to warn/intimidate predators and rivals. You’ll notice that “nervous sweat” smells stronger than “athletic sweat”, for the same reason.

I’ll make a note to soil myself before my next cage fight.

Well the adrenals that release adrenaline are right on top of the kidneys, so I am not sure what kind of interaction is going on there.

I think generally it’s an attempt to just rid your body of any sort of unecessary baggage before a meeting.

The binary notion of fight/flight is sort of explanatory but it doesn’t really explain so precisely the degrees of variation.

I’m with you Atomicktom. I always have to pee before a big meeting or interview. I’m a nervous pee-er. When I get married this January, I know I’m going to get into that big dress, with all the skirts, the nylons, all that mess… and then I’ll have to pee. I know it.

Yeah, I pee early from fear that I’ll have to pee later.