Ever find yourself triggered by what someone said? All of the sudden, in the middle of a decent conversation, something they said hit you the wrong way… It brought you back to something that happened years or months ago that was painful. It was not conscious or intentional and you found yourself struggling to stay in the present moment…
Usually, when this happens, the person has no idea that what they said hit a nerve. Some people talk about them as landmines and mine fields.
Someone rings your doorbell, pushes the button and it registers as “ding dong.” If you remove one of the wires, the next time they press your button, it doesn’t make a sound. You would prefer they not push your buttons and yet you now have freedom from a response.
A trigger is a conditioned response. It is not logical or rational or present based. You can condition a different response if you are conscious of your trigger.
The next time you find yourself out of control or having a reaction that is too strong for the situation, consider whether you’ve been triggered. Look at the over reaction and what got triggered. What did this current situation remind you of from your past? What would it take for you to heal this, now that you are aware that you are still hurting from your past?
Play it through in your head:
Do I need to take this personally?
Does it matter?
Is my perspective the only perspective available to me?
Can I get some distance from this?
What would it take for me to soothe myself, calm myself right now?
Do I have a chip on my shoulder about this?
What would it take for me to reassure, or validate, myself?
A common trigger for people is when someone they love is angry at them. That is hard to tolerate because in the past when someone was angry with me….. (fill in the thought).
Now, play it through in your head a few times without you reacting strongly. Train your brain to respond rather than over react to this stimulus. Condition your brain to take it at face value rather than read into it or take it personally.
Repeat this a few times until it no longer has an emotional component. Be free of this trigger, take the wire off the button, remove the landmine from the minefield…
What thoughts do you have?