Whether one is at university, reading a self-development book, or talking to a friend about what has been taking place in their life, there is a phrase that they could end up hearing. The words that come before or after it could be different but there will be one word that is the same.
This could be a time when they will hear the word ‘trigger’ or ‘triggered’ at least once. Before this word become part of some people’s everyday vocabulary, it was generally only heard in a certain context.
So when it is said in today’s world, it usually denotes that someone has heard, read or seen something that has brought about a strong reaction in them. After they came across something externally, they would have experienced something internally.
What they experienced internally wouldn’t have been pleasant though, as their inner world have been flooded with unpleasant thoughts, feelings, sensations and even memories. As a result of what took place internally, there would have been what happened after.
Through experiencing a strong reaction, they may have ended up becoming really angry and even aggression. If this took place, it could be said that one will have gone in to the fight response.
If one didn’t respond in this way and just got away from where they were, it could show that they had gone into the flight response. Regardless of whether the former or the latter took place, it would have taken place instinctively.
If either of these responses were not utilised, it could mean that one ended up just freezing and not doing anything for a while. Just as with the responses above, their thinking brain would have gone offline and their reptile brain would have taken over.
Now, if one froze it is unlikely that anyone else ended up paying the price for what they were going through. On the other hand, if they went into flight or fight mode, this might not have been the case.
If one went into flight mode, they may have ended up walking away from something important. This may have been a meeting or it could have been a get together with a friend.
Whereas if one went into fight mode, they may have ended up losing all control and even becoming violent. As was the case above, this may also have been a meeting or a get together with a friend.
A New Response
If one was to do this once it could cause them problems but, if they were to behave in this way on a regular basis, it could have a massive effect on their life. In a situation like this, the ideal might be for them to reach out for external support.
By doing this, it would give them the chance to look into what is taking place inside them and to start to heal their inner wounds. This will stop them from being triggered as much and make it easier for them to operate as a whole human being
The Other Side
When one person is triggered, this will most likely have an impact on someone else. If one ends up experiencing a strong reaction and their behaviour completely changes, the other person might find it hard to understand what is going on.
Even though they may have said or done something that was pretty innocuous, it could seem as though they have said or done something bad to this person. If they are not in a state of confusion, they could end up getting worked up.
An Important Point
What they will need to keep in mind at this point is that when another person has been triggered, their ability to think rationally will have probably gone out of the window. Thus, this person’s behaviour won’t be a reflection of who they truly are.
They will be saying and/or doing things, but it will be as though something else has taken over their being. Taking all this into account, there will be no need for one to take what is said or done personally.
In The Moment
If one is aware of this when they are in the presence of someone who has been triggered, it can take away their confusion. It might even stop them from getting angry, if they have got to this point.
The trouble with getting angry and going down to the same level as the person who has been triggered is that it can make it harder for the other person to snap out of the state that they are in. This will be like trying to put a fire out by pouring petrol on it.
The Power of Presence
Perhaps the best thing that one can do is to do what they can to stay in the moment and not to get sucked into what is taking place. The easiest thing would be for them to react - staying centred will be a lot harder.
After all, they are a human being too, and this means that that they will also have their own wounds that can come to the surface doing such moments as these. When these are triggered, it will make it a lot harder for them to be in the moment and not to react.
If one is present and they can stay connected to their heart, they won’t add any more fuel to a fire that is already blazing. When one is present and connected to their heart, they are more likely to know what to do.
There are two things that one can do that will allow them to respond in this way; the first is to work through their inner wounds and second is to meditate. When it comes to healing inner wounds, the assistance of a therapist or a healer may be needed.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.