What’s a trigger? A trigger is when someone does something; whether it be an action, the way they speak, the way they conduct themselves or an interaction that takes place in which sets in motion a series of reactive emotions within yourself, usually in a negative regard towards the person. This is usually a personal judgement towards the other person, simply for being who they are. For the most part, you like this person & don’t usually have any quarrels with them, but sometimes, for some reason that you can’t quite put your finger on, this person really gets under your skin. That is because they are triggering you.
They haven’t done anything particularly wrong by you, so why? This is called a mirror effect; this person is literally mirroring an aspect of yourself, in which, in most cases, has gone unnoticed. A shadow aspect.
Now usually when one is triggered, the fault is generally placed into the person that is triggering you. However, this perspective closes one off from an opportunity to grow & stagnates any opportunity to increase self awareness.
To be triggered usually means that the person has conducted themselves in such a way that, by no intentional fault of their own, has ‘set you off’. They haven’t done anything particularly wrong by you, so why? This is called a mirror effect; this person is literally mirroring an aspect of yourself, in which, in most cases, has gone unnoticed. A shadow aspect.
This could be anything from a particular behaviour, habit, emotion, a reflection of your own personal relationships, or even something that you have attempted to hold yourself accountable for, but never actually do ie, you set an intention to meditate every morning, yet do not because you enjoy a longer sleep in & it really gets under your skin when your best friend is always late for your morning workout session together, because she lost track of time whilst achieving bliss. Yet they always seem so put together & happy, that really bugs you!
There’s two potential triggering aspects with that situation; one place for reflection would be that they are meditating daily & clearly reaping benefits; which you would like to do but don’t, therefore something inside of you places your friend in this light of being so perfect & life is so easy that it bothers you. Yet whereas you could see that as an inspiration for you to do as you desire yourself, that it can be done, because they are showing in a way where you could see it reflected in action. If you don’t integrate this reflection by taking action & holding yourself accountable, this is where resentment builds towards your friend. This isn’t their fault, they aren’t doing anything wrong to you. But it is easier for the mind to outwardly wrong another for what they are doing, rather than for what you are not doing.
The flip side to this situation is the second trigger; that your friend is always running late for your morning workout session (because they were meditating 😉). You really hate that they are always late & keeping you waiting, it seems they have no regard for your time. You don’t usually say anything either although, because they are always in such a great mood & easy going, & maybe they always bring you a coffee, hence they’ve unintentionally shifted the focus. Remember, these actions are not intentional, your friend doesn’t set a goal every day to waste your time. But sometimes it feels that way. A great opportunity for introspection on this factor is to consider where are you making people wait for you? Do you run late to events yourself? Or do you always usually keep people waiting for things on you? Like how you possibly always keep your boss waiting for your end of month report you promise to be on time, and when you finally hand it in, it’s always such an efficient document that they don’t say much about it being overdue. Nevertheless, you have still had no regard for their time & the on flow effect it may have on their own duties. Or are you late to family dinner every Sunday night, but always be on time for lunch with friends? Because, ‘it’s family & they won’t mind’ yet failing to realise it is because of you that your nephew misses out on dessert when your sister leaves early (which seems so rude!) to take him home to bed, as they were waiting for you before starting the entrees. In turn, you yourself are most likely being a trigger for members in your family, just by being yourself around them. Maybe you’re always late because you’re busy polishing off that overdue report & mention this to your family. Your sister is triggered because you have had the successful & rewarding career that she has not. Maybe because she had a child young & that took priority & she’s been wanting to continue her studies to gain better career opportunities, yet continues to convince herself it’s ‘too hard’ therefore resenting you when you appear to be so successful in your work & personal endeavours. When really, she’s just lacking a little integrity towards self motivation & is a chronic procrastinator.
You see, what sometimes appears to be an annoying niggle that comes from someone in your life, whether it be a stranger, a friend or a family member, which you tend to ignore or allow to fester, therefore building resentment; may actually be a wonderful opportunity to invoke deep introspective reflection in the regard of your own patterns of thinking, emotions, behaviour & actions.
No one is ever more interested in yourself, than yourself.
So before you go & get pissy at Shane for offering you advise, seeming like they know better by telling you what to do, when all you wanted was for someone to listen to you; have a think about where you may be tending to others in a way that you think is helping & providing a solution, but instead potentially making the other feel unheard, patronised or inadequate. In turn, be sure to be clear yet humble with Shane that, as much as you appreciate their advise & that you’ll keep that in mind (because it may actually be helpful later on!), all you need right now is someone to hear you out while you process your emotions.
No one is ever more interested in yourself, than yourself. So therefore it is imperative to the growth of your own self awareness to take responsibility for your emotions, your actions & especially your triggers & go inward with them. Where is this an opportunity for growth? If one may take responsibility for every single aspect of their own life, then & only then, may you hold the key to unlocking an endless amount of doorways to an endless amount of friendships, adventure, perspectives & levelling of consciousness.
Are you owning your shit?