Taking Your Finger Off the “Trigger”

We all have different backgrounds and experiences, so of course, no two people will think and feel the same about a given situation.  We truly DO create our own realities, and these come from our belief systems that have become our learned behaviors.  When a person reacts to another person or a situation, it is called a “trigger.”  The person being triggered is reminded of a past time when something occurred, and will react in the way they feel is logical to the situation, even when it may not have anything to do with that new person or situation.

We see things like this happen frequently and can often become upset, and take a situation personally, when in reality, it has nothing at ALL to do with us.  The experience is simply triggering a memory in another person.  This is the reason, Don Miguel Ruiz writes in his book The Four Agreements, “Do not take anything personally.”  

As hard as it may be to wrap this concept around our heads, NOTHING another person feels about us, has ANYTHING to do with us.  Rather, everything is contingent on their past experiences.  If people truly understand this concept, they will learn to never become offended by the behaviors of others.   The way others behave is a reflection of them, not us.  Once we learn this, there is peace and contentment, and we eliminate a great deal of self inflicted suffering.

Emily Maroutian nails it when she said, “I am not here for your understanding of who I am. I am here for your understanding of who you are. I am your mirror. How you feel about me, what you see in me, the thoughts that arise from your encounter of me, the judgments you hold about me, are all reflections of you. They have nothing to do with me.”

We can refuse to allow ourselves to be set us off and triggered by these past experiences by learning how to be the passive observer in our life.  When we view our emotions from a detached outsider’s point of view, rather than experience them and believing we ARE our emotions, we become more objective. By doing this, we can get to the root of why something triggers us, and therefore, learn how NOT to react, while also gaining deeper insight into who we are by becoming more self aware.

When others react in ways that seem illogical or hurtful to us, we can choose how to respond.  We may not be able to control how people will treat to us, but we most certainly do not need to escalate a situation by reacting, and sometimes the most powerful response is no response at all.