We all get triggered by people from time to time. Most commonly it’s our partner and close family members who spark the triggers. Colleagues may also know exactly how to push your buttons.
What few people realise is how valuable those triggers are. They are the key to emotions you’ve suppressed for a long time that aren’t doing you any good. They sabotage your progress and can stop you in your tracks just when everything seems to be flowing.
It’s an art to understand and release deep-seated, suppressed emotions. You may not find it particularly appealing when I put it like that. Who wants to explore the deep, dark hidden stuff that you put away in the first place because it was too painful to handle?
But there’s a beauty in it as well. It’s a way to unlock your true self and give you the freedom you’re longing for inside.
The principle is quite simple. If someone triggers you emotionally, they’re representing emotions of your own that you’ve pushed away and denied. For example, if you got very angry when you were a child, and your mother then withdrew her love from you in a very painful way, you might have decided not to get angry again because it was too risky. So you controlled your natural anger and eventually buried it until you weren’t able to feel it any more.
The problem is the anger is still there. It hasn’t gone away. It’s just hidden. And it will show up in people around you until you face it, own it and find a rightful place for it. Often I find people are very angry with themselves, even if they’re not angry with other people and it can be very destructive.
So if someone triggers you it’s important to realise they’re showing you part of yourself that’s hidden. It’s more about you than it’s about them. It’s only when you accept the emotion as yours that they’ll stop presenting it to you from the outside.
Once you’re able to feel it yourself again you can explore how to let it go so it no longer controls you. One of the simplest ways is simply to feel it without trying to change it. You’ll discover that all emotions change themselves naturally if you don’t try to eliminate them or fix them. Just let them be.
You may need some help with this, simply because a lot of resistance can come up when we need to take responsibility for someone else triggering us. It’s much easier to say they’re doing something wrong, than to admit they’re showing us something about ourselves.
In fact, people often feel quite mystified when I talk about this. It’s so prevalent to blame other people that the very idea you could be the one with the ugly emotions is unthinkable.
But once you admit it, and free the emotion up, you feel so much better. You gradually realise it’s worth going through the resistance.
Of course the impact it has on others is huge. No longer do they need to trigger you (which usually makes them feel horrible). And when you feel free, you allow others to feel free too – which is a great gift to them.