Identify Your Triggers

Identify Your Triggers

Everybody has their own triggers. Those are the behaviors that for some reason highly irritate you and may not really affect the other members of the family. For me it’s eye rolling. I don’t know why but when someone rolls their eyes at me it is like a red flag. My son still tries to practice rolling his eyes at 28 since he knew he better not learn that skill while he lived home. For Dave he hates it when I start a discussion with the word You. Who would have known until he told me about a week ago. Triggers have a variety of effects. Usually, the first thing triggered is our bodies in some way. Our ears get hot, our face flushes, our heart races, our breathing rate increases, our jaws clench, or maybe our muscles tense. Many times, our facial expressions change. My mom used to say my dad’s nose got longer, and I can tell by how Dave purses his lips and gets a smirk on his face. That things are about to heat up.  When we are triggered we start to feel emotions. It could be anger. How dare you talk to me like a child. It could be sadness. I’m never good enough for you. It could be guilt. I always disappoint you. Maybe it’s frustration. You never listen to me. Or fear. Every time you are angry you threaten to leave or to kick me out. Or shame. Why do they always shine the light on the things I hate about myself.

  1. The first step to deal with triggers is to recognize your own
  2. Then work with your family to help everyone to recognize their triggers and their physical and emotional reactions to them
  3. Ask each other if anyone has insight into each other’s triggers, why they happen, and how they react to them.
  4. Then work on a plan to avoid each other’s triggers.
  5. Remember we never want to trigger our family members. It leads to conflict when there really is none and is an obstacle to being heard

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