When people are strongly triggered

 

When old pain is strongly triggered in us, it may feel completely overwhelming. Any continued interaction with the triggering situation or person feels like too much. Sometimes, we may just need to take a break and withdraw from the trigger, whether it’s a situation or a person. (Some people do this the only way they know, which is to break off connection completely.) And if we are the triggering person, sometimes the best we can do is give them space and wait.

Sometimes, we may just need to take a break and withdraw from the trigger, whether it’s a situation or a person. (Some people do this the only way they know, which is to break off connection completely.) And if we are the triggering person, sometimes the best we can do is give them space and wait.

In these situations, old trauma is triggered by the current situation, and the intensity combined with our capacity to consciously relate to it determines how we are able to deal with it. We may lash out in anger, fear, and pain. We may put all blame outside of ourselves. Or we may be able to recognize the pain in us, that it comes from old trauma, and meet it with kindness.

From a parts perspective, we can become identified with the pained and suffering part that’s activated in us. We may temporarily “become” that part, and act and speak in uncharacteristic ways. We may also see the triggering person as the person in the past (if there was one) that was the catalyst for the initial trauma. We can easily demonize that person, even if what they said and did to trigger the wound in us was innocent or small seen from an outsider’s perspective. We both become different people to the person who has a wound that was activated.

If I trigger a deep wound in someone, it’s important to acknowledge the pain and suffering the other person is experiencing and give them space to be with it. It’s equally important to take responsibility for my part. Whatever the person is saying about me, and however much it comes from their own pain, I can find where and how it’s true for me and acknowledge it.

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Draft…..

When old pain is strongly triggered in us, it may feel completely overwhelming. Any continued interaction with the triggering situation or person feels like too much. If we are the triggering person, sometimes the best we can do is give them space and wait.

In these situations, old trauma is triggered by the current situation, and the intensity combined with our capacity to consciously relate to it determines how we are able to deal with it. As the triggered person, we may just need to take a break and withdraw from the trigger, whether it’s a situation or a person. (Some people do this the only way they know, which is to break off connection completely.)

Also, when something is triggered in us, we can become identified with the pained and suffering part that’s activated in us. We may temporarily “become” that part, and act and speak in uncharacteristic ways. And we may see the triggering person as the person in the past that was the catalyst for the initial trauma. We can easily demonize that person, even if what they said and did to trigger the wound in us was innocent or small seen from an outsider’s perspective. To the triggered person, we both can become different people.

As the triggering person, it’s important for me to take responsibility for what I did. Whatever the other person says about me, I can take time to find where and how it’s true for me. I can say yes to it. And also share my experience.

It’s also helpful to first really acknowledge the pain the other person is experiencing. And also that what I did or said brought it up. We can apologize for bringing up so much pain in the other person. This helps the other person feel seen and respected.

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Initial draft…..

When someone is strongly triggered by us, they may feel overwhelmed and any interaction we have with them – however sincere and kind – may feel like too much. In these situations, we just need to give them space and wait.

As old trauma is triggered by a current situation, it can feel overwhelming. The intensity of what’s coming up, and our capacity to hold and relate to it, both influences how we are able to deal with it. Sometimes, we just need to take a break and withdraw from the trigger, whether it’s a situation or a person.

Also, when something is triggered in us, we can become identified with the part that’s triggered, and act and talk like a different person. And we may see the triggering person as the person in our past that triggered the initial trauma. We both become different people.

As the triggering person, it’s important for me to take responsibility for what I did. Whatever the other person says about me, I can take time to find where and how it’s true for me.

And it’s really helpful to acknowledge the pain the other person is experiencing, and that what I did or said brought it up. That’s true, and it helps the other person feel heard and respected.

I would usually write this from the perspective of me being triggered, but in this case, there is a current situation fresh in mind so that’s why I wrote it as I did. I may go back and rewrite it.

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