How to Shift When You're Feeling Triggered

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How to Shift When You're Feeling Triggered
How you approach and communicate when you're feeling triggered makes all the difference.

There are so many moments in our lives when we feel stuck. We see how we "want" to be yet recognize that the negative thoughts and feelings we have are the result of certain triggers (that is, situations or people) that make us feel powerless, reconnect us to the pain we are trying to leave behind, or create icky feelings of frustration. What’s most difficult is that it can happen when we least expect it--even those moments when we are feeling super groovy.

When you are triggered, however, it doesn’t mean you have to stay "stuck" in this ick feeling. There are techniques you can use to become aware of your "re-actions" and then help you become responsible for changing your thoughts, feelings and actions so you can literally catapult yourself to a new level of awareness, happiness, and ultimately love of self and others. Here’s an example of how negative victim or conflict thinking can manifest inside your head via the "word" of the inner critical voice I often refer to as the "dark side" voice:

Situation: Your hear your boyfriend (date, friend, partner) talking to your best friend using communication you feel isn’t effective. You feel like it's having a negative effect on your friend. You feel you must confront him about it, but you're concerned how he will react to your comments.

Think about how you typically might respond to this scenario. If you are intimidated or "walk on eggshells" when you have to confront your boyfriend, you might be afraid you aren’t communicating your thoughts appropriately. Conversely, perhaps you confront your boyfriend using language that's perceived as being "bossy" or "controlling." Either way, consider how you might BEST deliver the message. Think about your body language, the tone of your voice, and other key characteristics that will impact how your message is received.

Remember, however, that you can manage your thoughts, feelings and actions and move past STUCK to create a win-win result that leaves you feeling empowered, happy, and satisfied. Here are some possible options to avoid, followed by some suggestions for change.

Victim Approach

Thoughts: "Why is he doing this to me again? He just doesn’t care about how it makes me feel." If you remain in this energetic level, you most likely choose not to confront your boyfriend. Instead, you try to ignore the feelings and hope it just "goes away."

Conflict Approach

Thoughts: "He is such a jerk. I can’t believe he just doesn’t get it. I’m so pissed off; I can’t believe I have to deal with this." If you stay in this energetic level, you might say this to your boyfriend: "What were you thinking? You are upsetting everyone, and I don’t have time to deal with this. UGH. You need to fix this, NOW."

The Pro-Active Response

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