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Triggers

Feelings that keep old behaviors coming back!



Have you ever traveled through life only to find yourself right back where you started? You could feel life moving in a new direction. All of a sudden, an innocent comment triggers something deep inside of you. What just happened? How do you get out of the feelings that trouble you? The psychological traumas behind buried emotions can trigger old behaviors that reveal somethings holding you hostage. Before we address what was said, let's pinpoint what your body felt. Merriam-Webster defines triggers as, "to cause the explosion of (trigger a missile with a proximity fuse), or cause an intense and usually negative emotional reaction in (someone)." Sound familiar? Think about it? What made your emotions explode? Without focusing on what was said or done, what did you feel? Did you feel anger, rejection, hurt, resentment, bitterness, sadness, hostility, distrust, or more at the time? Did you focus more on what the person said to you than your response? If so, why? To answer this question, consider the way you last reacted to something you did not like. Reynolds includes the following list of needs that can create our emotional triggers in an article.

 

"1. Be Accepted 2. Be Respected 3. Be Liked 4. Be Understood 5. Be Needed 6. Be Valued 7. Be Given Control 8. Be Right 9. Be Treated Fairly 10. Be Given Attention 11. Be Seen 12. Experience Freedom 13. Feel in Harmony 14. Experience Balance 15. Experience Consistency 16. Maintain Order 17. Experience Variety 18. Feel Loved 19. Experience Safety 20. Count on Predictability 21. Be Included 22. Experience Fun 23. Be Given New Challenges 24. Experience Competency." (Reynolds, 2016).

 
"Without consciously acknowledging the need that is triggering the emotional reaction, we become enslaved to the need. On the other hand, if we honestly declare our needs—that we had expected people to treat us in a particular way and had hoped events would unfold as we had planned—then we can begin to see life more objectively." (Reynolds, 2016.)

I like the approach Reynolds takes. She draws our attention to the real issue of not having our needs met. It is the first step in gaining control of our behaviors despite other people's treatment.


There was a man in the bible who came up against a very emotional experience. His name was King David, ruler of Jerusalem. He had some weaknesses, but God loved David because he was quick to repent. After Saul lost the Kingdom, David became King. Some people blamed David for Saul's death, but God orchestrated it. However, the throne was always at risk. Not even the King's son was exempt. When Absalom (David's son), stole the hearts of the people David ran. On his way out of Jereslum, Shimei a member of Saul's family met David and attacked him.

 

"And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. And Shimei said as he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! The Lord has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood.” (2 Samuel 16:7-8, ESV).

 

Instead of getting angry and attacking Shimei, David responds with Grace, humility, and emotional intelligence.

 

"And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today.” (2 Samuel 16:11-12, ESV).

 

Who will let someone curse them publically or privately? What kind of message was in his lesson? Did you notice that David did not consider the man a real threat? David chose to let go of the words Shimei had spoken against him and asked his servants to do the same. When was the last time you let go of someone's words? I'm talking about not defending your honor and not demanding respect. If God is permitting someone to be disrespectful to you whose lesson do you think it is?

"The strengths that have helped you to succeed are also your greatest emotional triggers when you feel someone is not honoring what makes you special." (Reynolds, 2016).

Have you ever let go without retaliating, or did you explode? There was no need to defend yourself, prove your point, or get the last word, but you were driven by your emotional needs.

"Choose three items from the list that most often set off your emotions when you don’t get these needs met. Be honest with yourself." (Reynolds, 2016).

I like respect, but I know that requires giving respect. One day while at work, a customer did not get what they expected. She was behaving obnoxious, but I stayed calm. She got upset because I would not play into the fight she wanted. The girl snatched my ink pen out of my hand and threw it across the floor. Did I need her to respect me? Without hesitation my mind said, go get her and make her pick up your ink pen. Just as I turned around, to go after the girl, a man stooped down picked up my pen, and handed it to me with a smile. Then, another thought said, take the pen, put it back on the floor, find her, and make her pick it up. I took the pen, said thank you to the man, and continued working. He was God sent. The girl wasn't a threat to me, so I let it go!

"The key is to catch yourself reacting when your emotions are triggered. Then you can discover if the threat is real or not. (Reynolds, 2016).
 

Thanks for reading LA~ Life Blog. Like-comment-share.


Resources

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Trigger. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trigger


Reynolds, Marcia. 2016. Discover Your Emotional Triggers, What Triggers Your Emotions? Covisioning. https://covisioning.com/find-your-emotional-triggers-on-this-list/


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 

Copyright 2020 LA~ TruthBrand, La Cherie Armour

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