The Trigger Effect - Breaking Our Reactions From Those Around Us

Apr 08, 2021

For the audio version of this blog, please click the link below:

Most people are not in control of themselves.

Their idea of free thought and speech is nothing more than reactions from the past that especially become apparent during times of stress.

The trigger effect is something I have termed which describes how many people are controlled by the reactions and actions of others.

Road rage is a classic example.

I have coached many men and women who say they are always getting into confrontations or situations without any encouragement on their part.

I always tell them to look again.

This is the trigger effect where a single comment, insult, circumstance or even a look, can trigger a cascade of conditioned feelings and responses.

Because on some level they are not only looking for it but expect it and even need it to satisfy unprocessed emotions from the past.

Why am I always getting hurt?” Many clients have asked.

Because in some way this message is portrayed in how they act and what they say and the signals they give out.

They are getting exactly what they expect.

They are signalling to other people how to treat them.

Never seeing beyond our own triggers means being permanently controlled by others.

As soon as we are offended, we know someone or something just threatened the image we have formed for ourselves.

Marcus Aurelius said in Meditations:

“Strength dissipates when you choose to be offended and harbour malice.”

Being offended is a perfect opportunity for personal growth. Without being offended or the capacity for it, we would never be tested in a way that would positively influence our character.

Albeit an unpopular comment in today’s overly pampered society, the following comment is true:

“‘Those that offend have also served.’

Rather than be led by the trigger effect, we can observe and ask why we react the way we do, 

What is the underlying issue that creates anger or hurt? 

Where does it come from?

How far can you trace it back?

How can we learn to release this trigger and experience life in a different way?

The first step is simply to notice. To feel the body and it’s reactions to being triggered. A specific story is being played out in the mind that corresponds to the physical feelings.

This story is old. It will have been there for quite some time and it is the story that is the real issue, not the perceived offence.

The only society worth living in is one where we can get offended otherwise we will become super fragile and end up resenting ourselves and those around us.

This is why we have a so called woke culture, which is often anything but woke.

It represents the awareness but denial of ones own fragile state of mind that doesn’t want to take personal responsibility for ones own life, so instead finds fault in the world.

There are always many ready to join such a large group that take the easy path.

It’s easier to point outwards than to recognise we are often exactly what we are pointing at.

It’s easier to look for offence than to put the work in on ourselves and forge a character that actually can genuinely spot injustice, instead of reacting outwards due to our own fear, that results in a stifled, suppressed potential.

So take the path of the few.

The path of the warrior.

You will always get triggered sometimes but use it for you and not against you.

The offence has revealed a chink in your armour.

Focus your attention here instead of outside of yourself and the result will be greater courage, wisdom and resilience.





Only one thing is stopping you from completely changing how you act, think and feel — and the results you get in every part of your life.

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