Every person offers us gifts. It is up to us to find the value.
Everyone leaves a mark on our canvas, no matter how small. Among the thousands of people we’ll meet in life, there’s bound to be a few that we, well, would rather not have to connect with. Sometimes we know why we feel that way and sometimes we don’t. When someone is triggering me, it usually boils down to the same three core issues and if it’s more than one of those three, watch out.
Before I list them, it’s important to note one thing: if you have a problem with someone, it’s still your problem. Chances are, it’s not bothering them – at least not in the way it is you. You still have the power to do something to bring it to a resolution. The other person can’t do much. It’s all about knowing what the true problem is and how to resolve that, which brings us back to our three core triggers.
#1 The past comes alive.
We all know a few characters from our past that brought unsavory memories. Maybe it was a bully, a mean teacher, a cousin that whined so he got his way — whoever it was shows up in certain people today and it drives you nuts. There may be physical similarities, but chances are it’s a personality trait or traits that remind you of them.
This trigger can show up so subtly that you aren’t even aware consciously of the similarity. Think about the qualities of this old person and the new one. Are these judgments true of the new person, or do you need more information? Just bringing it to consciousness can help it disappear or show you what you might need to have concerns or boundaries around.
#2 Boundaries are being trampled on.
When I first heard about this trigger, I remember thinking, “YES! Something that is not my responsibility. See – she’s crossing my boundaries. My anger is justified!” Wrong. If boundaries are being stomped on, who’s defending these boundaries? Right-o, YOU.
Even if you’re dealing with a downright obnoxious type, you still have the ability to make your boundaries and decide how you want to be treated. If you don’t respect your boundaries enough to defend them, others won’t respect them enough to not cross them. Take your power back and discuss with people how you like to be treated. If they still don’t want to respect your lines, then it might be time to reassess how much effort you want to put into that relationship. It’s in your hands.
#3 They are gifting you back part of you.
Man that sounds so much better than: if you see something you don’t like in someone else, it’s something you don’t like about yourself. That’s the basic gist though.
When we see something we don’t like in someone else, it’s because we were shamed or taught not to like that piece of ourselves. The good news is that we can fully accept it, ‘flawed’ and all. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to do better, just that we can be complete and a work in progress at the same time.
These are the 3 basic keys to someone triggering you. You have the power to choose how you handle it. I’ll leave you with one triple-play example.
The triple-threat – oh, it happens
I had a co-worker that I struggled to communicate effectively with. Without going into details where I could easily convince you I was the victim being thrown under the bus on a regularly scheduled program, but I will skip the months of work I did to get you here: she hit all three of these triggers. 1. She was the demon of my childhood in the now in personality and looks, 2. Did I mention she threw me under the bus and took credit for my good work and ideas? And 3. She did so many things as an adult in a business setting that I would have been severely reprimanded for when I was a child at home. (Or in other words, “it isn’t fair, she’s not playing by the rules!”).
She triple threated me. It took me months to figure out why she triggered me and then I had to gather the courage to resolve it. I put a lot of effort into our communication and after many fruitless attempts to fix it person to person, I learned to draw my boundaries at covering my rear by requiring all communication in writing for clarity and documentation.
Want to bring down some walls or repair a relationship but can’t figure out your trigger? Let’s get clear on a free clarity call. Contact me direct and we’ll set it up.