Recently, I decided to write a blog about understanding why we are triggered.
I would recommend reading that before you read this further.
Why? Once we understand what is happening within us then we are aware of how we become aware of how we function as human beings and develop a sustainable self-care practice.
One reaction (or behaviour) we may have from being triggered is not listening to the person who has triggered you.
Hear me out
I want to share a story… a story of me from a while ago.
I identified that there was a missing piece to the jigsaw in health… client mindset. I had worked with over 2000 people face to face at the point from various backgrounds including mainly women, some men and children.
And I had been very fortunate to have been invited onto a podcast to help women ditch diets and love themselves. How exciting to be part of this amazing concept. Before I was able to go on the show though, there had to be an interview with the presenter.
The day came when I was able to turn up on zoom and meet the presenter based overseas. The presenter was lovely by all counts and a health professional. We spoke with each other and got on very well.
However, at the end of the conversation… something changed for the presenter.
‘I do not feel you are right for this.’
Me (stunned… paused to process)
The presenter continued ‘I feel your diet would be a problem for our listeners.’
Me (Curious) ‘Oh, what would be the problem?’
The presenter: ‘You mentioned you were diary free and didn’t eat sugar.’
Me ‘I am diary free because it affects my body and sugar-free because I identified my anxiety was heightened’
The presenter ‘But, you didn’t see a doctor.’
Me ‘No, I trust my body on this one. I spoke to a doctor and I was told I would need to put those items in my body for months before I have a confirmation based on the reaction. Rather than having more problems in my skin, gut and heightened anxiety, there was no point, especially when the symptoms have stopped. We (me and the doctor) agreed that that would be a better course of action.’
Me (calmly) ‘Would you suggest someone carry on eating a food if it was causing problems for them? Wouldn’t we be agreeing to them hurting themselves?’
The presenter (paused)
The presenter ‘I did not want what you eat to trigger my listeners.’
Me ‘The words personal trainer sometimes automatically means that there’s some kind of diet and exercise, yet, this is not what I do.’
I explained some more… and the presenter offered me a slot and to come back.
I met with the presenter a few days later for the podcast. I had prepped what she needed for the slot. However, I wanted to explain something before we started. Two things that I wanted to discuss…
- Being listened to
‘I ask to be everyone to be open and hear my words.’ I started, ‘We are sometimes triggered by simple words, such as diet, dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free… and because we have a memory connected to the word we miss vital information that may be beneficial to us.’
The trauma response… our safety mechanism
The brain loves to keep us safe. And, what I am sharing in this blog is how we react due to trauma response. Trauma responses can be anything. They are mainly imprinted from childhood. It can be being left on our own for a few minutes as a child, someone reacting quite loudly, our parents not wanting to go out because it is too cold, to events of a more serious nature, being pushed into something. They can be events that have either happened to us or someone else.
And because of these events, we learn to protect ourselves from these events happening again. This is certainly one for another blog.
The behaviour that comes about as a reaction to the words is a way we can protect ourselves from past experiences, we use this to keep ourselves safe. The brain loves for us to be safe and secure.
Not facing failure is one way we keep ourselves safe
Not facing money is another
Not facing our health is also one
This behaviour shows up as not listening and not trusting in ourselves and heartfelt people (there’s a difference between fear in people and those that have a genuine love for our growth).
However, I feel what comes up for a lot of people when not listening to others is actually listening to ourselves.
Were you a child who was seen and not heard?
Did you ever fight to be heard? Saying things like… I wish someone would listen to me? However, you start to realise that some people are never going to listen. Is it time to deal with the emotions behind this and listen to you?
Remember your body is always conversing with you.
For some of us. I remember a while ago, it would take hearing from my favourite celeb, politician or media circuit about myself rather than listening to me. There is nothing wrong with this, yet, this affected me mentally.
If you feel the same as I did then… Is it time to create a network of people who are genuinely going to listen to what you have to say while you tune into yourself?
This happens a lot from a health perspective, that when clients come to me they are coming to tune into themselves. They have had enough of following someone else’s ideas about what they should and should not eat. And instead, learn ‘what is my body saying?’ followed by ‘what are my needs?’
My personal story made me change my outlook on what I had been taught. So, I taught myself to communicate with my physical reactions and honoured my needs.
It wasn’t until just before the podcast interview I explained about…
Not listening to others when we a triggered
I simply put it like this…
‘We all crave to be listened to as children, right?’ followed by ‘Yet, when we a triggered we stop listening.’
‘When was the last time you listened to your body? Not me, not your PT, not your coach, not your children, not your parents… but your body.’
‘Nobody knows your body better than you, and the advice that can benefit you… sometimes we switch off and we ignore.’
You are an empowered adult
We wouldn’t wish pain on our friend for that person to continue hurting themselves. Yet, we sometimes do this to ourselves.
We are human! We are not infallible
We are vulnerable, empowered and strong
And to build our strength is to listen to what we are not willing to face.
When we give an honest response, we are met with an honest answer
The presenter was stunned ‘Wow!’ Then proceeded ‘Do you know you triggered me when we first spoke?’
I listened and waited
The presenter continued ‘When you mentioned about your diet.’ Then continued ‘I didn’t fully listen, I am sorry.’
It is OK
It is OK to be triggered, yet identifying our own triggers and revealing them to others reconnects us back with that level of awareness that is strengthened within ourselves.
And yes, there will be times where we will not see or feel the trigger too.
However, the more aware we become. The more we can listen to ourselves, voice what we need and move on.
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