Triggers. We all have them. Could be a word, a phrase, an email subject line, a photo, video, situation, person, group, physical location or something else entirely. These triggers can be unintentionally created – an experience has fused a conncection in our brain between the stimuli and the response. But they also can be intentionally created. I worked with a colleague years ago who had trained himself to nap almost instanteously with a few touches on pressure points on his body.
Some of our triggers bring us delight, encouragement, joy. They take us back to a moment in time when we were happy, when time stood still. Or they bring us into a place of calm, peace, or focus. Others bring grief, horror, fear.
The thing is that we rarely know all the triggers of others. When we discover them, we can be a bully at use them to provoke the other. Or we can respond with care and a listening ear.
As change makers, we ‘bump into’ people’s triggers regularly. We can observe them and privately discuss them with the one who is triggered. Often people try to hide their response to being triggered. There is shame often associated with it. One of our jobs as change makers is to reduce shame wherever possible. In the others and in ourselves.
And the other thing is that we, too, can be triggered by responses and comments of the others. As change makers, we are not immune to triggers.
Paying attention to what triggers us and others can help us connect, but also find a way through the change, together.
So what triggers you?
Photo by Blake Meyer