When someone tells you that they're triggered, they are essentially giving you the cheat codes on how to love them.
A trigger is something that formed in the emotional body a long time ago or over time from repeated negative experiences.
Have you ever (or consistently) been disappointed by caregivers or lovers? Are there maybe some words or actions that might poke at that wound? (Yes, this is true for all of us.)
When you experience a trigger it's not that your partner, friend, colleague, classmate, or family member is bad. It's that they stepped on a landmine that was always there.
When someone is able to identify their trigger and share it (especially in the moment) this is a skill and a demonstration of self awareness. It is also a gift!
Most of us are taught to avoid conflict of ANY sort, so naturally when we're triggered we might shut down, get passive aggressive, or pull away from the relationship. Others might go directly into fight mode (which is effectively the same thing, but a different style).
Someone sharing their trigger with you is an act of loving kindness and an invitation to maintain the relationship.
How you respond matters and it should generally start with empathy like, "Oh no! That must feel terrible!" and affection like, "Thank you for sharing with me," before you get into any sort of explanation (they might not even need it).
I believe that knowing how to navigate this VERY COMMON experience is one of the most essential skills of being in relationship of any kind.
What do you think? Is this something you can get on board with or is it maybe something you want support on? I talk about triggers in almost every session I do and would love to have you in a 1:1 container where we can practice the giving and receiving of vulnerable shares. See you soon!