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In this podcast Joel and Antonia talk about triggers and how we can use them for personal growth.


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  • Josette
    • Josette
    • September 30, 2022 at 5:32 pm

    I do think there is external work to do. Most triggers come from other people so the external gives us information. I also think the external can heal. For instance, if you don’t feel heard and have triggers around emotional expression, working with a therapist who holds space for that (versus the triggering environment that shuts it down) can help you feel safe sharing and seeking out safe people instead of shutting down with others. I think awareness comes from within. A trigger happens from outside of us then we have to be able to go within to have awareness. People who are afraid to do internal work are quite immature in conflict because they place blame externally. …and there are people who disproportionately blame themselves. I think the enneagram sheds light on how we handle awareness and our super ego v ego more than MBTI.

    In the Chris Rock Will Smith incident, I think it’s best to look at our reactions in a neutral veil. Whether we thought Will overreacted or Chris was too mean, it’s just information about what we value. When we know what we value, we can seek a life that meets those needs instead of telling people with different values that they should or shouldn’t make life easy for us. Basically become empowered and live consciously by creating the life you want instead of fighting with the life you don’t want.

  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • September 27, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    I would love if you could get everyone to use the word ‘bristle’ instead of trigger. I think that would be awesome.


  • Korina
    • Korina
    • September 27, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    I would like to propose some language that makes a clearer distinction than the word “trigger” can currently handle, I think. First, we can refer to a “trigger” as a visceral reaction to the kind of trauma you talked about in your episode which is a physiological response to real or perceived danger, AKA a trauma response of PTSD.

    Then, there’s a word that I have adopted, of which the definition matches the type of “triggers” you focused on in this episode. That word is “bristled”. I have been using this word with my therapist a lot to describe when I have a reaction to something someone said or did that may or may not be a rational response. Being bristled can be because of a conflicting opinion or when someone behaves in a way that brings up past negative experiences for me (which could have been traumatic in a very real sense, but not necessarily traumatic enough to qualify a PTSD response). I like this word too because I think it owns up to the fact that this is a response that we are having, not that someone else caused.

    I would like to make a third very important distinction on the word “trigger”, and that is a what I would instead call “boundaries”. Sometimes when we are triggered it is a very real and necessary defense mechanism to protect us from physical, emotional, or psychological damage. Antonia, you mentioned that sometimes people get very triggered when they are approached, romantically speaking. There was a time in my life between the ages of 12-20 that I was sexually harassed or assaulted on a fairly regular basis. A few years into that period, I became the person who was immediately “triggered” when approached by a man. But that response, me setting boundaries instead of being polite or nice, truly protected me from further harassment on multiple occasions. And I still to this day believe my safety and peace of mind is and was more important than someone else’s experience of rejection (and I would also argue that many people need to address THEIR triggers (or bristled-ness) surrounding not being able to handle rejection, which unfortunately sometimes results in actual physical/sexual trauma against the person who rejected them).

    I also think we should be aware of the fact that what can look like, to someone who is part of the current hegemony, someone in a marginalized group being “triggered” is also a very reasonable and necessary boundary. Hateful and racist/sexist/ableist/homophobic/etc. behavior is not just hurtful emotionally, but is the result of AND perpetuates societies in which inequality exists, and also contributes to the acceptance of very real violence against marginalized groups. So if we are going to acknowledge that this is a time of healing generational trauma, then we should also acknowledge that part of that healing can mean setting boundaries where we do not let hateful behavior continue to be accepted. Because the reaction to that behavior is not just an individualized responsibility, it’s everyone’s responsibility as a collective society to be “triggered” by it so it stops being normalized.

  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • September 17, 2022 at 1:23 pm



  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • September 23, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you for the feedback! Hope #2 meets expectations. :)


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