Why Certain People Trigger Us

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By Alex Myles | Elephant Journal

We are all responsible for our own lives, our own thoughts, feelings, emotions and belief systems.

So why is it that certain people trigger us and cause us to behave in ways that we aren’t proud of?

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What deep rooted belief or emotion have they stumbled upon that makes us react and respond and then blame them for evoking our feelings?

There is a myriad of reasons, although, the main one is that the people around us are mirrors. This concept may seem confusing as it can lead us to believe that the people around us are the same as us, but that’s not the case at all. They aren’t just mirrors to us. They are a mirror for anyone who passes and sometimes when people look at one another they see something of themselves in that person.

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When we see something in the mirror that we recognise it sparks a reaction. All that is happening is we are seeing our own reflection. The image looking back at us may not be who we are today in this very moment, it may be showing us a past memory or experience.

It is similar to flicking through old photographs. It may not even be our own image that we see. We could be looking an image that reminds us of someone else, or we may be reminded of a place that used to haunt us or a bad experience that we would rather forget.

The photograph album is replicated in everyone we meet and every experience we have. Our subconscious and unconscious minds have millions and billions of fragmented pieces of information stored in them and all the data has been absorbed in us by everything that has happened so far in our lives. They hold things that we thought we’d forgotten, hoped had disappeared or thought had been wiped out when we became this new version of our self that we see in the mirror today.


So, when someone says something, does something or acts in a way that triggers a piece of that data, we are immediately triggered by the memory it holds.

The trouble is, we often don’t remember this memory. So, it begins to get a little complex for us.

We react and respond to the person showing us the data as though what they have shown us is their issue and not our own.

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Rather than taking responsibility for the way we feel, we project onto the other person by reacting in our conditioned way. It doesn’t feel good to associate ourselves with what they have shown us. That isn’t who we are anymore and we want to suppress and deny any association to it.

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12 Reader Comments

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  1. 1476185739345170@facebook.com' Kitty Tyler says:

    anyone like this post as much as me ?

  2. 10207891549309456@facebook.com' Ryan Gillespie says:

    Really. Fuck this new “Trigger” trend. I have PTSD and I never say shit. If I ever hear anyone throw around the word “Trigger” like a spoiled brat… I don’t care if it’s a man, or a woman… That person is getting laid out.

  3. 10153788437251532@facebook.com' Violet Bones Aurora says:

    Wow. I just had an argument this afternoon with my ex, then open fb and see this article…I needed a good read 🙂 and yes I agree I like this post very much. Very helpful 🙂

  4. 1718560698373539@facebook.com' Marcia Stephens says:

    Please read!!!

  5. 1521312221527531@facebook.com' Alex Salevao says:

    They want to be us as we want them!!! Win win (((-;

  6. 1521312221527531@facebook.com' Alex Salevao says:

    There is that thingy in our brains – the same thingy that makes us vulnerable for each other(((-;

  7. 10207677048915191@facebook.com' Fabio Tare says:

    This is consciouse life news? Shit you can figure out by putting a gram of mental effort into? Jeez louise you guys are slippin

    • 905358176220897@facebook.com' Anjali Negi says:

      The thing is what is obvious for a thoughtful person may not be so obvious for a not so thoughtful person.. Sure this could be figured out by putting an ounce of mental effort but not many of us put an effort..

  8. 10207719505247361@facebook.com' Bonnie L Weis says:

    Bulls***. So, if I despise abuse and murderers it’s me seeing myself in them? The theorist needs a career change. Seriously.

  9. 10205965509590689@facebook.com' Knud Sandbæk Nielsen says:

    The only thing that triggers me is the repetition of a false argument, a lie, an ingrained misconception, a sacred myth full of BS or a defeatist kissass mouthful of opression.

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