We all haev things in our lives that trigger “negative” emotions/ feelings in us.  If we know what they are, we can anticipate them, and maybe plan for ways to deal with them that are not destructive (like gritting our teeth, steaming and bottling it all up inside).

Perhaps another way to phrase what triggers you , or related way, might be to ask what causes stress.  Let me share some of my triggers to get you started about thinking about your own..

Expectations are a trigger for me.  3 areas: others, self, the world

Biggest by far are expectations of others.  Some main ones that really annoy me: people who play games, people who don’t say what they mean, people who don’t live up to what they say (not really trying), people who lack common sense, people who don’t THINK.

Continuing, quite honestly, people who are not smart.  This depends, though.  I recall being QUITE upset and frustrated with my oldest, a dyslexic.  I did well in school and here he was, I was homeschooling and he wasn’t getting reading.  I couldn’t figure out why not.  Bothered me a lot (I knew little then about dyslexia and learning disabilities).  On the other hand, someone like my daughter, rosemary, who has Down Syndrome, doesn’t bother me that she’s not academically “smart”.  I don’t care if people don’t know something, but it bother s me if they don’t want to know or find out (and it is relevant to them).  Example: me to Wal-Mart employee: do you have X?   Employee: I don’t know.   Okay, fine, so FIND OUT!  Don’t just stand there looking dumb.

To some degree we MUST have expectations of others.  I expect people to obey traffic laws and stop at red lights.   I expect the shop keeper to accurately represent what he sells (ie, this tire will fit on your car and is a good snow tire).

Next would be self: I expect a lot of myself and am annoyed, disappointed when I don’t live up to those expectations.  In regards to perfection in diet, goals, daily activities, etc.  I am not a perfectionist, but do find myself annoyed when I don’t do what I plan to, or want to, or wish to.  Or when what I do is what I WANT to do (some self-indulgence) but know (or think) it is not in my best interests.

Expectations of the world: this might be something like expecting abundant fruit from a tomato plant.  When I don’t get it, I am frustrated.  Or that if I do certain things (really do them), I will have better health (natural law).  I expect a sunny day and get rain.  The world is the least disappointing of the three areas.

Another big trigger, usually due to other’s behavior is being late, or nearly being late.  I don’t like this.

Think about your triggers and how you can deal with them in a constructive way.


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