Helping Loved Ones Understand When You’re Triggered: Navigating Confusion and Misunderstanding

When you experience a trigger, it not only affects you but those around you as well. It can be confusing and difficult for loved ones to understand what’s happening and how to help. In this post, I’ll explore the common misunderstandings that can occur when someone is triggered and offer tips for communicating effectively with loved ones to help them understand and support you.

Misunderstandings that can occur when someone is triggered:

  1. Taking it personally: When someone is triggered, they may say or do things that seem out of character or hurtful to those around them. Loved ones may take this personally and feel like they’ve done something wrong, when in fact, the trigger has nothing to do with them.
  2. Minimizing the experience: Loved ones may not understand the severity of a trigger or may try to “fix” the situation instead of simply being present and supportive. This can make the person who’s triggered feel invalidated or dismissed.
  3. Dismissing the trigger: Sometimes loved ones may not understand what’s triggering the person or may not take it seriously. This can cause the person to feel isolated or like their experience isn’t important.

Tips for communicating effectively with loved ones:

  1. Use “I” statements: When communicating with loved ones, try to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. For example, “I’m feeling really triggered right now” instead of “You’re making me feel triggered.”
  2. Educate them: Take the time to explain what triggers are, how they affect you, and what you need when you’re triggered. This can help loved ones understand and empathize with your experience.
  3. Set boundaries: Let loved ones know what they can do to support you when you’re triggered, and also what they shouldn’t do. This can help prevent misunderstandings and make everyone feel more comfortable.
  4. Be patient: It can be frustrating when loved ones don’t understand what you’re going through, but try to be patient and understand that it may take time for them to fully grasp your experience.

In conclusion, being triggered can be a difficult experience not only for the person experiencing it but for those around them as well. By communicating effectively and setting clear boundaries, loved ones can better understand and support someone who is triggered. Remember, you don’t have to go through it alone.