Do people make you angry? annoyed? frustrated?
There's a process you can follow which helps you to understand AND work your reactions through to a better place. My US friends Dr Myke and Mike have made it their life's work to empower you with control over your emotions and understanding of the emotions of others.
This is a system with a 4 step process from triggers to actions.
1. Perceptions - a trigger is something you perceive and which leads to an emotion within you. There's some kind of link for you. Not everyone shares your perception, it may be only you. Many things may trigger some emotion; eg, a picture of a baby animal, or an image of casualties of war.
2. Emotions - are feelings which you have within your body, which you may or may not become aware of. The list of emotions is long, none of them right or wrong, they simply are; eg, love, loneliness, euphoria, sadness.
3. Motivations - is your conditioning which gives you context, your experiential and genetic understanding of what to do when a particular emotion arises.
4. Behaviours - given you've registered a trigger, you feel an emotion, and your environment has laid out what to do with that emotion, what action do you take. You get to choose:
1. do what your conditioning tells you, or
2. do something different.
Either way, you might choose to do nothing. Do nothing is a choice.
I have a personal example to share with you.
My husband joined the army a few years into our relationship. For many years he spent a lot of time away from home and I was very sad about that. I resorted to some comfort eating. We ended up divorcing and it was painful for each of us. For several years afterwards I had an emotional reaction triggered by my past cumulative experiences. Here's what happened:
1. when I saw an army uniform (on anyone)
2. I immediately felt a high degree of each of abandonment, sadness, anger
3. My body felt as if it needed food. It was as if eating would help me fix my emotions - it had worked in the past
4. Initially I didn't have effective control over my decision and I did what my past experiences dictated;
4.1 In the early years after divorce, when I saw a uniform, I resorted to food to soothe my unsettled feeling
4.2 Later I managed to disrupt the need to soothe. With practice I got to the point of no longer being triggered when I saw an army uniform. Now when I see one I have only the recollection of how it used to trigger me.
The key to breaking this pattern was for me to find the disruptor and practice.
You may be wondering, how do you the find the disruptor? Your situations are unique to the contributing experiences. The disruptor needs to fit your story. So I offer the following as a starting point, then I'll tell you what I did to fix my 'uniform' trigger.
Don't take it personally, not in the way your Mum or Dad used to say - this is deep.
Try to not personalise what's happening around you, try to detach. Detach without losing compassion. This is one heck of a powerful skill which takes practice.
There are many obstacles to achieving detachment. It can help to deprive those obstacles of any airtime. So I'm going to let them slide on by right now and offer you a method. It's the method I first used which really truly got me onto the path to a very healthy and robust detachment with compassion.
The way I began practicing detachment was to view what was happening around me as a movie.
If this technique is of interest to you simply set up a time using the link below and we'll chat. I'd love to share it directly with you.