"Lingo" without the "Bingo"

“You’re just triggered.”

Actually, no. I am clear and assertive about what is not okay with me.

I’ve BEEN triggered. I’ve come to recognize being triggered in myself and others. Triggered in a more precise context is where past trauma has led to my primitive brain being activated in a way that I might be flooded, frozen, and reacting beyond what the current circumstance is.

But the lingo of triggered has been picked up and used in social media and other human relating. It’s using the lingo without the bingo – without it being on point.

Yes, I like to be reasonably precise with language, especially when it is designed to reflect and respect a situation where a person loses cognitive clarity, and the primitive brain is driving the interaction and the body’s systems.

When people say, “You triggered me,” I honestly don’t know whether they are blaming me or giving me useful information to help us re-regulate and repair.

But those of us who are doing emotional freedom work can usually tell the difference between being triggered into a rage and being clear and assertive about what matters to us. Or confidently giving distance rather than triggered into avoidance or fear.


I’m getting better at becoming clearer and more assertive about what matters to me but sometimes it is difficult give distance to avoidance or fear. Actually Instead of getting angry at something someone said in a chat I just didn’t reply. That felt empowering.


Hmm… i was triggered yesterday, and became flooded with rage and sickness. It sent off a lot of alarm bells I hadn’t felt in a while and I have been finding it hard to recalibrate from. Noticing I hadn’t felt like that in a while was great. Not knowing how to really recalibrate in that moment and after was hard. It is still lingering in me now. Colouring my lens of my world and others and shooting the anxiety back into intensity that I had been feeling some welcome relief from briefly.
Even though I spoke up for myself assertively and things worked out in the end, it doesn’t seem to have made a difference to my body. Even with moving and grounding and so on. I don’t yet have much experience with re-regulation and repair. I am not even sure how to get experience with that when majority of the people I ever have a conflict with don’t want to do that and are more likely to avoid and withdraw.


I’m reminded of hearing that when we’re flooded with Activation chemicals, it takes a minimum of 30 minutes to re-regulate… and that’s if the situation is perceived by our body-mind as truly resolved or a false alarm.

It’s fascinating to me that my daughter screaming in the back seat while I was driving still had my heart rate and blood pressure up 45 minutes later, even though I had walked it off and SHE seemed utterly fine.

And you said something here, too, that it isn’t something you’ve felt for awhile. I remember a period where I really hadn’t “worried” for many months, and then something happened that really triggered that “old pattern.”

Wow, I felt “drunk” and then “hungover” with worry-chemicals and worry-nerves for a day! I’m grateful that my journaling reminded me to allow my body time to recover without adding more worry to the hangover.

Not always the case, of course. But emotional labor can be Hard Labor… like chopping up a tree. Soreness and a day or three of rest would be more normal for us to expect when the labor was physical.

Why hen the labor of being assertive viewed as less needing of a healthy recovery period?

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Thank you so much for these words Rick. I really value them… and how they sit with me… and inside me… and allow me to feel my full experience, and for my experience to be validated, seen, understood, normalised, ok, safe, and even… helpful and supportive.

Opening to the idea of caring for myself in ways that support me and my recovery from the l emotional labour I undertake each day in different ways.
Large and small.