And no, I’m not talking about Sarah Palin… nor am I talking about the “stick ’em up bang bang” kind of trigger. I mean me the set you off, make you mad and take you from A to Z kind of trigger.
A few months ago I attended a company meeting in which the guest speaker spoke of triggers. He defined trigger as “stimulus that sets off an immediate and mostly unconscious reaction.” Yes, I took notes, I’m a dork. So we were in groups of 5 at small round tables and were given the assignment of writing down our own personal triggers. I went to town, writing swiftly, barely able to get all my thoughts out in the allotted time. Then, guess what, we had to share them with our table mates. I was lucky enough to have Polyanna, Mary Poppins, Carol Brady, and Mr. Rogers seated at my table. So Polyanna starts and only has ONE item her list… “Lying” she says. And I think…”Liar!” Nothing really makes her mad except people that are dishonest. Hmmph. Then comes Mary Poppins…she has “pessimistic people and rude people” on her list. Of course she does.
Around the table we went and as each person shared their list of one or two items, I looked down at my list of 25 things and thought to myself, okay people, I took this exercise seriously. When it came my turn to share I embraced my trigger-happy-list and read off only 6 items, sparing the gang it’s entirety. But then, wouldn’t you know it…I was called upon by Mr. Motivational Speaker to share my list with THE ENTIRE GROUP. So not only did I have to share my personal list with the Sunshine Gang, but then I had to air my proverbial dirty laundry to the entire company. It’s all a blur…I think I told a few jokes and sang “Shoop”to distract them. Then I rattled off my list
When my toddler whines and wants something “now”
When my husband whines and says “I’ll do it tomorrow”
When people drive too slow (when I’m tailgating them)
When people drive too fast and tailgate me
When the commercials aren’t muted (by my husband)
When people are late (namely my husband)
When my voice recognition thinks I say “Call Amy” when I said “Call Mom” – how do those things even sound alike???
So what I walked away with from that meeting was 1) there are A LOT of things that annoy me (tune in for future blog on 1001 things that bug me) 2) I shouldn’t let things bother me as much 3) and now that I know what bothers me, that is half the battle – right!
I also came away with his business card – on the back of the card is the following quote. I now carry it with me in my wallet…
I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I posses tremendous power to make a life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture, or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or dehumanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.
– Goethe –