When a negative experience or memory has been anchored in our minds particularly clearly, we react to similar events with corresponding intensity, mostly subconsciously. Triggered by key stimulus, we behave with excessive emotion and seemingly overact to the actual situation. We are simply incapable of having a rational reaction. Unfortunately, those around us often don’t understand what’s happening. We are completely led by our emotions and a conflict is probable although our feelings likely have little to do with the current situation. Both partners suffer from the chaos that has been generated.
If we often find ourselves in such situations and our behaviour is decided by emotional triggers, we should probably get to the bottom of things. To do so, we look to the past. At some point, someone—probably someone close to us—has hurt us so much with their conduct or something they said that we are still suffering the consequences. A change of perspective can help us to better understand the person’s context and the motivation behind their hurtful conduct. Most of the time, they will have been unaware of the significance of this incident, intending it in good faith rather than to upset us—even though their actions didn’t exactly meet the mark. Maybe this will let us come to peace with the past. If we are triggered again, the new experience will remain in the back of our minds and, with a lot of practice, this will serve to prevent an automatic reaction.