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  • Writer's picture Zalman Nelson - Therapist

I Feel Triggered, Now What?

triggered inner child

It’s great that you're triggered. That person/situation/conversation was sent into your life, attracted by you and your Inner Child, in order to interact with you, generate a certain dynamic, and arouse all those feelings. Feelings that, if you look at them and try to name them, you'll see are very familiar, going way back in your life.

Remember: kicking up, arousing, and triggering those feelings is the whole point. Why? Because then you can really know, feel, and experience what your Inner Child feels and needs you to help her with, as well as begin to get a sense of her long-unmet emotional needs underneath those triggered emotions.

Dealing With Triggered Emotions

The triggered uncomfortable feelings we experience don't need much other than to be noticed, paid attention to, and heard. You do that by naming the feelings. Use a feelings chart to help you suggest words that match the feelings. Our emotional vocabulary is weak until we build it up. In addition, that very process of facing, not running from, your feelings is deeply validating and builds your sense of worth. Why? Because every time you take a few seconds to tune in, name feelings, and contemplate what comes up, you're treating yourself, that Inner Child, as worth your time. When done consistently, that kind of treatment heals and reverses years of being treated in ways that conveyed the messages: you don't count…you're not important…you're unloved and unworthy. Your Inner Child needs to be heard when she's communicating with you, and she speaks the language of feelings. Those are the very feelings you're face-to-face with when you feel triggered by others.

In fact, it's the primary reason you're getting triggered: to help you connect with your Inner Child. She needs to be heard and accepted. She needs your help identifying her unmet emotional needs underneath those uncomfortable feelings. She needs to be treated as worthy and valuable so she can break free of insecurity and low self-esteem, and build her own inner sense of validation.

You Are Two

But, unlike when you were a kid and just an Inner Child (until around the age of 12), now you're TWO: an Inner Child and an Adult Self, and are able to hear, notice, observe, accept, and work with those feelings. You’ll see it…it’s all familiar: the same feelings your Inner Child felt way back as a kid.

Enter the triggering person, whose gift is putting you in touch with those very feelings, right there. But now, you have a huge advantage and opportunity to grow and succeed. You don’t have to wonder what all those feelings are when you're actively feelings them.

It’s like you have a small kid, 7-year-old-you, hanging out with you, by your side, 24/7. Talk to her, hang out with her, hear her, build a relationship with her, and let her feel heard and understood for the first time.

#emotionaltriggers #innerchildhealing


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