What People Who Trigger Us Tell Us About Ourselves

Difficult people are messengers for our unhealed parts.

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We all have difficult people in our lives, it’s part of the human experience. Typically, we tend to see them as a nuisance, as individuals we have to put up with, or even avoid. This also comes with its share of suffering.

“The people who trigger us to feel negative emotion are messengers. They are messengers for the unhealed parts of our being” —Teal Swan.

This message is worth being curious about.

What if we could change our perception to seeing difficult people as messengers or teachers who arouse something inside of us that needs to be cared for or loved?

If we do this, might we become less reactive toward ourselves and other people? Inevitably, won’t this provide a chance for more relationships to improve? Might it be easier to let go of bitter grudges and move toward strengthening mindfulness, self-compassion, and forgiveness? This isn’t Pollyanna, it’s a practical approach that can help us focus more on what matters in life.

Moreover, consider this: If relationships improve, won’t that improve communities, regions and countries?

Is it possible to set off a spark in this way that leads to healing, not only our individual selves, but healing humanity?

Whoa, that’s a bit too large to imagine perhaps, so let’s just begin with today and ourselves.

Today, try this…

Let it be our intention going forward to regard people who trigger negative emotions in us as “messengers for the unhealed part of our being.” They are arousing something inside of us that is reaching out for self-love.

What if we just began practicing this in the same way that we practice riding a bike or playing piano? Is it possible that our brains will begin to memorize the procedure and it will become automatic?

Can we get the neurons to fire together in this way and will they eventually wire together?

Try this out as an experiment and allow your experience to be the guide.

Teal-SwanAdapted from Mindfulness & Psychotherapy