It’s time to release some strong opinions that I have regarding the politically correct (PC) culture in which we are living. My opinion may not be a popular one but I am increasingly feeling the need to say it: stop placing responsibility for your triggers on others.
And to the other side, I say: stop taking ownership of all potential triggers.
You are not omnipresent and all-knowing. You don’t earn points with a higher power by prefacing your social media post with, “trigger warning…”.
It’s become exhausting.
When did we all sink so deeply into emotional childhood that we expect to never be offended?
I realize that the title of this post may stir controversy and I’m ready for it. The reality is that I do truly give a fuck about whatever it is that you’re going through. I really do. But I can’t possibly know in advance if what I’m about to say in any given moment is going to light you up in a good way or bad way.
Just as you can’t possibly know that for me.
I find the mere notion that we think we can know this for others to be steeped in disillusion.
One of the more recent examples of this ridiculousness occurred with the release of the remake of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” It is getting plenty of attention within all media circles, so I won’t get too far into it. I will just say that changing the lyrics of a classic song to better fit within the narrative of the “me too” movement is yet another example of how our society seems to have lost all tolerance for triggers.
I am not taking a position on “me too”. In many ways, these conversations need to happen and a whole lot of healing is a good thing. What I’m saying is we have to stop being so freaking offended by the opinions of others. What people say or do that does not harm you directly is something to move on from.
If you feel that strongly about the original song (or the remake, for that matter), don’t listen.
If you don’t like a post in your social media feed, keep scrolling.
If you don’t like what you see on television, change the channel – or better yet, turn it off.
Please don’t confuse my position with being anti-activism. I absolutely believe that everyone has the right to support the causes they are passionate about, to protest peacefully, and to engage in civil discourse. We are very fortunate to have the right to do all of these things.
What I don’t think we need to be doing is defining what may be important to the masses from an emotional perspective. Making broad assumptions about what is offensive and what isn’t is a slippery slope. If it wouldn’t occur to us to dictate what causes are most important to our fellow humans, why would it occur to us to decide what is offensive?
Or better yet, what’s “good” for someone?
I’ve seen this practice before related to over drinking. People who care about the person who is drinking too much go into protective mode and try to find ways to avoid situations that may trigger the person to drink. No, we shouldn’t go that party because alcohol will be served. We shouldn’t go to this after hours work celebration either. Perhaps we should empty out the liquor cabinet too.
The reality is that you cannot protect someone from their triggers. The only thing that you can do is love them. Period.
The triggers will be there, regardless. This is because they reside within the mind of each individual. They may even change and evolve from day to day. Trying to keep up with that is an exercise is futility.
This is why emotional adulthood and personal responsibility are so very crucial.
Emotional adulthood is when you acknowledge that you and only you are responsible for your feelings. No one else. Not your lover, your best friend, your children, your boss, or the person who just cut you off in traffic. No one.
And if you are responsible for managing your own emotions, then you are also responsible for navigating your own triggers.
It’s that freaking simple.
I cannot do this for you. You cannot do this for me. I have to have the self awareness to know what situations I need to avoid. The people, the places, the media channels. That’s all on me.
We each have to find the techniques that work for us, whether it is avoiding situations or learning how to cope with them, that is our personal choice.
It is not incumbent upon society at large to whitewash all of the offensive parts of life away for everyone. It’s not even possible, so why do we continue to try so hard to do it?! It’s baffling, really.
So when I say that IDGAF about your triggers, what I really mean is that I have little tolerance for determining what they may be before we’ve even had a conversation. I am 100% open to hearing anything you have to say, for being there when you need me, and for holding space for you without judgment.
But it is not my goal to make you feel happy, safe, and secure. The only person who can do that for you is you.
The sooner we all realize this, the better off we will be as humans living our experience the way we are meant to live.
Would you like to be coached on this or another area of your life? Book a free consultation with me here.