I am reposting this over the last journal,(with red's permission) because I believe this journal is an important thing to keep up front over all our others.
A little thing on how to avoid being triggered and how to avoid triggering others.
Posted with permission from goldenphoenixgirl on Tumblr.
-red/ChristinaThe Golden Phoenix Girl: How to help avoid creating triggers or experiencing triggers, yourself:
(The following is quequixote's original content.
) okay listen up, i hear a lot of people say they have trouble reading other people's faces/voices, but you will know if you're upsetting someone. The following things suggest that you have asked a question that they don't want to talk about:
they break eye contact, especially looking down. looking up is less common.
Their muscles tense up.
This is easiest to spot in the jaw, the forehead, and the shoulders. Also, the arms may move in front of the body.
If they're standing they may put their feet closer together, or they may step away.
If they're sitting they may turn away slightly.
They may maintain eye contact, but their eyes widen when you ask the question, or even when you hit a particular word.
You hear them taking a few breaths after your question, as if they're calming themselves.
Their eyes go out of focus for more than a second, without glancing up.
Some people lose focus for a second or two as they think about your question, but usually if they need to think of the answer they'll glance upwards. This may be unreliable, try watching people and see how often you think it happens.
They start a ritual.
This is hard to describe because rituals can be any number of things. i used to trace patterns around my mouth, and now i usually tap my fingertips together; i know people who drum their fingers, or bite their nails, or clench and unclench their fists, or pull their hair. It's not always conscious and it's not always obvious. The better you know someone the easier it is to spot a ritual.
if you see ANY of these danger signs, or especially if you see more than one, you should probably add something like "unless you'd rather talk about something else", or, if you think that's too obvious, you can very quickly change the subject. this is pretty awkward but it's way better than triggering somebody.People who get triggered:
here are some tactics for dealing with problem questions, whether they're common or uncommon!
If you can, try a straightforward phrase like "i do not feel comfortable discussing that." OR "I need you to respect my privacy." OR "I mean no rudeness, but I'm very uncomfortable right now." OR anything else that will get your message across.
if you're worried about it being awkward, try inventing an excuse to leave the conversation for a bit. don't leave for too long if it will just stress you out to leave them hanging (but if you're too uncomfortable to talk to them again, don't!
When you do come back, start a topic of conversation yourself. Don't let them take the initiative to pick up where you left off.
With people who are persistent and not respecting your privacy, use very firm language.
Keep your voice calm and not loud, but explain that you are completely serious and they need to leave you alone. if they are making you feel physically threatened tell them; if they don't believe you that you are serious remind them that touching a person without their consent is assault under law, and involves legal penalties.
Don't try to hide your physical response completely. if you are uncomfortable, let it show.
This is far more likely to dissuade innocent questions than anything else. it's alright to look unhappy about a question - if you do that, people are often quick to retract it, even if they don't understand why it might have made you unhappy. try to practice an emotional response, by yourself or with someone you trust, so that you can do it when surprised by a question that makes you uncomfortable.
Have a ritual. Rituals are often treated as strange or abhorrent, but they exist for a reason.
Don't try to suppress the urge to perform a ritual if it calms you down. By all means excuse yourself to perform your ritual, if you're uncomfortable doing it in front of others. make sure it is something not harmful (biting, picking, scratching or pulling any body part is not a good ritual because it only gets worse) and something you don't mind doing at other times - if you only do it when you're upset it can become upsetting to do the ritual, instead of calming.
Some people like full-on meditation, or listening to a certain song (I use this), or playing a game (I do Sudoku's, but I hear great things about Tetris for ritual purposes), or tapping a rhythm, or even braiding or knitting. It's best if it's something you can do no matter where you are, even if you haven't got everything with you.
Keep communication with your friends open. It's a good idea to let your friends know where your triggers are, so that they can bail you out of conversations you don't want to be in. let them support you.EVERYONE:
give people options
give people space
let your needs be known
consider other people's needs
keep the situation calm and friendly
be prepared to back off
if you feel unsafe YOU ARE ALLOWED TO LEAVE