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Are we oversensitive to “triggers”?

Let’s talk about this! It’s a sensitive question about a sensitive topic, but I think it’s important to put it out there.

I have some questions for YOU in here too, so make sure you have a look at this & weigh in with your own solutions…

Enjoy!

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24 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Marybeth

    February 28, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Awesome!! Well said!! Completely agree, but I have no idea how you discuss topics without triggering the folks that like to be triggered! These days people read and listen for ways to disagree or get offended. We seem to have lost our ability to assume people aren’t intentionally trying to offend and give them the benefit of a doubt.

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    Victoria Bancroft

    February 28, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Amen.

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    Rotem T

    February 28, 2018 at 7:22 am

    ah Erin you are a breath of fresh air! THANK YOU! I really relate to what you said about being “touchy feely” because I am also super sensitive… but seriously, people are offended by everything these days and should let more things go, rather than become overly excited and angry over some little issue or something someone said that isn’t aligned with what they think is right… you explained it perfectly!

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    Melanie Gibson

    February 28, 2018 at 8:42 am

    I think maybe this automatic trigger response people are displaying on social media is a big drawback of the digital age because no one allows themselves time to take a deep breath and relax before they haul off and obey their lizard brain’s command to attack the other person by leaving a withering comment. It may be due to the fact that I am now 54 and have learned to embrace other beliefs and opinions, but the only way I could envision a conversation between mature adults (without the trigger comments left by others) is to have rules about is posted or have them moderated – some columns do this, you don’t get that immediate gratification that our society has grown to love because your post has to go through a review process first. I also thought about the like-dislike options that are often seen along side comments, but sometimes people dislike things just because they can do that and for other reason than they are not much more grown up than a 12-yr-old. The best thing would be that everybody is ready for a real conversation and respects the opinions of others even though they may not agree with their own, which may not happen in the near future. Until that miracle takes place, the next best thing we can do is lead by example.

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    Christine

    February 28, 2018 at 8:42 am

    I think the couple of comments before me are right on! Obviously there is a spectrum here and I don’t think anyone wants to be at the far end of offending a huge number of people or being downright rude or offensive. And I understand that is not what you were referring to. I also agree that the pendulum of popular thinking has swung waaaayy to far. It’s not humanly possible to utter a complete sentence without offending or triggering someone. So, to deal with that we have to use your live and let live philosophy. If one is not intentionally trying to cause discomfort or harm to another then one just has to be oneself. If another person is triggered by my reference to clean eating for example, then that is their issue to deal with. I’m not being insensitive, but honestly, some people just need to learn to take responsibility for themselves and not expect the world to adjust to them.

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    Liz

    February 28, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Totally! I cannot believer folks actually take the time to write and express their preferences, especially about a food potentially not being ‘clean.’ Sometimes we need to take responsibility for our own triggers. Putting it all on you? Seriously?

    You are so right in saying that we all can take a look at our own triggers. That is how we learn and grow, not by asking the world to accommodate us in every way. Thanks. Good rant!

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    Emily

    February 28, 2018 at 9:54 am

    I couldn’t agree more with the previous postings. Maybe because I am 45 but I’m at the point in my life where I completely agree to live and let live. We all have our own thoughts, goals, beliefs, etc., and they are not always going to mesh well with other’s thoughts, goals, beliefs, etc. and that’s ok. People need to take a deep breath and realize that because someone doesn’t necessarily see eye to eye with you, doesn’t mean they are attacking you….you are different people….and having being different and having differing opinions is a good thing. Before people get triggered, again, take a deep breath, appreciate the differences, and LIVE AND LET LIVE!

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    Angela Glick

    February 28, 2018 at 10:06 am

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for this!!!!! We need to grow up, put on our big girl panties (and big boy shorts) and take responsibility for our OWN feelings and our OWN responses. Too many people are becoming hyper-sensitive and seem to expect everyone to tippy-toe around their every hurt. HEAL, people! Let’s all just get healthy in our heads and stop placing responsibility for how we feel onto other people!

    My favorite of the MANY spot-on things you’ve said here, Erin, is this (and I fully intend to post it on my private FB page!): “When we try to be too correct, when we try to tiptoe around too many things, we lose all of our authenticity.” YES YES YES!!

    I don’t have to be/act/look/think/believe the same as everyone else and I don’t expect everyone else to be/act/look/think/believe the same as me. And I don’t expect everyone to tippy-toe around me/my feelings/my beliefs! When I tell people what I’m going to school for, I either get, “Cool!” (and not very often) or you can hear a pin drop in the extremely awkward silence that follows…I’m earning my Master of Divinity to that I can become a Christian (gasp!) pastor (double gasp!) (and I’m a female – get the smelling salts!). I do NOT expect or even WANT people to stop being authentic and “messy” around me. I’m a train wreck. I am trying really, really hard to stop swearing. I mess up every day. But I don’t expect everyone to try to sanitize their conversation around me, and I’m not going to pretend not to be Christian, or “tone it down” so that others are comfortable (and I don’t expect people of other religions to do that either)!

    I eat clean, for the most part – but I also LOVE ME SOME BACON! And doesn’t that make me a great Bad Yogi?! 😀 And I want to lose a few pounds FOR ME and I don’t think I should have to make a state secret out of it. I’m doing it because I’m eating more crappy food than I need to be eating (although I enjoyed some GF chocolate chip cookies that a woman in my small group brought last week, and enjoyed every. single. bite!). And when I see that someone I know is losing weight, I tell them they look amazing – because they are working HARD at it, and I’d rather acknowledge their hard work than ignore it! (And invariably, I tell them, sincerely, that they looked amazing before, too, because invariably they did – simply because they ARE.) You should see her/him light up when their work gets noticed and acknowledged!!

    Let’s all just live who we are and try to make our little spot in the world a brighter, happier place. And take responsibility for ourselves and our feelings.

    1. Avatar

      Celeste Snodgrass

      March 1, 2018 at 10:14 am

      Exactly! Loved your response! Have an awesome day!

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    Christin Slyngman

    February 28, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I think it is so so important to have friends who do not share your same beliefs! If we try to only surround ourselves with like-minded individuals we never learn anything and we never grow. We never put our values to the test! I don’t think the problem is yours, Erin. I think your audience has a responsibility to learn how to properly handle dissonance. If you’ve triggered them, it’s a GOOD thing, not a bad thing! It means you’ve given them the opportunity to challenge their own beliefs and become stronger as individuals! It’s a NECESSARY part of life and not something that should be avoided. Gentleness is key of course, as well as kindness and most importantly speaking from a place of love. But I think you already know that. 😉 Anyone who has watched your videos and read your posts for any period of time can see that you are coming from a genuine and heartfelt place. So stick to your guns. Don’t water down your beliefs, because it’s only doing the “triggered” people a disservice.

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    Laura

    February 28, 2018 at 11:08 am

    This. So glad someone addressed the elephant in the room!

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    Aimee

    February 28, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Nailed it! It seems no matter what you are discussing these days someone is bound to be “triggered” by it. I think people should take a second and listen to the other side, maybe try and understand a different point of view, and maybe they wouldn’t be so bothered by the opposition. Either way, if something being said/discussed/talked about doesn’t gel with you, then keep it moving. Differences make the world go round, and whether you subscribe to them or not, they all have their place.

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    Alida

    February 28, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Erin please carry on with your comments, advice, experiences, it´s ok , I´m 64, one generation ahead of you and I follow your postings, I practice your yoga, etc. I can sometimes have a different opinion and I respect yours, let´s just respect and accept people just as they are, if that still bothers people switch to another yoga teacher!! Best wishes to you from Mexico!!!

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    Juliette Behr

    February 28, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    THANK YOU, 110% agree.

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    Lesley

    February 28, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    I think, at least in the US, there are so many people now who just say whatever they want and don’t care about who they offend. I can’t tell you how many times I have needed to take a break from Facebook because of the rants, from both sides of the spectrum. I don’t typically get offended, but I do try and think about OTHERS and their feelings. It’s a slippery slope.

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    Jessica

    February 28, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I think everyone needs to be slightly triggered every now and then to get everyone to think outside the box. If we never think outside the box we never grow and demand the best out of ourselves. Whatever happened to a good old fashioned debate anyways. It’s healthy to learn how to handle being offended. Maybe they don’t have debate club in high school anymore.

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    Debra Niemann

    February 28, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Erin, Most people know you have the Best intentions as another yogini & you are relaying information & sharing what you have found to be helpful & this journey your on. Folks can share their journeys or try yours, pick some & Leave what wouldn’t work. I would not take anything personally. I have not run into Any instructor that did anything but encourage folks to being their best selves wherever they are in that journey. And that is totally You!!
    Deb

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    Pamela

    March 1, 2018 at 4:51 am

    Yes YES!!! Thank you for this video, Erin. I believe we’ve overly defensive and that’s why it shows as exaggerated sensitivity. It can be difficult to read someone’s tone online, and that can affect how other people react to it. Then there might be a reply that was honest in itself, but sounds sarcastic, thus adding to the fire. Anyway, I think the solution is to KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT. We won’t know how to move past this issue until we’ve tried, and the way is not around but through it. Your video itself is a great example of how to handle it: “This is my position, I really want to know your thoughts, even if we don’t agree”. Some people who react aggressively on social media just want an outlet, others just want the attention that their outrage gives, others will be genuinely offended and you know what? You can’t do anything about it! That’s entirely up to them. Keep being you!

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    Celeste Snodgrass

    March 1, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Absolutely agree with you!

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    D

    March 1, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I like and appreciate this rant! Please allow me to weigh in as a 68-year-old…each of us is responsible to and for ourselves. We cannot control another person’s thoughts/feelings/triggers–whatever! Certainly, I believe we must be respectful, but we don’t have to be responsible for others. It took me a long time and an often arduous journey to learn to follow the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer and my heart. In short, I try to do my best; be honest; be gracious; BE ME! If I mess up, so be it. I can always try again if that’s what I choose to do. XO

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    Nan Clute

    March 2, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Well said! We are erring on the side of being too “PC” and are losing the individual flair and perspective that make us unique! Bottom line…when someone has an opinion or says something that ‘triggers” you, remember its NOT all about YOU!!!

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    Kelly

    March 2, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Yes!!! This is why I love Bad Yogi! I consider myself a compassionate and empathetic person, but I’ve been so frustrated by all this “triggering” stuff lately. People want safe spaces and blow up at anyone who doesn’t agree with every opinion. I think surrounding yourself with people who have different backgrounds and hold different opinions is the best way to grow and become smarter and more empathetic, as well. When we see those who are different from us as human beings, we’re a lot less likely to explode or say something nasty. Considering another human’s point of view will cause us to question why we believe the things we do, and can help us solidify our positions and form opinions in a thoughtful way.

    At my job, we’ve been having a lot of discussions on how to improve our workplace, team and the way we work together. Our department head said that when we get frustrated, we should approach our coworkers and situations assuming that people mean well and are doing their best, so comments that come across as short or rude may seem less so if we assume the best in someone rather than assuming the worst. I think we need to approach one another assuming the best about the other person. That way we don’t take what they say as a personal attack on us. (Yes, btw, my workplace is super awesome).

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    Mia

    March 2, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Interesting! I just talked about this whole “trigger” thing with a friend and we raised the same question.
    I am totally with you and many of the other comments: it is more important to talk about things than to consider each and every one’s sensitivities. What topic is absolutely free from potential triggers, in this sense of the word? There wouldn’t be much left to talk about. Moreover I find it concerning that the word trigger is overused by some people and applied for any small social discomfort. It is an important part of becoming an adult to withstand social discomfort and to see the difference to injustice.

    But I want to raise another question:
    As far as I know “trigger” is actually a word that describes a symptom of PTSD. I am not a native English speaker, so please correct me if I am getting this wrong, but don’t you think the overuse of this word for minor shit may lead to a total misunderstanding of the condition? I am saying this as a person who has PTSD and knows what (the psychological term) trigger means. When I am triggered, I cannot talk or type comments on social media. It is in no way the same as being offended, I promise. So, I am getting triggered by stuff, but I am actively learning how to deal with triggers because I want to enrich my life. I find it hyprocritical to use the term trigger to cut off a conversation.
    By the way, I am rather confused by this seemingly random use of the word, and somewhat pissed. I am definitely not triggered by this 😛 (Haha, and it wouldn’t help if I was, right?)
    I just believe, people should maybe consider listening for a bit longer, talk things through. And if you want to leave a conversation, find other, more honest and specific words for it.
    (e.g. I don’t feel comfortable talking about this. It makes me sad. I have a bad day.)

    What do you think?

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    Kenny G. D.

    March 4, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    It is a shame that “progressives” are anything but progressive. Real progress is the mutual respect for the diversity of opinions and the ability to allow others freedom of thought. I have enjoyed Bad Yogi only for 2 months, but now feel even more comfortable and happy to continue this relationship and share it with others. Great message Erin!

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