You Are So Purple!
You are so Purple!
Seriously….I really hate how purple you are.
Your purpleness drives me crazy.
You need to stop being purple.
If I said this to you, what would you think?
You would probably think I’ve lost it! For most of you, there would be no emotional reaction, other than maybe confusion or concern for me!
Now instead of the word purple, substitute the word “lazy”.
Or how about needy, weak, messy, neat, shy, intense, loud, stupid, smart, rich, poor, fat, tall, short, idealistic, practical, feminine, masculine?
How about adding the word “too” in front of what of these words –too intense, too needy?
Which word(s) changes it? Why?
For most of you, you don’t identify with being purple or have any beliefs about purpleness so there is nothing to react to. It doesn’t “stick.” Also, you have no idea what I mean by that word in that context, so there is no way to jump to an interpretation. It just lands as nonsense.
When we feel triggered by what someone says, there is some part of us that believes what they are saying. It is 100% our creation.
When you get triggered, or notice you have an emotional reaction it is important to stop and look at why you are reacting. What part of what the person is saying do you agree with or are afraid of being true? What part of it are you internalizing? Is there a part of it that is actually true, that you want to be different?
It’s interesting to note that I’ve used the purple example with clients for several years and it’s fascinating to see the reactions of a few people. Using the word purple in this bizzare, random, meaningless way, there are still people that feel bad about themselves and have a reaction to it. It still results in the feeling of being inadequate or wrong.
In this case, it is helpful to also look at the underlying belief that may be there. For example: I’m always wrong, or the other person must be right. The trigger is still 100% our creation but it has an underlying basis foundation that is not necessarily the specific information, but a more broad belief. Either way, there is value in recognizing that our triggers are pointing us to something that we have control to change.