Triggers are tough. When someone pushes your buttons, it can feel like the most difficult thing in the world to stay calm. Everything in you wants to react, push back, let them know in no uncertain words that they are out of line.
Try to remember, when this comes up, that reacting reflexively gets you nowhere but into a fight. If you’re triggered, someone has brushed up too close to a wound that you have, old or new. It is more than likely that this person is not responsible for the wound itself. Sometimes they may be, but your reactivity is not your friend in either case.
You want to ideally get to a place where you can identify what you are feeling and why, and whether it has anything to do with the other person involved. Then, hopefully, you can express your feelings, where you are coming from, and any boundaries that you need to establish or reaffirm. The other person then gets to decide how they want to respond, and you can proceed based on that response.
I know that all sounds very neat and clear, and life is usually a bit messier. I do believe that, with time and practice, you can get there! True, the other person might not be doing their work. They might not understand. They might get angry, defensive, and reactive themselves. Remember that you can only control how you behave, and what you decide to do with their behavior. Try to remain calm and not get wrapped up in whatever their wounds are.
Once you begin to recognize your triggers and where they come from, you can begin to heal the underlying issues. Even before you work on healing, you can learn to communicate from a responsive and thoughtful place. Non-violent communication is not an easy skill, but one that will benefit you in all areas of life.
Most of the time, people don’t know they’re triggering you. They don’t know your history or what bothers you. It’s up to you to begin to heal yourself and communicate effectively. I know it sounds daunting, but the rewards are worth the effort. Sending you good luck, support, and a lot of love.