It’s easy to get triggered.

Some people seem to have made this an art.

And the more they get triggered, the more they get triggered.


I’m currently writing a new programme for TEAM17. We’re going to spend three months going deep into classic personal development and I’m working out how we can help each other be better.

The first session is on ‘Why do we get triggered?’


It’s the stupidest things that bother me.

Here are 5 from my trigger-happy list.

  • Dog poo
  • Rudeness
  • Litter
  • Lateness
  • People standing in the middle of a path (or walking slowly)

All things I have little or no control over.


Last week I was in a restaurant with a large group. A frazzled waiter was trying to deliver an armful of food and kept saying the name of the dish over and over.

The diners he was looking for were enthusiastically chatting and, for whatever reason, didn’t respond.

Guess who got triggered.

Not the waiter.

Nor the people who were waiting for their food.

It was me, manic Michael at the other end of the table.

The one who blurted something about how people should be paying attention when the server was trying to deliver their food.

What an idiot!

To be fair, I thought I’d said it in my head, but Mrs H assured me it came out of my mouth.


The next day I apologised.

Not to the chatty people at the end of the table, or the waiting staff, but to the poor bloke who was sitting next to me during this mini meltdown.

Maybe he was triggered too – by me?


Or the person who came up with the seating plan!

Apologising is good. It makes you better.

So does taking a breath or two before you react.

And in a world where it’s easy to be bitter doesn’t it make sense to want to be better?


What triggers you? And what tips do you have to avoid the triggering?

I’d love to know.

Please leave your thoughts below.

Be Brilliant!



  1. September 15th 2022 by Jon Richards

    What triggers me is colleagues that are not as passionate / committed as I believe they should be. My tip to avoid it, is what am I looking to achieve when I observe this?…in reality better performance…and if I call it out will it improve their performance?…No!…better to highlight something they have done well and encourage them to do more of it to get that better performance…we all like to be praised

  2. September 15th 2022 by Steve Robinson

    I get annoyed by people who over-react to another drivers mistake.

    If you drive and assume that other people on the road are not perfect, no one is, you will be a better driver.

    Instead of getting annoyed yourself think back, Could you have anticipated their mistake and been prepared for it. This practice could easily save your life or someone else’s.

    I am still learning to do this but never over-react myself now because I realise that no one is perfect.

  3. September 15th 2022 by Lorraine

    I am normally mild and placid but I get triggered when you are talking and people speak over you as if you are of no significance. First time I allow 2nd time I think how rude! 3rd time laser beams shoot from my eyes to the person doing it. Their excuse they are hard of hearing.😤

  4. September 15th 2022 by Hilary Mosedale

    What a sensible and relatable post! We all have triggers and we all need to be reminded of the intended and unintended fallout from these!
    The training sounds great if this is anything to go by! Good luck with it

  5. September 15th 2022 by Geoff Harrison

    Many/most of the things on your list can trigger me but a big trigger for me is Negativity. People who always look for the negative/glass half empty in everything

  6. September 15th 2022 by Gaynor

    All of the above annoy me too plus most things to be honest I am a woman of a certain age

  7. September 15th 2022 by Lorna Clark

    I was in my favourite restaurant when a woman refused to sit at the table she was offered. She claimed it was unhygienic. The waitress gave her another table, but she wouldn’t stop going on about it. It’s an old building and a small piece of plaster at ankle height had dropped off the wall, which happens all the time with old lime-washed buildings. I was trying to enjoy my meal, but 15 minutes later she was still going on about falling standards. In the end I’d had enough and, unlike me, I asked her if it was any dirtier than what she brought in on the soles of her shoes, yet no one moaned about them. Her husband winked at me. She complained about the meal and then rushed her poor husband off before he hadd finished his drink. They were still outside waiting for a taxi (she was complaining about the long wait) and , under normal circumstances, I would have offered her a lift home. I didn’t do that, so she’s probably still moaning to her husband now.

  8. September 16th 2022 by Simon

    I agree with all of the above listed! One I would add though, is people who interrupt when I am speaking. Active listening is a skill that few people have. I guess it would come under rudeness, but as its one that triggers my blood pressure, it deserves a mention.

  9. September 16th 2022 by Susan Salmon

    I get triggered by people who try to push in front whilst standing in a queue. It infuriates me and I cannot stop myself from speaking up (for myself and for everyone else in the queue). Right, or wrong? Most people probably don’t care but I still do it 🥴
    As I get older, I do try to tell myself when in situations that trigger angry emotions that it will pass quickly and to remain calm.

  10. September 20th 2022 by Chris Pye

    People who create excuses not to do the simplest of tasks, indeed spending more time creating the excuses that it would actually take to do it

  11. September 20th 2022 by Jane

    I work for Keep Britain Tidy where dog poo and litter are two of our triggers too. But we believe people can have some control over them, by working together to take action for the environment.
    To find out more about our charitable work and how you can get involved visit keepbritaintidy

  12. September 23rd 2022 by Stuart Burton

    Leaf blowers
    Chewing gum trodden on pavements

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