How does social media trigger you?

Mariel Witmond
Mariel Witmond

10 January, 2021

How does social media trigger you?

Towards the end of last year I spent a lot of time looking at themes of people pleasing, boundaries and imposter syndrome through the lens of my own personal experiences as an insecure over achiever. In this always evolving quest to better understand, love and accept myself, I’ve been starting to pay attention to the things that trigger negative responses in me, being of the mind that triggers hold the insights that help liberate us from trying to be anything other than ourselves.

Our relationship with social media, much like our practice, has a lot to tell us about ourselves and where we need to learn to set healthy boundaries as well as recognise behavioral tendencies that keep us small. The process of reclaiming our truths, no matter how embarrassing, eliminate any negative stigma we hold over who we are.

Things that trigger me on social media (to name a few):

  • People I thought I knew relatively well or respected professionally unfollowing me
  • Students who stopped practicing with me sharing posts of appreciation for other teachers
  • Negative comments that are generalizations but feel directed at me and trigger my insecurities
  • Things and opportunities others have gotten that I wanted

Here’s the thing: I choose to create meaning around these things. Few things influence us more than fear. And here’s a big takeaway from these triggers: worrying about what others think or feel about you being you is something you will never be able to control. More often than not, it has nothing to do with you (and even when it does, it’s none of your business!)

We can internally empower or strip power away by simply paying attention to how things make us feel. I shouldn’t care that someone I know no longer wants to follow me. This isn’t the definition of real friendship, right? But I do. I shouldn’t care that my students have moved on to other amazing teachers, it doesn’t necessarily say anything about me, right? But I do. And I certainly shouldn’t feel shame from comments other people make that aren’t even directed at me, right? But…I do. And that’s ok. We need to learn to normalize our humanness; to give ourselves permission to feel it all.

Here’s the other thing: in recognizing and owning my truths, I remove some of the weight from them and it makes it easier for me to address them and the underlying message beneath them – I am human. I am a totally normal, feeling, sensitive, caring, self-conscious human. And I’m wired for connection. The things that trigger me on social media are nothing compared to the love and support I get from my community and my actual friends.

We just need to remember that what we are looking for is meaningful connections, not the false illusion of likes and follows. Where the mind goes, energy flows – so let’s get that energy away from the things that validate our fears of inadequacy and towards that love and acceptance for the amazing people we are beneath the facade.

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