Dr. Aparna Sethi
Corporate Trainer and Author

Experiencing emotional pain when one fail to pause and react. This emotional pain is nothing but guilty feeling. Since majority of the time person’s reaction may cause harm to another individual—physical, emotional and our relationships may suffer. Our analysis fails to comprehend what lead to emotional outburst which can be in the form of anger, withdrawal behaviour or avoidance. To overcome emotional agony coping mechanisms such as having alcohol, eating sweets or shopping are opted which may give temporary relief. You may land in the same situation later since the root cause of emotional outburst is neglected. The cause of backlash happens due to Emotional Trigger.

An Emotional Trigger is a response to a person, situation, event, dialogue, reading, film, or other content providing entity, that provokes a strong emotional reaction. Often, individuals are not self-aware when they are triggered, and fall into reacting prior to sifting through their strong emotional response. Emotional triggers are shaped from past negative experiences usually in childhood.  Trigger can be positive and negative, here the focus is on negative. As and when person face the similar experience or feeling that negative emotion hijacks mind. The best part is after introspection triggers can be addressed.

The following list includes few of the common emotional triggers. Human beings react when these feelings are not meet:



Be Valued


Be Needed




Be treated fairly



To start with contemplate any three situations in which your mind was emotionally hijacked.  Now introspect from the above list. Which of the emotions did not fulfilled? Be honest to yourself. Commonly when circumstances are unfavorable one rephrases the situation and blame another person. But in reality, the outburst happened when people fail to satisfy these emotional desires.

It is crucial to understand why and how these emotional grows inside. Let me give you simple example, I used to feel insulted when people used to comment on my colour of clothing. I used to take those comments personally and used to react. After analyzing I realise that in my childhood I was told that I can carry only few colours and not all due to my skin colour. I used to feel rejected and that feeling still continues. I needed feeling of acceptance and absence of it reaction used to occur.  At workplace it, can be simple escalating an email or gender base comment can be trigger.

Hence, it is important for to pause and understand study the pattern of emotional outburst. You may observe few words or typical feeling is your emotional trigger. Work on those triggers. Declaring your needs to close ones also can help to have better relations. For example, I always tell my gym instructor that positive stokes bring in better results more than negative.  Once you understand the triggers try to understand the origin, you may relate it to your past experiences or childhood memories. Its only you who can work on your triggers. Train yourself to understand your recurring emotional triggers and enjoy emotional freedom.

Author: Dr. Aparna Sethi

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