I remember my phone ringing just after midnight on the 20th of July 2016 and it was my cousin. I didn’t answer, thinking it was probably a mistake. Seconds later, Bongani’s phone rang and judging by his response, it wasn’t good news at all. My dad had passed on. When B told me, in shock, I remember saying okay, turned the other way as though I was going back to sleep, but stayed up the entire morning thinking about my dad. I’ve always had boundaries around my phone and phone calls and have never liked receiving early morning calls and now even more, there was a reason why. 

Do you know your triggers, and do you talk about them in your romantic relationship and why it is important to talk about your triggers with your partner? 

Not every trigger takes you to a happy place. Some triggers bring paralyzed fear, anxiety, or anger. Some triggers can cause you to overanalyze and assume the worst. When you or your close circle are not aware of your triggers, you may find yourself going through emotions you really do not want to revisit.

Another trigger of mine relating to my dad’s passing is when a loved one doesn’t answer the phone. The morning he passed on, my gran, brother and aunt had been trying to get hold of him on his phone to no answer. 

Since then, when I try call someone who lives alone or might be home alone makes me cringe and think of the worst scenario. It used to irk me when my loved don’t answer my phone calls. I had to dig deep and know where the root of this trigger is coming from, but also seek help in dealing with the trigger. 

How to deal with unhealthy triggers:

Talk about them: Therapy is an element that needs to be part of us as we go through life. The mind is one powerful tool that can erase certain traumas and triggers but you never escape them as at a point in your life, they do catch up with you. Investing in therapy is one good gift to give to yourself. It is important to talk and let it all out. If your finances aren’t really fit for you to get a therapist, have a friend you can talk to. 

Have tools to deal with your triggers when they arise: Ask yourself where does this trigger sterm from and why does it make me feel this way. By knowing the reason why it makes you feel a certain way, gives you an opportunity to find a solution of how to avoid having the same feeling whenever you are triggered. 

I am a firm believer that emotional intelligence is key in any relationship. Discussing topics such as past hurts; triggers; finances and many other topics we seem to avoid talking about, will teach you two how to deal with conflict. If you haven’t discussed those, maybe today is the perfect time to talk about them. 


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