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    No One Can Trigger You

    Daily Stoic Emails

    There are things that just set you off. There are things that happened to you that you prefer not to think about. There are the things you asked repeatedly for someone to stop. There are the things that decent people are not supposed to do and say.

    And yet they happen anyway.

    So you get upset. You get triggered. 

    Although not ideal, it is at least understandable. We should be patient with other people when they are triggered, we should be patient with ourselves when we are (as Marcus said, what matters when you fall or fail is to revert back to the training that you know and understand that you’re a human being). 

    The problem is this extra thing we’ve started doing these days: Blaming other people for triggering us. Expecting the world to label every potential frustrating thought or idea with a trigger warning. That’s not reasonable, right, or fair. 

    The Stoics knew that other people can’t trigger us. We can only allow ourselves to be triggered. As Epictetus said, we are complicit in the offenses we take. Our temper is ours to lose—no one can take it from us and certainly no one can make us lose it. 

    We have the power. We’ll have far more luck and happiness in this life if we spend our time strengthening it than we ever will trying to soften the world. One is a form of protection that’s up to us, the other is a fantasy and a projection. 

    Which will you choose?

    P.S. This was originally sent on August 18, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism.