A concept that’s been popping up more and more all over these past few years.

Urged to write Trigger warning or TW at the top of posts on social media, followed by a number of empty rows to make sure no one gets triggered by a question or statement or reflection on sexual assault, abortion, medical conditions, addictions, abuse and the like.

Rallying cries for trigger-safe environments, especially in academia, scare the living bejesus out of me… how can we get better at dealing with sensitive and hard topics, or, to use a term I’ve used a lot with my two compadres in Buddhas by the Roadside, sticky conversations, if we strive to remove any and all hint of them? Last time I checked practice makes perfect and you learn by doing are two proven ways to get better at things, as opposed to you learn by not-doing which I’ve never seen anyone advocate for.

At the same time, I realize that when I say it’s up to me to take responsibility for what I am triggered by, and doing the work necessary to get me better resourced to deal with it, perhaps I make it too easy? But on the other hand, whose job is it if it’s not mine? And this is valid for all aspects of my life. Because it’s my life. Not yours. I own it. It’s on me to take responsibility for it, and for honoring my boundaries, which also means I get to step away from a conversation that I am triggered by, and that I am not resourced for. But I don’t believe it to be a valid reason to shut the conversation down for everyone. That’s something completely different.

And like Izzy says:

We often try to blame someone else or something else for our things that didn’t work out for us or, you know, aren’t working out for us. It’s about taking that fricking responsibility for the things you do. ~Izzy

Besides this, there’s a mix of anime, podcasts (Jocko Willink, Jordan B Peterson, Esther Perel) and books (Women who run with the wolves) and a riff on the immense satisfaction available to me when I land in a group where I can dive deep into conversation. The book club’s of my Creative Community are absolutely magnificent – talk about a safe space where we are also invited and encouraged to bring our insecurities and questions, our beliefs and prejudices to the table, without fear of being hung out to dry in any way. Those types of settings are gold to me, and I hope you have them in your life too. If you don’t, make them happen. There’s a lot of tankespjärn to be had by hanging in circles where tankespjärn is par for the course. (And by listening to these meandering conversations, but that goes without saying, doesn’t it?)


Izzy can be found through RedCheeks for manga, anime and the likes

Run with the Wind (anime)

Esther Perel, author of the book Mating in Captivity

Jocko Willink author of the book Extreme Ownership and host of the Jocko podcast

Jocko Willink on the Tim Ferriss podcast

Diana Chapman on the Tim Ferriss Show