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Understanding emotional triggers

Discussion in 'Personal' started by CharlesEkin, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. CharlesEkin

    CharlesEkin New commenter

    I have witnessed many totally overblown responses by colleagues towards children for various aspects of their behaviour and have definitely responded like this myself sometimes. I am trying to understand the psychological reasoning behind this.
    A standard trigger is a conditioned response, the perception that something we witness is associated with a danger from the past. It elicits a strong emotional response. (eg Dad shouted at me a lot and shamed me - I hear someone else shouting, that same fear is rekindled even though the danger is not present.)
    I get that. But can someone suggest why we are triggered by habits and manners exhibited by our charges that we were told off for doing when we were children: holding our pen incorrectly, eating with our mouth open, burping in public, wasting paper, etc? Yes, these were a danger to us - we would have been heavily reprimanded if we did them. But why our response towards someone else behaving that way?
    My instinct is that we are going to make damn sure that the children in our class are not going to get away with stuff that we weren't allowed to get away with. Maybe, but why not? What's going on there?
    Any suggestions welcome.
    Thank you
  2. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    There's a crockery thread about someone dealing with an adult child leaving all the household mugs in their room. Someone else takes about plates in rooms, I said I wasn't allowed to eat upstairs and won't allow it here, for no other reason than if left or spilt it's hassle and can attract vermin which is even more hassle, sometimes its down to our experience. That said its not an emotional response simply a common sense one in my view. Ditto chewing gum in class/hair/clothing.

    Burping is natural so surely the "excuse me" afterwards is what you're referring to?

    If my children had poor manners I expect I'd have said something and probably did, but it's not emotional, it's about expected standards of behaviour since we live in the presence of others so we do certain things, like close the toilet door...
  3. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    We are taught (hopefully at an early age) what is acceptable social behaviour, and we probably suffer consequences for not following the social code, so we internalise the 'rightness' or 'wrongness' of behaviour to the point where there's an automatic visceral response to seeing it in others. At this level it angers us because it's 'not right', and that response often manifests before we can offer a rational explanation of exactly why it's 'not right'. There can also be a childish 'it's not fair' response when someone else is getting away with something we were not allowed to at that age, so there's an element of regression in there too. As such, the triggering behaviour can feel like something personally directed towards one, which rationally we know is a ridiculous thought, but doesn't address the automatic irrational response.
    The response to things like someone eating with their mouth open, burping etc. is also that they look disgusting, and make us feel uncomfortable, so we want it to stop.
    Understanding where it comes from can give more of a sense of control over how we react to it.
    Ivartheboneless likes this.
  4. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Because things that were wrong in the past are usually still wrong in the present.
    dunnocks likes this.
  5. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    There's an element of 'zero tolerance' in setting the right tone here. I couldn't care less how they hold a pen but I want them to be respectful of all those around them.
    Let the little things go and it can be harder to control the bigger ones.
    dunnocks likes this.
  6. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    that is a very judgmental response from you.

    1. inefficient, damaging, and an important bad habit to break.
    2. disgusting, rude, disrespectful and unhygienic
    3. Ditto
    4. very selfish, extremely damaging to the environment, and wrong in every moral code.

    What is your actual question? You sound like one of those "right-on permissive" parents who think family life should be "child lead" and then raise the most egocentric, selfish, ignorant little monsters, and then send them to us to sort out.

    These are all issues that should be dealt with at home, but in undisiplined children with permissive parents, the poor teachers have to waste time doing what is essentially a parenting role that has not been fulfilled
    install and InkyP like this.

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