Momentum Podcast: 496

Triggered Communication Will Cost You

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

When we’re triggered, our communication will usually cost us. When you feel emotional, you’re likely to make irrational decisions. You simply aren’t yourself, and responding immediately will only hurt you. When you’re triggered and feel the urgency to reply, back down. Instead, use strategy and finesse when you’re communicating with others, it will change everything.

Here are three key steps to help you avoid getting triggered: 

Start amorning routine and stick with it. 

Begin lowering pressure and noise everywhere in your life.

Have clear outcomes for your life, relationships, and business. 

Having a morning routine, lowering pressure noise, and having clarity as to what your outcomes are will make you less reactive and help you get better at everything you do. Commit to these steps for a few days and let us know how it’s impacted your life! 

Full Audio Transcript

A lot of the podcasts, I record. I record because they're lessons that I've learned or I'm still learning. This is definitely one that I am still learning. It's that we should not create additional exposure when we have problems or challenges when things come up in our lives. In fact, when we are triggered, our communication will usually cost us.

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only use if you stop, and we don't know how.

While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be.

It's taken me forever to learn that triggered communication is some of the most challenging and the most terrible communication you will ever have with anybody. In fact, this is how bad I used to be. When I was younger and I would get triggered or upset or frustrated in communication with somebody, I felt the need to respond immediately. It was almost like a hot potato. If it came to me and I was upset, I had to respond as fast as possible. I wouldn't be able to sleep. I wouldn't be able to calm down. I'd think about it. I'd obsess over it if I was upset or emotional, especially if I felt like I had gotten taken advantage of, and throughout my life, I have been a huge offender of creating unnecessary pain and constraint and exposure because of triggered communication, because I communicated when I was upset or frustrated or lit up and in a way that just wasn't healthy, and as I grow more mature, I hope in some ways, and as I learn more about being an entrepreneur, what I've learned is that triggered communication is one of the most dangerous ways to communicate. In fact, I used to think everything was a war. I had to be ready to fight. I had to get back to people. I had to be on the offensive.

Here's what I know now. Strategy and finesse can change everything. Being the person who is in control in the middle of chaos, being the person who shows up rationally in the middle of chaos can move an entire situation in your direction, and I've watched it because it happens to me. I also know that communicating in a triggered way, in an emotional way, in an over the top way, being the person who is or appears out of control can shift an entire situation away from you and against you and no longer in your favor, and this is so important because there are times where we will naturally act in a way that creates this type of triggered communication that's going to create constraint and pressure, noise, and just make things harder for us.

Number one, you have to remember, when you're emotional or you know you're triggered, when your heart is racing, when you're breathing heavy, when you feel the urgency of replying, I know this feels like it's counterintuitive, but when you feel the urgency to reply is the last point you should reply. Unless there's a timed issue, something that's actually going to time out or you're running out of time for something, there is no wooly mammoth in the room, you should not feel urgency to reply. If you are in a place where there's a conflict or an issue or something that has you upset or triggered, you've got your heart rate up, your breathing up, and you feel urgency, you should back down.

When you're in a place where you feel rushed, this is ... I remember, this used to happen to me. If I felt rushed, like somebody was pushing me or if I didn't have enough clarity, I didn't know what was really going on, and I felt this pressure, I would create triggered communication, and then another time where this would happen to me was when I was unclear, and I would lead with aggression rather than leading with curiosity. I would lead with judgment rather than leading with curiosity. I would lead with frustration rather than leading with curiosity.

I'll tell you from experience, Howard Brenton, an incredible mentor of mine, taught me get out of judgment and get into curiosity and stay there, and the more curious I am, the more I create clarity, the more I get out of judgment or the more I get out of frustration, there isn't triggered communication, and it calms down. This is some of the most dangerous communication we'll ever make.

I'll tell you from a very personal place, for those of you who haven't gotten in trouble yet with being triggered or aggressive or angry or saying things out of emotion at someone, I can tell you that there's been times where I have absolutely been in the right in a conflict, I've had the winning hand in a conflict, both legally and tactically, and then I've gone over the top emotional and said things publicly or said things on social media or said things in front of other people that have actually turned the cards against me.

It's kind of hard to even admit that out loud because every evolutionary hunter wants to win the battle, every evolutionary hunter wants to overcome and win the war, every evolutionary hunter wants to make the kill at the end of the day, and I've actually put myself in a position where I was winning, I was ahead, and I went racing back to last place, and I was behind because I came out so emotionally and so aggressively, I put myself in legal jeopardy. There's been times where I came out so emotionally and so aggressively that I looked like the crazy person, and I couldn't really get anything to get done from that point forward. There was times where I've been so aggressive and so emotional that I've had to go back and make amends and talk to people and make up for it, and it's incredibly challenging to have to do that, and, thankfully, this has gotten better as I've gotten older, but I think this is one of those things for evolutionary hunters, like you and I, we have to think about all the time.

In fact, it's not on my desk right now, but, normally, right here in front of me, I have a pulse oximeter, which tells you how much oxygen is in your blood and what rate your pulse is going because if I'm talking to somebody and I feel triggered and upset or frustrated, I'll throw it on my finger, and if my heart's beating more than 100 times a minute, I know I need to stop, calm down, take some deep breaths, get back in my body, get out of fight or flight, remove the trigger from the situation, and communicate in a way that's clear and that's positive and that is going to move things forward. I also know if I throw that thing on and the oxygen in my blood is less than 96%, I know that, scientific fact, I'm not thinking clearly. I'm breathing too hard. I'm releasing too much CO2. The oxygen balance in my body's thrown off. I need to calm down, take some deep breaths, get out of the trigger, and then communicate. Triggered communication will cost you. The more you can avoid it, the better things will be. Here's what you need to know. This is at least how I solved triggered communication.

Number one, get out of the trigger in the first place. Put yourself in a place where you are not reactive, where you will be less triggered, where you can take on more because here's what happens. You can have the same thing happen to you on a day where there's no pressure and noise and everything's fine and you will not be triggered, but on a day where you're feeling rushed and behind and unclear and frustrated already, and there's too much going on, and you didn't get what you needed to get done in the morning, and then a triggering event happens. It will throw you off guard. It'll throw you out of control and have you react in a way that costs you. If you know that you're someone who's reactive, like I am, then start working on ways that you can remove the trigger before it starts.

Number one, morning routines. I know that that sounds like a crazy thing to throw out when I'm talking about triggered communication, but here's how I know. It works for me and for our clients. Once you put a morning routine in place, and I wouldn't tell you to do anything I wouldn't do. You can hear the paper rustling. I'm actually holding my morning routine right now. I do it every single morning, and my morning routine gets me in a place where, by the time I'm done with it, in a short period of time, I've done everything I need for my body to physiologically connect and weigh things up, to cognitively get ready and started for the morning, to chemically put myself in the best place, and I've done that through doing the right breathing and meditation and waking up the mind, through hydration, hyperhydration, getting water onboard the body so I can think clearly throughout the day, hypernutrition, taking on the right foods in the morning so that I can move forward and have momentum, and then with movement, as every single morning, all of those are taken care of because of my morning routine, and it puts me in a place where it's not that I'm trigger-proof, but I'm much less trigger-able.

Second, you, as an evolutionary hunter, have a responsibility to yourself not just to create a morning routine, but to lower pressure and noise everywhere in your life. Where is it that you're experiencing any type of pressure and noise? Where is it that you're experiencing frustration or irritation? Here's how I put it for people like you and I. It's binary. The things in your life are either giving you momentum or they're taking it away. The people, the places, the things, you need to make the decision, if you're getting or you're giving, or if you're receiving or giving too much up, to be around the people, the places, the things in your life and be relentless, be ruthless as to what you dismiss because anything in your life that is not creating momentum, it's taking it away, and people like us just can't ... We can't take the risk that we fall into facing resistance and then fall into constraint. You know what happens when you're in full constraint. Your body breaks down, your mind breaks down, the chemical mix in your body goes haywire. We have all types of challenge and behaviors. You don't need to go there, so lower pressure and noise everywhere, and you'll have that much less triggered communication.

Then, last and certainly not the least thing, but one of the things that I do to remain out of being triggered is I always know where I'm headed. I always have clear outcomes for my life, for my relationship, and for my business. I use the systems our company puts together in order to make sure I have clear outcomes because here's ... This might sound like a weird equation, have clarity as to where you're going and you'll be triggered less in the present, but here's what I want you to know. If you have clarity as to where you're going, you will be triggered less in the present because your focus is in the future. Your focus is where you're going. When you have things going on, when you're in momentum, when you're excited about what you're doing, when the world is going your way, you're a lot less trigger-able than you are when you're not in that condition, so get clarity as to where you're going. Get clarity as to what you want in your life. Get clarity as to what you're going to do next. Know what your outcomes are. When you have clear outcomes, clear accountability as to what you're doing and a scoreboard for perspective, you will be in momentum.

Here's what I want you to know. Entrepreneurial personality types like us, evolutionary hunters who are on the hunt, in momentum, are far less trigger-able. Try and distract an animal from hunting when it's about to make a kill. There's no way. When you're an evolutionary hunter and you are in pursuit of an outcome that means something to you and you're making progress and you're contributing to the people around you, you will be so much less trigger-able. You will continue to go forward and create momentum.

Here's what's interesting. Creating a morning routine, lowering pressure and noise everywhere, getting clarity as to what your outcomes are, all of this will not just make you less reactive and get you out of reactivity and help you respond appropriately to what's going on around you, help you avoid being triggered, but all of this will also help you get better at everything you do. It'll help you get better in your business, it'll help you get better in your relationship, it'll help you get better as a parent, and it will help you get better at everything you do. When you have a morning routine and you lower the pressure and noise in your life and you create clear outcomes with perspective around them, everything in your life will get better. You will get better at everything in your life.

All you have to do is test it for a few days. Create a morning routine. Make it a checklist. You will get dopamine, serotonin. You'll get a release of the positive chemicals in your body every time you put a little check mark. That's why I still do it. That's why every single day, even if I'm on vacation like today, I'm still creating my to-do list and putting down the checklist and making it happen every single day because I want that dopamine. Your morning routine will give you dopamine.

Lower the pressure and noise in your life, and everywhere in your life will get easier. When you get rid of the people, the places, the things that are causing you pressure and noise, everything in your life will get easier automatically, and when you have clear outcomes, you will be focused on the prize, you'll be focused on the outcome, you'll be focused on the hunt, on the kill, on the outcome that matters to you, and distraction will be that much more difficult. I hope this meant something to you because I want you to learn the lessons that have taken me forever to learn, and I'm still learning, faster than it took me. I want to help you with the shortcuts in the places where I got stuck, and being triggered, being emotional, responding in a way that is triggered or emotional, having the high blood pressure, high heart rate, and still going heads down and going into a conflict almost always has been a time where I lacked strategy, lacked finesse, and cost myself and my family, and I don't want that to happen to you. Go through what it takes to be less trigger-able, get out of reactivity, be more proactive, and you'll see your entire business and your life shift for the better.

If you're looking for some more information about how to grow your business and more information about the evolutionary hunter, the entrepreneurial personality type, I have a suggestion for you. Join our Billionaire Code Group on Facebook. We're now well over 2,000 members and growing like crazy. Right now, I'm recording a special series exclusively in the Billionaire Code Group on the entrepreneurial personality type. I'm on video three. It's been years since I wrote the EPT book, so I'm doing an update in the entrepreneurial personality type group as to the entire personality type, and if you haven't checked it out yet, you should. Go to The one catch is you have to answer three questions on your way in so my team can approve you. Answer the questions. I'll see you in the group, Billionaire Code, on Facebook. I can't wait to interact with you there.

Remember, triggered communication costs you. Get out of reactivity, into proactivity, and lead with curiosity over judgment. Your entire life will shift for the better.

Thank You For Listening!

I am truly grateful that you have chosen to spend your time listening to me and my podcast.

Please feel free to reach out if you have a question or feedback via our Contact Us page.

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With gratitude,


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