Here’s a concept that I’ve been finding really helpful of late. It’s called “The Shelf,” and it’s the place where I can rest my “baggage” when I find that my buttons are getting pushed by something. The best example I can think of is when I’m trying – REALLY trying – to listen to something that my partner is explaining, and I find myself getting triggered. The idea is that I go, ‘Aha! I’m about to fall into the “reactivity trap.” I need to take “my stuff” and put it on the shelf, so I can be truly present here.’ It’s an active decision to not pay any attention to my own internal triggering. Maybe later I can take it down and explain my side of things. Or maybe I can just leave it up there . . . ?
Mike Misgen, LPC
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