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Trigger Series: Type One

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Looking into the mind of a Triggered Type One

We've all done it. Starting a casual conversation with someone that all of a sudden turns into an all out fight. What happened? If you TRULY don't know (and it wasn't one of the usual suspects of sex, politics, and money), then you might have stepped on a Trigger for this Type. Read on for tips on how to translate the conversation in Type One language and better understand how to dig yourself out of this hole.

Scenario 1:

What you said: "You SHOULD have (insert criticism)"

What they heard: "You are bad and incompetent"

Why do they hear this?

Type Ones fear that deep down they are inherently flawed at their core making them bad and defective. This core belief causes them to spend unbelievable amounts of emotional and physical energy proving to themselves (and others) that they are perfect and above reproach. Criticism (in ANY form) threatens their hard-won goodness and causes their egos to freak out and sometimes move into counterattack to defend itself.

How can you dig yourself out of this hole:

Always address what you ARE saying and what you are NOT saying when a Type One starts to show signs of being triggered. Try to voice what you need without throwing "shoulds" around. In all reality, there is no "should" in most areas of life, just opinions. State clearly what you want and ask for it, without throwing out blame

Scenario 2:

What you said: "The rules don't matter and I don't need to do something expected of me"

What they heard: "It's all up to you to uphold expectations and standards--the weight of the world is on your shoulders"

Why do they hear this?

Ones already feel immense responsibility to always do what is expected of them and what is "good" on top of this. Having others shirk duties and frustrate expectations not only calls into question the foundation for One's existence, but also adds more work to the One to uphold standards and boundaries. In the face of remarks like this, the One will likely become even more rigid, because excellence is now THEIR job only. This isn't to say that Ones will not slack off at times as well, but when the expectations are clear and someone else decides to go against these, Ones feel immense pressure to uphold standards.

How can you dig yourself out of this hole:

If you made the mistake of voicing your "slacking" (you could have good reason for it...which you're going to need in a minute) to a One, get ready to defend yourself. Depending on the instinct (and there is a large difference when it comes to Ones), you may be met with a tense, but oddly friendly, smile (this is their defense mechanism, Reaction Formation,'re not off the hook) or you might just get chewed out.

Either way, the best thing you can do is explain your reasons for frustrating expectations. Ones may be exacting and perfectionistic, but they are very reasonable if you have a good reason for your actions (unless they're shady reasons, then....good luck). They also have huge hearts for others and a DEEP understanding of the struggle to be good and the inability to be perfect. Best thing you could ever do for your relationship is to admit your mistakes and plead imperfection--they'll get it.

Other Triggers to Avoid:

  • Lying of any kind

  • Irresponsibility

  • Laziness

  • Being scrutinized

  • Being called incompetent or bad in any way

For more information on instincts, visit the post below.


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