What’s Got You Triggered?

What triggers your anger?

This is Vince Miller.

Our text today is from James 1:20. It reads:

For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. — James 1:20

Everyone gets angry. Sometimes our anger produces a response resulting in an implosion or explosion. And these implosions and explosions do nothing good in us or to other people. But as much as these moments seem to “catch us by surprise,” we shouldn’t be surprised by them or their results. James is definitive in this text. Man’s anger has negative results. But the primary issue is not just the results. It’s the triggering event that elicits the anger that, in the process, produces unrighteous results. And that is what most men driven by anger fail to give attention to — the triggering event that leads to the anger. Yet the good news is that a man indwelled by the Spirit of God can redirect this process and the results.

But this requires keen spiritual awareness and a learned sensitivity to the Spirit. Because if we lower our guard even for a moment, the enemy will strike, and the emotions and injustices that most trigger us will lead us toward unrighteous responses and results. And as we all know, these responses have a tragic cost to our marriages, families, friendships, and coworkers.

Here is your call to action today:

I want you to identify what triggers your anger. What is it? Identity it. Call it out. Confess it. And then remember it, so the next time that trigger strikes, you’ll see it coming. And when it does, let the Spirit convict and give him power over that trigger so it won’t have power over you.

You can visit me at vincemiller.com.

And live all for him, who lived all in for you!

136 thoughts on “What’s Got You Triggered?

  1. Eddie Ackerman says:

    Perceived disrespect, or open disrespect, from my children, mostly, to myself is my main trigger for anger. When they just don’t appreciate the amount of spoiled they really are and just say something to show how much they DON’T appreciate the things in life that they are not guaranteed. My wife’s anger and super short fuse are also a trigger for me recently, because it is hard to respond to grrrrrrrrr with calm in the moment seemingly every day, but I do my best most days to remember that I might have been the one to pull the pin from that grenade, so I shouldn’t be surprised when shrapnel comes my way.

  2. Randy N says:

    My anger is mostly triggered by circumstances, especially when there’s perceived injustice. I’ve started recently to speak against the wrong thinking behind my reactions. Slow change but it’s moving in the right direction.

  3. Randall says:

    Not being heard is probably one of my biggest triggers. Especially in conflict, wether professionally, or in marriage, also co-parenting. When my voice or opinions and values are respected and taken seriously it cuts deep. I need to choose forgiveness first instead of anger.

  4. Derick says:

    Accountability, especially when I believe that they can do it. But then again I realize that I have no control over someone’s decisions. But it still gets me.

  5. Jason says:

    I have health issues that cause me problems on a daily basis. I don’t dwell on my health, but I don’t feel well most of the time. My wife and two young daughters are draining every bit of energy out of my. I’m a jack of all trades, not trying to toot my own horn, and just about everything that needs to be done for my family. My oldest(10) has ADHD, ODD, and an emotional regulation disorder. Her behavior is not good and it trickles down to my yougest(3). I’m a retired veteran, and a stay at home dad. I was homeschooling my oldest, but she couldn’t do her part, so she started public school this past January. I stay home with my youngest and do learning activities with her, along with other task around the house. My wife works full time and does some things around the house. I don’t feel appreciated or respected as a father and husband. I’m sorry for making this so long, but my household is my biggest triggers at the moment, and have been for going on foir uears now. We’re in couseling, at a new place with my oldest. That’s a whole other journey and story. I’m normally not one to put my business out, but out of honesty, these are my biggest triggers. I never envisoned my household would be this chaotic and a mess!

  6. Jeff says:

    Unsolicited advice really triggers my anger. Everything is not going to go right the first time. Unsolicited advice, especially from people with no experience, can really trigger me.

  7. gonzalo says:

    I’m having a difficult time coming up with a good descriptive of my trigger(s), but I know my patience for individuals that don’t own up to their responsibilities or their own mistakes but blame others (me)… boils my blood pretty quickly.

  8. Daniel says:

    My biggest trigger is when I don’t feel well and still have to clean up after my youngest. She 24 and should be able to clear her own dishes and at the least put her glasses to soak with water and soap.

  9. Dave says:

    i feel we as men can identify with all of the triggers listed by this group of men. One specific trigger I have is that I tend to mirror anger back when someone is angry towards me. When I know that I am right about something I want to win the argument. I think this comes from growing up in a blended family myself with all boys. My stepmother would always take the side of her boys.

  10. Matt Marshall says:

    My trigger is sometimes when I have to repeat myself over and over about the same things, especially when it comes to work. Explaining the same thing over and over to a client and I get annoyed by having to explain it again. But as I write this, I wonder if that is how God feels about me. I.e. How he has to constantly having to remind me over and over to do or not to do something.

  11. Greg Naugle says:

    Not getting enough sleep and holding onto addictive behaviors. Also choosing to engage with someone without listening to what they are really saying.

  12. jtmchef says:

    One of my main triggers is with my son who frequently disresepcts his mother and I have been told it is not my place to discipline him (Blended family dynamics)

  13. John says:

    I was going to instinctively say that my kids are the trigger. But after some reflection I really think that it is my own sinful desires and selfishness that most often leads to the impatience I have with others. Kids will be kids but this is really only the fuse to a deep internal struggle that I pray will someday be resolved through God’s grace. God help me to respond in a firm, kind and respectful way to my family as I go throughout the week. Amen.

  14. Nathaniel R Parker says:

    Being disrespected is my trigger. Either actually being disrespected or even if in my own mind I process it as being disrespected.

  15. Ben Tharaldson says:

    I would say wanting control of things would be the biggest trigger, whether that’s with my family at home or a situation elsewhere.

  16. tom says:

    what angers me is when men of God don’t stand up for God’s principles, the reason this country is in the place it is now is because of the lack of Godly leadership by men of God. i see it everyday in every walk of life but mostly in positions of leadership in schools and government.

  17. Pat R says:

    Not feeling in control of my own life triggers me, especially with work issues. And how I feel manipulated by co-workers.

  18. Doug says:

    I can be triggered when others are not responsible. This includes at work, while driving and at home.

  19. tinellisd says:

    Inability to help my people because “I said so”, avoidable inconsistency, being taken advantage of. I work in a leadership role and when the people I lead are taken advantage of by things beyond my control.

  20. Dennis says:

    What seems to most trigger my anger is my wife asking a lot of questions that I find annoying and useless.

  21. Michael says:

    My inpatients is my trigger. I need to have more patience and allow God through the Holy Spiral to help me every day

  22. Mark says:

    I get angry and disappointed with myself when I lose concentration while trying to do my Bible studies and devotions. I catch myself and then REALLY get frustrated. I have to just sit with my eyes closed and pray deeply to calm down and FOCUS!!

  23. Matthew says:

    Anger has been an expression of mine for many years-over the past 9 years however God has revealed to me what the triggers are-namely my pride or my ego has been affected. I would get so angry when as a family we arrived late to church-even though I was ready to leave. I was more concerned with the outward expression of my standing before our church family than being United as a family.

  24. Patrick says:

    As a caregiver, most of my days are filled with helping my wife. She might ask me to take her somewhere insignificant to me, but not to her. At times I feel unappreciated and taken for granted, but fail to realize that SHE is the one who can no longer drive. SHE is the one with illnesses that affect her quality of life. I need to remember that as a Believer, I should be thanking God for giving me the strength and resources to be able to care for her. I’m know blessed, but I need to show that I am.

  25. Gerald Waddle says:

    When I don’t follow along with something, don’t understand something, or can’t figure something out, this illicit frustration which quickly leads to anger.

  26. Sean Swift says:

    When I have a plan of action – a family trip, a quick to the grocery store I feel I need to be in control. When somebody interrupts the plan I get angry and will lash out at anybody who is in the way. I pray that I can interrupt this feeling of loss of control and offer it to God for him to remind me I am not in control and all will be well with his plan.

  27. Mike Hedstrom says:

    I’m sorry to bother you with this issue, but I purchased an e book this morning on wisdom and the adobe reader can’t open it because of some issue with it not being protected? How do I navigate this issue?

  28. Randy says:

    I feel triggered the most when I feel like my character is being attacked. I become angry and defensive almost immediately. I believe I’m triggered from events in my past and am actively taking steps to learn different healthier responses.

  29. Jon says:

    When I feel disrespected or when people are inconsiderate. Or when someone doesn’t keep their word. Hits a nerve and memory of being a kid and dad saying he’d play catch with me, getting excited and then him change his mind. I still love my dad very much.

  30. Todd says:

    My most common trigger is when I have a plan and something interrupts it. That then triggers a hypersensitivity to anything else which might “pile on” to my pity party. It can cause hours of tension.

  31. Mike says:

    Two primary triggers for me: if I feel like I’m being talked down to and when driving, if someone acts inconsiderate on the highway. Weaving in and out, not using signals, plugging the left lane…. I feel like I need to teach them a lesson on highway manners! So very immature. Finally when my favorite sports team loses or is losing, you better stay out of my way! Again, why should I care about a bunch of millionaires ??

    • Gerald Waddle says:

      A great example, the highway…. I’ve lost my temper so so many times with “idiots” who obviously don’t know how to drive, lol.

      • Mike Hedstrom says:

        At the end of the day I can’t justify blaming a bad driver for me running him off the road, but that’s what I feel like doing sometimes. This exercise is really going to be helpful for me in this area. I just need to let those situations go. There’s nothing that I’m going to do (or gesture) that the other person is going to receive as “constructive criticism”. It won’t be easy, but at least it will be a reminder. Thanks for your response.

  32. Tim says:

    I’ve been able to identify the most common trigger for me is when I have a picture of how things should play out and then things suddenly change. Clearly my pride is getting in the way.

  33. Rob Lafond says:

    My biggest trigger currently is when i see my kids disrespecting me or more importantly their mother. Phones open at the dinner table or in church. calling her by her 1st name in a sarcastic manner, etc.
    There are also times where/when I feel like my wife talks down to me (somewhat like she does to our kids at times)

  34. Daniel says:

    When my plates really full and I become stressed or when a situation isn’t working the way I want it think it should.

  35. Chris says:

    I think we all have a lot of triggers. For me it’s understanding those triggers & determine if healing is needed or crucifixion. If I’m hurt I need healing, if my pride has been arises then I need to crucify it, this helps me from allowing my anger to control my responses. I’m not great at doing it but I’m better than I used to be.

  36. Jack says:

    The unexpected, especially if I think I am being taken unfair advantage of or I am being personally challenged.

  37. Marks says:

    My trigger is my unhappiness with myself. Not good enough, repeating the same sins, not leaning into God when I need him the most.

  38. Tim says:

    Becoming overwhelmed often triggers my anger. Also feeling slighted by others which just proves my lack of humility.

  39. Bob says:

    The most frequent trigger for me is real or imagined time pressure/deadlines and then circumstances not coming together to make it possible to meet those real or imagined schedules. This requires a continual focus on the truth of God’s Word that He is in complete control of my life and all things that are happening are a result of His active or permissive will for me to make me into the image of His Son. Again, easy to say but very, very difficult to practice in real life.

  40. Donald Jim Brown says:

    My first thought on anger triggers would be stubborn family members, morons in traffic and politics. I’m getting better though 🙏

  41. Paul says:

    When I feel disrespected. A good example might be when my kids don’t respond to a question I ask them and then I repeat it more formally like that is supposed to encourage them to answer me lol. I have to realize that it’s more productive to first get their attention and then ask them a question.

    Another one might be when a person at work gives me a task that I feel is below me. I have to learn to check my ego and realize that lots of work needs to get done and I am there to work and glorify God and having an ego does neither.

  42. Michael says:

    Stress: I work from home, and when my kids are home they are loud and interrupt me and I lose my temper and say things to them I don’t mean

  43. Nathan Smith says:

    Sometimes the simpilest things going wrong at home after a full day of work at the office.

    My girlfriend when she is trying to tell me something important but it sounds like she is telling me what to do and talking to me like I’m 5 years old.

    Road rage – people that in my opinion do not know how to drive.

  44. Nick says:

    Like so many other men, my trigger is the constant criticisms and unrealistic standards my father subjects me to.

  45. Dennis says:

    Triggers: I have many. I try to use my cognitive behavioral thinking skills and/or my deep breathing techniques to overcome

  46. Steve says:

    Disrespect, pride, unmet expectations (which are often unrealistic) and a desire to control things/people triggers my anger. I want to be heard, important and impactful, sometimes with the wrong intentions.

  47. James Gould says:

    Almost 100 % of the time, my trigger is something I can’t control. When I don’t have control, the foul words begin to fly ( yes, the sign that I’m getting angry / Day 1 ) And not spending enough time trying fix the issue permanently

  48. Jeremy White says:

    My triggers can be when I have not spent focused time with the Lord. When I haven’t been active as I need a healthy outlet like working out. When I feel disrespected and inadequate. When I’m hangry! When I am stressed the kids or at work. I guess I have a lot of triggers and when they all come together or at least some of them, I don’t create the best environment in my home.

  49. Chris says:

    I think if I break it down. The root of my trigger is when I perceive that someone is doing something unloving or disrespectful to me. Which would mean that they don’t approve of or like me. Or they believe that I am less than. Getting others approval is an idol to me so when the opposite happens that’s my trigger. Thanks

  50. Eddie Ackerman says:

    actual or perceived disrespect, intentional or not, and the words or actions that display them to me (mostly from my kids).

  51. Trent C Rakes says:

    When life, the people in it, and any little happenstance does not fit my “wants and needs”. I am inherently selfish and it makes me so angry that I get angry about not getting what I want.

  52. Dennis James says:

    What frequently most triggers my anger? Driving in traffic, getting cut off. Also at times, when my wife questions me or gives advice, I feel like she is telling me what to do. I need more work in these areas.

  53. Daniel says:

    As petty as this sounds, currently it is my dogs having “accidents” in the new house. No fence in the yard yet, so they spend more time inside since my wife and I both work.

  54. Mark says:

    Several things I’m keenly aware of. First – being tired, like most of us, tired to me breeds all sorts of negative thoughts and energy. By far though, my biggest trigger is disrespect. Question my ability, question my job performance or simply disrespect who I am as a person. I have to become better at managing my response to things over which I have no control.

  55. Corey says:

    When I don’t have the time to do what I need to do and while doing it things go wrong and the amount of time it takes drastically increases.

  56. Michael says:

    My wife always doubting my abilities no matter how many times I have shown what I am capable of. Also when I show what I am capable of, only the negative gets pointed out.

    • Nate Howell says:

      A bruised ego and perceived or intentional disrespect seem to be my biggest triggers. Pride is a weakness of mine and the enemy knows this and works me over pretty hard

  57. Jim King says:

    Negative reinforcement from my wife she quickly points out the things I do wrong and not as often as quickly points out the things I do right remember to be slow to anger.

    • Steve L says:

      Jim, I think a lot of guys feel this way, however, when I deeply examined myself, I find that I don’t always praise the things my wife does as it’s become “expected”….but I do criticize her for things she does wrong. When I realized this, I started thanking and commenting on the things that she does (that I took for granted), she eventually started doing the same thing.

  58. Steve says:

    My biggest triggers are my frustrations with my wife, and traffic; and mostly with myself for constantly feeling I’m in a bad rut and can’t ever seem to get out.

  59. RANDY says:

    In a big nut shell…The state of our World, America, Government and our Leaders! My wife always being at odds with me on almost every decision that is made in and around the house. After reading some of the other post’s, I see that many of us have the same Triggers. I try to always take a step back and tell myself “Greater is he that is in me than he who is in the world”. That works most of the time:)

  60. Duane Mack says:

    Some of my triggers are frustration when a relative betrays me and acts like it is my fault. They never admit that they are wrong or apologize for their behavior. Another trigger is feeling out of control of a situation that I feel should have been resolved.

  61. Cory B says:

    When I get called out on my stuff or when I feel micromanaged. Especially by the people closest to me.

  62. Kevin Allex says:

    People that are careless, rude, and inconsiderate drivers, and people that don’t pull their weight at work. Both of these can set me off in an instant.

  63. Tony Collette says:

    I seem to share the same issues as many other men. Being tired. Push back from children. Disrespect. I think that triple cocktail is the most potent.

    • R Scott says:

      Being interrupted while working from home for seemingly trivial things. A lack of respect or acknowledgment of my efforts at home or work.

  64. David L. Trima says:

    Although I’m better now than in my younger days ( It seems that wick takes longer to hit the dynamite). I do however need to let God choose the path of how to handle things when they don’t “my” way

  65. Art Landerman says:

    being ignored triggers my anger. i see it as disrespect that i somehow deserve more respect than i ever get, especially from my wife. i act like a clown and get angry when people laugh at me.

  66. W. James Anderson says:

    When people take their understanding of me and hold me to that rather than taking the time to understand a little more. Also… when I do the same to them in basing to much on my own understanding…. boy, watch out. They’ll have something to say. Grrr.

  67. Collin Boggs says:

    Rudeness, disrespect, and apathy towards others. All just different flavors of the same sundae; people putting their agendas above others’ needs.

  68. Ken says:

    My trigger is tiredness, and when overwhelmed with tasks and they are not going according to “my plan”.

    • Jeff says:

      Generally, my anger is the result of something to do with employees. Respect is as extinct as dinosaurs! No one respects authority but even worse, they don’t respect themselves. I get irritated “babysitting ” people .

      • jnb says:

        Agreed, man… my trigger is when I perceive apathy in employees, that i internalize as disrespect. Sometimes correctly, many times incorrectly.

  69. Dennis James says:

    What triggers my anger? When my wife tells me to do something and I do not take time to process what she is actually asking or saying, I react with a short response or display my anger through conversation. Also, driving LOL. But , since I have been seeking God more, applying the techniques of listening and processing just what is being said I am making progress. Also when I start to feel angry, I implement breathing techniques and cognitive behavioral thinking and recall a scripture or quietly ask God to calm my spirit. These techniques are helping me be slow to anger. Praise God.

  70. Christopher R. Wigginto says:

    The most frequent would probably be when things don’t go my way or the way I expected—work, traffic, etc.

    Sometimes little frustrations can try to grow into bigger issues inside my mind/heart.

    The biggest, worst times of anger are when my wife and I argue. I can start to feel accused and then I get defensive and it just starts to build until I blow up either with words, hitting myself or some inanimate object like a table.

    I am working on noticing when this is happening and stopping and praying about it.

  71. Vince Miller says:

    One thing?
    1) When things don’t go the way I expect.
    2) When I am caught off guard by small irritating issues.
    I have worked on being more patient over the years and not letting my anxiety get the best of me. But it still happens from time to time.

    • Ken says:

      Amen Bro. Also when I don’t feel respected by my wife. Vince is that respect earned or according to Ephesians 5:33?

      • Vince Miller says:

        I think that “respect” here is commanded here for wives. Just like husbands are commanded to “love” in the previous verses. The problem is husbands are not taught how to “love” just like wives are not taught how to “respect.” Sadly this is very missing teaching in churches and marriages today.

        I think if we taught this more divorce might go down and reconciliation might go up. But both parities must do their work and live all in for Him.

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