Chewing Gum Around Kourtney (trigger)
By ice rivers
Kourtney is an attractive, affable, engaging woman. She is well educated. She is happily married. She used her education and talent to obtain a fulfilling job as a civil engineer an occupation at which she thrives. She comes from a strong family structure and has always had solid support. She and her husband are DINKS ( double income, no kids). Their financial situation is secure. They have a dog and they own thier home. They party hearty while tailgating at football games
Kourtney is down to earth, self-effacing and good natured.
Just don't chew gum around Kourtney. Everybody in the family has learned this lesson. Nobody chews gum when Kourtney is around except for her youngest sister Erica.
Erica is a continual gum chewer. Erica and Kourtney have reached a tolerable level of mutual irritation. Thus, Erica gets a semi-pass.
When someone makes the mistake of chewing gum around Kourtney, she becomes less affable, engaging, down to earth and good natured. In Kourtney's own words...she becomes an asshole.
She and I are of the opinion that when people start acting like assholes, it is because someone else has intentionally or unintentionall pulled their asshole trigger.
Kourtney is aware that she has such a trigger and knows when she's being an asshole. She is also aware that she has several more triggers that she isn't aware of which engage her asshole switch. Thus,the switch can be randomly activated with the predictable consequence.
We came to the agreement that everybody has a few triggers both conscious and unconscious.
When those triggers are pulled, each of us often to our surprise start acting like an asshole.
Nobody likes to be an asshole so when we become aware of a trigger, we warn ourselves and others about it which lessons the likelihood of "acting like an asshole" while increasing the possibilty of mutual, acceptable toleration.
This realization also helps to tamper our reaction when we run into somebody who is acting like an asshole. We come to believe that we have stumbled upon a hidden trigger. We might raise an eyebrow to others in the vicinity who have witnessed the asshole behavior as a signal to be careful but in general we do what we can to de-escalate the explosion.
We understand that all of us are capable of "acting like an asshole" especially when someone else is acting like an asshole and we have forgotten the triggering mechanism.
This is all well and good and helps us to remain "smoove".
There is a limit, however, to trigger toleration. After awhile, we realize that a person has so many triggers that they aren't acting like an asshole....they are actual, irritating, judgemental, pompous assholes.
We tend to avoid such people. They are unaware of the multitude of triggers they possess so being an asshole comes easily to them. They love it....it is their passion.
Many of these people enter into management and become our bosses.
When we have an asshole for a boss, we have a shitty job. Everbody is walking around with perpetually raised eyebrows, pursed lips, tilted heads and whispering beneath breath.
Perhaps this is why everybody changes jobs so frequently these days.
Or why Donald Trump is our president.