Your handwriting has a characteristic look and feel. It may be small and constricted, big and bold, or somewhere in between. Similarly, most of your trigger reactions will look somewhat similar to one another and will arise from the same core fear (like fear of rejection, abandonment, not being good enough, not being heard, and so on).

Our trigger signature is an expression of our attachment style. If we have a preoccupied/anxious attachment style, we are more likely to pursue, prod, question, argue, challenge, or attack when we get triggered. If we have a more avoidant attachment style, we tend to shut down, withdraw, defend, explain, judge silently, or try to fix things when we are triggered. Knowing your unique trigger signature helps you quickly recognize the fact that you are getting triggered. This is a big step toward trigger mastery.

By the time you begin to recognize what your trigger reactions look like and feel like, you already have some ability to notice and take ownership of the fact that you sometimes get triggered. That’s part of the admitting and accepting step. But noticing a trigger reaction while in the midst of being reactive is not easy! When you are triggered, your ability to notice tends to go offline. That’s why you need to practice pausing. This is the next step.