October 10, 2023

Remove Trigger People


My depression impacted my motivation and ability to write, and it can do the same for you, especially if your depression is trigged by the people in your life.

A big factor in my depression (that started late 2016) was people in my life who brought me down. On purpose. Following family drama, which was the first rung down into the pits of depression for me, I blocked specific people from sending me Facebook messages since this was the popular mode of conversation, especially when someone wanted to start a fight or cause drama. I kept the blocks on for about six months.

I strongly suggest you do the same when you go through a tough time that involves others. Seek space from them.

In this day and age, that can be tough with social media, but it can be done. I don’t recommend unfriending them and blocking them from your social media accounts, though, as that is a bit extreme. Besides, after some time passes and things get patched up, you’d have to send that person another friend request or accept the one he/she sends you. Instead, must/unfollow that person's posts so you won’t see their updates in your feed and block them in your Facebook messenger. You can also stop them from seeing any of your future posts. However, if you want to cut all ties, unfriending is necessary when all of the above doesn’t help you to move on. I’ve had to do this.

Now, if this person is harassing you, commenting on your posts or posting nasty things on your wall, then yes, blocking is your answer. No one has the right to bully you, not even on social media, and you don’t have to stand there (or sit there) and take it. Block, block, block with no regret. You’ll feel freer and lighter and, ultimately, safer with that person blocked.

If the toxic person is at work, talk to human resources and/or your boss about the issue. Don’t allow anyone at your job tell you to let it go or keep it quiet or ignore it. No one should have to let go, keep quiet about, or ignore harassment, bullying, rudeness, aggression, racism, sexism, and anything else dehumanizing.

If your boss or fellow employees stick up for the other person, saying things like “that’s how he/she is,” “that’s how he/she communicates,” and basically telling you to get over it or get used to it, I think it’s time (for your health and sanity) to start looking (on the down low) for another job. This is exactly what I had to do.

Toxic people come in all shapes and sizes and all areas of life. This could be a parent who has never shown you support. Whenever your father or mother says something to make you doubt your talent or dream, it causes damage.

Loved ones (a grandparent, cousin, brother, or sister) can make jabs at you, too, disguising it as humor. But, as we all know, there is nothing funny about hurting someone’s feelings with thinly veiled jokes and harmful sarcasm. It may be painful to do it, but sometimes the best thing can be to distance ourselves from those loved ones to save ourselves from even more hurt.

Telling your loved ones the things they say bother you is also important. Maybe they don’t intend to hurt you, but how will they know their words hurt you if you don’t tell them? Other times, they could do it because they are insecure about their own life/talent and you standing up for yourself and voicing that you don’t appreciate how they treat you may get them to stop. Once and for all. Or not, in which case distance and unfriends, even blocking in extreme situations that I know all too well, may be called for.

A trigger person can also be a long-time friend, even a best friend. This friend could go on and on about their amazing life, making your life feel inadequate. When this happened to me, depressive thoughts came to the fore. In my experience, someone who brags about their life to you on the phone or on social media for everyone to see, and does care about your life, is overcompensating because there’s something in their life that isn’t going so well.

Unfollowing social media feeds can bring relief. Cutting off bragging rants on the phone to share your good news may help your friend to realize how they are dominating the conversation. If that doesn’t work, try a little distance. Space is usually the remedy when you’re dealing with toxic people or those who trigger negative reactions in you.

Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not tear you down. Who support you, not bully you. Who make you happy, not cause drama.


  1. Just because they're family doesn't mean you have to keep them in your life. Build the family you want via friends and such.

  2. Good wisdom here! BTW, I've thought about you the last couple of weeks. I have had some serious back issues and I remember you battles. Such pain can also be depressing. Thankfully, I am getting better, but I still have a ways to go to where I was just two months ago. Take care, Jeff https://fromarockyhillside.com