Triggers or Cues?

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I've been watching Dexter a lot lately, and there are scenes in there which occasionally show nudity or compromising situations.

This is a good opportunity for me to exercise control, and look away, or go do something else while that scene plays out.

This is my approach, to take a cue- not on purpose, but as happens in our daily life, and use it to control..., or better, to not respond to it. That's when real habit change occurs.

This is our power. How we react to cues:

?Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.?

? Viktor E. Frankl

This is the difference between 'triggers' and 'cues'. The concept of triggers is that it takes away your power, and sets off a series of events that end up with using or performing whatever addictive substance or behavior. Cues are different, because they acknowledge that, 'Yes' things cause a reaction in us, stimulate us to use or behave according to our addiction. But the difference is that we still have control, we always have control over whatever our cues are.

I challenge any here to think about their stimuli differently, that 'No'- you're not triggered that you must now use. Rather, you were 'cued' by something, but you always have the power to say, 'No', and act differently than you did before.
 

Fappy

Respected Member
Yeah thats a good idea.
Recognise what you are seeing for the illusion it is. Dont let what you perceive with your senses (in this case the eyes) influence what goes on in your head. The two must be kept seperate. They are pixels on a screen which have been decoded by your faculty of sight - thats where it ends. Theere is nothing inherently sexy or arousing about that at all.
 

doneatlast

Well-Known Member
I like this.

It always sounds stupid when I say it, but it is true so I keep saying it: there is tremendous power in recognizing a trigger and calling it out to yourself.  We can avoid triggers, but sometimes they're just inevitable.  For some of us we can have rather G-rated triggers at the grocery store.  If we try to ignore it, it has a way of staying on our backs, and if we call it out, it gives up and walks away.  Just taking a deep breath and saying "that was a beautiful woman" or something similar can be so liberating.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Fappy said:
Yeah thats a good idea.
Recognise what you are seeing for the illusion it is. Dont let what you perceive with your senses (in this case the eyes) influence what goes on in your head. The two must be kept seperate. They are pixels on a screen which have been decoded by your faculty of sight - thats where it ends. Theere is nothing inherently sexy or arousing about that at all.

I think you uncovered a very important point, Fappy. Seeing visual stimuli on T.V., video, etc, are interpreted by the brain a certain way as you said- "...that's where it ends." It's not like a real woman walked through the screen, as much as we perhaps might like, and interacted with us, emotionally and/or sexually.

In other words, pixelated women are not real. They may naturally illicit a reaction, an urge from us (especially if it's part of a habituated pattern of behavior), but as that subsides, it was never really real.

What's real is our control, our power taken back, and our new found ability to thus be real, to be more intimate, in our actual relationships.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
DoneAtLast said:
I like this.

It always sounds stupid when I say it, but it is true so I keep saying it: there is tremendous power in recognizing a trigger and calling it out to yourself.  We can avoid triggers, but sometimes they're just inevitable.  For some of us we can have rather G-rated triggers at the grocery store.  If we try to ignore it, it has a way of staying on our backs, and if we call it out, it gives up and walks away.  Just taking a deep breath and saying "that was a beautiful woman" or something similar can be so liberating.

Thank you, DoneAtLast.

It is important to recognize what illicits or sparks an urge, or a series of urges from us toward old and unwanted patterns of behavior.

However this post seeks to draw a comparison between the concept of 'triggers' and 'cues'.

The idea of triggers to me is that we lose control. The magazine on the rack at the grocery store all of a sudden has power over us, and now we're caught in a cycle of behaviors over which we seem powerless. How many times have we heard, "Man! The billboards in this city always get me!"

What if, on the other hand, what we're experiencing are cues (I'm thinking of Pavlov's dog)? This means that, yes, a cue (the magazine at the grocery store) may remind us of our habit or addiction, and may illicit a certain level of urges, but we're still in control and don't have to act on them.

To act on our urges strengthens our bad habits, and to not act on them, changes our habits. Do you see this difference?
 
Interesting. I wonder if anyone has tried any kind of behavioral modification therapy or something similar (involving a therapist) which tries to recondition how the person feels toward artificial women.

As far as I'm aware, our primitive brain doesn't know the difference (between real women and women on a screen); it sees sexual cues and believes that there may be an opportunity to mate. I wonder if there is a way to weaken this response to artificial stimuli without affecting natural stimuli, other than the kind of stuff you're suggesting here (which sounds essentially like exposure response prevention therapy).

I think we've discussed this in my thread as well (or maybe it was someone else, I can't remember), but I wonder if not looking away and attempting to keep your thoughts and feelings in check would be better than looking away or "escaping" from it. I really have no idea, just postulating here.
 
Top