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Hot Wired or Triggered Reactions

There are a number of different reasons why a person can suddenly find themselves in a much more highly energised state.

The most obvious sign that the person is operating in a state of  high energy is often described as being like someone " over revving their engine"

An individual can remain in this state for hours, days or even weeks before coming out of it

The hot wired reaction starts with some kind of triggering event. Somebody else says a word someone else does something. Or just as often the trigger is when somebody else doesn't say or doesn’t do something when they were expected to.

Identifying a triggering event  is a very important step and marks the beginning of making significant changes and a reduction in the future of over energised reactions.


Four Signs of a Hot Wired  or triggered reaction


1. Amplification.

Whatever the triggered reaction is it will involve far more energy or operate at a much higher level than normal for that individual, and often for a longer period as well. Typically the reaction would be 5 to 10 times greater than what might have been expected in response to the particular trigger event. Examples: panic attacks; extreme fear; rage attacks; shame attacks; total freezing are all amplified reactions.

This kind of reaction is often described as ‘over revving your motor’


2. Reality issues and Self Induced Trances

While they remain in the highly energised state that person has real difficulty to see clearly what they're actually doing. Even if the outcome is very  likely to be self-defeating they still won't notice this and will continue to stay stuck in the high energy state. I afterwards they may ask themselves "Why did I do that?"; "Why did I say that?"


One of the best way is to begin to understand this repetitive pattern to recognise that the person has actually gone into a kind of self induced trance. The source of this repetitive trance state usually can be traced back to something very difficult that they couldn't deal with but which happened regularly in the person's childhood.


3. A  feeling that I am being ‘disempowered’ , lowered self esteem, not good enough. A feeling of being blocked, trapped or sometimes frozen

While this may appear to be the opposite of the first sign it is actually a kind of confirmation. Many  hot wired reactions involve flipping between two very opposite energy states such as over revving the engine or amplification one minute and feeling disempowered the next.


4. The same reaction pattern is often repeated in different situations or with different people.

But whatever your reaction pattern it results in loss, pain, grief, shame, guilt, extreme fear, sadness or a sense that you are defeating yourself or all of the above.

See also “F” Reaction patterns


There are several very different causes that can
trigger intense or hot-wired reactions

There are a number of different ways inner selves react to trigger events and a number of different kinds of inner selves who get involved in trying to deal with the triggered situation. It may require some professional guidance using self-awareness processes  like voice dialogue to discover which one is the most likely cause in each case. You won’t get it by trying to think it through logically or analytically because neither the cause nor the reaction is logical. If it was you would not be reading this page anyway.

If you feel that I can help identify the cause you can talk to me on the phone and I will try to help.


A. Being hot wired to a negative core belief.

This is such a common source of triggered reactions that I have a separate website just to deal with this source alone. See www.core-beliefs-balance.com

Most of the typical highly energised reactions are described as "F" reactions including fight and flight, but also many others particularly fold and freeze. See  “F” Reaction patterns


B. Being hot wired to trauma related past events.

Post-traumatic stress induced reactions are often referred to as "flashbacks" In many cases reactions include one or more of the "F" group. These reactions are typically very high energy. A psychotherapy process called EMDR is particularly effective in reducing the intensity of this kind of reaction. (Suggestion Google EMDR)


C. Recognition of a "disowned" inner self  in another person.

Whatever we have disowned from our own personality we will find ourselves either strongly attracted or more often strongly repelled by that same characteristic in someone else. Often the first sign is a heightened energy level. See the following pages. Disowning Explained and Primary and Disowned Selves and the Law of Energetic Balance


D. A negative bonding pattern.

These patterns are so powerful and so complex (and so destructive) that I have devoted several pages to them on a number of my websites. But one of the reasons that  two people get stuck over and over again in the same negative bonding patterns, and appear be unable to get out of them is that both people are bogged down in self induced trance states. Unfortunately, what they're each doing in their own self induced trance state is highly destructive to the relationship. For more information go to Negative bonding patterns or see www.healing-relationships.growingaware.com


E. An Inner Child is terrified or is feeling awful pain

Some inner children scare more easily than others but all inner children can be traumatised by fear or extreme emotional pain whether this is connected to current events or past memories. The reaction will be highly energised in every case but may vary from very violent to frozen. A frozen reaction is still highly energised in fact it may use more energy than a obvious reaction. See Cannons Crucifixes and Concrete page


F. Two strongly polarised (opposite view) inner selves fighting or flipping over the “best” way to deal with underlying vulnerability.

Normally conflict between polarised or opposing inner selves will cause feelings of confusion as each self tries to gain the upper hand. But the greater the polarity the more energy that each inner self will put into trying to take charge.  The most extreme case is where one self that is normally the weaker one will suddenly seize control from the previously stronger one. The woman who has allowed herself to be treated like a doormat  for years will suddenly become a rebel. The movie “Shirley Valentine” is the archetypical example of this, a process referred to as a ‘flip”.

 Flipping is almost always accompanied by a great deal of emotional energy. Often the flip is only temporary and when the original inner self regains control by a reverse flip there is another high energy release. At that point the inner critic will inevitably get in on the act.  See separate pages on  polarised selves and polarised thinking   and flipping


G. The presence of an inner self who actually belongs to someone else,

This self can be extremely powerful and play a major role within the “host” individual. Typically these selves and their toxic characteristics are passed down from from parent to child or grandparent to grandchild. I refer to these selves as “carried” a term developed by Pia Melody to describe what she identifies as “carried feelings”. These feelings are the key characteristics  of the selves who carry them.

One obvious sign of a carried self when being dialogued is their different energy and attitude  They talk in a different way about the person and their inner child. Their body language is different. In particular they hold almost the opposite view to the usual protector selves about the inner child and un-parented vulnerability.  

Amplified feelings and Hidden feelings

If your feelings involve an unusually strong reaction to situations where you would ordinarily expect to experience a milder sense of anger, pain, grief, shame, guilt, fear, loss or sadness a pattern of amplification is a strong indication that you are probably carrying that particular emotion handed down to to you from someone else, a parent, a grandparent or even further back. Often if it comes from further back you will notice that your parent or grandparent also experienced similar amplified emotions but not always. See also “F” Reaction patterns


Just as often a parent may have noticeably blocked that emotion. Carried emotions or selves are very easily picked up by you as a small child because your parent/s hid that particular feeling.

Example. Parents who carry hidden shame from a grandparent (who did something that was seen as very shameful) may in turn act as if their family has always been superior or “better than” other families. One child in that family may then grow up exhibiting shameless behavior patterns, another child superiority  patterns and a third child patterns of extreme shame. All are being controlled by the parent’s carried but hidden shame. The refugee self doing the damage in each case comes from the Grandfather and remains loyal to the Grandfather. So these carried selves are not protectors in the normal sense.


For more information see Carried selves page

Example of the difference with a refugee or carried self

Where most inner selves are concerned with protecting the vulnerability of the inner child as an essential reason for their existence, these carried selves when anyone dialogues with them show little or no concern for that person's well-being, their vulnerability or the well-being of that person's inner child. Often they express outright scorn for the inner child!

I see these selves as being like refugees, living inside someone but with a hidden loyalty to the individual or class of people they originated from. There is to be no better example than the Inner Patriarch when it is active in a woman.

A typical inner patriarch will tell her things like "It's a man's world really." or "Nobody will ever love you if fight too hard for what you want in life."  

A dialogue with the typical Inner Patriarch will reveal little or no concern at all for a her well-being as a woman or the vulnerability felt by her female inner child.

The  highly energised "F" reaction to this as projected by that woman is often coming from the inner child herself, who recognises that the inner patriarch may very well be out to do her harm. Unfortunately in most cases the woman is not aware of this and blames the nearest male for the way she is feeling.  She may also exhibit amplified fear of males in general and particularly controlling males even when this is not necessary .

Her way of blaming is usually coming from her inner matriarch, rather than from her aware grown-up side. When this happens the inner matriarch inside the male will feed on this and because she also is a refugee will take the opportunity to criticise the male within whom she (his Inner Matriarch) lives and often punish the male’s unfortunate inner child within him as well.


See Inner Patriarch  and Inner Matriarch pages for a more detailed explanation