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The very first step is already the awareness that you do so, which sounds simple, but it is already the opportunity to start changing it, since it is usually a role we took on. It was probably very familiar in the way you grew up that someone made you believe you were in any shape or form responsible of how someone was feeling. Bare in mind, we never have control of the feelings from somebody else, this is an internal process.
It is very clear, that we do not intend to mess them up, and it is good to be kind, but we have to be aware that everybody is carrying their own story and this means dependend on their upbringing even the simplest thing could be a trigger for them, for example even the clothes we are wearing, maybe simply a red sweater could make them feel uncomfortable, because they might connect it to an unpleasant experience.
So we never really know what is going on within someone else, and we can only guess through what kind of coloured googles they see the world, which makes it an endless challenge to try to avoid anyone being triggered. So the next step is to distance yourself, by putting their stories into perspective compared to yours. Not comparing in a judgemental way, but in a way, that you acknowledge your own story, knowing that you are taking responsibility for it and do not push it onto others and seeing the other person as equal, you value them, by trusting that this is their bundle and their journey and their responsibility to carry. It does need this shift of perspective, in order to realize that we are otherwise taking away from them and treating them as less mature.
Knowing that, gives you already the chance to position yourself in a balanced way, which means focussing on your own boundaries and separating clearly between what belongs to you and what does not. You can simply do so by evaluating your intention and the reaction you received or perceived.
Often in very un-reflected families, we learn the role of the peacemaker by softening conflicts, trying to harmonize, or avoid or keep quiet, sometimes by pleasing people or fawning. So we are a very powerful part of society to calm conflicts down, but this often leaves us in positions that are like the gaps in between, our energy gets used by others, which is fine, if we are willing to do so. But the real strength in us is to clearly stand upright and let others know „I do respect your reaction, but this reaction has nothing to do with me, I know clearly my intention was good“... only by that will others be able to also own their triggers and grow.
Remind yourself the next time you tend to fall back into the same habit, that when you take on the responsibility of their triggers, this reduces their chance to own their triggers themselves and learn and grow from them.
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