Social Triggers

SO-cial Triggers


The SO in beSOchemps makes us aware that there are familiar SO-cial situations that can make us think about using. Notice that again, the face and the place only have the power to make us THINK about using. They can’t “make” us do it.


In classes and phone coaching with smokers, I often employ the example like this:

“Every Wednesday night, Bob and I shoot three racks of pool at the Polish-American Club. Most Wednesdays he beats me (I think he cheats) but as long as he’s winning, I can bum several Newports off of him and he never gripes. But the weirdest thing happened last Sunday when I ran into Bob at the grocery store – right there in the middle of the produce aisle, I start reaching for my pack and lighter. IN THE GROCERY STORE?!” And I ask the class or my Quit Buddy what happened, and they completely get it. Just like the coffee cup became a behavioral trigger through repetition and association, certain people and places can become social triggers.


I don’t necessarily think you always have to terminate relationships in order to quit (but we sometimes do.) I suggest that if its a Wednesday night a the club kinda thing, you MIGHT be OK if you ask your buddy if – for a few months at least – you could do something else on your Wednesday nights out. Maybe hit the mall, catch a movie, grab dinner somewhere, or play cards. Friends who are worth keeping will be willing to make some temporary changes in order to maintain a relationship with you and be supportive of you quitting.


One last thought about social triggers – especially for my Quit Buddies who say “none of my friends smoke anymore, I don’t have any social triggers.” If you always smoke alone, and especially if you’re embarrassed to be seen smoking, your smoking probably still has a social context. For you, smoking requires solitude.

Anyway, comment below. I would love your feedback or questions!



See Also:

BEhavioral Triggers

SOcial Triggers

CHemical Cravings

EMotional Urges

PSychological Compulsions

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