Is Someone Pushing Your Buttons? - Amanda Maynard

It happens to all of us from time to time, some of us more often than we care to admit: Someone pushes our buttons.

Yes, some people are just jerks and love to create drama. But most people don’t intentionally push your buttons.

Your reaction to their behavior is just being a reflection of something you see in yourself.  In emotional speak, you get triggered.

You get triggered, because either the other person’s behavior touches an emotional pattern or story from your past (and you react based on your emotions from your past rather than from your current situation) or you exhibit the same type of behavior as the other person but don’t recognize it.

Self-judgement is the number one way we keep ourselves small. Click To Tweet

Knowing what causes our buttons to be pushed gives us options when we’re in danger of being triggered. We can react according to the pattern or, preferably, we can recognize the trigger for what it is.

Sometimes when I get triggered, I enter a funk for a while, even though I know all of this. Once I am ready to explore my reaction to the situation, I get out my journal or iPad and write about it.

I ask myself some questions:
  1. What aspect of this situation is really bothering me?
  2. Why is it bothering me? How is it making me feel? Why?
  3. Why is the reason it is bothering me important?
  4. In what situations do I display that same type of behavior?
  5. What am I willing to do about it?

Usually, when I explore my reaction this way, I gain emotional understanding and discover a path that I can follow to release my negative feelings.

The process goes something like this:

  1. I get irritated by a family member who isn’t listening to me or is ignoring my advice.
  2. I feel unheard and unvalued.
  3. I realize that in the situation I feel as if I’m not important (self-judgement).
  4. I look at where I may be not listening to someone and why.
  5. I recognize that my own behavior is being reflected back at me, which prompts me to be more aware of when I’m not listening to others. When I change my own behavior so that I’m no longer judging myself for it, I no longer get triggered by others who appear to not be listening to me.

Here is my challenge to you: Think about a behavior that triggers you.  Go through the questions above.
Allow yourself to recognize what is happening.  Gift yourself with kindness, self-acceptance, and permission to let go of judgement.