Have you ever….
- Gone to a grocery store and everyone seems to just leave their cart in the middle of an aisle?
- Experienced a driver on the road that doesn’t think the rules of driving apply to them?
- Interacted with someone that always interrupts you when you are talking?
- Interacted with an employee who was not accountable for their own behavior?
- Had to manage an employee who felt entitled?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you know what it feels like to have your buttons pushed. There will always be people who just get under your skin and seem to deliberately irritate you. Believe it or not, often times the actions of others are not centralized around you! There are people that go through life absolutely oblivious as to how their behavior and actions impact those around them. You can’t control how they show up (although you may want to). But, you can certainly control how you choose to respond and ultimately influence the situation (Influence Model).
No one can push your buttons if you don’t have buttons to be pushed! Your choices of how to handle “button pushers” is up to you. You can continue to allow others influence your life or you can begin to take a different perspective and look inwards.
Below are a few considerations to make to change your mindset.
Identify Your Buttons
Dig deep and explore why certain behaviors or actions of others irritate you. This will help you get to the root cause and further identify your button(s). The better you know yourself, the greater opportunity you have to self-manage your response. Often, specific triggers are tied with our past or milestone events in our lives. Just because this specific incident ruffles your feathers, it may not irritate someone else in the same way.
Even though the behaviors and actions of others often undermine a core value or belief of yours, it doesn’t mean it’s the other person’s fault for irritating you. Your buttons are your triggers. It is your responsibility to take ownership of how you choose to respond, despite the rudeness or insult you may feel. It is also important to share your thoughts and feeling with those you trust. By being accountable to a friend, mentor, significant other, or family member you can confide in, it makes dealing with annoyances much easier.
Consider the source and your relationship with the other person. More often than not, you want to believe the best in people or that they are capable of making different choices. The reality of the situation may be that they are not able nor equipped to do so. Not everyone is in the same place to properly handle their issue. A little grace goes a long way in forgiving someone of their wrongdoings.
When others do or say things that get on your nerves, you may respond instantly without being fully conscious of it. The imprinted experience and response is stored in the brain. The only way you can reprogram a portion of this response is through self-talk (How and Why to Stay Positive,TalentSmart). Self-talk is your inside voice talking you down. So, when a button gets pushed that has been pushed many times, your brain instantly recalls how you handled it before. To override a negative response, your self-talk may be “let it go, think big picture.” Using self-talk interrupts the patterned response from the past and helps you positively redirect your thoughts and behaviors.
There are some people who purposefully engage with you by pushing your buttons. If you have someone in your world that fits this description, setting boundaries of what you will accept and won’t acceptare vital to maintaining a healthy relationship.
There will always be a button pusher present in your life. Through exercising self-awareness and self-management have the ability to positively shift your mindset and perspective. This leads to fuller enjoyment of life, and less time wasted being frustrated at things that don’t matter down the road.
No one can push your buttons if you don’t have buttons to be pushed! Robin Bush