Have you noticed how some people are really good in getting you upset? Some are especially good in driving you crazy. They can bring you anger and sometimes even rage. They can get you frustrated or depressed. Some people are really the best (or the worst) in pushing our so-called “red buttons.” Their words or actions just drive you crazy.
Most of the time, it is one of our immediate colleagues. Or it is our boss. Or it is a special friend. Sometimes it is our partner (or more likely our ex-partner). It can even be our teenage kid.
In this post, we deal with these potential people who push your red buttons. These are in fact the people who make you better, stronger and help you refine your personality. Consider this: they are your personal Gurus!
How? See below and look deeply into your own red buttons!
- Acknowledge your red button
Whenever you recognize a negative feeling and you are stirred up: observe yourself, “Yes I am stirred up right now.” “I am tense right now.” “I am angry right now.” The symptoms may be: you get dispersed, your breathing changes, you feel aggressive, you are overly emotional, you feel like smoking, eating or being excessive, etc. Notice that negative feeling. Most likely, you are also feeling some form of stress. See our 9 Strategies to build personal Resilience and manage Stress positively.
Stop. Do NOT react. Do NOT reply. Do NOT send that offensive email out. Do NOT make that angry phone call. Do NOT write that nasty tweet.
- Name your own feeling
Take a step back and ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” Explore your own feeling. Most importantly, put a name on it, “I am angry, upset, aggressive, agitated, disappointed, scared, frustrated, etc.” According to some research, just naming your negative feelings reduces your stress level by half. After you know your own feeling, then make the big effort to separate it (the feeling) from your Self. Do not allow that feeling to consume you. Do not be a slave of it. Instead of being passively affected by your emotion, just call it as it is: a feeling or a negative sentiment you are experiencing temporarily!
- Who’s pushing my red button?
Recognize the person or the situation pushing your red button: be alert when someone says or does something that stirs your negative feelings and emotions. Ask yourself, “What was my trigger?” Identify the situation, the words and deeds that triggered your red button.
- Be conscious of your own needs
Yet another very difficult step: Do steer away your thoughts from the person who triggers your red button. Do NOT focus on him or her. Instead, reflect and dig inside of Your Self, “What do I really need?” Dig, and continue digging even deeper, what YOU really need and want. Stay focused on Your Self!
- Choose your appropriate response
Then choose the appropriate response to the red button trigger situation. Calmly think about a constructive way, “How do I want to be treated?” “What do I need from him or her?” “How can I communicate most effectively with this person?” See our 5 styles to engage in a sustainable “We.”
- Declare your personal Guru
Recognize the person that pushes your red buttons as your personal Guru. Acknowledge that they push your limits. They push you out of your comfort zone. Do the extraordinary: appreciate your personal Guru. You can self-develop thanks to them! Every time they push your red button, you ought to feel, “Wow! Another opportunity for me to grow. Great!” Jep, this is not easy! However, this is the best and most vital way to deal with those people! You do not need to love these people, i.e. your personal Gurus. Just accept them or tolerate them to live in peace with yourself. See alternative ways to engage with people.