Button Pushing


What is “button-pushing”? - Anything that another person(s) says or does that causes you to react in a negative way or get defensive or argue back is “button pushing”. When people complain about a policy over which you have no control, criticize you or what you are doing, get loud or hostile, get defensive, won’t listen, don’t know what they are talking about, or in some manner do things that tend to put you on the defensive and upset you – these are “button pushers”.

When children call other children names; when husbands and wives resort to sarcasm or insults to protect their own feelings; when neighbors or co-workers or customers are short, abrupt or try to tell you what to do – these are “button pushers”.

Very often when you have been faced with a button pusher and you buttons have been pushed you are simply not as effective as you need to be. It undermines your confidence and causes you to get flustered. You feel stressed and your blood pressure goes up. You may say things that you wish you had not said. You are not in control.

Which would you rather have happen to you - end your day feeling relaxed and happy or end your day feeling stressed, angry, aggravated, or frustrated.

The stress and anger that comes with allowing others to push your buttons can harm your physical and emotional well-being. When the body feels threatened because of stress or anger the body releases adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream. These hormones cause heart rate and blood pressure to rise. Blood glucose (sugar) is diverted from your internal organs to your brain to increase your alertness. Most bodily functions, not vital to fleeing, such as digestion are temporarily suppressed. No wonder you get an upset stomach!

The choice is yours. Make the decision to be the person in charge of you and of how you are responding to what is happening around you

“When someone or something stresses you, if you can change it, do so.  If you cannot change it, change your response to it.” 

Pat A. Bishop, People & Solutions, Inc. Learn more