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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When Your Buttons Get Pushed, How Well Do You Manage?

When you have an automatic, negative response to something, this often indicates a hypersensitivity that's referred to as "getting your buttons pushed." Usually these sensitivities have developed due to hurtful childhood experiences, such as repeatedly being criticized, rejected or controlled. For example, if your parents were very controlling, when someone tells you to do something, you may resist--often subconsciously. Answer the following two sets of questions to discover how well you manage your buttons being pushed.
Set 1

True False

1. When my buttons get pushed, I tend to shut down and withdraw.

2. When someone hurts me--even when I know it was unintentional--I lash out at them or blame myself.

3. I hate it when someone tells me I'm "too sensitive."

4. When someone says or does something that triggers the feelings connected to an old emotional pain, it takes me a long time to let go of it and feel centered again. I often carry a resentment.

5. Sometimes I have no idea why I do what I do--I just can't control myself.

6. Once someone pushes my buttons, that's it--my wall goes up and stays up. I feel like a powerless little kid.

Set 2
True False

7. When old feelings are triggered by something in the present, I take a deep breath, acknowledge that old feelings have been activated, get myself to a safe and comfortable environment and seek the support I need.

8. Rather than feeling victimized and blaming someone for pushing my buttons, I, again, take a deep breath, and then take an honest look at myself to see what I can learn from the situation.

9. I've worked to uncover old, painful issues so that I can release what was triggered and not feel at the mercy of my emotional response.

10. When I feel triggered, it often has nothing to do with the person who pushed my buttons.

11. I'm familiar with my most common "buttons"; I recognize them more quickly now and am less reactive.

12. When my buttons do get pushed now, I am able to see the unresolved issues needing my attention.

13. I feel like an empowered adult when I can courageously look at my emotional triggers and work through them.

If you answered true more often in Set 1 and false more often in Set 2, you may wish to learn how to deal more effectively when your buttons get pushed and how to release their charge. Please don't hesitate to call if you'd like to explore this issue further.