How Emotionally Intelligent People Deal with Button Pushers.

We all have those issues or people that can send us off the deep end quickly. Sometimes just the mention of the person’s name can cause hives! You try very hard to contain your emotions, but often your body language will rat you out. And even if you have been able to limit your outward emotions, the feelings will stick with you and can cause you some unproductive time and spoil your mood.

Work on finding out exactly what your buttons are and why they cause an emotional response in you. Most of the time, if we can figure out what sets us off and why it matters so much, we can find answers that help us become less sensitive in those areas. Getting to know who pushes your buttons and precisely what they are doing to cause this reaction is also a key to being able to take control and maintain your poise. When you realize that every time you are in a meeting with Charlie, you get a sense of dread, and you begin to feel your body tense pay particular attention to what Charlie is doing or saying that seems to cause you heartburn. In a private journal, jot down the conversations Charlie is involved in and watch how they evolve. For instance, anytime someone has a new idea of how we can do something better, more efficient, or even a new product that your team could launch, Charlie always says it won’t work. You don’t understand why Charlie must be so negative. Through your journal writing, you might notice that Charlie feels this obligation to say “no” initially but eventually comes around. Or it could be that Charlie is just a plain naysayer. Either way, you will be able to identify ways to deal with the situation with Charlie in the future. Just knowing Charlie’s personality and why and how he might do the things the way he does will help you to be able to better relate with Charlie in a meeting. Just that simple understanding will help you to keep your emotions in check. Knowing Charlie always says no but eventually comes around will help you to be able just to let Charlie’s comment pass without any emotion. Understanding that Charlie is always a naysayer can also help you to be able to oversee those feelings and be able to focus on everyone else in the room.

It is important to note that typically it has nothing to do with you. When someone goes around trying to get a reaction from people by pushing their buttons, you can generally bet that something is going on in their life, and they are acting out.

Other times it may not be a person at all; it may be specific comments that people make that can trigger an emotional reaction in yourself. Some trigger words/phrases could be “I can’t,” “it’s above my pay grade,” “not my job,” or “whatever.” When you can recognize the emotional reaction that occurs in you when these phrases or words are uttered, you can begin working on a response plan for future encounters. 

The big thing to remember here is that before you can make changes to your emotional responses, you must be able to identify what is causing the emotional trigger. Once you can do this, then plan for what you will do the next time this happens. Making the plan is the key! Trying to adjust your response in the heat of the situation will never work for you. You must take time apart from the situation to develop your response plan. Look over your plan every day so that it becomes ingrained into your memory. Then the next time someone tells you “not my job,” you will be able to react in a controlled non-emotional way.