If you’ve ever found yourself getting triggered by someone repeatedly and it ends up in the same fight that never gets resolved…
Or maybe you’re the one triggering your partner and you don’t know how to stop…
It might be called pushing each other’s buttons–and we’ve all experienced it.
When this pattern rears its ugly head, you can’t communicate and it can all feel pretty hopeless.
Here’s the thing about buttons that get triggered…
We all make up these buttons and what triggers us and it’s always around a “should” or a “shouldn’t, as well as the story we make up around it.
And what triggers you, may not trigger someone else–or it might not trigger you when you’re in a good mood.
The truth is that we’re always just trying to get our needs met (usually unconsciously) in whatever way that occurs to us in the moment.
And when our needs and differences clash with someone else’s, especially those closest to us…
We trigger each other and push buttons whether it’s done consciously or unconsciously out of habit.
- It might be something seemingly small like a particular tone of voice that you or your partner uses that is interpreted in a negative way that reminds you of someone else…
- It might be when he or she interrupts you when you talk and a story is made up about what that means…
- It might be when the two of you are out and your partner is a little too friendly with others…
- It might be something as ordinary as you wanting to go out and your partner wanting to stay home.
These “buttons” may be just over one or a couple of situations that you don’t agree on or it could be just about everything, including finances, sex, kids, parents, in-laws, or looking at other women/men.
In other words, you want your partner (or someone else) to act a certain way or you aren’t conforming to what someone else whats.
One thing’s for sure–when the two of you repeatedly push each other’s buttons with no resolution, it erodes the relationship.
Pushing buttons will never get us what we want so why do we do it?
Here are some reasons…
*We’re angry and want to get back at our partner
*We press buttons out of habit from early patterns
*We have unreal expectations
*We want our partner to be different and someone other than who he/she wants to be
*We want to get our partner’s attention
*We just want to get our way, thinking it will make us happy if we do
The reality is that pushing buttons is a choice. You can escalate it or experience uncomfortable energy without struggle.
Here are 3 ways you can stop pushing buttons and actually get closer to each other…
1. Recognize when you’re triggered
Get to know yourself and what happens when that rush of indignation, anger or fear comes up inside you. When you feel that, give yourself some space to not react in the old way by recognizing that this feeling and these thoughts will pass–and you don’t have to believe them.
2. Recognize what you do to push back
It could be that you shut down, become sarcastic, or try to argue your point of view. Whatever it is, remind yourself that this hasn’t worked in the past. Make another choice.
3. Recognize that the two of you are just trying to get your needs met
When you both have calmed down, listen to each other and be open to finding some common ground. If there doesn’t seem to be any, know that when your thinking is not clouded with the “shoulds” and the stories around it, your inner wisdom will lead you to what’s next.
Being triggered is a doorway for you to make a choice of allowing more love in your life instead of pain.
If you nurture relationship, it grows; if you neglect it or do consistent damage, it dies.
Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision.