Every. Single. One.
The saying "blessing in disguise" could not be truer about people who push your buttons. These people are gifts from the heavens here to help you to grow and evolve. With growth and evolution comes a happier you and greater opportunities.
Initially, people who push your buttons cause conflict. Conflict is not bad or negative. Without it, no progress would be made. We would never reach our goals and nothing new and exciting would come into our lives.
Violence, on the other hand (towards yourself or others) is destructive and the result of not knowing how to deal with conflict. The news media leads us to believe that many people in our world are violent.
However, most people are not murderers. They are people like you, trying to live their lives with minimal frustration from people who wear away at their patience and capitalize on their emotional vulnerabilities, as best they can.
The problem is not that people push your buttons, but rather that you see them as a problem. In other words, the story you tell yourself about these people and the aggravation they cause you are the problems. As long as you see them as just one more roadblock in your way, you will stay stuck in suffering.
Your beliefs have the biggest influence in shaping your life. It’s been said that a miracle is a shift in perception, which means that a miracle does not come from outside of you, but from within. You have the power to create your life experience and grow into something much greater and happier than you know yourself to be right now.
Here are 3 ways to deal with people who push all your buttons, using the power within:
1. Pray for their happiness.
This tried and true method works wonders! It neutralizes hurt and anger and gets you out of your fear-based ego and back into the oneness of which we are all a part of. The people who pain you have vulnerabilities and weaknesses just like you and are rarely evil monsters.
Your immediate reaction when someone presses your buttons is to focus on your own hurt and pain, failing to realize that the person who pushed your buttons is in pain. Self-absorption and self-pity cause tremendous depression.
By praying or wishing for the other person’s happiness, you become empowered. You are no longer the pitiful victim, but instead the powerful giver of gifts.
Also, physics shows that all minds are joined, so it literally helps the other person when you send positive thoughts their way. You may not want to help the person who has hurt you, but by helping them you help yourself.
Even if it’s someone you consider your enemy, helping others has benefits of making you happier, reducing blood pressure, and promoting positive behavior, among others.
2. Take charge of the hero in your story.
Do you realize you are the ultimate storyteller? Your life is a book and you are the author and main character. I work with a Hollywood screenplay story consultant who helps me craft the speeches I give to live audiences.
His help is invaluable because he knows that what influences an audience more than anything else is an emotionally engaging story, and he helps me structure mine to do just that. Marketers know that stories are what get customers to buy. Our emotions drive our behavior, and story sparks emotion.
You have created a story about your life and the people in it. One of the most prevalent self-defeating stories you can tell yourself is that you are a victim subject to the abuse of the button-pushing perpetrators in your life.
When you give someone all your power this way, you have decided that you are not the hero of your story. If you don’t make yourself the hero, no one else will, and there is no purpose for your story (i.e. your life).
The audience and readers of a story have compassion for someone with struggles, but not for someone who doesn't take responsibility to overcome their struggles. They want to see you tap into your power and rise to your greatness.
In your book of life, you are not only the hero but the reader, as well. There are no dress rehearsals. You are the final judge of your life.
3. Find and accept their behavior in yourself.
In psychology, the part of yourself that you repress is called your "shadow". We all have them and they are not innately bad, but we believe they are, so we don’t allow ourselves to express them.
Or, we express them but are not objective enough with ourselves to see that we are doing it. Either way, we unconsciously try to relieve ourselves of the pain our shadow causes us by finding those qualities in someone else and then berating them for it. Once you acknowledge and accept your shadow, the problem generally resolves itself.
A classic example is someone with homophobia who is either gay or has homosexual desires. Being gay is not bad, but the homophobic person believes it is, so they take their self-hatred out on openly gay people.
Another example is the person who demonizes wealthy people. They label them as selfish, materialistic, and greedy. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with being wealthy, but the person was likely taught that they were wrong to want wealth and so they feel guilty about it.
If they allow themselves to desire and have more money without guilt, they would no longer be bothered by wealthy people and would likely come to find some of them to be the most generous and loving people they know.
Here’s another example of how working with your shadow can help you grow and put an end to suffering. I once worked with a mother whose child clashed with his teacher. The teacher constantly found fault with the child and sought to correct him, which bothered the mother. The mother later realized that she was behaving the same way with her child without realizing it.
Once she made this discovery, she began to accept and empathize more with her child, rather than trying to get him to behave according to what made her comfortable. She also made an effort to point out the many wonderful qualities of her child every day. The child’s relationship with his teacher improved because the boy’s anxiety lessened.
Wishing the best for others, changing the story you tell yourself, and acknowledging and accepting your shadow help you triumph over people who push all your buttons.
What often seems like interpersonal conflict is actually an intrapersonal struggle giving you the opportunity rise to your greatest potential.
Heather Hans, LCSW, MBA is a Public Speaker, Psychotherapist, Intuitive Coach, Law of Attraction Practitioner, Holistic Healer, and author of The Heart of Self-Love. To inquire about booking Heather to speak at your event, visit her website.