Pushing Your Own Buttons: The Surprising Truth About Emotional Triggers
Have you ever noticed how certain things seem to just push your buttons? Maybe it’s a particular topic of conversation, or a certain way someone speaks to you. Whatever it is, you find yourself getting triggered and feeling all sorts of uncomfortable emotions.
But have you ever stopped to think about why that is? Why do these things have such a strong effect on you?
The truth is, we all have our own “buttons” – certain triggers that elicit strong emotional responses. And often, we ourselves are the ones who put those buttons out there to be pushed.
Here’s what I mean: throughout our lives, we all experience certain events or situations that are difficult or traumatic. These experiences can leave us with unresolved emotions or beliefs that we carry with us, often without even realizing it.
For example, let’s say you grew up in a household where your parents frequently argued. As a result, you may have developed a belief that conflict is always bad and should be avoided at all costs. Later in life, if someone starts to argue with you, you might feel an intense urge to shut down or walk away – even if the argument isn’t actually a big deal.
In this way, you’ve put your own button out there to be pushed. You’ve created a trigger that elicits a strong emotional response, even if that response isn’t actually helpful or healthy.
So, what can you do about it?
The first step is simply to become aware of your buttons. Start paying attention to the situations or topics that tend to trigger you, and try to understand why. What beliefs or emotions are underlying your reaction?
Once you’ve identified your buttons, you can start to work on them. This might involve therapy or counseling to help you process unresolved emotions or trauma. It might involve practicing mindfulness or other techniques to help you regulate your emotions in the moment.
Ultimately, the goal is to become more resilient and less reactive. When we’re able to understand and regulate our own emotions, we’re less likely to get triggered by the things that used to push our buttons. And that can lead to greater peace and happiness in our lives.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling triggered, remember that you may have put that button out there yourself. But also remember that you have the power to change it – and to live a more peaceful, fulfilling life as a result.
Jenmarie Eadie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is passionate about empowering women to take control of their mental health by finding balance and inner peace in the midst of perfectionism and anxiety. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Arizona State with a concentration in Behavioral Health. Her proudest accomplishment is following her dream of opening up a practice focused on helping high-achieving, goal-oriented women. She currently serves women in California and Oregon (CA LCSW# 66634 and OR# L13328).