Those Pesky Buttons

  • Laura Demetrician, M.S., LMFT
  • Series: April/May 2015 Volume 22, Issue 1
  • Download PDF

Have you ever been around a person or in a certain situation and you say to yourself, “Wow! She/He really pushes my buttons”? Whatever the circumstances, you realize that your reaction of annoyance, irritation, or anger is much stronger than what the situation called for. 

When we recognize that our annoyance is higher than what is warranted, we have the opportunity to ask ourselves, “Why did I react like that?” “Why did I react so strongly and it doesn’t seem to affect others as much?”

By definition, this experience isn’t pleasant, but the amazing thing is that we can learn something about ourselves from these situations.   As a result, we have an opportunity to grow.   If we change the way we view the situation from an irritation and an annoyance to a learning and growing opportunity, we can allow God to come in the moment and do something in our heart and in our relationships.

Here are a few things to think about as you process the “Pushed Buttons”:

  • Invite God into the situation! Always the best place to start.
  • Where in your body did you feel a reaction? It is important to pay attention to our physical reactions so that we can be attuned in the future. 
  • Ask yourself or process with a therapist if this could be something from your past.  Was there any trauma, grief, loss, hurt, or loved one of whom you are reminded?
  • Ask yourself if being around this person triggers feelings of inadequacy, weakness, insecurity, fear, etc.
  • Take some time away from the person, if possible. This will give you time to reflect, seek insight, and pray.
  • Get closer to the person.  Start by praying for this person.  And then move into…
  • Ask yourself how you can be a blessing to the person.

Those pesky buttons feel horrible when pushed, yet it is a wonderful opportunity for insight and healing!



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