Thursday, April 3, 2014

You just pushed my button!

You may have heard is said that the definition of insanity is ‘doing the same things over and over and expecting different results’. 

In relationships we tend to repeat the same sorts of behaviours and wonder why we end up with the same problems. We all have ‘fear buttons’ that get pushed from time to time e.g. fear of rejection, of looking foolish, of being controlled etc. and often we resort to well-worn patterns of reacting when someone pushes them.

Here are 5 ways people tend to react when a ‘fear button’ is pressed

1. Withdrawal 

You retreat and avoid resolving the issue, often using ‘the silent treatment’

 2. Escalation 

Your emotions spiral out of control; you argue and can become physically or verbally aggressive

3. Defensiveness 

Instead of listening you defend yourself by providing ‘an explanation’ for things

4. Manipulation 

You use controlling behavior to try and manipulate the other person to your own advantage

5. Sarcasm 
You  resort to devaluing and name 
calling in order to dishonour and bring shame 

These behaviours are 'effective' to a degree, in that they may give the immediate desired outcome. For example, after someone has hit your 'fear of losing control' button, you may use some manipulation and find you regain a sense of control. Of course the long term result of this behaviour is ultimately disconnection and mistrust and a relationship based on manipulation can never be a healthy one.

They key is recognising both your 'buttons' and your usual patterns of reacting, then finding new and better ways of responding. I will be blogging some more on this topic in the days to come.

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