Unfortunately, button pushers get a bad rap. They’re considered rude, inconsiderate, disrespectful, intrusive, self-absorbed and insensitive. They are the difficult people in life. Teachers send them to the principals office, coaches pull their hair out and bosses fire them.
I see it differently. I believe my job as a coach, partner and a parent is to push buttons and to welcome my buttons being pushed. Why? I’ve found that the best at anything – sports, public speaking, sales or surgery, have the fewest buttons and the ones they have are really hard to find.
Attempting to protect athletes or ourselves from button pushers is to do them (and you) a disservice. Our competitors are all about to pushing our buttons. The more buttons we discover within ourselves and the more we learn how to manage them, the better we will be under pressure.
So how do you know a button has been pushed? Here are some classic signs:
- Getting angry and upset at someone’s behavior.
- Feeling annoyed by something.
- Feeling taken advantage of
- Being rebuffed, spurned, made fun of or humiliated
- Feeling unappreciated, unimportant or devalued
- Feeling falsely or unfairly accused
Typically when one of our buttons get pushed it send us down an unwelcome path of anger, hurt or withdrawal. Unfortunately these patterns do not allow us to learn about ourselves. Remember, when a button gets pushed – you’ve just discovered another area for growth. So instead of reacting when a button gets pushed, stop, breathe and reflect. Stay calm – do not get angry or yell. Cool off before you say anything.