Know Your Buttons

By | January 7, 2016

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I hate waiting for people. I’m an unusually patient person in just about every area of my life, until it comes to physically waiting for someone else to show up. It makes me crazy! I hate when I’m stuck in a holding pattern. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I too often lean toward self-sacrifice in my interactions with others. But knowing the “why” in this instance isn’t really critical. I can’t stand waiting for people! That fact is clear as day. I hate when the kids don’t get out of the car when I’m already standing outside (especially when it’s raining, or worse yet, cold and snowing) and I hate when someone leaves me standing on the corner waiting for them to pick me up. I do my best to talk myself down, enjoy the moment, but to I have never been very successful. It’s a button. A Big Red, Do Not Push, Caution, Warning button. In this situation, I don’t have an ounce of patience. It’s as if the seed of the Dark Side gets planted and then grows at an alarming rate. And it’s definitely a genetically modified seed. And it waits there, ready to sprout when “waiting” ignites its power.

First off, recognize and acknowledge your BIG RED BUTTONS. Own them. Get familiar with them. Understand their triggers and nuances. Then, set clear expectations. Keep the communication flowing. Prepare yourself. Warn people. Explore the motivations and ramifications. I tell my kids how much I hate it when they don’t get out of the car and keep me standing in the harsh elements. I let people know I won’t be waiting around, at least not happily and not for any great length of time. In any instance, depending on your button, let people know what you will and won’t do in the particular situation. Manage their expectations and yours. Clearly, communicate how you intend to respond in action and anticipate responding in emotion.

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