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How To Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons

1156 words - 5 pages

Do any of the following statements apply to you? People and things should turn out the way I want them to; It is easier to avoid difficult situations and responsibilities rather than face them; If I worry about something, things will actually turn out better; I worry too much about what people think of me; If bad things happen, I always blame somebody else. If any of these are true, you may be letting people and/or things push your buttons according to Albert Ellis, Ph.D., and Arthur Lange, Ed.D., the authors of How To Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons.We all face the pressures and stress of life everyday. The job, the family, other individuals, emergencies, even "things" drive us crazy or "push our buttons" at times. We try to rationalize and keep our cool, but most of the time it is just a cover up and short term solutions to the problems. Reacting is important but how you react can determine how well you handle difficult situations.The authors point out that awfulizing, shoulding, and rationalizing are three ways in which we allow other people and things to push our buttons to the point where we don't handle difficult situations as effectively as we could. An example of these irrational ways of thinking could be a failure to get a promotion. Awfulizing: "Maybe I'm making to many mistakes. Maybe they are planning to get rid of me." Shoulding: "They never liked me. They should have given me the chance. I do all my work and they give the promotion to someone with poor work habits." Rationalizing: "Well, I guess I could have done better on the Murphy account. Maybe they will reconsider. I am sure they will come to their senses." - You can see how these irrational ways of thinking can "push your buttons".Mr. Ellis and Mr. Lange suggest four steps to change your irrational thinking. First, by asking yourself, "How am I inappropriately feeling and acting in this situation?" Look for excessive anxiety, anger, depression, guilt, defensiveness, frustration, intimidation, hostility, and the like. Next, ask yourself, "What am I irrationally thinking about myself, the others, in this situation, or the situation in general, to make myself upset?" Here you should look for the awlfulizing, shoulding, or rationalizing. In step three, you ask yourself, "How can I challenge and dispute my irrational thinking in Step 1?" Accepting the valid aspects of a situation can help you recognize what you are exaggerating, how you are doing that and how you can dispute it. The last step you ask yourself, "What realistic preferences can I substitute for my irrational thinking in Step 1?" By staying with preferences and avoiding awfulizing, shoulding, and rationalizing, you can minimize making yourself excessively anxious, angry, defensive, depressed, and guilty. In summation, steps 1 and 2 identify specifically how you are upsetting yourself and letting people and circumstances push you buttons. Steps 3 and 4...

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