Hot buttons are internal drivers triggered by what someone may say or do that create conflict. Reflect on your own hot buttons, and identify two or three.
These are my three buttons:
- someone calling me "weak"
- Looking at someone "exercising"
- Being called "stupid"
Why do you believe these hot buttons exist?
I believe that these words have an associated with something that is personalized with an individual. In specific, they are more like words that trigger traumatic memories or times in which we ourselves could have been different. For example, when I am called "weak" I remember times that I was weak, which I hate, so I become tougher in the situation because I do no want to look "weak" in front of others. These memories are the trigger, the word "weak" itself is simply the conduit to those memories.
Describe a situation when these hot buttons created conflict.
Most of the time, these hot button are created when arguing with somebody you are close to.
These individuals would probably have insight into what makes you angry and could purposely say the word to hurt you. They may, however, not do it on purpose, but rather say it by accident, making you explode more than normal. This is because they are closer to you than normal. I am describing in this a situation with myself and best friend when she called me "stupid" and "weak" for being emotionally attached to someone that was not good for me. I fought my fried, both by words and physically over the matter.
Eventually I saw her point and I was forgiven, but still I exploded in that moment and I see why.
Providing a strategy on how you can manage these hot buttons to improve interpersonal relationships.
Usually these words are just that, words. They mean nothing until you give them purpose of power. However, you should also consider that these words and their meaning could hurt others. It is best to remember to be fluid and let things pass you. Being confrontational will only lead to greater conflict.
Relax and approach the situation with calm. Be like water, this way you can flow and push according to the situation itself.