QUOTES & WISDOM
TOP OF THE MIND
QUOTES & WISDOMfrom the Top of the Mind
QUOTES & WISDOM
Top of the Mind
Nancy Perovic, RN, BSN
University Of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL
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How to Keep Others from Pushing Our Buttons!
The sentence, “He/she really knows how to push my buttons!” is a common one, and, of course, refers to what it feels like when someone says or does something that results in a change in how we feel (usually for the worse). While this is understandable (because it certainly feels this way), I suggest we change the way we describe this phenomena, especially if we want to have more influence over our experience of life.
In other words I suggest we shift from complaining about how someone can “push our buttons” and begin to become skilled at pushing our own. Of course, this requires that we know what buttons we want to push and/or what are the qualities and characteristics that we would like to access, because simply stating what we don’t want will not get us to what we do. In fact, those who follow my “Life from the Top of the Mind” philosophy, know that this actually has us accessing different parts of the brain.
In other words, our “reaction” buttons come from the “reactive” brain which is the limbic system and brainstem, while our purposeful buttons come from the purposeful part of the brain, or the neocortex. Of course, finding and pushing these new buttons is easier said than done, and will certainly require practice if becoming skilled is our goal.
The good news, however, is that we don’t have to wait for some negative experience to practice this. All we have to do is remember a time in the past when one of our brainstem buttons was pushed by some person or situation and rewrite that movie/memory in a way that has us choosing how we would have rather reacted. Just imagining responding with confidence, flexibility, and curiosity will create new neural pathways in our brain, and increase the potential that we can do this again in the future.
Plus, let’s become more purposeful about the sort of buttons we want to push in others. In other words, while it may seem that “making them feel as bad as they made me feel” would be desirable, I suggest that this is not what we truly want. Why? because it hardens them against our position and lays a foundation for arguments and resistance in the future.
Instead, I suggest we reach for their neocortex buttons as we did our own… that we look to increase their curiosity, flexibility, and openness as well, so that we can have a true, solution-focused conversation. Bottom line, I suggest we become clear about who we want pushing our buttons, and take 100% responsibility for becoming that person. Then, I suggest we also become influential with others in a way that helps us reach our goals, lays a foundation for more positive conversations in the future, and in a way that we would teach and/or recommend to someone we love.
~ All the best, Dr. Bill