Dr. Kathy Obear

What To Do When Your Buttons Get Pushed: Tools To Help You Respond In Difficult Situations

– Posted in: Life Lessons, Navigating triggers

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re at work when someone says something that rubs you the wrong way. It takes you off guard. Now you’re hooked…and before you realize it, you’ve said something you know you’re going to regret later on.

Who hasn’t encountered a situation like this? I know I have, many times.

Rise Above…

In an interview with Liz Wolfe, a breakthrough coach for entrepreneurs, we talked about my book Turn the Tide: Rise Above Toxic, Difficult Situations in the Workplace. Really, this book goes beyond difficult situations in the workplace – I wanted to reach a broad audience because we all encounter tough situations – at home, at work, and in everyday social situations.

Things are happening around us all the time. Most of the time we don’t feel triggered. And then it’s just that one meeting or that one phone call or that single interaction that sets us off.

We’re not at the whim of our emotions. We can rise above.

Recognize Your Early Warning Signs

Recognizing your early warning signs when you feel triggered can help you gain clarity. Don’t know what they are? Just ask someone close to you. Many people don’t even know they were triggered until much later on – even the next day or beyond.

Maybe you feel your face start to flush…muscles tighten…jaw clenches…you feel tense. Your heart beats faster. And the story starts – the story that you’re building in your mind. You may be thinking things like:

  • I’m not good enough.
  • S/he doesn’t like me.
  • I knew this was going to happen.
  • They’re not interested in what I have to say.
  • This always happens to me.

Change the Story

The sooner you recognize your triggers, the sooner you can get on the off ramp and change your story.

What are you thinking now, in this moment?

Pause. Take a break. Focus on something else. Shift your thoughts.

Try some easy stress relief techniques – deep breathing, flexing some of your muscles, mantras or positive affirmations are all helpful tools.

Set your intention – decide how you want to respond. Try to find common ground. Don’t fall into the trap you’ve set for yourself.

The result?

You’ll be more useful and effective in whatever you’re doing.

Too often, we’re fighting, competing, and trying to be “the best.” Yet, we can use simple tools that will help us work together, foster understanding, and listen better.

My book is packed with some awesome stories just about anyone will relate to, plus a ton of tools that can help you recognize and move beyond your own triggers.

To download a FREE copy of “Turn the Tide” today, just click here to get instant access.

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