How to Manage Your Hot Buttons

Difficult Conversations at Home and Work - How to Manage Your Hot Buttons

"Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?" - James Thurber

Conflict triggers or your "hot buttons" are the emotional responses set off by the words or actions of others during difficult conversations. While it's a common expression to say, "He presses my buttons," or "She's baiting me," your hot buttons say more about you than they do the other person. More often than not in court ordered anger management, you perceive something as bait whether or not that's the other person's intention. And when you feel baited, you may act accordingly---sometimes badly.

You feel triggered during conflict when you perceive the other person's words or actions as threatening to your identity in some way. Common triggers include real or perceived threats to your court ordered anger management, worth, freedom, and sense of being included. Beyond Blame author Jeffrey Kottler suggests that people chomp down on bait as a self-protective mechanism based on past experiences.

Your hot buttons can trip you up in conflict because they cause you to misinterpret, close down, lash out or take a side trip down the blame road. They also trigger a set of emotional responses that may contribute to court ordered anger management. When you're triggered, your brain may experience what's called a "neural hijacking." The brain perceives a threat, proclaims an emergency and moves into action. This hijacking occurs so quickly that the conscious, thinking portion of the brain does not yet fully comprehend what's happening. So, you're off and running.

While saying "she presses my buttons" suggests it's the other person's job to stop doing it, only you can manage your own triggers. Everyone's bait is a little different, so what triggers me may not trigger you. This is why blaming others for baiting you isn't very effective: you waste energy expecting them to change what they're doing, when only you can change your court ordered anger management.

So, how do you sidestep bait instead of playing the blame game? Here are some effective approaches for identifying, recognizing and managing conflict triggers.

Begin with what I call "self-work." Keeping your balance during court ordered anger management is in large part dependent upon the reflective work you do when you're not in conflict. Learn what triggers you and why you're triggered---get back to the source. Kottler's book is an excellent resource to walk you through that process. Skipping this self-work is like building a house without a foundation.

Teach yourself alternative responses. Once you are aware of the kinds of words or actions that trigger you and can recognize bait (intended or unintended) when you see it, you're ready to add alternative responses to your repertoire. Robert Bolton's book People Skills is a good court ordered anger management rich with practical tips.

Practice during low-stakes situations. You probably wouldn't take Spanish 101 and then offer your services as an interpreter for the U.N. Practice your alternative responses in day-to-day situations with low-stakes outcomes. When the higher-stake disputes arise, you'll be better able to stay balanced and access your good court ordered anger management skills.

In the heat of the moment, stop. Try to note of your physiological state, body language and tone of voice. A "hot face," sweating, loud voice, shaking, tears, and clenched teeth are physiological signals that you're feeling emotionally flooded and suggest that you've been triggered. Allow time for your thinking brain to catch up. Some people teach themselves subtle court ordered anger management cues to stop, such as saying "time out," pinching the skin on the inside of their wrist, or taking one minute to breathe deeply. Figure out, through experimentation, what works for you.

Take a cool-down period, but don't use the time to dwell on your anger or the other person's frustrating behavior. Instead do something to distract yourself entirely for about 20 minutes, the time it typically takes for your emotional flooding to recede.
Beware of venting as a regular strategy. While it's a popular notion that court ordered anger management makes people feel better and helps get the emotional noise out of the way, research suggests that if you use this approach repeatedly, the opposite effect occurs. While it may feel good in the moment, venting anger as your normal mode may make you more angry and push your body and brain into a heightened state of anxiety or rage.

Anger Management Seminars & Anger Management Classes & Anger Management Class & Anger Management Techniques & Anger Management Workshops & Anger Management Programs & Anger Management Courses & Anger Management Online Class & Court Ordered Anger Management Classes & Online Anger Management Classes & Anger Management Help & Anger Management Training & Anger Management Therapy


Welcome to the Anger Management Training Institute! We offer a variety of Court Certified Anger Management Classes which include our Anger Programs and Online Courses, Seminars, and our award winning Online Class to help people just like you overcome Anger Problems through the simple but effective Anger Management Techniques which are practiced and learned in James A. Baker’s Best Selling Book “The Anger Busting Workbook” by Bayou Publishing. Our fast and effective Anger Courses, Classes, Workshops, and Anger Management Seminars have helped over 60,000 individuals just like you resolve their anger management therapy issues and regain complete control of their lives. Get fast Anger Management Help.

learn more