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  • Tom Pate

EP 99: Do Hot Buttons Really Exist?

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

Welcome to the Relationship Fitness Podcast! Think about the triggers you have, the baggage you have carried into your relationship, and the buttons you are daring someone to push. Living in a constant state of pre-explosion is not fun, and walking on eggshells around you is not fun for your loved ones. I am going out on a limb today to say that there are no buttons. Join me for more!

There are no buttons (if you decide there are no buttons)

It’s completely up to you! There are always those things that make us mad when people do them, but there is no reason for us to have those triggers. In this day and age, most of us don’t live in a constant state of fear for our lives. Our lives are not endangered, and we don’t know what it is like to be hunted down and eaten. Just like those kinds of life-or-death fears that are nonexistent, your buttons are only there because you have decided they are there. You can just as easily choose for them not to exist. If you allow someone else to completely control your emotions and responses, then you are admitting your total lack of control, which is not good.

Take extreme ownership of your buttons

I have become much less triggered over my lifetime, and I have realized that most of the things that trigger emotional responses come out of my childhood. For me, those feelings show up when I am tired, having a bad day, or not practicing self-care like I should. You can’t assume that your partner knows what your buttons are and thinks about how to avoid pushing them. News flash! Your partner is NOT constantly thinking about your buttons, and if they are, it isn’t a healthy relationship anyway. Despite our buttons and triggers, why can’t we just assume the best of the other person? Like maybe they forgot about or don’t even realize our sensitivities?

Watch your communication style

You can train your brain to respond differently in certain situations, and you can create new routines in your communication patterns with your partner. Because you and your partner were raised in two different families with two different backgrounds, sarcasm and harsh jokes may seem normal to you, but they might poke at your partner’s insecurities and sensitivities. Hot buttons for you may be totally acceptable for your partner. It takes doing the work of discovery to get to know and understand your partner. Realize that the story going on in your head about “why they did what they did” may not be 100% true. For the sake of your relationship fitness, you may have to tone down your communication habits to keep a peaceful, loving relationship.

***Leave me your feedback. I would love to hear how you are letting go of those buttons and improving your communication style for the health of your relationship. Your relationship fitness matters!

You are not just raising children, but someone’s future spouse and someone’s future parent. Go out there and be loving, kind, patient, and generous! Let’s help save the world--one relationship at a time!

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