Wednesday, January 19, 2011

what pushes your buttons?

what really bugs you? i think it's good to know the answer to this question. now, i will conceit that there are different buttons for different relationships, but if you're like me...i would bet that there is a common thread of irritants that really have the ability to set you off.

yesterday, i had a "negative interaction" (diplomatic) with a co-worker. historically, he and i don't have a close relationship but we have learned to work together successfully for many years, so in general we are good. actions beget words which beget heated words which beget angry response. you know the typical course of events. and in the end, we both made a decision to be professionals on the surface, but below the surface lay a festering pool of toxic animosity.

as i drove home from work i replayed the situation in my mind to figure out how/when things went wrong. what was my part? what was his? and happily, i came to the conclusion that i felt justified in my actions. everything i said WAS right and true. that's always a good feeling, right? but in the middle of my self righteous victory dance, i realized that i had left out one key element. there was a specific moment when i had an opportunity to diffuse the situation and i chose not to. i felt stepped on and i wasn't going to take it. i was going to show him who was boss. that was it. that was my part.

now, looking back i realize that a very large shiny red emotional button for me is pride. and more specifically when i feel disrespected. one of my favorite authors once wrote this famous proverb for a healthy life. "the road of right living bypasses evil; watch your step and save your life. First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall." wow! that's pretty clear huh? so, i guess i know what i need to work you want to join me?

1 comment:

shatkin said...

Pride is such an angry animal; literally it transforms a kind person into a raging has claws.