Should I Avoid People Who Push My Buttons?
Is it in your highest good to stay away from people who trigger you? The answer might surprise you.
I’m sure you’ve had the experience of consistently being triggered by a certain kind of person. I certainly have. Before Inner Bonding, I tended to get irritated by people who pushed my buttons. Now, I know that these people are my best teachers.
Rosa is struggling with this issue:
“Do certain people trigger our wounded selves while others do not? If I practice Inner Bonding long enough could I become consistent in not being triggered? Should I avoid people who trigger me most intensely – like my lover?”
Yes, Rosa – certain people do trigger our wounded selves while others don’t. The practice of Inner Bonding helps you to learn from the triggers rather than avoiding them by trying to control the other person in some way. It’s doubtful that you will ever reach a point of never being triggered – nor is this the goal. The goal is to embrace your feelings when your buttons are pushed so that you can continue to learn and grow.
Rather than avoid people who trigger you, embrace them as your teachers. I first learned this from a wonderful novel called “The Nine Faces of Christ,” by Eugene Whitworth. In this story, when Jesus leaves on a ship to journey and learn, there is a man who shows up on the ship named Scagus. Scagus follows Jesus everywhere and pushes every button he can to harass and annoy Jesus. Jesus doesn’t know why Scagus is always there, and is often angry that he has to keep dealing with him. At some point we become aware that Scagus is an enlightened being and his job is to hone Jesus by triggering everything in him that is unhealed.
I appreciate the Scaguses in my life – they have been hugely instrumental in my growth and healing.
While you may enjoy being with people who don’t trigger you, your deepest learning and healing are with those who do – provided you open to learning about why you are being triggered.
This is not to say that we need to choose to be around people we don’t like and don’t feel connected with, but it’s very different from being triggered into our woundedness.
Rosa is probably in relationship with her partner for several reasons – one of which is to get triggered and do her Inner Bonding work to heal the triggers. How would she know what is unhealed within unless those wounds are triggered? If she is alone, they likely don’t get triggered. If she is with people who don’t push her buttons, then they don’t get triggered. In fact, in romance, it’s often the people who trigger us most who also generate the most aliveness and passion.
Have you ever met someone who looked great in theory as a partner? You had a lot in common with them, you got along well – but there was no chemistry. People like this are great as friends – easy and relaxing to be with, but they don’t make good partners. We need chemistry to be partners, and sometimes the chemistry is there because we have important things to learn with each other – provided we are both open to learning.
This is the key: to be open to learning. When someone triggers you and one or both of you are not open to learning, then the deep learning that can occur through relationship may not occur. You can certainly do your own learning, but it’s likely that you will eventually move on if the other person isn’t also open to learning
When two people are open to learning about their triggers, magical things can happen, both individually and within the relationship. Their connection deepens as each person owns their own triggers and does their Inner Bonding work to heal them.
Welcome your triggers as wonderful opportunities to learn and grow!
By Dr. Margaret Paul
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author, relationship expert & Inner Bonding® facilitator. She has counseled individuals & couples since 1968. She is the author/co-author of eight books, including the internationally best-selling Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah, as well as on the unique and popular website Inner Bonding & of the transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program, SelfQuest®. Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding course.<