So the growth comes from the experience. It may take lots of repetitive incidents -- over months or years -- for us to change the way we respond in a given situation. There's no specific timetable, and nobody's keeping score.
It's an interesting concept to try on. Like I said, I've never heard button pushers described in such a favorable light. It's as if they're just doing their jobs. And when I think of it this way, it helps to take back the power that may have been given away.
According to Dr. Albert Ellis, the author of multiple books, including "How to Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons," events or people don't make you angry or upset; it's what you think about them that does. His book includes tools for dealing with button pushing incidents by breaking situations down to look at our own beliefs, which may be irrational. Ellis presents easy-to-follow methods and work sheets that show how to defuse anger, guilt or depression when people persist in pushing your buttons. When practiced over time (and we all get lots of opportunities, right?), the result can be more peace in our inner worlds.
Author Kimberley Cohen presents some ideas on dealing with button pushers:
Button pushers come in small sizes, too. If you have children, you are likely well aware of this and may want to check out the website www.familyeducation.com.
For those of you who may complain that "it's just not fair," I'm reminded of my friend, Marilee's response: "Fair's in August."
Linda Arnold, MBA, is a certified wellness instructor and chairwoman/CEO of The Arnold Agency, an integrated marketing firm specializing in advertising, public relations, government relations and interactive marketing. Reader comments are welcome and may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or emailed to www.livelifefully.com.